Friday, April 15, 2016

New Spring Blossom Collages

Using the blossoming trees around our school as inspiration (see here), students can bring our hallways alive with Spring!!

They start on Day #1 painting tints,  using acrylic paint -- white and the color of their choice. We also had some colored tissue paper that kids could paint with white to create tints. The advantage of using acrylic is that students can experiment with keeping the paint thick (like Van Gogh).

The next step is to cut and glue branches and blossoms, overlapping the blossoms for depth.

 After the blossoms are glued, students can add darker areas with crayon or oil pastels representing the depth of the centers of flowers.
I am thinking these would be spectacular displayed all together on a hallway bulletin board!!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Happy Spring (flowers)!

Spring is such a cheery season for students to try to recreate. We have so many early blossoms in our little beach town that inspiration is around every corner!!

And then there was last week when we had gusty winds whipping the palm trees into a frenzy!!

Think I will need to work on a lesson to exemplify the wind, but for those looking for quick (or semi-quick) spring flower lessons, I do have these former flower lessons here,  here , here , here and here!! 
The flowers below take a bit longer, but the lesson can be found here

Hope you all are enjoying your Spring Break!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Art in Our School

I can't believe it has been so long since my last post, but I had a good reason. I now have a brand new hip, have recuperated nicely, and am ready to start back with students this week!!! Anyway, I do have a few things to share. First, a little bit about the last project 3rd graders worked on . . .

Around 80 years ago, when our school was built, a frieze depicting Theodore Roosevelt's life was installed outside the door of the main office. That area is now located inside the office, the result of remodeling. We believe the frieze was carved by sculptor, Robert Merrell Gage, who was responsible for quite a few local public works of art, as well as a few national treasures, as well. From 1928 to 1958 when he retired, Gage was the Chairman of  USC's Fine Arts Department.

Third graders explored the frieze, discussing all the details that they found. 

 They helped each other and used crayon to trace over the indentations of the carving, making replicas of some of the items. 

 Then, using centimeter rulers they measured parts of their own drawings and then other parts of the frieze.

I love when students can become actively involved with their surroundings both as artists and researchers. In this case, our research generated a LOT of mathematical comparisons!!

I am thrilled that our students have the opportunity to study and appreciate authentic art in their school environment. We have quite a few murals on campus as well as this frieze, so I am planning to have students explore these, too. More later on this . . .

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Winter Reflection Collage

Every now and then I resurrect a reflection lesson (see here) with a different theme. Last year it was with pumpkins in a puddle (here) for fall, this year it is with snowmen in the forest with the addition of collaged ice skaters on the pond.

We start by folding the paper in half (lengthwise) and use landscape setting. I use regular copy paper from the printer rather than heavier drawing paper. Kids draw their forest scene with snowmen using Crayola Watercolor markers (they seem to work the best for me). You can find some great Google images of forests, mountains, etc. to show your class for reference. Caution students to draw their trees and snowmen sitting right on the fold line. This is REALLY important!!

Then spray or brush water on the white part of the paper and carefully fold it up onto the colored part. Press lightly and unfold to see the reflection on the pond.

You could stop right there and call it a day. Because these are on copier paper, they dry REALLY quickly.

Or, if you have the time, have student draw and color ice skaters that they can cut out and glue onto the ice. We used drawing paper (90# I think) for this step. (We do quick gesture sketches on scratch paper to get the positions to show movement.) This is a good opportunity to mention creating the illusion of depth  with overlapping and size of objects!

In the example below, the student took time to go back after the paper was dry and before gluing the skaters to add extra touches of color to the forest using oil pastels.
She also spattered white paint for that snowy touch.

This is a pretty quick, fun project for that wintery feeling!!

P.S. - Blogger's new feature of allowing you drag and drop pictures right onto your post is VERY cool. Thank you Blogger!!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

An Artful Thanksgiving

From Farmers' Market . . .

These photos are from a stop at Casa de Fruta in Hollister, California.

. . .  to Thanksgiving table . . .

These are painted pumpkins on my holiday table . . .

. . . to the Art Room . . .

. . . and these, of course, are from the Art Room.

Hope everyone enjoys a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with good food, friends and/or family, and a creative spirit!!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

More Picasso Fractured Faces for Winter

After we did our Frankenstein lesson (see here) I started thinking of other options for this lesson. I did a quick Google search for Picasso Snowmen and found some full body examples, but no portraits. Thinking that kids would have fun with that variation I gave it a try. 

Instead of cutting out the face, I tried painting the 2 halves, shading for a bit of dimension. The background is pastel in the complementary color to the blue in the face. The pastels could be left like this, or smoothed over with a bit of paper towel for a blended look.

All the details were drawn on a separate piece of paper and colored with marker or crayon.

The last step is to cut them out, arrange them in a fractured (or Cubist) form and glue.

I like the idea of backing the whole piece in a color to complement the colors used in the collage/drawing.

The whole purpose of this exercise was to play around with breaking apart faces/profiles and gaining some understanding of what Picasso was experimenting with. I guess you can see that the possibilities are unlimited. I hope some of you give it a try with your students trying some other options!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Celebrating Our Veterans

I love it when the Los Angeles Veterans' Cemetery is all red, white and blue with flags celebrating those who have served our country!

I always take time to thank my parents, who both served during WWII. My dad was in the Air Force and was a flight instructor. He has been gone for quite awhile now, but I know he would love the patriotic display.

 And my mom was in the US Navy as a link instructor (simulated flight experience for pilots). She always loves driving with me through the cemetery looking at the flags, too. I am pretty sure we will do that tomorrow.

I think it is about time to start a little needlepoint ornament for my Christmas tree -- a little flag to honor this day:)). Hope you are all enjoying yourselves!!