Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Recycled Assemblages: Flying Contraptions and Creatures

 Make a flying contraption or creature!  It can be completely invented!  This is my contraption, a submarine/helicopter.  I wanted to inspired everyone to make something colorful and imaginary.  It started as a flying contraption project, but one child wanted to make a phoenix.  It turned out about half of the children preferred making creatures.  This group was made up of children in second through fifth grade.

We had lots of supplies.  I put the art tools on one table:  glue, tape, scissors, sharpie pens, etc.

 On another long table we had collage papers, corks, pipe cleaners, wooden skewers, red corrugated craft paper, tiny pompoms, feathers, tongue depressors, and lots of recyclables!  Everyone could get up and pick out what they wanted.  One of the children's mothers manned the hot glue gun so we didn't have to wait for heavy things to dry.

 The recyclables were corks, paper towel and toilet paper rolls, plastic bottle caps, newspaper, and cardboard boxes, quilt fabric scraps, etc.  I love the way some of the children used skewers to skewer their pieces together!

 Every child had an empty plastic milk bottle at their work spot as a base.

 They knew just what to do and plunged in!!!!!!!  Children love assemblage!

 I love how very, very creative and individual their creations came out.

 No two were alike, and I love that, because I know they are expressing themselves and their own ideas.  They worked with intense concentration.

 Unfortunately, our work space has very low light, so my photographs don't do the creations justice.

 The brown paper bag is a balloon from which this construction is suspended.

 I like the fact that a lot of the children used strong color.

This was a great project.  Tomorrow I'm doing it with kindergarten and first grade.  You can do this with preschoolers, too.  Just don't suggest they make anything in particular.  Let it be abstract!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Snowy Swiss Paper Bag Neighborhood!

 I saw this project....where?  I can't remember....some wonderful art teacher blog!  It was a paper bag houses project.  We added our own spin......houses in the snow!  What a great Swiss winter project in art!

 This project took a lot of preparation by me since it was a project for tiny children.  First I filled brown paper American lunch bags with one sheet of newspaper each, and stapled them at the top.  I hot glued the houses to cardboard.  I slit the sides of Swiss white paper treat bags (and shortened them in length.)  These are for the rooftops.  Then I put out glue, brushes, scissors, and the collage papers.  I heated up the glue gun and had the silver glitter and white tempera paint ready.  I had a box of pine cones for bushes, some newspaper for the chimney smoke, and toilet paper tubes cut in half for the chimneys.  I also slit the chimneys so they could just be slid into place.  This project was for kindergarten and first grade.

 Look at the cute little Swiss village!

 First the children cut icicles into the edge of their roofs if they wanted, and glued them in place.

 Then they added collage paper features in any colors they wanted to the houses: windows, doors, doorknobs, and walkways.  Some children colored their walkways with crayons or markers.

 A half a toilet paper tube makes a good chimney, and a crumple of newspaper is a wonderful wisp of gray smoke.  I got out my glue gun and added glue wherever they wanted to put a pine cone bush.  It was fun to see how they wanted to do their landscaping.  Some like a natural look, some like symmetry.

 I was fascinated to see that before painting the ground white, for snow, some children wanted to color the grass underneath, first.  This house has skylights!  The white paint is one of the last things to do, followed by a magic sprinkle of silver glitter, to make the snow glisten.  I put a sprinkle of glitter in each child's hand when they were ready.  They could pinch tiny amounts of the glitter with their other fingers, and sift it down onto the wet paint.

It's fun to touch the tips of the bushes with snow, too.  Look!  This house has a pine cone in the chimney!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Royal Portraits

 I would have liked to decorate my studio with these wonderful Royal Portraits done by 2nd through 5th graders, a project I saw on Deep Space Sparkle.  I made templates for the crowns, and the children traced them onto collage papers in whatever color they chose.  They cut out the crowns and glued them near the top of the paper.

 Using a water resistant crayon, they drew a "U" for the face, under the crown, a neck, and shoulders.  Then they drew features.  As children get older, some of them get a little uncertain about how well they can draw people, and need some encouragement.  If a child got stuck, we talked them through some of the facial features....a nose can be like a soft "L", for example.

 I wanted all the children to fill in the background, like this artist, but some preferred white and some ran out of time.  He even added dots in complementary colors.  Wow!  It's dynamic!

 Glitter was the last thing we added, after the children painted their portraits with tempera paints.  Unfortunately, the paint on this wonderful portrait wasn't dry when we added glitter, the last touch.  She was disappointed, and I hope she was able to brush the glitter off when it dried, at home.  I love to look at the expressions in children's portraits.  This queen has a very appealing expression.

 The artist gave this queen or princess a necklace and diagonal stripes.

Mmmm.....zigzags!  I love them!

 "May I do any kind of hat, not just a crown?" asked this artist.  "Sure!"  He always has his own creative idea, and this time, it was a baseball cap.  He said this character was a skater.

 This girl likes to do Anime eyes.  She does them well, but should I try to get her to look at real eyes and what they look like?  I think I will try to find a gentle way to do that.

 This king looks like he has a personality to be reckoned with!  He is forceful and intense.  And I love his high-necked striped complementary colored shirt!

Mothers and fathers, when your children come home with art like this, frame it!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Snowy Owls

I saw this wonderful project in Deep Space Sparkle, a fabulous elementary art teacher's website.  I gave the children prepared, painted blue paper since we have such a limited amount of time, and that gave them a dry base upon which to paint their owls.  First we looked at some photographs of snowy owls and talked about how small their beaks are, how they have feathery white feet, and what their eyes look like.  We noticed that they have some striking black feathers on their chests.  We also talked about how pretty it is to watch snow at night.  It had just snowed the night before.

They painted a round white head with a "U" shaped body underneath.  They filled it in with white tempera paint.  If the blue paint mixed into the white, that was okay.  I think it gives the owl some blue shadowing.

Now for details: eyes, beak, black feathers, hairdos!

The children added a branch for their owls to sit on.

Then they speckled the snowfall on with a big brush over which they brushed their hands.

They got to get messy, which most children love to have permission to do.  I later realized that there was an easier way to do the speckles.....the handle of the loaded brush can be tapped smartly on an extended finger.

 It took me a while to find all the speckles on the floor despite all the newspaper I put around.

Incidentally, I made the paint speckle area separate from the work area, so that the children wouldn't get more speckled than necessary.

 Some of the birds had wings out, and some tucked away.

The children outlined with black paint, which made the owls stand out well from the background.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Amy Butler

Amy Butler

Wow!  You have to see the new Blossom online magazine by Amy Butler!