Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas from SoCal!

It certainly doesn't feel like Christmas here with a temperature of  81*( But I'm definitely not complaining) 
Wishing you all a Wonderful day and much happiness in the New Year!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Snowmen Collages

my example

Or I guess I should say snowpeople.  :)  I was admittedly overly ambitious to think the children could easily complete all the steps to create these collages in an hour and 15 minutes. In order to do so, it required me to become equal parts art teacher and drill sergeant. We first used liquid watercolor and salt to create our winter sky backgrounds. I had some Sax blue glitter watercolor which was fun for the kids to use and made their skies sparkle. The birch trees were created by scraping black acrylic paint across posterboard scraps using cardboard pieces. While these dried, the children made their snowpeople with chalk pastels on blue construction paper. At this point I brought out my hair dryer to hurry along the drying process. The snowpeople were cut out and the birch trees cut into strips. I encouraged the kids to vary the width of their trees to make them appear closer and further away. And last, they glued down all the elements. If we had more time, I would have had them add some cast shadows to their birch trees and maybe some extra snowfall. I will definitely try this project again at a more relaxed pace.

Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas! Enjoy your time spent with family and friends!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Whimsical Winter Animals

My two Winter Holiday Art Fun classes revisited a couple favorite lessons with these tint and shade rabbits and foxes with watercolor skies. They have a wonderful illustrative quality which would make them perfect to accompany a short story or a poem. Both groups followed direct line drawing lessons to create their rabbits and foxes and shaded them with chalk pastels. Animals were cut out and glued to winter backgrounds.
Artwork by children 5 - 10

Notice Andie's addition of a very fancy pair of earrings

 Sweet fox by a sweet girl - Jenna, 5

I love how Ian chose to use every color offered,
creating a gorgeous watercolor sky

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sheep in the Snow

 Sami, 5

 Presley, 5

 Grace, 6

Jenna, 10

I'm finally getting to some seasonal art projects this month. The temperature has dropped into the 50's this week. For SoCal residents, this could be considered bitter cold. Although I know the rest of the country is dealing with "real" frigid weather right now. 

The children created their sheep on brown and blue construction paper with chalk pastels. They followed a direct line drawing lesson and used both the tip and the side of their pastels to create texture. I encouraged them to use a little smudged charcoal to create shadow and depth. On a separate piece of board I offered blue, black and purple liquid watercolors to create a wintertime sky. After this was dry they created snow using the backs of their brushes dipped in white acrylic.Sheep were then cut out and glued to their backgrounds.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Snorkeling Self Portraits

Nothing says late autumn quite like snorkeling right? :) I wanted to do a self-portrait lesson, but decided to add a twist with my two groups of after-school students. I offered a template to create a head and from there the children (5-10) followed a directed line drawing lesson. A variety of media was offered to add color to their portraits, acrylic paint, oil pastels and chalk pastels. I encouraged them to outline everything with a permanent marker or oil pastel once complete to make everything pop. On a separate piece of board the children created an underwater effect with liquid watercolors and salt. (Always a crowd pleaser) Finally the children created bright colored tropical fish and played around with placement to create an underwater scene. Snorkelers and fish were cut out and glued to their backgrounds. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Night Owls

 Alexa, 3rd grade

 Grace, 1st grade

 Jenna, 5th grade

 Luke, Kindergarten

 Sami, Kindergarten

 Lacie, 4th grade

Presley, Kindergarten

Choosing art lessons for a group of kids ranging in age from 5 to 10 can be a bit tricky. I think I made a good call with this project. The owls were created with Sharpie and chalk pastels on big dictionary pages. My mom had just donated our old family dictionary to me to use for art class.(How did she know this was so current?) The kids looked at me with a combination of wonder and suspicion when I told them that when I was young, rather than a computer or phone, we had to look up words we didn't know how to spell in a book. Ha! The backgrounds were created in the same way my other class had done flying bats: oil pastel moons, watercolor skies and acrylic branches. The owls were then cut out and glued to their nighttime skies.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Moonlit Bats

I haven't meant to be m.i.a. from blogging for several weeks. We put our computer in the shop 3 weeks ago and have yet to the get green light that it has been repaired. Enter my two wonderful brothers, who generously purchased a laptop for an early birthday gift. Thanks Dave and Scott!

The day before Halloween I had my new group of K-4th graders create these Egyptian Slit-Faced Bats using charcoal. The backgrounds were created with oil pastel moons, watercolor skies and acrylic branches. To add extra fine spooky branches they could use Sharpie as well. I gave the children several options for creating a spooky watercolor backdrop for their bats, (including a yellow, orange and gray dusk/dawn effect), but it was blue/black skies all around. The last touch was to use white chalk to add moonlit highlights on their tree branches.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Peacocks and Butterflies in Chalk Pastel

Chalk pastels on black paper are a magical combination aren't they? I revisited two previous lessons with my Mixed Media Art Class groups for our last class together. These were done on big 18" X 24" sheets of black construction paper. Although we looked at photos of real peacocks and butterflies for inspiration, I gave the children free reign in their creations. Ages 5 - 10.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Colorful Collage Still Lifes

These beautiful collages were inspired by the bold and colorful paintings of Matisse
 and the painterly still life art of Cezanne....
They put a smile on my face - Wonderful job kids!

 Grace, 1st grade

 Cate, 4th grade

 Franziska, 2nd grade

 Andie, 2nd grade
I feel like I need to reach out and catch this precariously perched lantern :)

 Pia, 4th grade

Sadie, 2nd grade

These collages gave my two groups the opportunity to use a wide range of media: oil pastel and watercolor for the backgrounds, acrylic for the tables, charcoal lanterns, and vases and fruit in chalk pastels. All our cut elements (lanterns admittedly took some patience) were glued onto the backgrounds and finally a cast shadow in charcoal was added. Since I have children ranging in age from 5 to 10, creating still lifes in a collage format rather than on one paper allowed everyone to feel successful.