Friday, February 24, 2012

Eyeful of Eiffels

This project is loosely based on Robert Delaunay's Eiffel Tower painting from 1924 and these oil pastel inspirations I saw on Artsonia. And of course I was so smitten by the film "Midnight in Paris", I wanted to do something Parisian. These were done on large blue construction paper with oil pastel line work and chalk pastel colors. We took the basic cropped shape of the Eiffel Tower and added our own shapes and designs. If I had extra time, glue lines would add an extra boldness. Artwork by 7-9 year olds.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More Monkey Business

I did this lesson over the holidays and loved the diverse results. It presents a few challenges to the artists. With just five acrylic colors, one paint brush and no water, the children created their painted background with no rules other than reminding them that this was to be a Pop Art piece with bright ( rather than brown or muddy colors.) They quickly learned that orange and blue weren't the best combo for this project. Fortunately, acrylic is fast drying and forgiving in that way. Once dry, they followed a loose direct line drawing lesson with charcoal to create their chimp. I like the fun, quirky and spontaneous qualities in their pieces. (artwork by 9-10 yr olds)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Wild for Wildsmith

(my experiment for the lesson)

I adore beautiful children's books and have even saved many of the ones from my childhood. Thanks for enrolling in The Weekly Reader Book Club back in the 70's Mom! I'm still treasuring Andrew Henry's Meadow, The Flying Hockey Stick, The Little House and many more.

So this lesson was inspired by the gorgeous illustrations of Brian Wildsmith in the classic fable, "The Hare and The Tortoise." The children dry brushed their rabbit first with acrylics and were encouraged to add texture with small brushes and acrylic and/or oil pastel. This group (6-9 yr olds) seemed to have a definite idea about how their rabbits should look, so some opted out of this step. They then chose between a warm or cool background. What I love most about Wildsmith's work is his layers of colors and texture. So they then layed down oil pastel stems and leaves in a variety of colors, followed by printed stems of acrylic using cardboard sides and circles using old marker caps. They could even add an extra layer of splatter painting if they chose. This was definitely not a lesson of less is more. I would like to do this again and bring in even more layering - it was a very fun piece to create.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Moonlit Moose

My 7-9 year olds created these pieces in two steps. (The cutting around the antlers was a bit labor intensive, but do-able for a small group.) The children chose between a purple or blue palette to create their tint and shade moonscapes. I think this is such a great lesson to use as a jumping off point for other projects. I told them to impress their parents later with their new knowledge of tint and shades. They started with their white moon and added just a bit of color for each tint and then finally bringing in black for their shades.Snowfall was brought in using the end of their brushes.

On a sheet of brown construction paper they followed a direct line drawing lesson to create their moose. These lines were gone over in Sharpie or oil pastel. I encouraged them to use a variety of chalk pastel in earth tones to add texture and dimension.The last step (if they chose to do so) was to add white paint in the crevices of the antlers to mimic snow. (Unfortunately, I didn't take a final photo for those- but I think it adds a great layer to the piece.)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bird Crazy

Ryan, 2nd grade

Pastel Lovebirds

Textured Peacocks with Sponge Painted Background

More painterly peacocks
(1st and 2nd graders)

I find myself drawn to bird projects quite a bit. Owls, lovebirds, hummingbirds, peacocks, and roosters are subjects I've used in the past few months. I have pinned so many birds on Pinterest, I created a board dedicated just to them. The children seem to enjoy them as well, so I guess it's a win, win.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Humpback Whales at Sunset

My group of 4th graders created these pieces in much the same way as my other class made their sunset seascapes with dolphins and seals - acrylic painted background and whales on black paper with chalk pastel. They added a splattering of white paint for a splash effect. Maybe this project was subconsciously inspired by the new movie, Big Miracle about the 3 gray whales caught under the ice in Alaska. ;)