tape wad

Alas, we took down the art show today.  It was a lot of work!  I have to say a big thank you to the 4th graders who helped me!  Thanks to them, we had it all down before lunch.  I received comment after comment from pass-er-by-ers saying how sad the hallways look now without any artwork.  It is true.  The school looks really empty now and we will all miss the beautiful artwork that lined the walls.  We all put a lot of work into that show.

So, as we took the work down, we started wadding together the masking tape rolls that we took off the backs of the artwork, and ended up with this:

quite the sculpture, wouldn't you say? (no wonder I don't have any tape left...)  I have never seen anything quite like it.  I guess it sort of represents all of the work that went into hanging this show.  I think I will let this giant wad of tape hang out on my desk for a little while.


Kindergarten Farm Pigs

Remember the roosters? and the rabbits?  This is the last drawing we did from the farm:

2nd Grade Georgia O'Keefe Flowers

I wish that I could somehow put these up here life size so that you could all see how impressive they are.  They are about 12x18".  We used large brushes and liquid tempera paint to create large flowers in the style of Georgia O'Keefe, an American painter who painted large close-ups of flowers.  The trick to getting the students to draw the flowers large is to encourage them to have the petals touch the edge of the page, or even run off the pages.  The paintings started out as monochromatic paintings: each student mixed a color to paint in between the petals of their flower and then filled in the flower with white paint, using the same brush so it created a lighter version of the color in the flower.  The next day, we added details in the center of the flowers and other finishing touches.  This was one of my favorite projects so far.  Maybe it was the big brushes. 

2nd Grade Watercolor Landscapes

Here is another reason I love my second grade classes.  I only did this project with one of the 2nd grade classes.  They had had some rough days in art and lost painting privilages, so once they had earned a chance to paint again, they were on a different lesson than the other classes, so here was a 2 day catch-up project.  Some things we focused on were taping the edges with masking tape to create a nice border and painting the mountains purple to make them appear far away.

I would hang these in my home.  I think that's a good sign, eh?  Way to go guys!

6th Grade Country Reports/Art Project

At the end of the year, the 6th graders all were assigned a country to write a report about, so we thought we would give them a chance to learn a little about the well known artwork/architecture/culture from that country.  They were allowed to chose whatever subject matter they wanted, it just needed to represent their country.  Then for the art medium, we reviewed the techniques that I had taught them throughout the year and they were allowed to chose to do one of those techniques again.  The choices were, tinfoil and sharpies, scraffito (not pictured here), colored pencil, pencil drawing, or painting.

I was pleased with some of them, and others, not so much.  Self guided work is always a little bit of a challage for students.  For once they get to make their own deisions, and it is amazing how difficult how that can be for some.  Interesting, and unfortunately we are all a little like that, I think.   Anyway, here are a few that turned out well.

3rd Grade Tessellations

For some wonderful reason, 3rd grade talks about tessellations in their math core, so this was a no-brainer.  After a very fun discussion where we looked at the art of M. C. Escher, we made our own tessellations using some heavy cardstock and then traced them on a large sheet of drawing paper.  Then they outlined them with sharpie and created an image out of the shape using colored pencil.

They took some time, but were well worth the work.  My favorite part of this project is to see what the students turn their pictures into.  Here are a few snap-shots of the tessellations hanging in the art show.

5th Grade Presidential Portraits

For our last project this year with 5th grade, we put everything we had learned about observational drawing, shading and facial proportions together to create what turned out to be some beautiful portraits.  I gave each student a black and white picture of a different president of the United States and did a step by step review of how to draw the proportions of a face.  Our big focus was on drawing the shapes that they saw in the lights and darks instead of lines to create the features.  Here are a few of the more recognizable presidents:


I have found a new love.  Mindless, fun, art, that looks beautiful.  I have found that this has been a great project for the end of the year when most of my students are pretty much brain dead from all of their end-of-the-year test.  (To give you an idea of the craziness, the first graders have 6 different tests that they need to take!  ick.)  So I have found this has been a great way to help everyone calm down, focus but still have fun and express creativity.  So, I have done this so far with 4th, 5th, 6th and 1st grades.  Tomorrow with be my chance to tackle it with the 2nd graders.

 Check out zentangle.com or tanglepatterns.com to learn more about this awesome art form!

Kindergarten Farm Roosters

I love the individuality that my kindergartners always put into their drawings.  So, like the rabbits, we did this one step by step and then I showed them how to add colors.  But this time, we used oil pastels instead of chalk. 

This little boy was sad to learn that roosters do not lay eggs, but I still am in love with his drawing.

Snowman series, part 2

So, I know it has been a long time since this post, but here is the second part of our snowman series for the 1st graders.  First, we gave the students blue paper and taught them how to draw a snowman to fill the page.  I found it worked really well to give them a roll of masking tape to trace for the bottom section of the snowman and then let them free-hand the rest.  Next, we drew a vertical line down the middle of the snowman and a horizontal across the page and traced the whole drawing with white glue (one of my favorite techniques.)   

The next day, we talked about posative and negative shapes and colored our snowmen in the following checkerboard pattern in oil pastel.  The students needed to chose a cool color and white.  Sort of an interesting process, but turned out nicely. 

4th Grade Stained Glass Windows

Our school has a courtyard in the middle of the 4th, 5th and 6th grade hallways and we felt like the windows to the courtyard could use a little bit of color.  So here we went.  This was a great lesson to talk about the difference between geometric and organic shapes.  To make a window, trace a border with the width of a ruler on black paper, then draw some large geometric shapes in the middle.  Next, break up the rest of the space with organic lines that will make organic shapes.

Then, we cut out the shapes, making sure to leave a black border about 1/2" thick between the shapes to make a black frame.  Last, fill the shapes with colored tissue paper. 

We felt like these windows mad a de-LIGHT-ful addition to our art show.  Cheesy, I know, but I have to be, it's elementary school, right?

A day outside with Andy Goldsworthy

Last week we had perfect weather for earth art.  Second grade was finishing a unit on rocks so rather than do the typical-glue-rocks-together-project, we got outside and did something with nature that real artists like Andy Goldsworthy do.  First we looked at some of his work and talked about what makes his designs successful like simple shapes and color, like in these:

We split the class into groups of 4-5 and set them loose for about 15-20 min.   This project could not have come with better timing.  The weather was great, the dandilions were all in full bloom, and the students are taking so many end-of-year tests that they needed to get their wiggles out.  Enjoy:

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