Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Crazy Face

Years ago a good friend gave me this little guy saying she just knew I could use it as inspiration for an art lesson someday.  It still hangs over my desk, staring at me, and I think challenging me to do just that. I remember attempting it once with a class and not being too happy with the results, but now I am giving it thought again. (I wish I knew who the artist was because I'd love to give her or him the credit due for such a great idea.)

I am thinking about using squares of pre-cut plaster cloth shaped around small bowls lined with foil for the armatures. Acrylic paints, thinned slightly, will be perfect for a variety of surface designs. I don't have access to the thousand or so shells it would take to do the hair this way, so I am thinking of various pasta maybe. We have trees right at our school that shed these same pods, so that will be no problem at all. I don't want to have to use the glue gun, so I am hoping that my trusty Elmer's Glue All will do the trick. I'll let you know how it all works out, but meanwhile you might want to use this idea as inspiration and try an adaptation of your own!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mixing Colors the Easy Way!!

You know how sometimes you just need a "no fuss" easy clean-up type of lesson? Well, here is a solution. I have seen several posts on-line where pre-schoolers use paint on the underside of a paper plate and make twist prints (like spin art). I love the results, but I just can't envision me doing that with 30 kids and just me!! So here is my easier alternative.
Bottle cap twist flowers with marker details
We'll be using my EXTENSIVE collection of bottle caps and regular old red, yellow and blue Crayola Watercolor Markers. For a lesson on mixing primary colors to make secondary colors, students will experiment drawing two areas of primary colors on the lid.
The next step is to lightly moisten the board or paper (I was using scraps of illustration board) with just your fingers in clean water.

A quick twist of the bottle cap makes a great print, mixing the two colors together. Imagine the "Ooohs and ahhhs" of little ones when they take a look at their print!!

The possibilities for compositions are pretty endless: abstract circles, a "hungry caterpillar" like Eric Carle's, wheels, balloons, flowers, etc, etc, ......

And, if you have back-to-back classes, the clean up is REALLY quick!!

Hope your summer is off to a GREAT start!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Silhouette Flowers

My hope was that our school's bed of agapanthus would be in full bloom before the end of the semester and that I would take classes out to do observational drawings, but alas, it didn't happen that way. All we had were lots of buds. So I went to Plan B.

I went out into the neighborhood where, of course, the flowers were in full bloom and took some photos. I then took one of them and edited it on a site called "" (which I heard about from Mary at Marymaking blog - which you can find on my sidebar) to get the impression of a negative. I may do more with this concept next year for teaching positive/negative space.

In this lesson, using the negative photo as inspiration, kids use a brush for the stems and parts of the flower, the edge of a piece of scrap matt board to print the spiky parts of the flower and their fingerprints for the round parts of the blossom.

Using the color print as a guide, kids make colored papers trying to duplicate the various purples and lavenders of the agapanthus. These are used as part of the double matt their silhouettes. I am thinking that painted papers in greens would also add to this lesson next time.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Whoo-hoo it's Summer!! Well, almost...

Our school has a couple more weeks, but my classes are completed and the room clean-up begins. Like most teachers, I planned a few lessons that never got off the drawing board and into the classroom this year, so I thought I would share some of them in future weeks. Maybe I will use some of them next year -- I haven't decided yet.

This first one was a print lesson where kids would create the portrait plate using either cut or torn paper (in this case, cut).

Prints were pulled using various colors and when the paint dried, details were added using crayons, oil pastels and markers.

I like the idea of children taking the print and then adding on to give it a fanciful quality.