Wednesday, October 2, 2013

In the Art Room: Viking Ship Collages

Kids come up with the best ideas. You see those rough waves that viking ship is riding? This third grader decided to take her relief-sculpture-collage to the next level when she rolled the tops of her waves around her pencil. Genius, I tell you.
Before I get into the 'splainin' of this lesson, I gotta tell you that it was inspired by one of my fave art teacher blogs, Painted Paper. Laura's blog is so amazing and so inspiring that I'm often left shocked, stunned and just plain astonished by what her students create. And when I'm not picking my jaw up off the floor at her mad teaching skillz, I'm left shaking my fists in the air, jaw clenched, groaning, "Argh! Painted Paper! You did it again!" like some villain whose evil plans are foiled by a superhero. Cuz that's kinda what she is. Seriously.
Not sure if this Viking ship is coming or going but I do love the double-header.
When just-back-from-Norway student teacher Rebecca mentioned wanting to do some Viking-themed art projects we promptly scoured the interwebs for ideas. And that's where we came across Laura's viking ships. We changed ours up a bit for what-works-for-us/what-we-wanna-teach purposes and I thought I'd share the results with you. Rebecca and I are absolutely thrilled with how these turned out and the kids are pretty pumped as well.
These seascape collages took us multiple 1/2 hour art classes so lemme break it down for you. We began with two class of insanely busy painting processes. I blerged in detail about that here.

Day #1: The kids were to select a piece of colorful 12" X 18" construction paper that would be used both as the base of their collage and as their sky. They also collected a piece of 6" X 18" blue construction paper and white paper, as seen below (details of how we go about collecting supplies and general art room routines here). To paint the skies, the kids first sponge painted white paint over the top half of the paper with a large sponge. Using a smaller sponge and colors of the choosing, they added color to their sky. Once complete, students used different shades of blue to create a dry brushed painting on the white paper. Splatter painting was done on the construction paper. It was almost the most insane and fast-paced 1/2 hour ever. Almost.
FYI: The concept of dry brushing is like rocket science to children. Unless they are water color painting. And then it's let's-scrub-those-poor-paint-brush-bristles-until-there's-a-hole-in-my-paper land. Art teachers, amiright?!
Day #2: The day we completed these 12" X 18" babies WAS the most insane day ever. I explained these painting processes in detail here.




(Blogger was being a hater and wouldn't let me write a caption below that photo of Rebecca where I know she's talking about Norway and I know she's painting to not-Norway but, trust me, she's been there and she totally knows where it is...right, Rebecca?!)

Day #3: After all that painting madness, Rebecca shared stories and photos with the kids about her trip. The learned all about the terrain of Norway and the rough waters of the surrounding sea that the Vikings had to cross on their many voyages. From there, the kids watched as Rebecca demonstrated tearing the blue painted papers for the seascape collage. Once the papers were torn, the kids were told to only put glue on the straight line, not the torn one and begin gluing at the horizon line, making their way to the bottom of their paper, creating a pattern of alternated papers as they went.
Day #4: With the seascapes complete, the kids were ready to create their long ships. Rebecca took the kids on a voyage back in time to learn about the Vikings and their ships. She even had them practice their rowing skills on the floor which was awesome. Now, I'm not gonna lie, the kids did use a template for their ships. And I know that might rub some of ya'll the wrong way but with the time constraints I work with, it allows my students to get much more accomplished. Once the boats were cut out, the kids began creating shields for their ships that were unique to their tribe of Vikings.
Day #5: On this day, Rebecca reminded the students about how each clan of Vikings would also have sails that were unique to their tribe. However, the sails usually had stripes. Each student was given a 5" X 6" piece of white paper and shown how to cut a curve on the sides that would make their sails appear three dimensional. The kids used that curve of their sails to draw on their painted papers and create the stripes for their sails. Shapes were added on top of these stripes to make them unique.
When the kids learned that the Vikings hung their shields over the edge of the boat to both protect their boat and save space on the ship, the kids also took to hanging swords and helmets from their ships.
Day #6: On this day, the kids cut out a mast and glued that to the back of their ships. Then they applied a line of glue to the bottom of their boat and placed it under their first set of waves. Work on the shields and sales continued.
Day #7: With the ship and mast glued into place, the kids were ready to attach their sales. To really make them look like they will blowing across the sea, the kids applied a thick line of glue to both the top and bottom horizontal lines of the sail. These were then held in place for about thirty seconds to really get 'em to stick. A little demo on how to create a serpent's head on the ship was given to those that were interested.

So impressed with the design on the sail and the swords on the ship!
The puppy Vikings. Precious.
And there you go! Almost a dozen art classes later and one art project complete. Sigh. Such is the life in the Super-Short-Art-Class. On the bright side, these look totally amazing and my fingers are simply itching to get 'em up on the walls of our school halls. 

Thanks for reading and have an awesome rest of your week!

16 comments:

  1. Oh this is amazing!!!! I'm going to do this project! What grade was this?
    (PS. YES to the watercolor painting brushes! haha!)

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    1. 3rd grade...up I'm guessing up to 5th grade would love this lesson :) Have fun!

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  2. You're amazing . . . awesome & fun! Keep up all the magic!

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  3. They turned out GREAT!!! I love the background! And I am very jealous of that HAT!!!!!! Oh We def need to meet up for tea and have some nordic talk! :)

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    1. Wouldn't that be fun!? Are you going to be in San Diego for NAEA by any chance...?

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    2. Sadly no :( I have been to one NAEA conference. Back in the day, I presented when it was in L.A. Now I just stay locally in Ohio.

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  4. Love the colors and textures in these! What fun!

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    1. Thank you, Mary! They sure worked hard on these :)

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  5. This project is awesome! I love the texture and layering. As soon as I saw these I was reminded of this delightful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UFQmbsUp9c

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    1. Aw, geesh, I LOVE that video! I have got to share that with the kids, it's awesome. I love their palette shields, so adorable, thank you :)

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  6. These are so wonderful, and as a Dane and art teacher I think you and your students did very well :)

    Tatjana Knudsen (tatjanaknudsen.blogspot.com = Meet the Creative Part of Me)

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    1. Yay! So glad to hear it! AND I love your blog, thank you for sharing it!

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  7. What a great project! Totally reminds me of this GREAT picture book called "Yo Vikings!" by Judy Schachner. ( Skippy John Jones books) Super great illustrations and a great story about a quirky girl. What great work!

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  8. Anonymous10/16/2013

    You are so creative in your approach to inspire your student artists. Great work by all.

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  9. Naomi-
    Thanks for this! I've been looking for a viking art project. Great job and great blog!

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