Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

German Holiday Tradition Nutcrackers

This week in art we are learning the history of nutcrackers and how they went from a tool to a work of art that is now part of our holiday traditions.
Students started with a folded in half, black paper and then placed a rectangle template right on top of the fold in the middle and traced around it for the body of their nutcracker. Then we began adding details and talked about how these objects were brought over to the US by soldiers returning home for Christmas after WWII. This became a popular American holiday tradition during the 1950's and has been a part of our festivities ever since!
To finish the project students traced over their pencil drawing lines with black oil pastel and then colored in each section solid.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Eric Carle Insects

 This is my rendition of Eric Carle's insects. Kindergarten and first grade students are learning about the life cycle of insects, so I showed them a short video of Eric Carle talking about "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"( Eric Carle's 40th Anniversay Video)
Next,  we talked about how many body parts insects have, how many legs and that they have antennae and usually wings, too!
With painted paper from past projects, the students drew circles and ovals on the painted paper, glued it to their yellow papers and added lines, patterns, legs, eyes, antennae and wax paper wings!
The sweetest little insects I've ever seen!

Waitress of the Arts

A waitress of paint, water containers, pastels, pencils,
A constant voice of encouragement, of positivity, 
A mentor, patient as the day is long-
Understanding, kind, a pleasant voice, smiling eyes,
This is me-my art teacher persona-
Day in and day out-No child left behind, 
No character broken, no damage done-
The arts heal-
Not only the students, but they heal me.

Spring Birds

  1.  This week fourth grades learned about spring birds and how they know when its time to build their nests. We also talked about how trees know when its time to bloom and grow leaves. 
  2. We drew the bird step by step, but first we used a small, plastic condiment container and we traced it for the head size. Doing this started everyone off of the right foot and not one student felt overwhelmed. From the head we drew the oval body, feather details, beak, eye, feet and feathers. We then put the birds in a flowering tree filling up the empty space and they drew a border to finish it off. A great way to teach proportion, size and observation. They colored the background with blue oil pastels and painted with secondary colored tempera cakes. Spring has arrived!!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

2nd Grade Habitats

 This week 2nd and 3rd grades studied habitats and what animals need to survive in their environment. The students water colored their animal and then added details with oil pastels and then went to work on the habitats. They were required to include; food, water and shelter. To make the habitats more interesting we talked about horizon lines and drew them and then cut the lines we drew to make for an interesting line! I told the students it was like "cutting the sky off". Check these out!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sculpted Fossils and Stencil Flags

Fossil made with oil clay and plaster in a Styrofoam lunch tray

Stencil Flags made with freezer paper stencils ironed on muslin flags and painted with tempera

The first step in making the flags is drawing the stencil, cutting it out and ironing it onto the material.

Watercolor butterflies for fast finishers
This past week we made oil clay fossils stuck on a Styrofoam tray and then I poured plaster over each one. The lip of the tray held the plaster in as it hardened and then the students will pop their molds out next class time and we'll add some watercolor to the plaster to make it look like a rock around the fossil. This lesson was geared for fourth graders and we used the Utah raptor as our fossil dinosaur.

The fifth graders were learning about heredity animal variations, ex; tadpoles, frogs, caterpillars, butterflies. I had them trace a simple animal form on the non shiny side of freezer paper. I then had them come up to a table and I ironed their stencils onto the muslin rectangle. Next they went back to their tables and blotted paint all over their flag and around their stencils carefully. Next week we'll peel the freezer paper off and reveal the stencil art and then cut the bottom edge of the muslin to look like a flag, add a piece of yarn at the top  and hang them along the hallways in our school!

"Tickling" The Water Color Paints

 This past week spring has arrived in our part of the country and kinders through second grade are learning about spring and plants. To go with this part of their science curriculum I taught them how to use their watercolor paints properly.
First, I showed them how to have a wet paintbrush and to wipe it once on the side of the water bowl so it won't drip. We talk about what makes a 'happy' brush (all bristles pointing in the same direction and how not to have a 'sad' brush (having a bad hair day)!
Next, I model how to 'tickle' the watercolor paint. This simple metaphor works wonders and the students know to use a gentle hand. This keeps them from digging in the pot of paint and from stirring the paints. After teaching art for nearly ten years, I used this language this year for the first time and it conveys the message clearly and is so effective. A definite keeper!
As the students get used to their wet brushes and tickling of their paints, I show them how to wash the blue and make a very wet sky leaving room for the sun. We wash a beautiful green meadow, talking about half of our paper is green and half is blue. Finally, we put our paints away with rinsed brushes and then I gave the students Q-tips and tempera paints to dot their flowers all over the meadow. The wet meadow makes the tempera spread a bit, giving it a more blended look. This was a fun project full of watercolor techniques and care for the younger students!