Thursday, March 23, 2017

Cartoon Art Fun

The above 3 drawings began as a triangle, square and circle
My students were encouraged to change the character to make it their own

Lauren (3rd grade) is enjoying character design

Learning the basics

My example to show my students how to change the mood of a character 
(and the cartoon itself) through a simple change in the eyes

This month our art class theme is Cartoon People and Animals. My groups are learning how to use facial guidelines and simple ways to change the expression of a character. To create animals, we're learning to start with simple shapes and build from there. I discovered some Wonderful books by best selling author, Christopher Hart. I must say, I'm hooked!  He has an amazing knack for breaking down any subject matter into a easy-to-follow manner.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Clay Critters

Avery (6th grade) Loves Hedgehogs! 
How cute is this clay critter she made with stellar patience?!

Since air dry clay is notorious for broken appendages, 
I gave the children the option of using twine in place of clay for their tails

My kinder through 6th graders created some very cute mice using air dry clay. I said we were channeling Beatrix Potter meets Ratatouille. But my mind tends to dwell in books and movies. They could create a family of critters and set up a little scene on top of their scrapbook paper covered "stage". These were painted with acrylic paints.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Unique Animal Art Projects

my experiment 

My theme for this session is Unique Animal Art. Of course animals are always a popular subject matter for my young students. I enjoy coming up with lessons that have a fun twist. These Pop Art Horse Profiles utilized two supplies I've been dying to try, chalk markers and Kwik Stix. They did not disappoint! The colors really popped when used with black paper. My students used chalk pastels and acrylic paint to finish their paintings.

 my experiment 

Are you familiar with artist Sarah Cray's beautiful animal watercolor paintings? Catch them on her Dandelion Paper Co shop on Etsy here. Many of her beautifully detailed animals are donning flower crowns. Let's just say, I'm a sucker for an animal with a flower crown. My kindergarten through 6th graders had fun painting their inspired giraffes using both wet and dry glazing techniques.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Sea Turtle Collages

My Draw, Paint, Collage students kicked off the new year with these mixed media sea turtle collages. In many cultures, sea turtles are a symbol of good luck.  So maybe my timing isn't so strange after all, This project incorporated a wide variety of techniques and media, which is always a bonus in my book. Ocean backgrounds were created first using wet on wet watercolor painting with salt and plastic wrap. Hawksbill sea turtles were drawn and shaded with chalk pastels. Watercolor spots were added around the head and flippers. To give the sea turtles a tropical habitat, kelp and seaweed were added with cut painted paper collage as well as painted with acrylics.

my experiment for the project

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2016 - Remix

Art class highlights from 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

Artsy Gift Class Creations

Abstract Art Notecards

Here is one student's work, divided and mounted on 8 colored notecards
ready for packaging with envelopes

Shrink Plastic Pin

Shrink Plastic Necklace for Pair of BFF's

Textured Shoe Pendant
using Air Dry Clay

 Salt Dough Ornament
with puff paint and sequins

Salt Dough Pin

 Painted Canvas Shopping Bag

Mexican Folk Art Mirrors

December art classes have been focused on creating artsy gifts for the holidays. My young students have had a lot of fun creating items for friends, family and teachers.

1. Abstract Art Notecards
These were created playing a game of art element Simon Says. Children started with a large sheet of watercolor. I would prompt them with directions like, "Make a diagonal broken line in a cool color." They used oil pastels and colored Sharpies to create a number of different lines in different directions. They added watercolor and salt to finish this first step. The following week, I handed back their papers and we continued the game using acrylic paints with prompts like, "make an organic shape in a secondary color. This was such a fun way for my young students (mostly 1st graders) to learn about primary and secondary colors, organic versus geometric shapes and even complimentary colors. I cut their dried work into eight equal pieces and glued them to colored notecards. These were packaged up with envelopes for a nice one of a kind gift to give to grandparents, teachers or friends.

2. Shrink Plastic Pins and Necklaces
Shrinky Dinks take me back to my childhood. I found this great idea from Alisa Burke here. Children used colored Sharpies to decorate hearts. These were shrunk in the oven to half their size and finally, a pin was glued to the back. Were presented them on pieces of notecards that they could decorate and finished with a "created by" stamp.

3. Textured Shoe Pendant Necklaces
This project is always a winner. My original post can be found here. With just a ball of clay, children stepped lightly to reveal a unique texture. Skewers were used to create a hole to string cord. The following week, these were painted with acrylics, sealed with a coat of Mod Podge and strung with glass beads for a special gift for Mom.

4. Salt Dough Ornaments, Pins, Magnets and Pendants
Kids are always amazed when they learn that with just flour, salt, and water, they can create a dough to make a number of things. I pulled out my big bin of Christmas cookie cutters. Children created a variety of items: angels, doves, Christmas trees, gingerbread men, snowmen ect.. They had the option of creating a number of different gifts. These were baked in the oven for about 2 hours and the following week, children painted and added extra embellishments to their pieces. 

5. Painted Canvas Grocery Bags
This was another project inspired by Alisa Burke and her Wonderful "Messy Pouches" here. Since California has banned the use of plastic bags, I thought it would be a great opportunity for the kids to create painted canvas bags for their parents. Acrylic paint was used to lay down blocks of color. Simple designs were painted on top and puff paint could be used to add finishing touches.

6. Mexican Folk Art Mirrors
Children created these unique gifts by tooling thick sheets of aluminum and adding color with Sharpies. Cardboard mats were painted and embellished with sequins, puff paint and glitter glue. Last, a round mirror was glued in the middle and a wood frame added to showcase their work.

One more day to finish projects and wrap up for friends, teachers and family. This class was a lot of fun and I'm already gathering ideas for next year's session!

Monday, December 5, 2016

"Tree of Friendship" Art Birthday Party

 9 Lovely Trees of Friendship

Ready and Waiting 

 Positioning collaged birds

Sketching out their Klimt style trees with pastel pencils

Creative aftermath

Each time I am hired to lead an art project at a child's birthday party I am sincerely honored. I can still hear my daughter's deadpan comment several years ago, "Some kids get bounce houses, and they chose you?" Ouch! I take on this responsibility with a great deal of consideration. I try to factor in a number of variables: the child's age, interests, number of guests, location ect...

Ella, a third grader, has been coming to my classes since kindergarten. She is a Wonderful artist and approaches each project with a sense of enthusiasm and focus. So I started as I often do, by creating a pinterest board dedicated to different ideas just for the occasion. I narrowed down the field to about 12 ideas. Then we met and I pitched my project proposals. She loved a Klimt inspired tree found here at smART Class. Thanks Natalie! Expanding on the theme, her mom had the idea of creating trees of "friendship" where the girls could write their names on and around each other's trees. Perfect!

I always do a "test drive" for the project, to see how it might work. This was my effort.

 Yes, I got a little carried away with details. But I knew that's what sold Ella on the project.

The Trees of Frienship turned out to be a success! The girls were really into it and could giggle and chit chat in between each painted swirly branch. And of course they had a ball with all the embellishments: glitter glue, puff paint and sequins. Silver Sharpies were perfect for signing each other's pieces. Little sisters and Miss Mary were even invited to join. We had a hard time pulling the girls away from their artwork. But pizza and ice cream sandwiches awaited. What a fun afternoon!