Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2nd Grade Neutral Colors

As part of the new 2nd grade art curriculum neutral colors are to be taught.  OH MY GOSH was I dreading it.  I'm the type of person that does not believe in wearing black or's just not my color, a little too snoozey for me. I take that back-- I have 3 things that are associated with black or white only because I'm a San Antonio Spurs fan and when I was a small child I picked the NBA team with the worst colors in the league.  If you were to look at my closet, classroom, bedroom (anything that I'm in control of) your eyes might start to hurt because of all the color, and I'm no even mad about it.  Color is like my favorite thing.  It's awesome. It makes me happy.

But UGHH neutral colors really???!! How was I supposed to get 2nd graders excited about only using neutral colors If I wasn't even excited?  I searched the interwebs looking, no seeking, answers hoping one would just jump out at me from my computer.  Unfortunately, this wasn't the case.  As I was sitting in my classroom (about ready to pull my hair out) I got it--ICE CREAM. 

The best part of this lesson was talking about the neutral colors and how they make you feel.  One 2nd grade boy said they made him feel "depressed" (I'm right there with you bro.)  But then when I tell them GUESS WHAT, we're only doing a project with the neutral can see the anger in their eyes.  It all becomes right in the world when I show my example and they get excited to make ice cream!  

So I present to you our super scrumptious, awesome vanilla, chocolate, and twist ice cream cones only using the neutral colors (with a hint of red sparkly cherry, because what kind of person would I be if I didn't allow 2nd graders to add that dazzling detail?)  To make the awesome patterned background we used these, they are seriously the greatest.

Now that we've made you hungry go get yourself some ice cream.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Dinosaurs Love Underpants

Have you ever seen this book?

There are several of these books and when I saw this book at the bookstore I immediately sat done and read through it.  (Yes, in the children's section...I'm the type that doesn't look for a chair, the floor will do as I'm perusing the shelves). I had many laugh out loud moments while flipping through the pages, and I'm pretty sure the 7 year old boy next to me thought I had some serious problems.  But any who, this book gives us a different side on how the dinosaurs became extinct.  Ultimately, the dinosaurs kept stealing the cavemen's undies so there was a massive war that wiped those stealing dinos out.  Yeah totally silly, but awesome.  I just had to do a project about it and let me tell you talking about underpants with 1st graders was so funny, I'd suggest trying it if you haven't.  After they got over the fact that we were talking about underwear, we started in on this fun project.  

To start the project we painted massive amounts of beautiful painted paper,  this also gave us a wonderful opportunity to explore texture with out texture tools.

As the focus wasn't on the actual drawing of the dinosaur, I gave 1st graders the choice between a Triceratops and T-Rex stencil to use.  To make our underpants  1st graders used funkified colors and PATTERNS.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Rounding out Autumn Lessons

Good grief Charlie Brown, I'm glad I got to squeeze this post in before December hit.  Before Thanksgiving break all of the final autumn-esque art lessons were finished up.  I mean it is still fall and winter won't "technically" be here for almost another month, but here in Nebraska it sure feels a lot like winter.  I'm not even mad about it, BECAUSE SNOW AND WINTER ARE MY FAVORITE.  

Well to finish off the fall themed posts for the year is a project done by 6th graders.  When developing an art project, especially for my 6th graders, because I see them so seldom I try to see how much art learning can be loaded into one art lesson in the simplest ways possible.  That's usually easier said than done, but I try. 

This here lesson is one that was inspired by the batik look.  Students created backgrounds using a wet on wet technique with liquid watercolors.  While the watercolors were still wet students crumpled up the paper, the watercolors mixed together and WA-LA these fabulous backgrounds were created.  The next step was drawing fall themed produce and filling them in with oil pastel.  Students used a similar batik process as done here, crumpling up there objects 7 to 8 times and going over with watered down black tempera paint.  

The students were so into the destruction (being able to crumple the paper) of their artwork in the background, but some were a little more reluctant when it came to the objects.  They knew the end result would be pretty awesome, but there mentality was "I just worked so hard on this and I love the way it works, why would I want to destroy it?"  For some this was a challenge, but we fought the good fight and made some pretty awesome art.  

Some of these 6th graders just rocked it.

4th graders made these fall inspired warm/cool drawings with mod podge and oil pastels.

I hope your thanksgiving was fantastic.......AND with that being said bring on my favorite season, Christmas, and PLEASE LOTS OF SNOW!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Did Someone Say Fall? The Fall Art Edition

Halloween is over...all the tricks and treats have been upon us AND even though I'm not even mad that every store now has their Christmas stuff up (I may or may not be a winter-loving, Christmas-ite) it still is fall.  As I am finally getting around to sharing some of the projects that were started in September, I hope you're excited too see them.

I'm not really a save the best for last type of girl so let's start off with my favorite fall themed project of the season.

I bring you these beautifully done painting by 3rd graders.  This lesson was super simple, we covered some terminology looking at composition and value.

Day 1: draw pumpkins, paint pumpkins, paint background.
Day 2: oil pastels on pumpkin........AND the dreaded
glitter sky that just needed to be done.

(Oh, you say I still have glitter all over my body from weeks ago? Let me tell you it was worth it.)

Without further adieu:

I'm going to keep the rest of this simple and let the artwork (almost) speak for itself.

Here we have 4th grade patterned pumpkin beauties in their zentangle pumpkin patch.

The 2nd grade pumpkin patch has creatures and some fantastical complement colors:

With all these pumpkin patches the 1st graders came in to save the day and brought us some scarecrows.  Notice some of the silly faces brought by inspiration from The Little Scarecrow Boy

The 1st graders also wanted the scarecrows to have something nice to look at during the nighttime hours.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kindergarteners take Color

Several weeks back, my kindergarten classes dove in head first to the concept of color.
We first explored the world of primary colors and lines to create these masterpieces:

Next up was to explore what the primary colors can do so we painted paper and made the secondary colors.  I've done this every year with my kindergarteners because they really seem to understand the concept of the primary colors making the secondary colors when they do the mixing themselves.

This year I switched it up a little bit, check out the past few years here and here.  Although, you can't go wrong with the colors I think I kind of like the one's from years past better...what do you think?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Living Out the Dreams of My Tween Years

If you haven't figured it out by now....I LOVE TIE DYE.  I love wearing it, making it, just everything about it.  I was probably about 14 when I made my first shirt, not really knowing what I was doing just tying random rubber bands and not having any methodology to my color choices.  But, don't you fret I still wear that shirt with pride.  I've come along way it's been ten years later I'd consider myself to be a semi-pro tie dyer, if that could even be a title.  There is something so fun about mixing and creating colors and designs and each time the result is always a fun, different surprise.  Each time I finish something I anxiously await and am awed by the result like I'm a kindergartener mixing the primary colors for the first time.  Anyway, I've mostly stuck to clothing when it comes to my tie dye endeavors and I've got my system pretty well developed.  I was having a conversation with my mom a few weeks back, I'm not even sure about what, but it led to her mentioning that I should make my own tie dye sheets.  WHY HAD I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE??!!  I was immediately taken back to a TV show from my tween years, Lizzie McGuire.  There is an episode where Lizzie skips Danny Kessler's (the boy that everyone has a crush on) pool party and her and her BFF, Gordo tie dye her bed sheets.  I forever remember that episode and have always remembered how cool it was and now that I'm almost at my quarter century life mark, I've finally fulfilled the dream of tie dying my own bed sheets.

I've never tie dyed something so large before so it was a new experience.  The hardest part was actually finding white sheets made of 100% cotton.  It took 5 stores and many denied microfiber, cotton-poly blend sheet sets until I was able to find an affordable pair of "sheets of Egyptian Cotton" na-na-na-na-na-na (you know from Uptown Girls).  But really why are sheet sets so darn expensive???

I've come to the consensus that doing the whole process is just easier when it's done outside.  I really hate wearing gloves, but then again I don't want my hands to be stained for days.  Next time I should wear them on my feet I think I still have some nice stains.  

Don't mind my apron it was the only thing my mom had in her kitchen (sorry mom, but I mean that thing has to be older than dirt). 

I've found that sunlight and a clothesline are key elements in successful tie dye.

I realize a clothesline is a thing of the past, but my parents house still has one and I take full advantage of it.  In my future living situations I'll be the tacky neighbor with the clothesline in the backyard, and you know what I don't care!

Plus, look at all the cool things you can do with a clothesline.

Here's that tie dye scene from Lizzie McGuire, start watching at 4:35.

Here's some of my other favorite tie dye pictures I've shared before.

Monday, October 20, 2014

6th Grade Contour Shoe with Monochromatic Background

Talk about a loaded art project--6th graders talked about SO MANY art concepts in this lesson:

contour lines

I think they did a fabulous job at using all of the concepts, what do you think?

Monday, October 13, 2014

THEY'RE BACK-5th Grade Lego Self Portraits

The return of the lego self portraits.  You've probably seen these/my face floating around Pinterest (or at least I'm told by my fellow colleagues that my face is plastered on Pinterest).  The original project I did last year brought some major traffic to my blog.  I think part of the reason, along with the fact that legos are just awesome, was that shortly after I posted the project The Lego Movie came out and Lego Mania was upon us.  

This is probably one of my all time favorite lessons.  We cover a lot of information and it is fun, the kids love it and all find some sort of success!  The majority of this lesson is done with crayon, a few students did choose to use marker on the background.  To see a more detailed description of the lesson go here.  

I'm amazed as to how much I can see the resemblances in some of the portraits and I can pick out which lego belongs to each student.