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!





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!



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.


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!


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


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



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.



Color wheel, take 2

This is another project that I don’t have the source for.  Boo on me!  I tend to screen shot a lot when on my phone.

Last year my first grade class was obsessed with sharks.  Obsessed.  I kept telling them that we’d do a water themed piece but time got away from us.  So this year, my first graders became my second graders and we started the year off with an underwater piece, with a twist.

Like my fifth and sixth graders, we studied the color wheel.  They got a sheet of paper and sectioned it into 6 blocks.  I gave them the primary colors and they painted one square each color.  Next they mixed primary to create secondary colors and painted the three remaining squares.  When dry, they drew their fish on each color and cut them out.  They were given the freedom to draw their shark or whatever menacing underwater critter they’d like.  During assembly they had to arrange the fish in color wheel order.

Here are four of the completed pieces.