Wednesday, February 13, 2013

In the Art Room: Chillin' wit my Gnomies

When writing about her gnomette, this sweet third grade artist said one of her hobbies was taking care of her pets when not working at the animal shelter. So sweet compared to the axe-wielding, sneaky-eyed gnome shown a little later in this post...

 Greetings from Gnomeville! Please feel free to pull up a mushroom, make yourself a tiny gnome-sized cup of tea and stay awhile. I've got many a gnome-tastic masterpiece to share with you, so make yourself at gnome, er home.
Despite the awkward placement of the fishing pole, I do love this sneaky-faced fisherman.
 You might remember we began our study of Germany and garden gnomes ages ago. I shared a very brief gnome history here and even whipped up a gnome dress for the occasion. Since then, the art room has become over run with these little dudes and I almost can't stand to be alone in the same room with all of them. They are Always Watching.
My collection of gnome books. The one in the foreground proved to be the most kid friendly. While I love Gnomeland, mooning and chest baring gnomes are just the kind of thing that principal lady of mine frowns upon. The kids were fascinated by How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack. It's important to be prepared.
 Wanna make your own gnome-tastic landscape? Here's how we did it:
  •  We started with a 12" X 18" piece of white paper. After a big fat hairy lesson on color mixing, we painted layers of color for our sky. This took us two thirty minute sessions.
  • The next week, we had a chat about Germany's Black Forrest. We learned that it got it's name from the Romans who called it such because the dense coverage of the trees makes the forest very dark. We talked about the textures of the forest while passing around objects from the photo above: wool, turkey feathers, pine needles and a brillo pad to recall how moss might feel.
  •  After that touchy-feely session, we discussed implied texture and how to create them. We spent one class using sponges or brushes to create clouds in our sky. The following class, we sponge painted green papers to imply the texture of moss. Lastly, we painted texture of tree bark on brown papers.
This is actually a grouping of first grade landscapes. They went about their sky differently by simply picking a sky color and adding clouds. They had already studying sky painting here. I'm sharing their work so you can see how the third graders also created their landscape.

  •  To assemble our landscapes, we tore our green painted papers and glued them down. In order to "plant" the trees, I asked the students to only add glue to the straight edge of the ground, not the torn one. This made it so we could tuck trees and mushrooms into the land later.
  • Another tearing sessions resulted in our trees and branches. The kids tired of the branch making business pretty early as you might be able to tell. The end result looks like some serious pruning happened in the Black Forest. Oh well.
 Disco Gnome complete with a ginger afro, funky glasses and a disco ball. The little Sweet and Sassy Gnome on the right is holding a Valentine's heart that reads "kiss me".
  •  When the landscape collage portion was complete, we set those aside for many a day to craft our gnomes. I am on a toilet paper tube project kick (see our hot air balloons here) and that's what came in so hand for the gnome bodies. Most of the kids painted them so that one color was on the top and a different one on the bottom.
  • While those dried, we began drawing the faces of our gnomes. We did our usual: draw with a pencil, trace with a sharpie, erase peek-a-boo pencil lines and add color, baby, color (don't ask me why, but I always say, "color, baby, color" like I'm Tom Jones or something). Those were cut out and glued to our tubes along with arms, shoes, hands and props.
Not sure if this is a gnomette or a princess waiting for her carriage in the distance. I do know that this artist started quite the trend among the gnomettes by requesting a "fluffy skirt" skirt (gee, I wonder where she got that idea?). My stash of coffee filters came in pretty handy. P.S., how cute is that fan?!
  • Once the gnomes were complete, the kids cut the tube up the back. Then they folded a small ledge on either side of the tube. This gave the tube a flat surface to better attach to the paper.
Okay, I'm in love with this gnome. Not only is he affectionate ("Kiss the Cook" apron, seriously?) but he's also rather handy in the baked goods department. Cookies and 1$ pies? Don't mind if I do.
  • Once the gnomes were attached to their landscapes, the kids continued to enhance their scene. Some kids requested to create another gnome from a tube, three boys decided they need tube-cars and, as you can see above, one tube was used as a pie stand. I have a very hard time saying "no" to the kids when they run their genius ideas past me. How can I deny their enthusiasm and creativity? This explains why our projects take for-evah.
The artist who created the work on the left requested a handle for his ax. We used a toothpick. And check out that fishing gnome. This artist even included a reel in the gnomes right hand.

Oh, look, it's Gnomeland's Got Talent. I'm not sure what happened to her back up singers but I'm totally diggin' the tip jar and the boom box. She's ole skool.
This work was created by the artist who affectionately refers to herself as Mini-Mrs. Stephens. She really wanted her gnome to look like the one I had on display. I'd say she did an excellent job. I especially like her addition of the fuzzy slippers.
Can you tell what this gnome is doing? He's leaf-blowing! What my photo didn't capture was the large leaf-blower he's wearing on his back. I love the wind blown leaves.
I have to tell you, I think this might be one of my favorite projects so far this year. The kids just went wild with ideas for their gnomes and they seemed to enjoy every minute. I do hope you've enjoyed your stay chillin' wit my gnomies. Until next time, as the gnome above would say, "Peace out, dudes!"





10 comments:

  1. There's just something about gnomes. We made papier-mâché gnomes last year with gatorade bottle bodies and plastic easter egg feet. My 3rd graders thought it was the absolute best thing they had done in their life.

    Presumptuous of me, i know, but if you are interested, I posted them finished here:
    http://plbrown.blogspot.com/2012/05/crazy-time-and-more-gnomes.html

    And here:
    http://plbrown.blogspot.com/2012/04/little-this-little-that.html

    And in process here:
    http://plbrown.blogspot.com/2012/03/i-must-be-insane.html
    And here:

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  2. Ah!! Thank you, Phyl! I'd seen these before...and part of what inspired this idea. I had originally planned ours to be flat until I saw yours! Of course, I suppose I cheesed out by using the tubes but I didn't want to be working on these until next year ;) THANK YOU for the links!

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  3. Cassie, I just realized that in all my showing off of our gnomes, I forgot to say how much I absolutely ADORE your version. Tres adorable!

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  4. Love, Love Love these! I would like to do more 3-d projects but our school is packed with 700 kids and consists of 2 long hallways. No good display space so I create mostly flat 2-d stuff! From one gnome lovin girl to another! :)

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    1. And I LOVE your stuff! I'm a huge fan of what you do and I was inspired by your sweet gnomes as well...you've really inspired me to use more "painted paper" techniques in my room, so thank you VERY MUCH :)

      P.S. 700 KIDS?! Bless you!

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    2. A good display space in my school was on the tops of the stacks in the elementary side of our library (it's a k-12 building). The librarian was grilled to display the kids' 3-d work there, and it was a very safe location, since he kids respect their own work and that of their peers.

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  5. WOW! This is my favourite of all your projects so far, I love love love gnomes!! They are my favourite of all the woodland people! I smiled at every gnome (laughed at some, I wont lie to you, especially the fishing one) Your kids are amazing! I'm having a gnome tea party for my birthday, I shall have to get my hands on those books! :)

    Jerra xx

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  6. My art club is making paper mache gnomes. Fun!

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  7. This is fantastic :) I am a first year teacher and was looking for a knockout project that combines elements and principles with creativity and this one fits the bill. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Congrats on First Year Art Teacher'dom...how fun, fresh and fantasic! I hope you have fun with this project, I think your kids will looove it!

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)