Thursday, December 17, 2009

Week 15: Christmas villages

Being the last of the three December art classes, I wanted to continue the Christmas feel, but throw in something a bit new.  We did cards, snowmen, snowflakes and some watercolor, but for this project I combined the ever popular "stained glass" theme with some architecture. Voila...Christmas houses and villages.

I wanted to these to stand up in a window, so I had the kids fold a piece or two of brown paper into thirds or fourths-whichever worked best. Accordian fold is the best.  This resulted in vertical sections of paper that they could draw some whimsical buildings.  I had them cut out the roof and window shapes. Then they could glue some colored tissue paper behind the holes for colorful windows.

I love the "scool" and the petstore. This was a Kindergartener, with maybe some help from an older writer?

I did try to emphasize the various types of roof shapes and show them photos of Amsterdam row houses and San Francisco vistorians.

These can really turn out well.  For a more gingerbread look, you could have them do all the detail drawing with white paint, but the black markers look fine too.  I used construction paper which is a bit thin and light.  If I could get any supplies, I might try a stiffer paper stock, but not too thick for cutting purposes.

Funny thing, was that the younger kids had no trouble at all with this relatively complex concept of drawing and then cutting. They had wilder imaginations and I think fewer inhabitions. But they did have trouble with teh concept of gluing the tissue paper on the back of the houses ;-)

Merry Christmas to all and to all an artistic night!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Week 14: Christmas Snowmen/tree assemblage

One of the kids' favorite projects last year was an assemblage of cotton ball snowmen.  I decided to revive that idea and also add in the idea of making some Christmas trees as well.

My samples

For the Snowmen, we used cotton balls, twigs, sequins, ribbon, pipe cleaner and other odds and ends.  There is no limit to what you can use. White glue or hot glue is needed though so really delicate items or heavy things might not work.  I had thought to use buttons, but I could not find my buttons.

For the Christmas trees, I had used fern for the older kids, but probbaly should have dried or pressed the fern first since the fresh fern was either too springy or curled as it dries. For the younger kids I ended up cutting some very nice flat cedar branches. Eiher way, these cards will not last forever, but they are cute.

The younger kids seemed to be more free with the project then the oler kids who had higher expectations.  But all the results are super cute!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Week 13: Watercolor with crayons and salt

It's begining to look a lot like Christmas around here. To help ring in the season, I had the kids do some snowflakes with watercolor, white crayon and salt. This was an exercise in techniques as well as a final product kind of project. But we will make soem snowflake ornaments with the dried watercolors next week.

Putting salt on wet watercolor is one of my favorite techniques. The salt soaks up the color and leaves little "blossoms" of white that look like snowflakes. It great for winter sky texture.

I had the kids do some experimenting with wet color washes. Some used white grayons to make some wax resist lines, stars, snowlfakes etc.

Then I had the kids make some small circles that they drew white crayon snowflakes inside. We will cut out these and make ornaments.

Here are what the final ornaments looked like:

Week 12: Painting and Printing reflections

As the Fall has progressed, I have wanted to do more techniques and concepts, especially with the 3rd and 4th graders. So this week I dabbled in our first painting project, with some printmaking concepts thrown in.

I had the kids fold their paper in half and paint a scene of trees or hills, or other things in the top half. As they worked I had them fold the paper down while the paint was wet and rub to achieve a monoprint that makes it look like a reflection. The wetter the paint the stronger the reflection is.

Most kids really got into this and got some relly nice landscapes. Several kids did some very nice abstracts as well. I was very impressed with the concentration and completion exhibited in this project.