Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In the Art Room: Winter Wonderland

A grouping of kindergarten landscapes.
For the last three years, when my kindergarteners painted these snowy scenes, the following day was a snow day. I kid you not. This year was no different. Despite the fact that snow wasn't even in the forecast, it fell steadily from midnight on to the following day. The kindergarteners are convinced they made this happen. I'm beginning to believe them and I'm plotting more snowy projects for the very near future.
I love that this tree has outgrown the frame.
I don't usually repeat projects from year to year cuz I get bored easily. But I often struggle with kindergarten project ideas. This is one of my ole standbys because it's got it all: a little painting, a little collaging and a whole lotta landscaping all in one.
After looking at several landscapes (with a big focus on Grandma Moses because she's awesome and so kid-friendly), we began our own paintings. During our first half an hour together, the students were given the following directions:
  • Paint any kind of line that would be good for a hill. Paint that in blue from one side of your paper to another.
  • Blend white paint into the blue line to create light blue or a tint of blue. 
  • Repeat the first two steps with a hilly line below the first.
  • Put that masterpiece on the drying rack, paint brush in the sink, clean that table and you're done for the day!
  • The following day we chatted all about shades. We were creating an evening sky so we used black and blue this time. Some students chose to use the back of their paint brush to draw wind and stars into the sky (Vincent van Gogh much?) while other dabbed on snow or just left it black.
  • On this day we looked at Grandma Moses' landscapes again and chatted about the three parts to a landscape: fore, middle and background. After eyeing her work, we noticed she showed space my painting her trees, houses, people, everything smaller in the background. 
  • Each artist chose their own house from a stash of die cuts. Snow and icicles were added with white oil pastels. We learned how to cut out triangles and rectangles for our trees. 
  • As you can see above, most of the wee ones understood that to create space in their landscape, their trees needed to decrease in size. Just don't ask them what "decrease" means. We're not there yet.
  • Students were given metallic gold and silver oil pastels to add wind and stars to their evening skies. Looks like this artist opted to just stick with white snow and asteroids.
  • Finally, we chatted snowflakes, added them in white oil pastel to our frames along with our signatures.
In all, I'd say these turned out pretty stinkin' cute. Even if some of us still refer to them as our "landscrapes." Call it what you wanna, if it brings us a Snow Day, I'll take it!
On a super happy side note, I came home from school today to find my art room in the back of SchoolArts magazine! I'm so excited. I hardly recognize that super clean room as it currently looks like someone turned it upside down, gave it a couple hard shakes, squirted same paint and threw some glitter inside before slamming it back down again. Small correction: my school is Johnson Elementary. Gotta give the best school to work at props!

Until we chitty-chat again, enjoy the rest of your week!


  1. What a fun classroom! So cute! I love the Paris scene. I teach high school and our mascot is a matador. People laugh at me because I have velvet matador paintings from the 70s all around the room. It's nice to have a fun space to teach in. :)

  2. Well done kindergarten kiddies! Those are some landscapes to be proud of! I particularly like the one 'Ava' made but I gotta show some love for the one above hers as you could be really happy getting lost in that thing. Congratualtions on getting your room into a magazine, it looks like a wonderful place, when you were saying about it being shaken up I had vivid images of you stepping out into the land of Oz when it landed again..........I feel a wizard of Oz outfit coming on......come know you want too!! ;)

    Jerra xx

  3. Congrats on the article! I had an article put in at Arts and Activities in Dec. Pretty exciting isn't it! Love the landscapes too!


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