Cathing up…Tigers!

Before Christmas break my first and second graders were working on a project inspired by Henri Rousseau. They loved watching the video below where they got to jump into a painting…I tell you they were mesmerized!

After the video I did a guided drawing of a tiger, inspired by the one in the video. This one is slightly less “creepy” I’m told and the kids really enjoyed it. This ended up being a mixed media piece. They used sharpies…oh the excitement that comes from handing SHARPIES over to 6 and 7 years olds! They also used watercolor paints, acrylic paint and tissue paper (lots of technique talk here). We played a lot of “your turn, my turn” to get this one done and the results were amaing!  Here are a few of the pieces from one of my first grade classes. I just love them!

 

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Leaf Relief

You know when you have a good art project?

When it is repeated in MY class!

I’ll admit, I like variety. I get bored easily and I like to try new things. So needless to say my lessons plans are CONSTANTLY changing. But sometimes you have that one project that just clicks. The children love it, YOU love it and the results are amazing.

I saw this one first on the ever so popular Cassie Stephens blog. If you don’t follow her you are definitely missing out. In fact go there right now and check her out because the inspiration there is off the charts!

The leaf relief part of the project I’ve done before. When displayed I always get questions and folks are shocked to learn that it isn’t some fancy metal.

It’s just plain ol’ aluminum foil ya’ll.

This year I did something a little different with the backgrounds. To incorporate an artist I introduced Mark Rothko and his color field paintings. The students were encouraged to develop their own color story. They ran with it and the end products did not disappoint.

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When worlds collide

This summer I read about the artist Ron Burns and fell in love with his painting of shelter animals. I knew that I wanted to do a project with my third and fourth graders inspired by this artist as they are quite a talented group of kids. With 9/11 approaching, it seemed like a fitting time to introduce Mr. Burns.  I selected a dog painting by Ron Burns and we did a grid drawing on colored construction paper. Then focusing on highlights, shadows and chalk pastel techniques they produced some amazing results.

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I love that we all started with the same dog as an inspiration piece and ended up with such a variety of dogs (and these are only a few)!

For the backgrounds, I introduced Kandinsky and his abstract style. I was inspired by another teacher here on this one and jumped at the opportunity to remind them about oil pastel resist with watercolor paints.

Thanks for looking!

 

Pop Art Chimp

You know how sometimes you see what another teacher is doing and you know that you just HAVE TO TRY IT with your kiddos? Yeah well this was one of those cases. It was a great project for my first and second graders to kick off the start of the new year with color mixing. Given a limited color palette and a color wheel they had to decide who “plays nice together” and who doesn’t (and ends up muddy). The kids LOVED this game and took their time deciding where to place the color for their backgrounds.

During the next class (once the paint was dry) I did a guided drawing and we ended up with the cutest and most colorful collection of chimps (named “chimpy” by most). I think they are frame worthy for sure!

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Laurel Burch

Every summer my family vacations to Arizona.

Yes the desert.

In June.

We love it there for a million different reasons but one thing that I love to do is visit the shops in Old Scottsdale. They have art galleries featuring some fantastic artists, old and new. And other shops that feature high-quality junk that only my kids would enjoy. During one of our shopping trips, I saw a display featuring artwork by Laurel Burch. There were cats on everything from change purses to t-shirt and her style was beyond unique and perfect for my cat obsessed third and fourth graders.

After discussing her unique style I did a guided drawing and the children used oil pastels and chalk pastels to complete their pieces.

Each cat has a distinct personality that oddly enough matches the owner. I love that about art!

 

 

 

Baby Birds

Before spring break I did a project with my first and second graders that I saw on this blog.  The kids loved learning how to draw these sweet little birds and I even had some kids accessorize them (more photos coming later).  Oil pastels on the black construction paper made them pop and anytime I can encourage the kids to embrace messy hands I will! It was a quick project too if you’re looking for that kind of thing.

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Watercolor snowflake

I so love the internet. I could sit and read blogs for hours, learning and soaking up all kinds of fun art projects and techniques that I have yet to try!  If you haven’t visited this guy yet, go now. He’s great.  From tips to techniques, art projects…and he seems like a super fun guy…there is lots of inspiration on that blog!

So speaking of inspiration, I saw (on his blog) a snowflake lesson.  It involved black oil pastel and watercolor paints.  I did this with my first and second graders.  We talked about symmetry and snowflake patterns.  I showed them how to prep their paints and they sang the ever popular watercolor paint song…

“dance in the paint, don’t dig in the paint”…

it’s much cuter when they’re singing.  And they came up with some really fun designs and color patterns!

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Some went heavy handed on the color, others chose a watered down look.  And the salt…boy did they love the salt!

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Check out the eyeball design on the yellow one above…these little people are so creative!

 

 

Mondrian twist

I wanted to do this project last year with a group of my kids after seeing it on this blog. This year I made sure to allow enough time to properly introduce Mondrian to my third and fourth graders.  They are my most adventurous artists this year and take challenges head on.  So when I suggested the Mondrian twist, they were ready to go.  Between the classes I only had a couple repeat animals, the monkey and the owl.  Otherwise they were all about being unique which is music to my ears!

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I love their interpretations and variety in cube size and color patterns.

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City Prints

I recently did a project with my third and fourth graders that involved print making.  I saw the project here and thought with some minor tweaking it could work in our classroom.  We reviewed warm and cool colors, watercolor techniques, stamp making and print making.  I inherited several stacks of foam trays so we used those (along with dull pencils) to make the stamp.  The kids were very creative with their city drawings and proud of their finished pieces.  I definitely think that we will do this one again.

 

Bark Paintings

I saw this article and while first drawn to the colorful paintings, found that the story behind Amate Bark Paintings was actually quite interesting.  My kids love hearing stories and I knew this project would interest them.  It’s also a great way to recycle some paper bags (should have done this one closer to earth day perhaps).

I did this one with first and second grade.  I gave them the freedom to create a subject of their choice but it needed to be bigger than their hand (that’s hard for the little ones sometimes).  It also needed a border (we drew lots of borders on the white board for ideas).  I only photographed a few before my phone battery died and they’re on display now.  Hopefully I’ll add more photos in soon.

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