Showing posts with label art teacherin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art teacherin. Show all posts

Monday, November 14, 2016

In the Art Room: Royal First Graders

Brace yourself. You're in for an overload of First Grade Fantastical Cuteness in the form of Royal Self-Portraits!
Like, riiiiiight?! I can't even, y'all. These selfies are so sweet it's like a lollypop dipped in Fruity Pebbles dipped in milk chocolate and covered in sprinkles (guess who has a strong sweet tooth? GUESS). My fab-o first grade artists completed these just in time for me to get them shipped off to Artome for their frames. And I'm so excited for these are totally frame-worthy. 

I don't often repeat projects but when I was dreaming up a self-portrait unit for all of my classes, I knew I wanted to give this lesson another go-round. I did have to alter the lesson quite a bit as the format of the Artome frames is half the size what I usually have my students work. Lemme tell you how we created these bad boys, er, royal dudes and dudettes. 
I'll break the lesson down for y'all...keep in mind that my classes are 30 minutes in length. This project took us about two weeks to complete. On the first day, the kids were given a 9" X 12" sheet of white paper and tasked to paint that paper the color of them. Before doing so, we read this great book:
In the book, a young girl paints portraits of her friends mixing up their unique skin color. The kids were given brown, black, white, red and yellow paint. We chatted about tints, shades and mixing up a variety of flesh tones. The kids painted their sheet of paper their unique skin tone. 

The following day, on that sheet of painted paper, the kids traced a head template in the middle of the paper and added two vertical lines for the neck. This was done independently and in pencil. Once complete, the kids met with me on the floor for a little guided drawing. We chatted about the proportions of the face and facial features. We drew together in oil pastel. When using oil pastel, I always stress to the kids to use black last and never to wipe their paper as it can smear the pastel. That was completed on our second day.
During our third art class, we cut our portraits away from the painted paper and glued it to a new sheet of 9" X 12" paper. We had a nice chat about painting hair: mixing the right color and creating texture. Once the hair was painted, the kids put those on the drying rack and worked on their crowns. For that, we used gold painted papers and crown templates. I had cut pieces of metallic paper (I found some metallic origami paper to be just the thing!) and the kids added jewels to their crown. I did chat with them about symmetry and balance when it came to the placement of the jewels. It's always good to pack as much educational punch into those lessons as we can!
Our fourth day, crowns were attached to heads and clothing was created. For our clothes, the kids were given a rectangle for their shirt and two squares for their sleeves. These were decorated with my favorite florescent oil pastels (really, where have these BEEN all my life?!) and attached at the bottom of the paper. 

Finally came the background! We used Crayola's water soluble oil pastels for that. The kids could use either warm or cool colors for the background before adding water to paint. 
Ta-da! You might have noticed that some of my fancier friends added coffee filters for a ruffly collar to their shirt, sparkly earrings and more jewels. They really had a lot of fun getting all kinds of royal for their selfies. 
Finally, they had to come up with a title for their piece. "Princess Cutie Cute" will forever go down in history as my favorite title for these precious masterpieces. I cannot wait to see them framed and in our Artome art show! Love to hear about your favorite self-portrait projects, y'all!
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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 1

Confession: I have been art teacherin' for closing in on 20 years. Yes, I started teaching when I was 12 (insert tongue-out-winkie-face emoji). Despite my vast experience, I still have SO STINKIN' MUCH TO LEARN. I'm reminded of this on the daily. However, because I do have those years under my belt and I have a tendency to overshare on this here blog (as well as YouTube, Facebook, the Twitter and Insta. Guess who is a social media get-about?), it would appear that I kinda/sorta/sometimes know what I'm talking about. So, for that thar reason, I've decided to start vlogging (that'd be video blogging) every Wednesday for a series called Art Teacherin' 101. Here's my first installment!
Each Wednesday, I'll share a short video about something art teacherin' related. Sometimes we'll chat supply orders, clay basics, management tips, you name it. In fact, seriously, YOU tell ME anything you'd like to chat about and we'll do it! You can email me ( or just drop me a line in the comments. Also, if you subscribe to my YouTube channel, you'll never miss a breathtakingly amazing episode (insert eyeroll emoji here). 

In other news, not only am I launching Art Teacherin' 101 but also...#WeCanMakeItMay, a super fun photo challenge going down on Instagramz! Which is INCREDIBLY INSANE as I'm currently putting in 12 hour shifts at school to get this art show happening (and I'm not even hanging the artwork...I have SUPER art mamas for that! I'm just that behind on matting, framing, kiln firing, you name it, I'm buried under it). Anyway, I always find that I get the most ideas and the most motivation when I'm the busiest. Are you the same? If so...join #WeCanMakeItMay!
No instagram? No problem (tho you really should get on Insta, it's my most fave social media platform, y'all. Just pictures, no politics. Me likey). Feel free to share your pics on Twitter and Facebook and take me! I'd love to see your pictures. In fact, here's mine from the last coupla days... 
Day 1: Art Room. Did I mention piles on piles? Well, here they is in all their glory. 
Day 2: COFFEEEEE. Multiple times a day. Mostly cuz I lose my cup under stacks of stuff and have to make a fresh pot. Without coffee, I'd be a puddle on the ground.  
Day 3: Art Hands! I only managed to grab a photo of these two cuties after they'd finished painting their cupcakes and were heading out the door. "Don't you want a baby wipe?" ... "Nah, we like art hands!" Ha, me tooooo.

Can't wait to see you on Insta and hear what y'all think of Art Teacherin' 101!
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Thursday, September 24, 2015

In the Art Room: Creating a Rousseau-Inspired Mural with First Grade

Hi, friends! I mightah told y'all that we're on a bit of a Rousseau-tiger-y kick at my school these days. If you follow me here, I've shared tons of photos of my young artists tiger-tastic work. Last week I shared the relief sculpture tiger pieces created by my fourth graders. I'll be certain to share all the deets on the other projects as well but for today, I thought I'd start with y'all the biggest hit: The First Grade Henri Rousseau Jungle Mural!
 A lil back story: we have our school Open House after the first month of school. I try my hardest to have a work of art hung by each student for the occasion. The last couple of years, we've done Dot Day. This year, I decided to opt for a different theme: Henri Rousseau's jungle paintings. I chose this for a couple of reasons. I'm emphasizing that Art is an Adventure and that artists are too! Also, the tigers are our school mascot so it looks fab-o and school-spirit-esque to see them plastered on the walls of our school. Having an over-arching theme for all grade levels really helps me keep my learning targets in line (5 different art lessons is enough! You add 5 different themes/topics/cultures/etc. and my lil mind is blown). So, Rouseau-inspired tigers it was!
 And first grade totally nailed it. To start, we began the school year by painting and texturing papers. The first grade was allowed to pick from a variety of warm colored pieces of construction paper. They added white, yellow and red to these papers in any way they decided. These were used as the basis for our tiger drawings. To better explain the process, I created a video! This video is in kid-friendly format so feel free to share in your art room with your students. 
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the video! I created this just for y' please let me know what you like, what you'd like to see more of and if you'd like me to pretty please stop. By the way, sometimes my videos go up on my youtube channel before they debut here. If you subscribe to my channel, you'll be the first to view...lucky you! 
 In case you can't stand the sound of my voice, I've got snaps of the drawing steps. I drew with the children while they sat on the floor with their papers and oil pastels in front of them. We emphasized each element of art as we drew. This was a great way to introduce the elements of art by demonstrating them in our drawings!

 When using oil pastels, I always emphasize that we are not to wipe the oil pastels as they'll smear. My fave oil pastel brands are Sakura but I do love Gallery's fluorescent oil pastels. That's what's used on the eyes and the nose. So bright and the viscosity is very smooth. 

 We used black last because it can be the most disastrous as far as smearing goes. The kids were really excited to use black as suddenly their drawings came together. 
 I love the sweet personality of each tiger! Once the drawing was done, we used our green painted papers to create leaves for our tigers. These were added either in front or behind our tigers. 
 From there, we added a tail and glued that to the back of our tigers. 
 We used some scrap paper to create the tails. 

For the tail, we talked about line and the kids drew any kind of line they wanted. Then they created a parallel line to follow the first.
 Then zigzag stripes were added.

Once the tigers were complete, the mural was ready to be created. We spent one 30 minute class painting huge sheets of bulletin board  paper green. The kids loved it! They called it a Painting Party and attacked those large sheets of paper with a ton of energy.
The following class, we dialed it way down and talked about pattern. I started an organic leafy design on each paper that was green and a star pattern on each paper that was blue. The kids were given small brushes and asked to create a pattern of the original design. 
 The next morning, I got to school about an hour before it started, got super jacked up on coffee and busted that mural out. I laid 12' sheets of paper on the floor, one for each class. 
I started by gluing down the night sky papers with my high temp glue gun. Then the land papers were added. To finish, I went over each land form in either black or white paint. 
 HOWEVER, once the tigers were added, they completely vanished into the busy background! I was so sad! So I decided to outline each of the tigers in black paint. Again, this took no time because I had injected coffee straight into my eyeballs. Turns out you can run laps around the universe if you do that, who knew?!
And, viola! By the way, here's a peak at our Jungle Lounge and here's a look at the mural that this one replaced. Thanks for dropping by, y'all!

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