Showing posts with label collage landscape. Show all posts
Showing posts with label collage landscape. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In the Art Room: The Magritte Project, Two

I'm sure ya'll remember that Mammoth-Magritte-Mural I previously rambled about (I mean, you'd have to unless you suffer from short-term memory loss. Which sometimes I worry that I do. I mean, I know everyone says, "oh, I walked into this room and totally forgot what I came for," but I'll drive all the way to the grocery store, stock up on moisturizer and People magazines and totally forget food. Pretty sure if I try to serve hubs Pasta a la Aveeno one more time, he's gonna demand I start taking my meds...again.)

Speaking of short term memory...what was I just talking about?!
Ah, yes, Magritte. I do remember I told you that this particular project is like the gift that keeps on giving. Because after the kids cut out their day and night birds (go here if you are confused), it turns out I only needed one for their mural. Any more and it woulda looked like a scene outta Hitchcock's The Birds. This left them with either a cloud-filled or star-studded bird for the project you see here.
Magritte's The Return was the inspiration behind these small works of art. And, by small, I mean the paper was 9" X 12". We usually work twice as large in the art room despite our half an hour art class time constraints. But I had a sneaky suspicion that this whole tissue-paper collage thing just might take for-evah. Turns out, like sooo many things, I was right (hubs, are you reading this?! Say it with me: I. Was. Right. I know this has nothing to do with you, I just like to hear you say it!).
This spin-off project turned out to be a hit with the kids. They learned about analogous colors, creating contrast, making a collage landscape all while working with an art material they'd not used in a long time: tissue paper. Lemme tell they went about creating these works of art. 

Bonus: You'll hear the story about how a third grader taught me the correct name of my favorite art supply. Deep stuff, I know. Read on.
In my last post, I told you about how the kids were given 12" X 18" pieces of paper on which they were to paint a tint of blue and a shade of blue. These colors were premixed so that the colors in our mural would be consistent. I know, I'm a control freak. Once those were dried, the kids added clouds and stars in oil pastel. From there, they flipped their paintings over and traced the day and night bird templates on the back. This yielded two birds, one for the mural, one for this project, and an awesome negative paper to be used in the future.

ACK!! I must pause this post and tell you why this scene made my hands sweat and caused the following convo:

Kid: Um. My what?
Me: YOUR. MESSY. MAT. You're getting Modge Podge all over the table. 
Kid: Oh, sorry...(attempting a distraction technique) but don't you like my beautiful nighttime sky?

Yeah, I do. Le sigh. Those kids. They get me everytime. 

On the first day of this project, we looked at Magritte's The Return and had a long chat about two things: contract and analogous colors. We noticed how Magritte used a contrasting sky to make his bird stand out. Then we talked about ways we could do that in our sky without making just a blue daytime or black nighttime sky. This led to a chat about the different times of day and the colors you might see. Then I focused on the color wheel. I told the kids that they were to choose four pieces of tissue paper that were analogous in color. I placed a color wheel on each table to help them along. Once their four colors were chosen, they were to hold the tissue paper up in the air so the rest of us could see what they'd chosen and decide if there were indeed analogous. From there, they commenced tearing the paper into strips.
Now, just a note on that. I noticed that the paper has a grain. Meaning it will tear in nice long strips going one way, but the other direction it tears in short pieces. There is no way to know the grain, it's just a matter of tearing. Torn pieces of tissue were kept in labeled envelopes for the next class.

And a note on adhering the tissue paper. I asked that the paper go horizontally as clouds would move across the sky. I demonstrated how to apply a thin layer of varnish to the paper, place tissue on top and then apply another layer. When applying second layer, start in the middle of the tissue paper and brush outward. This prevents those annoying and unsightly crumpled pieces of tissue paper.
EEK.  Yet another cringe-worthy photo: scissors dangerously close to varnish brush...paper waaay off the messy of those rubber band bracelets that are going to be the end of meeee. Deep breath, focusing on lovely work of art. Whew. Okay. Better now. Back to whatever I was rambling about...

I had folded the paper so there was about 2-3" at the bottom for the horizon line. Once their sky was complete, the kids could dive into my massive box of sparkly fabric and create stars, a moon or a sun and clouds. This was applied in the same manner as the tissue paper. By the second art class, most skies were complete.

For the land, the kids were to choose two different colors of green (a couple even opted for green fabric), tear into large pieces and adhere to the bottom. This took them no time at all.
Once their landscape was complete, the kids were to glue their birds. I had them play around with the placement of the bird until they settled on a composition they liked. For a little pop, I used my paper cutter to slice a million little pieces of foam core. The kids glued about 5 pieces of foam core to the back of their bird and then glued that to their piece. I love the subtle 3-D element and it also introduced the concept of relief sculpture to the kids.
Now I know some of ya'll are stick-sun haters but how you gonna hate on this?
And now for a moment of art teacher humiliation. As if that doesn't happen about a dozen-twenty times in a day...

Kid: Mrs. Stephens, why do you call that stuff "Modge Podge"?
Me: (holding up the jug of stuff so the kid could see the label) Because that's what it's called, see?
Kid: Then why does it say MOD Podge?!

Wait, WHAT?! 
And that's when my teeny-tiny brain was blown. I looked at the label and, sure enough, the stuff that I'd been calling Modge Podge for years is indeed called MOD Podge. Wah-hut?! How in the world did I not catch that? It's toootally got that rad 1960's mod-style label.  

Please, puh-lease tell me I'm not the only one that's been calling it that. And please tell me why none of yous never corrected me on my ignorance? Have all ya'll been laughin at me (more than normal) behind my illiterate back?! JUST as I suspected, humph!
Whatevers. This Thanksgiving, I'm placing MOD Podge on the long list of things I'm thankful lack of reading skillz, not so much.

Speaking of, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, friends! And, if you don't celebrate such, just pat your bottle of Mod Podge fondly on the head and think of me. I'll be back soonish with an embroidery project I'm just Thankful to be finished with. 

Until then, have a great one!
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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

In the Art Room: Wait, Where Were We Again?

We were collage landscaping: My fantastic fourth grade students completed these landscapes just before winter break which was a kind of miracle. Thus far, this project involved painting the sky, oil pastel texturing paper for land and collaging. But the real excitement of constructing toilet paper tube castles began this week. I can honestly say I've never seen kids have more fun with ole tp tubes. You can see our inspiration here.
 Have you ever had one of those deep sleeps that when you wake up, you've no idea who/what/when/where you are? Kinda like that time during spring break when you took that trip down to that place and drank too much of that one stuff and you hung out with someone whose name you can't remember and you might have done somethings that probably aren't legal in most states...or maybe that's just me.

 Regardless, that's how going back to school this past week has been. No matter how organized I left my classroom (granted, my idea of organization being that stuff is stuffed into random cabinets and...shooooved...clooooosed...there! Whew!) I still come back in a fog. Thankfully, I snapped these photos right before we left so I'd remember what we'd been up to. And so I could share them with you. See how nice I am? 

If you are a teacher, I hope your return trip back this week has been a good one. If you aren't a teacher, say a little prayer for the rest of us, would you? Particularly that the kiddos don't open any of my cabinets and become buried underneath all of my "hey! I've been looking for that!"
We were surprising our art teacher: With their awesomeness. Seriously. I am so impressed by my students. I love their landscapes and cannot wait to see the end result. I'll be certain to share it with you.
We were cardboard printing: Ack! Would some responsible art teacher get this second grade kid an apron!? These prints were made with gold paint (sadly the metallic doesn't photograph well) and will be used as the background for our cuckoo clocks. You might have heard me mention those here and here.
We were printing patterns: You might notice that I tri-folded the construction paper. As they were printing, the kids were instructed to create one pattern in a column and then repeat that in the other two columns. Then, boom, you got a pattern. These folded lines really helped them keep their patterns in place and not just stamp randomly all over the paper. Although there was some of that.
We were cuckoo clocking: So the printed background will be the wall for us to hang our cuckoo clocks on. This project has been so much fun since we've learned how to write in Roman numeral and create a clock. Do you see the brown paper underneath? That is our wooden clock crafted from textured brown paper that we cut and wove. 
We were munching: We might have had some quasi German treats as our intro to all things Deutscheland-ish. The kids were required to say, "Brezel und gummibarchen, bitte. Danke!" Don't worry, I had some gluten free pretzels and the like for my friends with allergies. I'd hate to see them miss out. 
We were collaging: The first grade has been creating the Black Forest as a home for their gnome. We just started crafting our gnomes this week and they couldn't be more excited. In fact, I wore my gnome dress today because it was requested by one of my classes. So cute!
And some of us were seriously collaging trees: I mean, wow. First grade? Dude. Luckily she finished the other two off this week.
We were (and still are) asking about Jes: Silly guy is lost in the mail. He'll make it to his next destination. In the meantime, a concerned second grader created this Lost Jes poster with a pretty handsome reward.
 I'll share with you the complete lessons and the end result when(ever!) we get 'em done.

Chat soon!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In the Art Room: Collage Paris

A collage montage. Brought to you by some hard-workin', Parisian-lovin' second grade artists.
 As you know, the kids in my art room have been spending some time in Paris. So you'll have to bear with me as every upcoming project I feature for my "In the Art Room" series, is gonna be something Parisian. You might recall last week was the third graders Printed Paris Project. This week, I present to you the second graders Collage Paris. I'm bringing these to you fresh off the drying careful, the glue is still wet.
 Paris, day and night.

We began this project shortly after completing our suitcase portfolios and our passports. Interested in creating a collaged landscape (it doesn't have to be Parisian, check out our Egyptian version from last year)? It's a whole lotta fun. You'll need the following:
  •  12" X 18" paper
  •  12" X 6" paper
  •  washable tempra paint (I prefer Crayola because the other stuff is junk. Trust me, I've tried it all.)
  •  texture combs 
  •  construction paper
  •  glue cups and glue brushes (I gave up on glue bottles long ago. They clog and the kids stab 'em with pencils and scissors. Give them a little cup with glue and a small paint brush and you'll never go back to the bottle. The GLUE bottle, that is.)
 We began this project with a lesson on with color and value. The 12" X 18" piece of paper that the kids were given was folded into six sections: three at the top and bottom. On the first day we chatted about creating shades and a gradation. We began right above the middle fold, painting the first section blue and adding a bit of black. Each section above that was to be a darker value. 

The following art class, we chatted about tints. Each section below the middle was to be a lighter value of blue. And, viola! A gradated paper.
 On our third art class, we learned how to mix green and created a textured  piece of paper with our texture comb. Don't have texture combs? You can make them by cutting notches into pieces of cardboard. I did that for years. Then I caved and purchased these plastic doohickeys. And I was like, where have these been all of my life?! I love 'em so much, they tend to make an appearance in just about every one of our art projects.

You know my art classes are 1/2 an hour, right? You've heard me belly-ache about that before. I'm an expert belly-ache-r, if you didn't know. So if it seems like my project is broken down into teeny-tiny bite-sized bits, now you know why.
 The following art class, we chatted about collage which is like French for paper and glue. How perfect! The kids were given the choice of having an evening or day time sky by either having the dark value or the light at the top of their paper.. Most opted for the Midnight in Paris vibe. Once that was decided, they were to tear their green paper diagonally, position the torn part on their paper so it created the River Seine and glue down. 

After a chat about painting clouds (if they are near the horizon line, they should be small and grow larger in size as they approach the top of the page) and stars/moon (with a glance at Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night for a ring-lit look) and the sun (all I ask is no sunglasses, puh-lease!), the wee artists were permitted to make their masterpiece their own.
 Before: plain landscape. After: Parisian Paradise!

 After the completion of our collage landscape, we began our study of the famous structures of Paris. After learning the history behind the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame, we learned how to create them. We chatted about how each was symmetrical and could easily be created with a folded piece of paper. The above and below bulletin boards were on display at the front of the room. This allowed the kids to work on each structure at their own pace.
 As we worked on our structures, we kept them safe in an envelope until each was complete.
 Do you remember that groovy group of college kids I had hanging in my art room earlier this school year? Well, I've got a new group and one of them created this awesome bulletin board to help introduce symmetry and the famous Parisian structures to the kids.
 Of course, no introduction is complete without the help of Jes, our school mascot! A kind French friend snapped these photos of Jes around Paris. Thank you so much, Sophie. This has been a wonderful way to excite the kids about exploring the world.
Gotta love an innovative thinker. One of my students wanted his buildings to "pop out". Recalling our paper collages from kindergarten, he folded feet onto the bottom of his houses and glued it so his structures would stand up. Genius!

Love that crooked row of buildings!
Thanks for joining us on our Collage-Landscape Fantasticness! I hope you enjoyed these masterpieces as much as these artists did creating them. Next up: First Grade Hot Air Balloons over Paris. Stay tuned!
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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

In the Art Room: Hump Day

After a long chat about fore-, middle- and background, we glued our camels into our Egyptian Landscape Collages. Here's a kid that really got the concept of objects diminishing in size.
What would be more appropriate to chat about on this here Hump Day then a one-humped camel (which are called domedary in case you didn't know) and his habitat? My first grade artists finished up these Egyptian Landscape Collages last week and I thought I'd share them with you. I've been doing this landscape collage lesson for years but always with a connection to our current theme of study. With Egypt being our theme this year, a desert landscape was what we created.

Image pulled from
We began our lesson with a nice long chat about sunrises and sets. We looked at photos, artist renditions, and discussed personal experiences before creating our own. Each student was given a 12" by 18" piece of paper folded in half lengthwise. On the top half of their paper, students painted their sunsets. During their second art class, we discussed the horizon line and how objects near that line appear to be smaller. With that in mind, we painted our clouds, small near the horizon, gradually growing in size as they approach the top of the paper.

Would you like one hump or two? The two-humped camels (called bactrian) are found in Central and East Asia. So apparently this one migrated to Egypt.

The following art class, we began the textured paper for the desert sands. This time we had a wee chat about creating tints of colors and textures. Each student was given a new sheet of 12" X 18" paper folded in half lengthwise. They were to create a tint of brown on each half of the paper and create a texture with the texture combs. If you don't happen to have texture combs, you can easily make them from stiff pieces of card stock with small notches cut out of the bottom.

It's just not a kid's landscape unless something is levitating. I totally dig the floating pyramids.

Once both paintings are complete, the collage process begins. Now, I've done this project many times and the first time I did it, the collage portion made me want to whack my head against the wall. So to save you some head-whacking, lemme tell you how I explain it to the kids:
  1. Tear a strip of paper off of your textured and tinted paper lengthwise.
  2. Put glue around the edges of that paper. Place it directly on your horizon line (this way, no white space can be seen between the sky and the horizon).
  3. Continue to tear strips and glue down. Overlap the brown papers so there are no white paper gaps.
  4. When you run out of paper at the bottom to glue the land to, you are finished!

This idea to create pyramids came from the book Dynamic Art Projects for Children. If you teach children, this book is a fantastic source for art project ideas.
Once the landscape was complete, we began creating objects for the land. We kept these bits and pieces in an envelope labeled with our name until we were ready to glue them down.

To create the pyramids, the kids folded a rectangle in half, cut across it diagonally, opened the paper and viola! we had a triangle. To make it look three-dimensional, we laid a piece of scrap paper over the triangle, drew a heavy brown line in oil pastel and then smeared the pastel toward the edge of the triangle. We used oil pastels gifted to us from Paul deMarrais. You must see his beautiful pastel landscapes (and pick up some of his hand crafted oil pastels!) here:
The How-to-Draw sheet that I made multiple copies of and had ready at the tables.
Once our pyramids were complete, we began our study of camels. We read a book about them, looked at this amazing stuffed one that our librarian happened to have and proceeded to draw together. I firmly believe in guided drawing (meaning, I draw something on my paper, the kids attempt to replicate on their paper). Art teachers that I have met are either firmly for or against this idea. My rational is this: you wouldn't hand a kid a math worksheet and just tell them to have at it without explaining to them the concepts first, right?
I love how the little camel's legs are firmly rooted as if to say, "I'm not taking another step! This walking on three legs business is just too complicated!"
So as we are drawing the camels together, we are looking for the shapes and lines within the object, discussing what we see and drawing them. After we have created one camel together, the students were given the above How-to Draw sheet and asked to draw as many camels as they'd like in their landscape. They used the sheet as their starting point and them proceeded to draw walking legs, multiple humps, etc. Again, we kept them in our envelope.
Another beautiful Egyptian sunset. I shared similar images with the kids to help them understand the concept of a silhouette.
On our final day, students were given back their envelopes and their landscapes. We had a chat about fore-, middle- and back ground, diminishing size and silhouettes. Then the students proceeded to assemble their collages. Finally, we were finished! I have this habit of creating the World's Longest Art Projects...but I have myself convinced that it's okay. We learned: painting, color mixing, texture, collage, drawing, shading, etc. So, it's really about five projects packed into one, right?
As I said earlier, I've done this project many times before. When we were learning about Japan, the landscape was vertical and filled with origami houses. One year we learned about Medieval times and created a green landscape full of castles. The original idea came from a SchoolArts article many years ago. That teacher had created a sea scape, using blue textured papers. The possibilities are endless-ish!
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