Monday, December 30, 2013

Mimicking the Masters- Piet Mondrian

To kick off my afternoon class which focused on famous artworks from the 20th century, we studied Piet Mondrian. After viewing lots of his artwork (and seeing his influence on pop culture with the Partridge Family bus) the kids set to work drawing a minimum of 4 vertical lines, 4 horizontal lines, and 3-5 partial lines either direction, first with a pencil then just beside their lead line they drew another line this time with sharpie. This left double lines that they'd later paint in.

Then in true Mondrian fashion we painted with only primary colors.

Lastly they made their black lines thinker with paint, filling in those gaps we left earlier.

Several of them said that this was a lot harder than it looked! 


Mimicking the Masters- illuminated letters

Winter class ideas began brewing last Summer but I didn't want to do a winter theme. Themes and I don't get along. I was the only elementary teacher who didn't decorate her class in apples, gingham western or other verious "cutesy" crap.

I decided on studying old and new works of art and came up with Mimicking the Masters class. Parents that signed their kid/kids up early received stocking stuffer which was a paintbrush and a poem I wrote.

My morning crew studied pretwentieth century art and went back 500+ years with illuminated lettering. Back before the printing press books were hand written and it became popular to have the first letter of a chapter decorated with patterns, scenery, animals or other fanciful things. After looking at real life examples in some books I had and borrowed from my mom (my favorite of which being one from her old family Bible) the girls practiced drawing different styles of letters then chose and designed their initial. 

We transferred their sketch to canvas with transfer paper. Then painted masking fluid around our letter to create a temporary barrier for when we would later watercolor.

Used oil pastels to decorate their initial.

And water colored! The oil pastels resist the water color paint and show up really boldly.

After drying they pealed the masking fluid off.

And voila! 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Preparing for Warhol + lesson learned

As a former elementary teacher I am a big believer that the key to success is preparation. I always do a ton of researching (ahem pinning and blog hopping) and practicing the painting before I ever do a project with kids and I always have an example of what they will be creating. So to prepare for Warhol I used Transfer Paper (I'll explained in the Warhol post) and traced a picture of my sweet baby boy's face onto a canvas. Then went over my lines with sharpie.

Next I busted out the neon paint and neon paint pens. Have to admit, painting with a 20 month old and being 7 months pregnant is not for the faint at heart! 

And here is where we come to the lesson I learned. Tis' best to pick the face color FIRST and not last.... My poor child looks like Violet Beauregard from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!! I've got a blueberry for a son!!!! 

Bless his heart. He'll never forgive me....

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Classes- folk art trees, nativities & nutcrackers

The Christmas break didn't allow many week days free before Christmas (and maybe since I'm selfish because didn't want to give up my Saturdays) I decided to only do a home school group this Christmas and three willing participants made their way out to my humble abode :)

Over the 3 days we not only had a huge winter storm come through blanketing the countryside with snow & ice for nearly a week but we created some beautiful paintings.

The first day (which got delayed due to icy roads) we made Folk Art Christmas Trees. I came across artist Jenny Murphey on Pinterest and adored her Christmas trees. Check out her website here 
Before class started I used painters tape to make the shape of a Christmas tree and when the girls came I had them paint the background black. After that they drew lines for ribbon and circles (or bullseyes as they thought they looked like) for ornaments. 

Using paint pens they colored their ornaments then used various green acrylics to paint their trees. 

Lastly, once the tree dried we used a black sharpie to go back over our lines. Sadly this is the only picture I have of their incredible trees :'(

The second day (which was not delayed although there was still plenty of snow on the ground) we tapped in to the true meaning of Christmas and made nativity silhouettes.

 I love how these turned out :)

The last day we got nutty and made funky nutcrackers inspired by Alisa Burke's blog post here. We began by checking out some real nutcrackers a friend of mine let me borrow, who happen to play "Clara" in a nutcracker production a few years ago, much to my dismay though I could not convince her to put her ballerina gear and give us a live rendition....sigh.

We sketched the nutcrackers facial features, hat design & clothes. Then drew on our preprimed 2x4. 

Either using paint pen or paint whichever they were more comfortable with, they gave their nutty new friend some color.

Lastly, I glued on their choice of pompom or feather.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Autumn Art Class- Owl & Cat scratch art round 2

Back and forth I went between Day of the Dead Skulls (Dia de Muertos) & Owls for this group's scratch art...since the first groups owls turned out so cute I finally settled on owls and gave them the option of black cats. I was unsure about doing Day of the Dead skulls mainly due to the fact I live in the Bible Belt and was uncertain how their art would be taken by family members. So, I chose not to possibly offend anyone (this time) and went the safe route.

We went on a leaf hunt around my yard and each kiddo found a leaf they liked. They practiced sketching their leaf and then on brown construction paper used a paint pen to draw it again.

This fella chose a maple leaf.

And this fella chose a gynormous leaf!

Yes, completely unrelated to owls & cats but To get the concept in their head that:
All lines are final!
Take your time! 
Draw big!
Much like I harped on with the first crew.

After practicing several different types of owls & cats, I handed them their boards & scratchers and they set to work and did fantastic! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Autumn Art Class- Birch Trees

Color Theory. Something I still fully don't understand, possibly because the last formal class I had was in 8th grade, then the art teacher retired and the school turned his classroom into a computer lab, used the darkroom as storage for unwanted, dusty text books and tossed all his supplies in the dumpster.

Ah, but a glimmer of hope happened with this lesson and I may be getting my brain around some of these concepts!

We started in our art journals with the basics: primary, secondary, cool, hot, and then branched out to analogous. I still don't know if it is pronounced with a short or long O. Oh well.

I had the girls pick one of the analogous color schemes they liked such as: yellow/orange/red or blue/green/yellow but then narrow it down to just 2 of those colors like orange/red or blue/green. 

So.....technically, I don't know if that still qualifies as analogous since it suppose to be 3 colors that are neighbors. I had them choose those because I knew if they were blended together it wouldn't create mud. 

To ready our canvas the girls layered painters tape which would become the trucks & branches. Putting down the thicker tape first to give us the right perspective.

Then, using acrylic painted they painted one color, just on the top half then the other color on the bottom half. 

Lastly blending the two together by either mixing their left over paint or (for some who had lots of paint on their canvas) blending the two sides together with a new brush to create Blue/blue-green/green voila! Either way worked beautifully.

Analogous colors woohoo! 
Take that 8th grade art education! Lol 

We jazzed it up with silver & gold dots and circles created with sponge brushes and baby food jars. Yes, one of the many uses I've found for those handy little glass jars.

Peeling ONE layer of tape off at a time they used an old gift cards to create the texture of the bark. To do this they put a bit of black paint on the end of the card, lined it up to the edge of the tree and drug it across. 

And after all the tape was gone, masterpieces emerged! 

What really amazed me was how their color choices completely changed the mood of their painting, one girl said her's reminded her of spring in China, another said her's was like a cold winters night, and we all agreed that the pink and orange one reminded us of India! Things that were not on my lesson plan by any means but it was so neat to see how color choice can affect something! 

I got this lesson from Angela Anderson's Art blog that has fantastic art lessons for kids check out her website here.