Wednesday, September 17, 2014

In the Art Room: A Flower-y Mural for Dot Day

Well, now that the Dot Day dust has settled, I thought I'd share with y'all just how my lil first grade friends created this flower-y dot mural. It's been a big hit and I gotta say, I just love that it's planted, so to speak, right outside my room. It makes me feel like I'm walking into some sorta crazed Candyland everyday. Whiiiich I kinda am. Buuuut whatevers. Lemme first share with you my inspiration for the mural...
I pinned this beauty the moment I spied it on pinterest. I had no idea just how I was gonna use the idea but I knew I loved the piece. It's by an etsy artist who's handle (er, etsy-shop-name? I like "handle" better as my alter-ego is a chain-smokin, gravely-voiced, don't-take-no-shizzle trucker. What's yours?) heathergallerart. I love her whimsical colorful style. When I was scrolling through my pins for Dot Day, I rediscovered Heather's piece and decided it would make the perfect inspiration for our mural-tasticness. 
As I've blergged before (whuh, you didn't know that "blergged was the past tense to "blogged"? You, my friend, need to get your kitten mittens on an urban dictionary, stat), my first grade friends began this adventure with a lil intro to Wasilly Kandinsky and his concentric circles painting. Shortly after, the kids attacked a paper plate with their own concentric circle deigns. By the way, what you see above is known as "Crap! My paint order isn't in! Let's just use whatever we can scrap outta the bottom of the paint bottles." You'd think after your millionth year of art teacherin', you'd know to get your supply order in before school starts. Sigh.

Not like any of these artists noticed. They could paint with any ole thang and be perfectly happy. So glad to see they remembered that their Paint Brush Ballerina is to always paint on her tippy toes, never ever scoot around on her bottom (aka when-the-kids-scrub-their-brush-into-the-paper. Funny story, I used to call this Paint Brush Grinding until I realized that "grinding" was a form of dancing that shouldn't be mentioned in the art room. Ahhhhh-em). 

 The following art class, we blabbered about those ole Elements of Art and reviewed our chats about line from last year. Then I gave the kids what I like to call The World's Smallest Ballerina Paintbrush so they could create their delicate designs. I also gave the kids some watered down India ink which was ridiculous as one sweet girl promptly spilled the ink and ruined her top. Thankfully her mama wrote me a kind note saying, basically, "no worries!" and sent me a bag of chocolate. Shoot, I'll take that kind of punishment any day! To insure no more spillage, I placed the cups of ink in aluminum pie pans thus catching any spilled ink. Duh, why do I always get these ideas after the fact?
 For the flowery-petal portion of our dot-flowers were created on the following art class. The kids were given a folded piece of paper. On one side, we created a texture (you see how we keep hittin those Elements of Art? I'm tryin', y'all. I'm tryin'.) with my fave art room tool, the texture comb. On the other side, we used shape which, in this case, was a dot stamp. 
Once those dried, we did a lil math-ness. The kids were to fold their papers in half, trace two circles and magically cut out four (and it truly is magical in first grade which is why I love 'em so). From there they were to create eight half circles which stumped 'em for a hot minute before one of 'em realized (after doing some super cute simple math on her fingers), "you cut the four circles in half!" Once those were cut out, we glued 'em to the rim of our plate.
For the following art class, I had precut several squares of bulletin board paper. On each, I painted the start of a pattern with either black or white paint (for example, on this sheet, I painted asterix with dots on the tips). I gathered the kids around the giant sheets and asked them to pick a partner and pick a paper they'd like to continue pattern painting on. The sheets were just large enough to take up half table. The kids and their partners set to work. 
 And at the end of each class, we ended up with something that looked a lil like this. Which I've decided I'd like to have made into wall-to-wall carpet. Super cute, riiiiiight?
 Next came the assembling. I was a little worried that this might take me forever but it actually went by quickly once I figured out what in the world I was doing. Because I have four first grade classes, I went with four different trees. From there, I picked one of their patterned papers for the top, sky, back-, middle- and foreground. One that was decided, I curve-cut the tree and the landscape and proceeded to hot-glue 'em to each other. After that was assembled, the flowers were lightly glued into place (I want to be able to remove them at the end of the year to return them to the artists).
 Once all the pieces of the landscape and flowers where in place, I used that aforementioned, stain-your-clothes ink to outline the land and add a tree. I love their happy patterned papers, they made the perfect collage pieces! And the scraps, oh! Stay tuned as the kids have been using those to create paper bunting for our upcoming Mexican Fiesta!
And there you have it, our Crazed -n- Colorful Flowery-Dot Candyland! This mural was truly fun to make and brightens my day whenever I see it. I've loved seeing the many Dot Day murals y'all other art teachers have shared. What other murals do you have up your art-teacherin' sleeves? Lemme know, I'd love to hear. Until then!


  1. Anonymous9/18/2014

    Wow what an honor thank you! Great job !! Heather Galler

  2. SO fabulous. Thank you for breaking down exactly what you did. I don't know where or when, but some day I may just be stealing (or maybe borrowing?) this whole idea. It just looks so beyond spectacular!

  3. I REALLY love this. I have a framed old school Candy Land game in my room.... this is so perfect!

  4. Un mural precioso. Con tu permiso cogeré prestada tu idea para un futuro proyecto en infantil. Thanks;-)

  5. Hi Cassie! I am thoroughly enjoying your blog! Your posts are so fun to read and inspiring. Would you kindly check out my blog and follow it? Thanks!

  6. Brilliant, love it. You inspire me to get on with my art work.

  7. Oh I am little bit late to find this amazing painting! I am very sad that it has already been sold. Anyway, I would like to buy Aboriginal Art paintings. Can you share some pictures of your Aboriginal Artwork?

  8. This would look great as a clay mosaic mural, I think?

  9. Anonymous9/25/2015

    Hi Cassie! How do you glue your murals up? or what do you use for them to stay up!!??? that's my mayor problem.
    Thanks!!! Love your blog!

  10. This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post.

  11. Hi Cassie! I love this lesson and am excited to try it out. Which size did you use for the paper that was used on the petals?


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