October 26, 2012

intermediate birch trees

Got to give credit again to Patty over at Deep Space Sparkle for the inspiration on this lesson. (here)
Birch trees.
They are so pretty and provide a great contrast against almost any background.
I knew I wanted to teach this lesson to fourth grade and focus on intermediate colors.
My first step was to get the paint ready.
Do you do this with your old paint bottles?
Turn them into brand new paint holders!
We discussed intermediate colors and I let them paint a background that utilized all of them.
Getting creative.
On a separate piece of paper we painted the birch trees.
We used some printmaking skills (small cardboard) to do the inside lines.
Cut them out and paste them on top the background when you are finished.
I'll post some finished ones after they are dry!
Thank again Patty for the inspiration!

October 22, 2012

tessellations and complements

There is something so appealing about optical illusions and tessellations.
What a great way to incorporate math into the art room.
My fifth graders looked at a genius of spatial illusion...M.C. Escher.
For the rest of the class we each created our own unique tessellation.
Tip 1: Make sure to tell the students to not trim off any piece of paper besides the one you show.
I purposefully show them an example of one not cut exactly on the line. It's okay, don't trim off the extra!!
Have the students line up the "A" corner with the corner of a 9 x 12 paper.
Start tracing.
This creates a translation tessellation.

On day two each student is handed a post-it note.
We do a gallery tour and write respectful and helpful suggestions for what the person might tessellate their shape into.
This was so great!
It really got the kids thinking outside the box.
Thus the transformations begin.
Students can turn their paper any direction they want.
They used pencil to draw their idea over and over again.
Once all the shapes have been transformed with pencil the students are given a sharpie to outline.

On day three the outlining continues.
We also talk about complementary colors.
Students pick a pair of complements and they use matching crayons to add small details of color.

The students then pick ONE of these complementary colors and do a watercolor wash on top.
One of my samples (below) shows what all the washes look like.
Tip 2: I highly suggest that you don't let them use both colors of the pair because you will more than likely end up with brown.
Keep it simple, do a one color wash.

October 16, 2012

chinese vases

Last year I fell in love with this project done by Patty over at Deep Space Sparkle.
I tried it out and it was a huge success.
A lady from district office even stopped by my school and said these were some of the best art project results she had ever seen.
My fourth graders were so pumped!
This was a 'must do again' for this year.
We start by creating a symmetrical vase and glued it down to our black paper.
The fourth graders use blue tempera paint and detail brushes to create complex patterns on their vase.
The next day in art they get blue, yellow, and white paint.
They get to mix up whatever colors they can and paint flowers in their vase.
Thanks Patty!

October 3, 2012

election flags

I am so excited right now.
I've been teaching for 2 years and 2 months and I've been waiting for this month.
Election time.
No no no.
Not what you are thinking.
I am excited to do some patriotic artwork.
Let's face it.
We don't teach in July.
So I basically miss out on my favorite holiday and a great holiday to base art around.
Sure I could do artwork to celebrate a President's birthday.
But let's face it.
America is abuzz right now with all things America!!
I start this lesson teaching some history.
I show this video to third grade (via the History channel)
I talk about Jasper Johns.
Then the project reveal.
We start off by putting a collage on our background.
I printed out a bunch of patriotic songs and government documents for the kiddos to cut and paste.
I also played some patriotic songs while they were working.
Here are my favorites.

Anyway. Warning. It is hard not to sing along.
Kids got "creative" with their flag. 
We talked about being respectful but also how to be an artist.
Stripes first.
Old glory blue next.
(I gave them watered down tempera paints)
Then I gave them regular white tempera for the stars.
I'm proud to be an American.
And an art teacher.

October 1, 2012

owl silhouette collage

I originally saw this pin via artsonia.
I decided to take my own spin on it with my second graders.
I talked to the kiddos about value and how it can be created with grayscale or color.
On day one we did our value painting.
We traced a circle for our moon.
Every table got a cup of white paint, paintbrushes, and a stirring stick.
We painted the moon white.
I walked around and added black and blue to the white paint.
The kids took turns stirring.
Each concentric ring I added a bit more black - blue or both.
On day two we used black construction paper to make a big branch, medium branches, and our owl.
We used white construction paper for our eyes.
For the very last step we used a black sharpie to add pupils and smaller branches.
Sooo spooky!
They all look a little different from each other.