Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Bees In Honey Hives

Buzz buzz buzz!

Today we worked on bees in honey hives, a fun project incorporating painting, drawing and printing!

We begn by simply painting the background of our hives orange and setting them aside to dry.

Then we shared a lesson in drawing bees. We began by drawing three bees with black oil pastel. Then we repeated the process, drawing another 3 bees with yellow oil pastel.

Now, the exciting part. We pulled out our watercolors and painted our black bees with yellow - and our yellow bees with black! Due to the oil content in the pastels, the drawings "pop" through the watercolors. Beautiful!

We set aside our bees to dry and returned to the (now mostly dry) orange paintings. Each child was also given a large paintbrush, yellow paint and a rectangle of bubble wrap. The kids painted the bumpy side of the bubbly wrap and then gently pressed it onto the orange paper. When the listed it off, ta-da!, we had a honey comb print in a lovely glowing yellow!

Next week we will combine these pieces into one final finished work of art!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Today we focused on improving our drawing skills with a fun lesson on drawing spring birds.

We began with a few quick worksheets to warm up our hands and minds. These worksheets are not intended to show the "right" way to draw the items pictured, but only as a safe, judgement free way to practice translating mental shapes onto the paper.

After the worksheets, we did a "follow along" lesson where the kids drew their birds. Although many were able to do this independently, we did it together so that the kids could ask questions and make changes as they went. After completing a bird, we opened the project up to the kids imaginations. We talked about what we might add to the background and foreground of the scene to make our birds feel at home. The kids brainstormed on this together and added what they liked of: nests, eggs, clouds, sun, moon, branches, trees, worms, flowers, rainbows, (candy, trains, campfires!) and more.

With the drawings completed, the kids finished the work with colored pencils. Beautiful work!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Symmetry - Radial and Bilateral

Today we worked on advancing our understanding of symmetry.

A few classes ago, you may recall, we worked on printing monsters using a symmetrical printing technique. This involved painting on one half of out paper, folding it over, pressing and then unfolding. The monsters displayed bilateral symmetry - they are only symmetrical along one central axis.

Today we worked on radial symmetry. This means that an object is a mirror image of itself along a horizontal and vertical line at the same time. To create images with radial symmetry, we began by painting one of the distinct corners of a square of construction paper. We folded this in half along the horizonal line and pressed, then we unfolded the piece and refolded it along the vertical line and pressed. And voila! Here are a few fine examples:

Each child was able to create nine unique pieces for a grand total of 90 mini art works! Next week we will use these pieces to create a larger work of art. The kids also had an oppurtunity to use a worksheet to practice drawing designs that had radial symmerty. This is a much harder task as it requires moving and rotating shapes while drawing. It is very challenging - the kids did wonderfully. They pushed through the practice and really gained competency by the end.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Painting Cherry Trees

This week we completed our cherry tree paintings. Happy spring!

We began by painting grass along the bottom of the blue pieces we made last week. We needed some earth in which to plant our trees. I demonstrated a few techniques to create the grass and then the children followed their own inspiration.

Next we began work on our trees. The work we did last week sketching trees was useful to us. I did a quick demonstration to illustrate how to approach the painting of the tree. We started by discussing the trunk - how it tends to taper outward  at the bottom as the roots stretch into the earth. Then we looked at the branches - and again utilized the shape of the capital "Y" to make sure our trees were growing and stretching toward the sky.

And finally, we added pink cherry blossoms to our trees. Many children chose to add blossoms both on the tree and falling (or fallen) to the ground. The falling blossoms gave a nice feeling of aliveness and movement.

 These pieces came out beautifully. Each one so spirited and unique to the child who created it.