Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Fall Trees Continued ... (will fall ever arrive?)

Today's art class was full of fun. We continued work on both of our fall inspired projects.

We worked on finishing up our autumn tree project but cutting out the leaves the kids painted with watercolors last week. They then added them to their pictures as they saw fit. It was a pleasure to watch the kids as they worked through the project. Talking together they discovered the magic of fall leaves... that they are part of a "falling" process: from branch to air to earth. Leaves were added to the trees branches, falling through the air, and resting gently on the ground. These pieces are stunning and will be hanging in the main hall at MMS by the end of the week.

We also worked on the second half of our "leaf print" project. (Remember these from last week?) The kids cut out their leaves and were great sports about it. That much cutting with those tiny scissors is hard for little hands!

When finished, we worked on "painting an autumn wind". We began by drawing the wind with white oil pastel. We talked about the feeling of the wind. How it can swirl and dance, or blow strong and straight. Drawing with white oil pastel on white paper can seem kind of pointless ("I don't see anything!") but we stuck with it.

Next we got out the watercolors. Everyone had a chance to think for a moment about what they thought the "color of the wind" might be. As you can see below, everyone had different ideas. As they added the watercolors, the white oil pastel shone through. Quite a delightful surprise! Next week we'll add our fall leaf prints to these.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Autumn Leaf Print

Today we worked on some autumn leaf prints!

Using fallen maple leaves as our printing plates, we painted the back sides of the leaves with yellow, orange or red paint. We then pressed the leaves onto black construction paper. When the leaves were pulled up they left a print!

It was a messy project. All the kids did wear smocks. Luckily, I do have a few spare child sized aprons for the kids who have not yet brought in a t-shirt from home. That being said, if you have not yet sent in an adult size t-shirt for your child, please do so! They work SO much better at keeping the kids clean. 

Each child did 2 sets of prints. They did a practice piece first and then a final piece. I have arranged them below for you to see. The pieces on the left were the first attempt, on the right were the second attempts. Big improvements can be seen with the practice. The kids also had the fun of combining the colors to create their own patterns on the leaves as they moved on to their second pieces.

 Next week we will color the backgrounds of these pieces. And finish up last weeks project on autumn trees.

You may have heard from your child that we work in sketchbooks for the final few minutes of art class when we have a chance. We had about 10 minutes for sketchbooks today and it was an absolute pleasure to watch the kids work. Sketchbooks are meant as safe spaces for the kids to explore their creative ideas. They did wonderful and varied work today and seemed to be quite inspired by witnessing what their fellow classmates were creating. Here are a few gems from the sketchbooks.

If you have a chance, stop by school and check out the kids lion pieces. They are framed and hanging in the halls outside of the Bearville and Poohville classrooms!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Fall Trees in Warms and Cool Colors

We began this rainy Tuesday morning talking about warm and cool colors and how we could use them to create fall trees.

The kids brainstormed together which colors were warm/hot and which were cool/cold. We used this information to organize the colors we used to draw our trees.

Beginning on a black piece of construction paper, the kids used brown oil pastels (a warm color) to draw and color the trunks and limbs of their trees. They followed along with my example, but did so loosely. As a tree grows to its own shape in nature, we allowed our trees to grow on the page in the way that felt right to each of us.

Then they colored the ground and sky in various cool greens and blues of their choosing.

Maybe you noticed that our trees have no leaves. After finishing these basic tree drawings, the kids drew leaves on white watercolor paper. They used warm colors (reds, oranges and yellows) to draw the leaves and then painted them with watercolors! Next week we will cut the leaves out and glue them to the trees! We will also create personalized frames for last weeks lion project and hang them in our MMS "gallery"!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Looking Like Lions

Today we did a multi-step, multi-media project drawing and painting lions faces!

We began with a quick warm up worksheet. This worksheet featured all the simple shapes that we would need to combine to create our lions: circles, ovals, upside-down triangles, and the shape of "w". After repeating the shapes on the worksheet we moved on to our lion drawing.

The kids followed along step by step as I demonstrated how to create a lion face from simple shapes. After that the kids traced their lions with permanent marker. (Side note: they were all well aware that using permanent marker required extra caution and care. They were amazingly responsible and careful with them. No mishaps! Nice work, kids!)

After that, a quick lesson in the basics of painting with watercolor including using lots of water and gentle mixing to "wake the paints up", always rinsing between colors and using the top of the paint set for any color mixing. Here are a few process pictures.

After the follow along drawing lesson, I felt it was important to give the kids artistic freedom during the painting section of the project. We discussed that our lions need not be realistic. the kids were free to paint them in any colors they chose. I did encourage them to fill the page with color, but even this was left up to the individual artist in the end. Beautiful work today. Hope you enjoy it.

See you next week!