Thursday, July 21, 2016

Wall Art - Part 3

I have been contemplating the message on this mural for over 10 years. Before art started popping up on walls everywhere, this thoughtful painting appeared overlooking Wilshire Blvd. in West Los Angeles. I still notice it every time I pass by, although the signs around it are crowding in these days!! It often gets me thinking about the difference between reading a book and "reading" a piece of art. What a great conversation to have in the art room!!

It is hard to see the painted scaffolding that the little painter in the lower right is standing on as he paints by the word, "sentence."

You can see him better from this angle.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Wall Art Part 2

In my wanderings out and about I have come across these two murals celebrating Charlie Chaplin. The first is in a courtyard at the Cypress Inn in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California . It overlooks diners having afternoon tea in the patio restaurant.

The second is on the main road through Venice, CA.

I have been thinking it might be fun to discuss these two paintings with students, comparing the similarities and differences. Then I would give a photo of a well known man/woman to the kids and have them create a portrait within a setting of their choice. Afterwards we could have another discussion examining the similarities and differences of their paintings. FUN, HUH??

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Wall Art

I have been noticing lately that artists are hitting the walls around where I live. It is fun to see such creativity. I have been doing a lot more walking now that school is out and thought that in the next few weeks I'd share some of the murals I have stumbled upon.

This first is on the wall of a restaurant I was at with my mom recently. It is called Spitfire and is located in their parking lot. It is a cool, casual place with a lot of old airplane memorabilia inside. Fitting, since it is located by our local small airport.
 These next few are on walls of the fabric store where I shop. At first there were just a few near the back door:
 This next one always startles me!!

 Then others started appearing around the other walls of the building. So fun!!
 I will share some more later. Hope everyone is having a happy summer!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Stars and Stripes 2016

Whether it is Memorial Day, Veteran's Day or the 4th of July, it is fun to  celebrate the red, white and blue. This is a quick project requiring pastels, paper, paint and a few pieces of cardboard.

Artists use one triangle and chalk to create a five-pointed star. This is good for talk about, not only how you go about positioning the triangle five times to create the star, but also for the starting point of the chalk marks (on the triangle, brushing out) and conversation about the direction you "swipe" the chalk (from the triangle straight out as you work your way around the point of the triangle). It is a good idea to practice this on newspaper first! If you think the triangle method is too hard for you group, this can be done with a full star pattern instead.

After making the initial chalk mark, students swipe the mark again with their finger, smearing the chalk outward, so the star looks like it is shining.
Once the stars are done (I like the kids to make various sizes using small and large triangles), it is time for some stripes.

These were done by dipping the edge of a piece of cardboard (we use scraps of illustration board) in tempera (acrylic works, too) and "printing the stripes". I emphasize, "straight down, straight up" to avoid sideways smears!!

 You can decide whether to have your kids stick with vertical/horizontal stripes like the one above, or let them print however they like, as in the example below.

The motivation for all of this was our local National Veteran's Cemetery (seen across the street from the Federal Building), which is adorned right now with thousands of American flags at the gravesites and along the inner roads. I love driving by this time of year. Hope you all have a meaningful holiday as summer nears!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Fraction Art

3rd Graders have been exploring fractions, so I thought, "Why not throw in a little watercolor to cement the concept of fractions equivalent to one whole?"
To make the process a bit game-like and give the kids a written model to follow, we started by drawing two cards, one for the numerator and the other for the denominator. This would become "their" fraction.

Using grid paper and colored pencils, students used 2 complementary colored pencils to color squares to represent each part of their fraction. I had a color wheel available to teach the concept of opposite colors on the wheel. This lesson was done in small groups so I was able to spend a lot of time using the mathematical vocabulary AND having students use that same vocabulary as they explained to me and each other what they were doing.
When the squares of their "whole" were colored, they cut it out and glued it onto a background. We used 6" X 6" illustration board, but any sturdy paper suitable for watercolor would do.
Next came the watercolor. Students painted shapes that emanated out from their colored pencil areas. This was a good time to talk about brush control and how to lay the brush flat and pull to get straight lines.

 The last step was to write an equation to match their artwork!!

 This was a two day project for most kids, as we let the paint dry before doing the writing, although some groups did it all in one day.

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!