Monday, December 23, 2013

Inspired Monet Lily Pads - Oil Pastels

I've seen this project done multiple times on the internet, but I've never asked my students to try it until my latest art camp. These pieces are done with oil pastels.

Our first step is to do the background with oil pastels, creating the motion and softness of water. I encouraged them to use a white oil pastel for some of the color blending. Some students decided to use a cotton swab.

They then drew on a separate paper three or four lily pads of different sizes. They colored those in with oil pastels and then cut them out.

Their last step was to use a liquid glue to adhere both the lily pads and the tissue paper flowers as well. One student liked my bag of buttons and decided to make those the center of her flowers.

Oil Pastel/Collage - 2nd Grader 

Oil Pastel/Collage - 1st Grader

Oil Pastel/Collage - 8th Grader

Oil Pastel/Collage - 4th Grader

Oil Pastel/Collage - 1st Grader

Monday, December 16, 2013

Stained Glass- Cubist Inspired Candles

We did this piece with watercolor pencils. I think I might use crayons and liquid watercolors if I did it again. The results are still cool, kind of rough and grainy like old stained glass.
I had the students begin this project by drawing the candle. With young artists, I remind them to make their candle large on the page, if I don't remind them, they will usually draw it relatively small.

With a ruler, the students then  draw lines at angles across the page, crossing through the candle.

I asked them to use warm colors for the candle and cool in the background.

6th Grader
My Example

4th Grader

2nd Grader

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Oil Pastel Perspective

The base of this was sketched with pencil, placing the bushes in the forefront, the tree in the middle ground and another bush in the background. The leaves vary in size to appear to be blowing towards the viewer. A lovely perspective piece.I remind my students how different oil pastels are from crayons and to take advantage of the capability of blending colors and mixing colors when using oil pastels.

Oil Pastel - 5th Grader

Oil Pastel - 4th Grader

Oil Pastel - 1st Grader (I love the freedom in this one)

Oil Pastel - 3rd Grader

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Tree

I saw this project on Pinterest. I loved the simplicity of the lines and shapes. 
The instructions:
1) Draw a base of snow or ground for the tree to sit on.
2) Draw the triangle of the tree.
3) Draw circles of different sizes making sure some of them overlap the tree and the background.
4) The tree triangle needs to be greens,but the circles need to differentiate in color.
5) The rest of the coloring and background was individual and unique as you can tell by the examples below.

Markers - 2nd Grader

Markers - 4th Grader

Markers - 5th Grader

Markers - 3rd Grader

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Aboriginal Acrylic Dot Painting Inspiration

Today I introduced my love for Australian Aboriginal Acrylic Dot Painting. I've studied this art form for years. It has been the inspiration of my own modified method of painting. When I introduce this technique I share examples of real Aboriginal paintings and photos of some of the incredible artists that produce unbelievable work. 

Each Student for this project had a few instructions to follow and then they were off on their own. 
1) Draw a simple outline of a lizard and paint it black.
2) Then paint around it with dots. They could use either the back end of the paint brush or a cotton swab.
3) They were told to explore color patterns and try to keep their dots consistent in size.

I was very proud of the results:

Acrylic - 6th Grader
Acrylic - 4th Grader

Acrylic - 4th Grader
Acrylic - 5th Grader 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Folk Art Painting

Acrylic - 4th Grader
This Kid's Art Workshop embraced layering. As I watched the classes I was surprised by how uncomfortable layering was for most of the students. The idea of painting something like the shape of a house and then painting over part of it with the trunk of a tree was difficult. Some students left a hole in their drawing for the trunk of the tree. It was fascinating. 

I remember as a young painter studying paintings as if they were puzzle pieces or that I had to break my idea into a coloring page to fill in. Layering paint was a foreign concept. I'm so happy to expose my young artists to this painting technique. And look at the wonderful results.

Acrylic - 3rd Grader

Acrylic - 2nd Grader

Acrylic - 4th Grader

Acrylic - 4th Grader

Acrylic - 6th Grader

Acrylic  - 4th Grader

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Age Range in an Art Class

I've made an interesting observation within my last few kid's art workshops; an age range in class is beneficial to the creative process.

Now, I haven't done any scientific, psychological studies or anything, but I do spend a lot of time with children and their art. It seems that around third or fourth grade children start to fear creativity. They begin to feel anxious about being right versus wrong (understandably in our test-crazy educational system.) Some have a hard time with the whole trying and not caring if it's perfect. It is almost as if they have begun to define themselves as artistic or not-artistic.

Kindergartners are fun to watch doing art. They are boundless with their creations, happy to mix a paint color and never actually apply it to a canvas. Exploring and trying to do something as simple as drawing a star can give them immeasurable pleasure, and upon their success the gratification is the joy of being able to guide their mind and their hand together.

A parent asked if I was going to start splitting up my classes by age. I respect that question and certainly someone in upper middle school and in high school might have a hard time in the same class as a first grader that doesn't comprehend in-depth instruction. But, after I thought about it I figured that first graders in the same art classes as seventh graders could actually benefit both parties.

The free-flowing creativity of younger students and the detail orientation and calm of older students are a great combination in an art classroom. The energy rises and falls and ultimately, they inspire each other.

Falling Leaves - celebrating the changing season with art

My favorite part of the workshops happens after everyone leaves and I'm left to stare at the creations. Don't judge:) I mean the statement in the best possible way.

During a workshop I get caught up in the intensity and energy in the classroom as students work on their pieces. I love it. And then when it becomes quiet and empty I organize the drying paintings and view them one at a time. It never fails. I'm repeatedly amazed at what is before me. Every piece is beautiful. Every artist shares a little bit of their magic and paints something only they could paint, and what a gift that I get, to witness that moment.

Acrylic - Fourth Grader

Acrylic - Eighth Grader

Acrylic - First Grader

Acrylic - Fourth Grader

Watercolor - Fourth Grader

Acrylic - Third Grader

Watercolor - Second Grader

Acrylic - Fourth Grader
Acrylic - Second Grader

Watercolor, Resistant - Fourth Grader

Acrylic - Fourth Grader 
Acrylic - Fifth Grader

Acrylic - Fourth Grader

Acrylic - Third Grader

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Jelly Fish Paintings

Acrylic versus Watercolor

During this workshop, the kids dedicated almost all of their time to creating amazing pieces. While their acrylic painting base layer dried they started their watercolor pencil and crayon resistant part. Both pieces subject matter are jellyfish. It was a perfect opportunity for the students to see how different the mediums worked with the same subject. A jellyfish is a water animal, so painting it with a more fluid medium really works. But, you'll be impressed by the acrylic results as well!

Second Grader - Watercolor
Sixth Grader - Acrylic
Sixth Grader - Watercolor 

Second Grader - Watercolor

My Acrylic Example

Fifth Grader - Acrylic

Seventh Grader - Acrylic
Fourth Grader - Acrylic
Fourth Grader - Acrylic

Fourth Grader - Watercolor
Fourth Grader - Watercolor

Second Grader - Acrylic
Fifth Grader - Acrylic

Fifth Grader - Acrylic