Rainbow Trucks in the City

These were fun. 
I found this great idea on Artsonia here for a Kindergarten lesson last week. On an 12 x 18 piece of heavyweight white paper, students used Sharpie to draw a horizon line and then buildings in the background. (Some of them got very creative with their building shapes!) Then they drew some road lines (although most of these ended up being covered-up by their trucks). Students each got a small stack of coloured rectangles (I think these were 2 x 3) and arranged them in the rainbow order. I gave a brown square and rectangle for the front of the truck and some small black squares for the wheels, which they cut into circles. Once arranging their order, they glued on their trucks. Finally, some students decided to add more details (such as ice cream cones, people, planes etc.). 


Clay Owls...in process

I have seventy Grade 2 students, so clay projects are a production (especially if I have to do two firings, one for bisque and one for glaze). This clay owl project from Teaching Art with Attitude that I found on Pinterest is great because they only need the one firing and they get finished with oil pastel and black paint/ink. Easy!

Students were each given a slab of low-fire terracotta clay, were shown an owl shape on the board, lightly drew their shape on the clay and cut it out using a wooden skewer. Then they smoothed the rough edges with some water.

Eyes were punched out with plastic lids, stamped in the middle with the top of a marker, and lines were drawn around the eyes. The beak was then drawn and cut out. Students then scored and slipped the eyes and beak and attached them to their owls. Wings were drawn, and texture was added with clay tools and the tops of markers.

Later in the day, I went around and poked one or two holes on each owl's head for hanging purposes. Then I placed wet paper towel over each one to minimize cracking in the drying process.

The owls have just been fired now and the kids are super excited to work on them in class next week.

I wanted to test out the finishing process, so here is my owl. I coloured on it with oil pastels and gave it a bath in watered-down India ink. Then I dried it off and attached some copper wire to hang it.

The original lesson said to bathe the owl in watered-down tempera but I decided to try India ink and loved the super black effect.

I heart Instagram.
Students' owls to be posted next week!


Papier Mâché Birds (This Years' Version)

I just wanted to post a couple of pictures of the current Grade 3 class' papier mâché birds. I posted my original lesson last year here. Again, thanks to Julie at Art for Small Hands who inspired this project in the first place.

The Grade 3 classes from last year are still talking about their little birds, and this new crop of Grade 3s started asking me at the beginning of school if they would be able to make them. So here they are again. For some reason, it seemed as though this group needed much more support in making their bird bodies than the previous ones. For the few weeks that it took to make these (3-4 double classes) I felt like I was running here and there all over the room helping with a head, or a beak, or some droopy wings-but again, they were worth it.

They only change I made to the original lesson was to use bendable electrical wire for the bird feet-as the floral wire was so difficult for the students to bend themselves. It was great because more of them were able to do this part independently.  


Poppy Fields for Remembrance Day

This week, Grade 3 painted these poppy landscapes in honour of Remembrance Day. They were inspired by a lesson I saw on Artsonia here.

Students began with a tempera wash for the sky, then began adding poppies, starting at the bottom of the page going from large size to small size (little red dots). (I reviewed the concept of foreground, middle ground, and background at this point.) Black dots were then painted in the flowers and oil pastel was used for the grass, additional flowers, and clouds.


O'Keefe-Inspired Glue Line Flowers

Magnification is one of the image development strategies that I need to cover in my Grade 6 art curriculum. Georgia O'Keefe's flowers are, of course, great for teaching this concept, but I was getting bored of all of the variations on the close-up flower lesson.

For this lesson, students chose a flower photograph or a silk flower to study and then made a simple close-up drawing of it in their sketchbook. Using Elmer's Gel Glue (my new favourite glue!) they drew their flower on a large piece of watercolour paper. (I demonstrated how to draw a smooth glue line, with the tip of the bottle just slightly brushing the paper.) After the glue was dry (next week's class), students took a Sharpie fineliner and traced around both sides of their glue lines. Then they added colour using semi-moist watercolour paints.

There was way more success with this project than when I did the close-up flowers with acrylic on canvas last year. Both the boys and the girls in my class were happy with their results.


Frida and Diego at the AGO=Awesome!

I was in Toronto last weekend and got to see the exhibit Frida and Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting. It was amazing!!! I don't think I've ever been so engaged in an exhibit ever. It was the interesting combination of accessible text, photographs of the couple, and both artists' paintings that made it so fantastic. I wish I could have taken more photos inside, but I managed to snap one with my camera phone before being asked to put it away.  And then outside of the show were these larger-than-life-size papier mâché skeleton sculptures of the couple. Loved them!  



Kindergarten Cardboard People

These little people were made from cut cardboard scraps, googly eyes, yarn, and paper and fabric pieces.

It was our first time in art class working with white glue. I was under the assumption that most students had already had some experience with it but I assumed wrong. Even though I demonstrated gluing techniques, I guess they just need a little more practice. (We had some very large glue spills on the tables!) Having said that, the Kinders loved creating their people and giving them personalities. And my Grade 2s came in afterwards and graciously cleaned up the big mess. Haha.

Not sure what's going on with the guy on the right but it looks unfortunate!

Thank you South School Art Studio for inspiring these!

Halloween in the Art Room

I love owls and all of my students know it. So for Halloween, it only made sense that I went as one. I painted yellow circles on sunglasses with hole in the middle to see out of. Then I glued on some feathers and made a paper nose. I found a shawl at the thrift store. Super easy but very effective!

Here are some painted and collaged Halloween pumpkins inspired by this Deep Space Sparkle project. 
Kindergarten loved doing these and then posing with them afterwards.