Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Outer Space Robots! Part 1

Today we began work on what is always a favorite project: making outer space robots!

We began with a little design and work with a quick lesson on drawing stars, planets and comets for our background. A few of the kids were already experts in drawing stars (which is difficult!), for the rest we went through a step-by-step demonstration until everyone was comfortable drawing them and happy with the results. Then we moved on to planets, comets, shooting stars and the sun. The kids were more free to explore as they chose at this point and were happily inspiring each other with knowledge and details about the colors, relative size and defining features of each planet. They know ALOT about space!

Then we moved on to robots! I provided the kids with a selection of pre-cut cardboard shapes to use to build their robots. As they liked, they glued pieces on to a piece of large black paper. We cut special shapes as needed. As we worked the kids talked about the cool features of their robots and what special things they could do. As you can see below there was a nice wide variety of approaches. Next week we will paint our robots with a metallic silver paint, add colorful details and add the stars, planets and comets we made this week to the background!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Pastel Foxes

Today we explored pastels, a new material for us. We made beautiful foxes and then had the opportunity to explore the materials independently. To begin, here are a few of "free" pieces.

We began the foxes with a quick "follow along" drawing lesson. Shape by shape we constructed our foxes. Then the kids traced the lines of the fox with an oil pastel and colored their foxes with soft chalk pastels. The kids had free choice of color for their foxes although we did discuss that foxes in nature are red, orange, gold, brown and white. I also encouraged them to place their foxes in a world by working with the background.

The most wonderful thing about today's class was that we had the time to do a little class art critique. The kids were wonderful! Holding up one piece at a time, I asked the kids if they had anything to say to the artist about the piece. What do they love about the piece? What do they find interesting? How do they see the work? The kids were amazingly sensitive and supportive and were very free in praising one another's effort. It can be such an important and positive part the creative process to feel that your work is seen and appreciated. To be seen in such a way can give one an increased sense of confidence and accomplishment.

We also worked in sketchbooks and as we did the kids seemed eager to continue sharing work with the whole class. I followed the kids on this and allowed them to share only if they wanted to. I was happy to see that by the end of class all of the students had comfortably participated. Wonderful morning!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Autumn is here! Let's celebrate!

We finally finished both of our autumn themed projects and they are magical!
The kids added their fall leaves to their paintings of the wind today and they turned out absolutely spectacular. They will be hanging outside Poohville and Bearville classrooms later this week. Stop by and check them out if you can!

We also finished our autumn trees by designing and decorating frames for them. These pieces are gracing the main hallway at school today! 

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.