Thursday, February 15, 2018

Fourth Grade Chinese Blossom Paper Lanterns

Our fourth graders are studying Ancient China. Did you know that the most famous cherry blossom parks exist in China are due to Japan's  brief occupation of China and later their gifting of cherry trees to them. We discussed this as a class and looked at images of Cherry Tree Parks.

Each student started with a 12x18 piece of white sulphite paper.
Our first step was to watercolor branches horizontally across our papers.
Next they dipped their brushes into magenta tempera paint and "splooshed" the paint randomly onto their tree branches. After that they dipped their brushes into white paint and "splooshed" the white paint on top of the magenta spots.
Day 2
The students folder their papers in half with the floral design on the inside. They then used their rulers as a guide to draw a line along the top edge of the long side of their papers. After that they used the ruler to draw vertical lines along the length of their papers. Finally they cut up the length of the vertical lines until the reached the horizontal further
Now, they fold their papers back the other way with the design facing out. It's a little tricky with all of those slits in the paper.
Next, they wrapped their papers into a circle, overlapped the edges and stapled the top and bottom together. 
At this point I had them squish their lanterns down and create a nice crease at the middle folds in the paper. 
The students god a two inch wide piece of 18" long, white sulphite paper that had been painted with gold tempera. They cut their gold piece in half length wise with a wavy cut. They also got a 12x1.5" piece of brown construction paper for their handles. 
They stapled the handle to the top of the lantern.
Now they wrapped their gold pieces around the openings of the top and bottom making sure to cover the staples and securely glued them on. 
This was the finished lantern. We plan on hanging them from the ceiling in the elementary hallway. Can't wait to see them all displayed.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Grandma Moses Shape Lesson: First Grade

Observing shapes in an object can help us draw accurately. Look at a few objects, going from simple to more complex. What shapes do we see?

Bases on lesson by

Grandma Moses
Week 1
Watch this video on Grandma Moses
Life of Grandma Moses

Image result for Grandma Moses winter

Give the children a piece of gray construction paper. Show them how to paint a snowy bank along the bottom. While this is drying on table...
Discuss the different shapes used in the paintings.
Have the children choose three squares or rectangles for their buildings. They can choose to use the rectangles horizontally or vertically. Have them pick three matching triangle roofs.
They will then glue the pieces onto their papers making sure that the buildings are in the snowy bank and not floating in the air.

Give each of the children a strip of black paper. They will snip this paper to create windows and doors.

Week 2
Finish with windows and doors if neededGive the children a construction paper crayon to create walkways, fences or other small details to their paintings. Have them paint their roofs white with "snow". Demonstrate to them how to load up a paintbrush with watered down white paint and tap it to create falling snow.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Joan Miro Kindergarten Lesson

Miro Slideshow

Joan Miro was born April 20, 1893 in Barcelona, Spain. Like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Salvador Dali, Miro is one of the great pioneers of twentieth-century art. Miro began drawing at a young age, and his choice of subjects -tufts of grass, insects, birds- revealed an early affinity for the organic. Though based on his observations of nature, his works were abstractions, and bridged the gap between realistic and abstract imagery.
 Woman in the Night

Present lesson on Joan Miro and show images located on thumb drive. Discuss abstract art and how lines and shapes represent things in real life. Most of his lines are curved. He shows the sun with stars.

Week 1
Using a thick sharpie have students draw a large figure that fills their paper. Then have them use the Miro idea sheet to add extra elements to their drawing.  You can choose to let them use an extra fine point sharpie to give a variation of line weights. (Possibly use gray or brown construction paper)

Week 2
Have students paint their works of art using tempera paints with #3 brushes for control. Limited color palette of white, turquoise and red. (I tried yellow on the brown paper and it did not look nice). 
Have students go back over lines that might have been painted over.

I think this is something our kindergarteners can pull off, can't wait to see the results. Will update.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

First Grade Turkeys: Happy Thanksgiving

I had so much fun creating this directed drawing for the first graders. I knew they would have a blast and that their turkeys would ultimately be much cuter than mine! Delving into color blending.
Happy Thanksgiving!
The stripes!!!


I love how this turkey simultaneously looks like a baby wearing a technicolor dreamcoat and a turkey. This student did a lot of blending on their wings. Bravo!


I love seeing the various interpretations of turkeys. Patchwork, rainbow, large feathered or small; they're all wonderful.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Kandinsky Circles In a Circle-First Grade: Line

Lesson on Line
Show students pictures of
The Swan by Henri Matisse
Shell No. 1 by Georgia O'keefe
Discuss the types of lines they have
Teach the children the "Larry the Line" poem by Cassie Stevens

Show students a picture of Wassily Kandinsky's Circles in a Circle; 1923
Image result for wassily kandinsky
Talk about the different types of lines found in this piece. Lines that makes circles. Overlapping lines. Thick lines, think lines.
Have the students glue down the large black construction paper circle that has been pre-made. Give the students a ruler and a black crayola marker. Have them create lines within the circle.

Give the students varying sizes of circle templates. Have them trace the circles onto pieces of painted paper. Talk with them about composition. How to lay out their circles in a way that is pleasing to the eye. How many colors will they choose? Will the circles touch?

Week #2
Continue adding circles if needed.
Provide the students with their pre-cut triangles of tissue paper. Teach them how to lay the tissue paper down on their drawings and wet it so the color bleeds onto their artwork. Tell them to be very careful when painting on the water so that they don't move the tissue paper.

I think this lesson came together pretty well. The children certainly loved it. Tracing, cutting, holding a ruler firmly while tracing a line and paint brush etiquette were all skills touched on in this lesson. I think that if I did this lesson again I would have the children use sharpies instead of black Crayola markers so that they wouldn't bleed in the final step.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

First Grade Cave Drawings


Objective:  Learn about the cave painters of Lascaux and Altamira. Learn about how ancient cave people created art, what tools they used and how they made paint. Students will draw animals on the "Cave wall" in the style of the ancient cave painters using pieces of flagstone.


Week 1
Tell the stories of children discovering Altamira cave in Spain and Lascaux cave in France. Watch the video of Lascaux

Discuss WHY, by WHOM and HOW the caves were painted.

Part 2
Practice drawing animals in the style of the cave artists on paper (possibly on walls?)

Final project: draw an animal on a piece of flagstone with dried out sharpies (to be recycled) and then fill in the animal shapes with chalk.

These were so fun to do with the first graders. They loved the process of drawing animals on rocks.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Sixth Grade Classical Columns and Amphorae

We began this lesson by learning about the the three most common column orders. Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. Also delved into Tuscan and composite. We viewed and discussed many of the buildings that they can be found on in history and today (including our local Smith's grocery store which sports Tuscan style columns).
The students were given an 18"x24" piece of sulphite paper and they drew their own capital and column.
After drawing their entire column they were given the choice of brown or gray marker to trace over their pencil lines. They simultaneously traced with the marker and then wet those lines with a paint brush to distress and add interest to their columns.

When they were finished with the columns they had a lesson on the history and use of ancient Greek amphorae. Red Figure and Black Figure were also discussed.
They began by creating half of an amphora shape on folded newsprint. They cut that out and traced it onto watercolor paper. Next they created designs on their amphorae using orange, red or yellow crayons. When they were finished with their designs they used watered down black tempera cake to paint over their entire pot. The final step was to cut out their pots and columns.

They were mounted in the upper school hall.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Upper School Fixer Upper-Painted Chair Backs

I'm not sure why this was so, but we teach at a newer charter school that exists in portable building and somehow these are the chairs that the art room ended up with. The backs were made of particle wood and as they were sat in the screws began to disintegrate the wood and they just fell apart. That left our room with ridiculously unusable chairs. You should have seen our tiny kindergarteners trying to sit in these things. After quite a bit of brainstorming, Kim and I decided that instead of spending $1000.00 of our grant money on chairs or stools we would enlist our upper school students (7-12) to help us recreate masterpieces on chair backs.
First, Travis measured and then cut to size 24 pieces of 1/2" plywood. It took two sheets and cost $80.00.
Second, I primed each piece of wood.
Third, the students needed to chose a classic work of art to recreate.
Some of the students were paired together for this assignment...that sometimes created a challenge but in the end it worked out well enough.
Most of these students have never painted in their lives so the end results of these chair backs are quite astonishing. They have really transformed our room. The elementary students LOVE it too.
When they were finished painting we sealed them with a matte acrylic spray.
I spent a good while pre-drilling holes and screwing these things together, but I'm so happy with the results. We painted the table side of the chairs a "table color" while the artwork faces out.

Upper School Graphic Trees Watercolor Wash-Balance

The upper school students were to create a design of three graphic trees that was balanced and well thought out. They could either do a watercolor wash and thne draw their trees on top or they could create a resist with crayon and do their wash on top. They had the choice to use salt or no salt, to use black prisma or white prisma.
The main idea in this quick, one class project was to create balance within their design. Keeping in mind to fill your page and create an aesthetically pleasing design.

I love that even our students who have some pretty serious limitations were able to participate in this lesson on a pretty even level.