Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Mother's Day (the final touches) and Abstract Sketches

This week we began class by putting the final (sparkly) touches on our Mother's Day masterpieces. These beauties (sneak peeks pictured below) will be hanging for you special Mother's day tea next Friday! Please be sure to take them home with you!

While I was assisting the kids one by one with the addition of their sparkles, the rest of the class pursued a mini lesson in abstract art. We used handmade paper rulers to add 3-5 straight lines across the page in any way we pleased. Then we added 1-2 curved lines and a few circles. The kids were then free to add any details they pleased. Then they were to color all the shapes in with markers. (Unfortunately the markers are running out of ink!) Many kids found that although they began the piece without any intention, as they worked recognizable shapes, objects and scenes began to appear. What do YOU see?

 Orange for my mom, pink for my Nana.

 A dance floor with people dancing.

 A picnic

 A penguin

 A monster "X"

 A snake on the North Pole

A portal in outer space

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Oil Resists Water - Adding Color

This week we completed our final project for the Mother's Day Tea! We began by adding warm colors using oil pastels. We finished the pieces by adding cool colors using watercolors. These pieces are a surprise so I am not posting the completed pieces as I usually do.

Instead I asked the kids to pick a favorite detail from their piece and we photographed it up close. Check them out below. Can you guess which one your child made?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Flower Prints and a Special Surprise

Today continued to explore printmaking. We worked with black paint on white watercolor paper. Using found objects (large empty packing tape rolls, toilet paper rolls and thin cardboard strips) we printed large flowers. We began with the largest circles, followed by smaller circles inside and finally added petals and details using the cardboard strips. It was a fun project (and messy). Next week we will be adding stems, leaves, and background. Additionally we will be returning to the concept of color temperature by focusing on warm for the flowers and cool for the background!

We also worked on a special project for the special kindergarten Mother's Day Tea in May!

Although I would LOVE to post pictures of these charming pieces, I can't! They are a surprise! You will have to wait until the big day to see them! I will tell you that we did a little instruction in the beginning of the project to make sure that everyone was confident in their spelling. But apart from that, the visual design of the pieces and the color choices are entirely personal. The results are beautiful and really speak to the creative style of each child, not to mention the love they have for their moms.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Cherry Trees in Bloom

It is finally starting to look and feel like spring! All over town the cherry trees are waking up and beginning to bloom. In honor of this beautiful (and sure) sign of spring, the children created their own cherry trees today!

We began by painting the background with large paintbrushes and a light blue paint. We covered the whole paper with blue so we could really show off the shape of the branches and pink cherry blossoms.

Next I provided the kids with brown paint and pre-cut squares of cardboard. The kids used the edge of the cardboard to print the trunk and the branches of the tree.

 Lastly, we mixed up a nice light pink paint and used bottle caps to print the cherry blossoms!

These trees are beautiful! Be sure to look at the variety of approaches the children had to understanding and expressing the idea of "tree". Amazing! These pieces are currently displayed in the mail hall at MMS. Stop by and see them if you can.


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Warm and Cool with Watercolors (and the butterflies take flight!)

Today we finished our symmetrical butterflies! The kids had a chance to color their butterflies with markers and add antennae if they choose. What amazed me was that without any prompting or reminders, the kids added color to their butterflies in a symmetrical manner with colors matching on each side. They also bent the antennae into various matching symmetrically sound shapes. Whether this was due to the lesson on symmetry or whether the kids have a natural awareness of the necessity and "rightness" of a symmetrical design when creating butterfly, I can't be sure! But either way the kids "knew" what they were doing and the butterflies came out beautifully!

These lovely butterflies are floating outside of the Bearville and Poohville classrooms!

 For the other half of class we did a casual exploration and review of warm and cool colors. The kids were supplied with some small pieces of watercolor paper, white oil pastels and watercolor paints. We spent some time as a class reviewing and discussing which colors are warm and cool. Some are quite easy and obvious (red, orange yellow are generally quite warm) but others like a red/purple or a yellow/green can be "in between" colors that can lean either way.

The kids used their oil pastels to paint some abstract designs and shapes onto their paper. Then they chose to paint with either warm or cool colors. After the kids mastered  "all cool" or "all warm" paintings, they were free to move on and explore painting with both warm and cool colors. It was exciting to watch how delighted they were as the white oil pastel designs appeared.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Getting Symmetrical

In honor of the first day of spring the kindergartners made a kaleidoscope of butterflies!

We began by taking a moment to talk about what it means for something to be symmetrical (one side being a mirror image of the other). Many things in nature are symmetrical, including butterflies!

Then the kids got out their materials (multi colored construction paper, scissors, pencils and white paint in elmers glue bottles) and began.

We folded paper in half, traced a half butterfly stencil and then cut the butterfly out. As the kids became more confident with the shapes of the butterflies and arranging the center line along the fold, they began drawing their own butterflies freehand.

After that the kids opened up their elmer's glue bottles (full with white washable paint) and squeezed lines and dots onto one half of the open butterfly. Then the butterfly was refolded, pressed and voila! When it was opened again, there was a beautiful, symmetrical butterfly with a surprising design.

This project is particularly fun because it contains such a strong element of surprise. No matter how we plan or what we try to make, when the butterfly is folded and pressed the qualities of the paint (how much was applied and where) takes on a life of it's own. Opening each one of these butterflies was a treat.
Here are a few particularly nice examples!

Ashley also had a chance to finish her "underwater scene" from last week. Great job, Ashley!