Thursday, December 11, 2014

Kindergarten's Leopards

Have you seen Miroco Machicko's paintings (above left)? I love them for their childlike quality and energy.  She does amazing things with patterns and color, and I find myself frequently turning to her art for inspiration.  I also like what Kelly Tracht did with her bright fauvist leopard spots. I showed both of these as inspiration for my kinders while reading them a short fable about a leopard.  Let me tell you- this was a difficult drawing lesson and I will not do it again for this age group, poor guys. I think it's the four legs plus tail that make it really complicated.  They had fun at least, especially when they were stamping their spots with their Q-tips, but I think it would have been more successful for an older age group. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Second Grade: Agates

Second graders just learned about rocks in their classroom, including agates. I was asked to incorporate a rock lesson into my class and I chose agates because first- they're stunning, and painting all those skinny layers (of liquid deposits, I learned) encourages focus and sensitivity with the brush.  I first read them the gorgeous book, A Rock is Lively, and then students drew an organic shape on their watercolor paper and another organic shape inside for their crystal. They chose multiple liquid watercolors and started off by painting around the outer inside edge of their agate. They completed one lap with one color before switching to a different color and painted right underneath the first line and so forth. I told the students to be cautious about using too much water because the colors could bleed, which is a beautiful effect, but too much and the layers get all mixed up. Still looks beautiful though! I had students stop when they reached their crystal so the paint could dry before moving on. For the next class, students painted inside their crystal and immediately lay saran wrap on top and scrunched it to get that jagged crystallized effect. Students can also paint another layer of glitter paint so it sparkles like crystals, but it requires another drying time. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Kindergarten: The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

In preparation for the holiday, kindergarten students watched and drew The Snowman. I rarely use stencils, especially to make circles, but I thought this lesson would overall be more successful if they traced for their circle. After a few basic instructions for the snowman, students colored him or her in with colored pencils and the background with soft pastel. The snow was made by dipping a q-tip in white paint. I think they came out super cute!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Third through Fifth: My Neighbor Totoro

I used this movie poster for a lesson on tinting and shading to create atmospheric perspective. It doesn't hurt that it's adorable and fantastical so the students connected right away. They chose their own colors and practiced by making a value chart first before they painted on their final. They look a little scary, but I love how they turned out.

Preschool: Purple Mountains Majesty

I was inspired by a lesson that I found on Color and Collage but made my own version to teach preschool students. For the mountains they painted a sheet of watercolor paper with liquid watercolor and lay saran wrap on top, scrunching it around to make texture. For the night sky, they just painted a sheet in black and blue and flicked silver paint to mimic stars. I helped with the cutting and gluing. Now that I've discovered saran wrap as a texture tool, I'm using it for all my lessons!

Monday, November 24, 2014

In progress.

All of elementary collaborated in a Louise Nevelson-inspired assemblage. Using found objects that they collected from home, students glued together their assemblage and painted them in our school color- blue. I can't wait to see this hanging up on the wall!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Belated Halloween Post


My almost three year old and I went as the famous couple, John and Yoko . 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Kindergarten's Ladybugs

For my after-school kindergarten class, students learned about symmetry and painted ladybugs. I first read to them a fun hide-and-seek book called Yoo-Hoo, Ladybug. The grass texture was created by applying saran wrap on wet watercolor. They painted a separate watercolor paper in reds and oranges and after it dried, cut out an oval and glued it to their grass. Then they painted the ladybug's spots being careful to replicate them on the opposite wing, and head and antennae. 

First Grade: Tinted Ice Cream

It's not summer anymore, but it's never too cold for ice cream! First graders learned about tints in the form of ice cream scoops. They folded their papers and in each space painted the color, or "flavor", of their choice in different tints. They also painted a color chart that I cut out and combined into one big chart that I'll use for future lessons. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Second Grade: Fox in the Dark

Second graders read The Fox in the Dark and drew a fox of their own with soft pastels. Since the story takes place in the woods, they made leaves out of styrofoam and stamped them around their border. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

2nd Grader's Interpretation of Kandinsky's Houses in Munich

Second graders painted houses inspired by Kandinsky's Houses in Munich. I love how they turned out and the students had a lot of fun being bold with their color choices and brushstrokes and mixing multiple colors to create more interesting variations.  We drew the houses first in pencil, traced it in black crayon, and painted them in with tempera. Once dry, they used a flat brush to add windows. After the windows were dry, they outlined everything with black tempera. It's important to note that when outlining in such a strong color like black, students really need to paint with the tip of their brush and hold it straight up so as to create a thinner line. Adding just a hint of water also helps make the line smooth, otherwise the black will overpower their beautiful colors. That, of course, is challenging for second graders! Maybe next time I'll have students trace with black oil pastel so at least the line quality will be more consistent.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bulletin Boards

My bulletin board for first grade's Autumn Birch Trees

Here are kindergartener's paper line sculptures that I borrowed from Cassie Stephen's awesome blog, their flowers decorated with lines and jellyfish.