Wednesday, June 18, 2014

In the Art Room: I Scream, You Scream

Ima gonna tell you a dirty lil secret of mine: during the summer months, I seek out and devour ice cream on a daily basis. I mean, I'm like some sort of rabid dog. Think Cujo but with eyeliner and a sailor's mouth if anyone should cross my whipped-cream-cherry-on-top path. There is no screaming for ice cream with me cuz that would be too easy. Oh no. If I'm refused my daily dip, I can be reduced to ugly-crying like that time at the McDonald's drive-thru when I was nightmarishly informed that their soft-serve machine was down. Hot, grimy, ugly tears.
Tell me, what kids don't love the ice creams as well? During our annual art show (deets here and here, ya'll), we also host an Ice Cream Social. So, the day before the art show, with all artwork complete and hung in the halls, I got the crazy notion that we should do one more masterpiece in honor of our said social. And, in 30 minutes or less, my 3rd and 4th grade kiddos busted out these bad boys. They really were the cherry on top of our art show.
So just how did the kids create these super delish paintings in 30 minutes? Well, Ima bout to tell ya. Let's start with my sad list of end-of-the-school-year/we've-just-about-used-everything-up supplies:

*  Rectangular white paper. I had actually run out of normal sized white paper and was reduced to using rando odd sizes found in my storage closet. These were about 5" X 9".

*  Broken crayons. I never buy crayons because we rarely use them and I'm always donated bags of 'em at the end of the school year by classroom teachers. Although, this upcoming school year, I think I'll invest in some construction paper crayons.

*  Watercolor paint. What's left of it, anyway. At the end of the school year, my trays were empty. So I busted out these odd bottles of watercolor I'd found at the back of my closet and they worked great. The kids knew they were working with a limited palette and to make the best of it.

*  Paint brushes. Duh.
For directions, I chatted with the kids for a hot minute on the whole crayon resist thing (they've been down that road before so they knew the routine) and how a whole lotta pressure was going to be needed to "put a raincoat on your paper" to help it repell the paint. Then we chatted about ice cream flavors and background designs. I really kept the chat short as they only had 30 minutes to create these 'creams.
I suppose a good art teacher woulda chatted about Wayne Thiebaud but I've never claimed to be a good art teacher. 
The kids spent a lot of time in watercolor land this school year. I loved seeing them using all the skills they had learned like this wet-on-wet background.
And this splatter-painted one.
Once complete, I mounted the kids' work on whatever construction paper I had left before hanging up this display outside the cafeteria where the ice cream social was hosted. 
Dude, this painting reminds me of the time my mom bought me an ice cream cone at Orange Julius ('member them?) at the mall after relentless begging. The moment she handed it to me, I took one lick and shoved all those neat spheres of ice cream to the floor (notice I said "spheres" instead of "balls". Who else has learned the hard way never to use the word "balls" around 10 year old boys?). My mom just gave me a "Really?" while the angst-ridden dressed-like-Madonna (it was the 80's, ya'll. Girls were either on Team Madonna or Team Lauper) rolled her eyes and yelled: I NEED ANOTHER ICE CREAM CONE! to her cohorts. To this very day, I prefer non-tongue-push-over-soft-serve for that very reason.

Wait, where was I again? Geesh, sounds like someone needs therapy (who am I kidding, sounds like someone needs more therapy). Back to the paintings: there you have it! A super easy and quick painting that's just as delightfully fun to create as it looks. Happy Ice Scream Painting, ya'll!


  1. Camille6/18/2014

    As a first grade teacher, I always have an abundance of broken, used crayons. As a teacher who lives overseas (literally, I teach on a ship... Yes, really. :) I so rarely get rid of stuff. I mean, it can take 6 months for us to get supplies. Here is my solution: I recycle my crayons and make neat-o multicolored ones! Basically, just take any old broken crayons, take the paper off (I enlist my minions and we play 'crayon factory'), put a variety of broken crayon pieces in a muffin tin (if you want to re-use said muffin tin for food, I would recommend putting in paper liners first) and pop the tray into the oven. It only takes about 5 minutes for the wax to melt, so keep an eye on them, but they cool quickly and pop out easily and now you have cool, round, multicolored crayons!
    Just as a warning, though, your house/classroom will smell like melted wax for a few hours. :)
    I love your blog, by the way- I regularly steal ideas for projects!

  2. These are wonderful! Even though I've been out for a week I'd like to try these with my kiddos!

  3. Anonymous6/18/2014

    very cool lucky kids to have a cool teacher!!!!

  4. I love the put your raincoat on the paper visualization. I'm gonna use it

  5. Random question - what adhesive do you use to mat your artwork? I have tried a little of everything I feel and nothing seems like the "perfect" solution. I am currently using spray adhesive but was wondering if you have a better plan / product???

    1. I used to use spray adhesive but that stuff gets EVERYWHERE, omg. I have a love/hate. Now I use a dot of hot glue in the corners. This seems to work best an not be so permanent that parents could not remove the mat if need be. Hope that helps :)


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