Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Bulding a City

Introduction to Printmaking

This week we began the our most challenging art project yet! I found this project for creating city-scapes on pinterest listed as a "project for 3rd graders", but as we all know the kindergartners at MMS are very capable. They certainly lived up to my expectations!

During this first class (of a two class project) we began with practice drawings buildings in sketchbooks. We focused on filling the the bottom of the page with buildings. We talked about how buildings vary greatly in shape and size. Some are tall and thin, some short and squat. Roofs could be triangular, round, flat or really any shape that the kids liked. The children had free reign within the space of their sketchbooks to explore and create their own styles of buildings. We then added details to our buildings. Think: windows, doors, roof tiles, chimneys, fire escapes (awesome!), among many others. Here are a few examples of the beautiful work done in sketchbooks today.

 After this we began the more challenging part of the class. Each child got a rectangle of white scratch board. If you have never used scratch board, it is almost like a very thin, stiff, white foam board. If you draw on scratch board with medium pressure and a dull pencil your lines sink into the material. You end up creating a textured drawing. Later, when we roll paint across these boards paint will not be able to sink into the lines that were drawn. This creates the effect of a "reverse drawing" where everything that wasn't drawn gets printed and the lines that were drawn remain white. If that sounds confusing, wait until next class. You will see what I mean!

What is hard about this part of the project is getting the right level of pressure with the pencil: enough to make a groove, but not enough to poke through. The children did really well.. Here a couple of examples of the scratch board printing plates that were created today.

Next class we will be rolling these plates with ink and making multiple prints on different colors of paper!

NOTE: Art work will be coming home next week! Keep an eye out for art to come home on Tuesday! Also, your child will have a couple of pieces on display in the holiday show. After the show, please collect your child's work and bring that home as well. We need to be sure that the sanctuary is back to normal before the holiday break. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Drawing with oil pastels

This week the kids drew some incredible foxes!

We began the class by doing some "warm up" work in sketchbooks. The kids followed step by step as we created foxes by breaking it down into familiar shapes. Once the kids were warmed up, we moved on to drawing foxes with pale colored pencil on black construction paper.

If you look at these "work in progress" photos below you can see the initial shapes that we used to make the foxes. The head was a triangle, the body was an oval, eyes were a circle and so on. After the initial drawings were completed, the kids traced over their lines with black oil pastel.

 Then the kids were given free reign to color their pieces. Foxes could be any realistic color (red, orange, gold, brown or white). Backgrounds were also free choice, although they needed to be realistic. Many children chose to create winter scenes. Some chose to create nighttime scenes and other evening or daytime.

What I love about this project is watching as the personality of each fox emerge. They are so wonderfully unique and unquestionably adorable. Take a look and see what your artist created!

Sweetest foxes EVER!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Winter Trees -- Part 2

All the hard work the kids did last week was rewarded this week.

We began by taking the papers that the kids had prepared with green tissue paper and cutting them into triangular tree shapes. They did have stencils of all different sizes and varying shapes to choose from. Some adventurous (and confident!) artists drew their own trees. The only "rule" around this part of the project was that the kids were required to create at least three trees. After drawing the trees on the back of the green paper the kids cut the trees out.

Next we moved on to the "winter sky" that the kids painted last week. With oil pastels they added a snowy hill along the bottom of the page, making sure to make the hill big enough to fit the forest of trees they had ready and waiting to add.

Once the snowy hill was added the kids took some time to carefully arrange their trees on the paper. They were encouraged to think about the qualities of a real natural forest. Instead of following the natural tendency to line the trees up in a row we talked about how trees are often close, even touching and how they often overlap. Some trees may be further away, some closer.

When they felt happy and settled in their compositions they glued their trees to the paper. We followed this by taking a brown oil pastel and  giving each tree a trunk. Then they added little red berries and golden ornaments. Ta-dah!

Here are the final pieces for POOHVILLE!

And the final pieces for BEARVILLE!

Beautiful! You will see them all on display at the MMS Holiday show!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Winter Trees

In the past two classes the kids have worked on a mixed media project which will be displayed at the MMS Holiday Show!

We began our project by preparing our materials. The kids took out their watercolors, and using cool colors (blue, purple, pink) filled their winter skies with color. We made sure to use the materials correctly. This means painting gently and using lots of water.

Once the pages were full of color we set them aside to dry and began working on making the work we would use to create the trees.

The children were provided with pre-cut squares of green tissue paper (all shades). They then used watered down elmers glue and their paint brushes to paint the paper with glue and add their tissue paper. Again the goal was to fill the paper with color. These pieces will later be used to create evergreen trees.

All the work was set to dry! Looking beautiful! Check out the next post to see what they used these pieces to make!

Robots! Robots! Robots!

Check out this amazing work! The kids spent a class constructing robots out of precut cardboard shapes.We began by working on the outer space background. The kids created pink and yellow stars out of paper strips.

Then they were given a wide variety of pre-cut cardboard shapes to build their own robots.They were encouraged to think about whether they wanted to make their robots symmetrical or asymmetrical.
 They also thought creatively about what special features they wanted their robots to have.

 Next class the kids had the option of adding color to their robots. We had some really neat silver, gold and copper options for the bodies of the robots.
 They also had purple, red and blue paints available for painting the details.
 These two classes were really exciting and fun.
The most wonderful thing to watch during these two classes was how supportive the kids were of each others creations. This is a class that encourages invention and creative exploration. As you can see from the results below they really took up the challenge.

Final Robots for POOHVILLE

Final Robots for BEARVILLE