Showing posts with label Germany art lessons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Germany art lessons. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

In the Art Room: Totally Tubular Castles

Unlike most students, this fourth grade dude opted for a moody evening sky. I love how well it works with this haunted looking castle.  
I recently discovered that if I need something, all I have to do is ask. For instance, I totally underestimated how much glue we would consume, er, use in the art room this year and only ordered one gallon. When that well ran dry, I simply sent out a school-wide email and within hours I had enough glue to put back together all of the dishes I've managed to break over the years. Thank goodness! My dishwasher is simply devouring those styrofoam plates!

  This is also how I managed to acquire the four million toilet paper tubes we used for this castle building project. The only slight draw back to asking for stuff: you just might receive far more than imagined (shoot me an email if you'd like to become the proud new owner of six garbage bags of toilet paper tubes! They make great gifts -- the expression on the recipent's face is always one of pure confusion which I like to interpret as joy).



Because our castle was apart of our study of Germany, I also incorporated some of Grimm's Fairy Tales into the mix. This young artist dude obviously was inspired by Rapunzel.
Okay, I'm dying to ask the artist about the story behind this drawing. Just why is the knight in shining armor high tailin' it out of town? Did he find out just how high maintenance those Rapunzels can be? "Climb up my hair, now braid my hair, make that a french braid, ouch, stop pulling, that hurts! Climb down my hair and get outta here you big ape!"
This artist had his work on display at our local art museum, The Frist Center for Visual Arts. Pretty sweet. My mom once taped my drawing to the fridge. Okay, I taped it to her fridge.


Just exactly how where these amazing castle pieces created by fourth graders, aside from a gallon of glue and a ton of tubes? Well, lemme tell you:
  1. Like I said, this project was a study of castles in Germany. We focused on Schloss Neuschwanstein (where you can see a super brief history here) and the landscape of Bavaria. During our first couple of art classes, we talked color theory and sky painting. 
2.  Next up: Cloud painting. We use a bristle brush to create the cloud texture with an emphasis that clouds have a flat bottom (hey, just like the art teacher!) and a fluffy top (ha! art teacher wishes). I also chat about showing space by painting the clouds near the horizon smaller and have them increase in size as they climb up the page.
3. After a big fat hairy chat about the landscape of southwestern Germany, we tackle the land. The students were given three pieces of 18" X 6" paper in the following colors: white, light green and green. They were instructed to crumble each piece, smooth it out, and rub water based oil pastels over each. Then each piece of paper was given a stroke of water with a paint brush to help blend the oil pastels. I have found the Crayola Portfolio Oil Pastels work best for this.

4. Once those were dry, each of the three papers were torn lengthwise. Some students opted to create three-dimensional mountains. This was done by taking a small torn piece of paper, coloring it heavily in oil pastels, laying it on the mountain and smearing the oil pastel from the paper to the mountain. From there, the land was glued to the sky painting.



5.  After all of that landscaping, we were finally ready for our castle building. I kept the directions very basic because I was curious to see what the students would come up with. What I did tell them was to cut a slit up the back of the tube and fold each cut line about 1/4". This would be where the glue would go to attach to the landscape. This is also how the gnomes were glued down in my project posted last week.

6.  For the top of the castle, short cuts were made and every other one was folded down. Easy.

7.  The kids came up with the idea of the draw bridge. When one got the idea to glue a "chain" to hold the bridge, the rest just had to do the same.
In case you mustache, this is Mustache Kingdom.
8.  Here's how they were shaping up after a couple of days. Once glued down, they were ready to be painted.
 9.  Students were to paint a base coat onto their castles. I offered them black paint but a handful wanted something a little more colorful. And sparkly. What's a castle without glitter, after all?
 10.  After the base coat was applied, students sponge painted gray paint onto their castle for a rock like texture. When one student used the back of his paint brush to create bricks, the rest of us all had a "why didn't I think of that?!" moment.
Yes, that's a flying PopTart/Taco/cat-with-a-rainbow-shooting-out-it's-butt thing. Not sure if that's from some cartoon or imagined. Most likely the effects of glue consumption.
 11.  Once castles were complete, the real fun began. Our castle either had to have a flag and/or a shield. After a chat about Grimm's Fairy Tales, I encouraged the addition of characters to the scene. Those that decided to not include characters and finished early wrote stories about their kingdom.
I'm kinda on this kick where I add that super fine glitter to all of the paint. You can see that shine in this pair of castles.
These kids have the funniest imaginations. I love their silliness.
Last photo, I swear! This little amazing artist had the genius idea to add puffy paint vines to her castle. I'm rather smitten with her dragons.
And there you have it! Many moons, tubes and a gallon o' glue later, you've got some of the coolest castles in all of Tennessee. Now, that I've got all the glue a girl could ever want, I'm thinking of sending out an email asking for coins. Tell me what you think of this:

"Dear Teachers, The students will be using loose change. Would you mind sending any and all pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to the art room? Thank you!" 

With all these generous teachers of mine, this outta easily cover my Spring Break vacay to Daytona Beach. Art Teachers Gone Wild, here I come!









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!"