Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lemons to Lemonade, Paint and Oil Pastels

It won't be long until Kindergarteners will be harvesting their lemon crop!!!

One of our kindergarten classrooms has a FABULOUS lemon tree that is absolutely loaded down with lemons right now. They plan to harvest them and sell lemonade as a fundraiser so there is a sign posted, "Please leave the lemons on our tree" (or something like that!!)

Last week and this week 2nd graders have been creating a multi-media representation of that tree.

They used the above photo enlarged on the Smartboard and oil pastels to draw the tree trunk, shading the dark side and highlighting the side hit by the sun.
This trunk was done with paint. We actually ended up using oil pastel instead.

Next they used wet-on-wet technique for a wash of the sky and ground. This was one of those projects that used a LOT of different media.

The leaves were sponge painted on using regular tempera, again shading the dark side with blue and tinting the light side with yellow.

The last step was make the lemons with oil pastel (again, shading), cut them out and glue them on. I asked kiddos to notice how  many lemons were on the tree and how they overlapped each other frequently. Some remembered this as they glued their lemons.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Here are a couple of mini-hearts (the short version of the last lesson I posted here) that second graders did in 45 minutes today. They will be headed to our Auditorium as soon as they are dry. Happy Valentine's Day (again)!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Thinkin' About Hearts for Valentine's Day

I'm thinking about using the cover of Eric Telchin's book, See a Heart Share a Heart as motivation for this heart project for one 2nd grade class this week. This is actually one of those little ideas that started out in my own sketchbook and I was having so much fun doing it that I started thinking about it for the classroom, too (with an added mention of Jim Dine).
The objectives will be centered on warm/cool colors and contrast.

Kids will be using a 9" X 12" illustration board. They'll have a 4" square to define the space for their heart. I'm thinking of having them use pastels for the background so they can have experience rubbing the pastels together for a soft look.

I plan to teach them how to cut out a heart thinking about the numeral "2" as their mental model.
After cutting out their heart, they will use it as a stencil to draw a heart shape inside their square, pressing VERY lightly on the pencil. Then students will draw long ovals to create the shape of the heart.
Next comes the coloring. Using crayons and/or oil pastels, we'll use warm colors to shade the oblong shapes. Some might want to add dimension to their shapes by shading one side of the oblongs darker and then blending the colors.
The last steps will be to outline using black crayon and adding a watercolor resist wash to the square.
                                    Happy Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Keith Haring, the Olympics and Mondrian

What do these three entities have in common? Well, last week 5th graders used the positions that Olympic athletes might assume to create a Haring-like figure. They used pipe cleaners and card stock shapes to form a figure showing MOVEMENT.

They quickly drew a contour line around their figure and drew lines to segment that figure into a minimum of 12 sections and cut out the piece.

This drawing was done on white card stock.

I used Mondrian's Compositon A to illustrate how artists think about color BALANCE as they make paintings. For example, Mondrian did not place all his blue shapes in the same area of his painting; he spaced them out. Students then considered that principle of art as they completed the color portion of their art.

Our goal was to create a collaborative "installation" using figures from all 5th graders in the school. Here is part of that work:

As I walked around I noticed that most kiddos were conscientiously considering balance as they chose locations for their colors and patterns/designs. One adult passing the hallway display said I should title the whole board "HAPPY". Not a bad idea as we welcome the Winter Olympics this week!!