Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Week 11: Cutout Turkeys

Being the last week of art lessons before Thanksgiving, I decided to "trot" out some good old fashioned paper turkeys. This was also an easy project to shoehorn in after getting some kids to finish their Thanksgiving quilt squares from last week. I did similar, but different, turkeys for the K-2nd grade room and the 3-4th grade room. I think the younger-kid-version is a cuter idea (my part of the project-not the kid's part), but the work that all the kids did ended up adorable and full of personality.

For the younger kids I cut red paper plates in half to use as a base, and then had them trace/cut handprints for the back feathers. Then many used a foot tracing for the neck. Some circles for head and eyes, triangle for beak, and some accordian folded legs round out this "feast" of cuteness.


For the older kids, I had them use a black background and lots of different geometric shapes for the feathers and head etc. In hindsight I would have had them do handprints as well. I am always amazed at how personal and unique each child makes their projects!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Week 10: Thanksgiving "Quilts"


I wanted to do something for Thanksgiving...partly becasue I feel guilty that I have not done many "seasonal" art or craft projects this year. I contemplated the usual pilgrims or indians made from oatmeal cans or paper and the turkey idea might pop up, but decided on a "what am I thankful for" quilt.  I won't be making it out of cloth since this is a pretty quick art class session every week, but at least I can piece together these paper squares into an even more interesting composition.

The actual process was not that hard: Have 9 inch squares of white paper and pens/colored pencils. The only rules I applied were that it had to be pretty colorful and also have the kids name visible.

Some kids did multiple images and some did single images. Some stuck to Thanksgiving imagery, while many used God and other Christian symbols (this IS a Christian school). Some also included their families. What cracked me up is that many also drew pictures of Star Wars characters, airplanes, trees and sports, which is adorably honest.

I will probably end up doing this with all the kids and I will post more pictures next week.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Week 9: Vanishing point perspective

With the 3rd and 4th graders, I did a lesson involving perspective and vanishing points. A few weeks ago I did a project with a simple still-life and using one color, and I noticed that most of the kids got frustrated with drawing a 3-d box. This lesson hopefully will give them a bit more insight into perspective.

The first step was to have them draw a flat horizon line on their paper and a dot vanishing point in the middle of that horizon line. Then they drew some simple 2-d shapes in the "foreground" like squares, circles, stars etc. With a ruler they then connected all the edges and corners with the vanishing point they drew earlier.

This resulted in a lot of "railroad track" or "laser beam" looking objects that go forever, so I showed them the trick of adding a back to their shape and erasing their vanishing lines.Many of the kids ran with this and made pictures that looked like train tracks or piers jutting into the ocean. I also showed them how to make their names in 3-d as well.

I was amazed with how much effort they put into these drawings and how quiet and concentrated they were.