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.