Friday, August 26, 2011

Toucan Pastel Drawing

Here students used soft chalk pastels to draw a toucan from a photograph. Students learned about basic drawing skills, blending pastels and different transfer techniques. Students used a pastel paper for this piece. The finished projects turned out great, however I'm afraid my photography doesn't do them justice.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mono Printing

Have you tried printing in your classroom? I've done several variations of this lesson, and it's always a challenge, but we usually have nice results. I've always used a scratch foam sheet designed for kids. It has a soft surface, almost like that of a foam meat tray. A pencil, end of a paint brush, or stick can be used to "cut" your design. The problem I usually see is getting the students to hurry and make the print before the paint dries up on the foam. Also, there's the problem of the paint getting into the "grooves" resulting in poor image quality.

In this lesson, students created a mono-print self portrait, using Andy Warhol for inspiration. I introduced the color wheel; focusing on primary, secondary and complementary colors. Students drew their portraits on newsprint in pencil. I instructed students to place their drawing over the foam and secure with tape. Next, students traced their drawing, removed the paper and "deepened" their impression with a dull pencil or stick. A brayer was used to apply regular acrylic paint to the foam. Students then pressed the foam face down onto a thick quality paper, and then we mounted the printed squared onto sheet of paper. We also tried some prints on colored railroad board. This took one class period, and the foam can be reused several times-just clean off with a baby wipe. The prints above were created by a third grader and fourth grader.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

please excuse me

Please excuse the mess while I update my blog-not sure how long this will take!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Abstract Masks

This is a fun lesson that I did with one of my home school classes a couple years ago that I was reminded of after seeing a post over at Mary Making. Atlanta artist Kimmy Cantrell was our inspiration for these, along with various lessons I'd seen on other art lesson blogs. This lesson was completed over a two week time period because we had to have time for the clay to dry. 

Materials we used: 
 8 x 10 canvas board
Acrylic paint and metallic paints
Texture tools and rubber stamps
E600 glue
Hardware like nails, screws, wire, etc.

First, have students create their design on paper. This is a great lesson to introduce clay, clay techniques, texture and abstract art. Roll out the clay and attach any pieces using proper clay techniques. Use texture tools and stamps on clay. Insert hardware and allow to dry for a couple days. After clay is dry paint the whole thing black and let dry completely. Paint over black with acrylic and metallic paints. We glued these to a canvas board painted black and then sealed it all with an acrylic. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Watermelon Paintings

I wrapped up my last two summer painting workshops this week with watermelon still life paintings in acrylic. I encouraged students to focus on the beautiful colors in our subject to inspire them in their paintings. Here's some highlights. 

This group wanted to take a bite out of their watermelon before they painted it! Gotta love the creativity of a child! This was a younger group so we simplified and went for the whimsical look.

I always teach them to plan and practice before they start their paintings.


Sunday, August 7, 2011


I've seen the hope instilled in a child through art. I've seen their faces light up, their confidence grow, a dream set in their heart in an instant. I've heard story after story from parents about the impact that art has made in the lives of their children.

First and foremost, I always teach that God is the greatest Creator, and we are all created in His image! That is the hope I'm really trying to instill when I teach art classes.There are so many lessons you can teach about God while you're teaching art; how special He made us, how beautiful is His creation that inspires all art, and how God gives us each a gift and a purpose. The students I teach in my little world are blessed; they come from great families; go to top rated schools; and will probably never know what it's like to wake up hungry. But they still need this hope too, and I'm so blessed to be able to share it with them in my private art classes. Here is my dream..... I ran across this video on The Art Project Girl's post. It brought me to tears, and got me sooo excited at the same time! It gave me hope; sparked a dream. Just wanted to share it with you.

I'm praying that someday God will use me to impact those "at risk" children with no hope at all. Praying He will open the doors and light that path. I think there are so many people in the arts that would love to use their talents to bless children in this way! 

I would love to hear how you bless others with your artistic abilities..

Monday, August 1, 2011

Flip Flop Mixed Media

Here's a fun lesson to wrap up the summer-flip flops on a beach towel. My inspiration for this style of painting came from one of my favorite artists, Tricia Robinson, who I discovered at Seaside Beach in Florida. Her art is so fun and colorful!
This is a great lesson to teach texture, collage and color.

Materials used:
Gel Medium
Acrylic Paint
Scrapbook Papers
12 x 12 Canvas

Step One:
I always have students plan and practice their design on paper first.
When design is ready, paint onto canvas in a light color.
I even let them trace their shoe if they wanted since this was not a "drawing" lesson.
I always try to keep it "fun" and not stressful

Step Two:
Outline all in black acrylic paint and let dry completely (doesn't take too long in this heat)
Using acrylic paint and gel medium, paint on a thick layer of paint
Tear paper and stick into paint or add texture or words with tools like fork, stamps, etc.

Possibilities are endless-add texture, add words, borders....

Don't forget to paint the edges and touch up your black lines at the end. These paintings took 2-1/2 hours to complete and the ages ranged from 7 to 12 years.

There are a lot of great books out there too for kids and art, and that introduce collage and papers into projects-I'd love to hear your favorites!

Click picture for more info.

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