Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cool Cat, Meet Neutral Dog

I've written about our cool cats before, but this year I changed it up a bit, adding neutral dog!

Just like the cool cats lesson, we started out with a direct demonstration drawing (where the students drew what I drew).  First day, we drew and colored our cats (we didn't get all our coloring done).  The next time, we drew and colored our dogs--doing lots of review about cool and neutral colors as we worked.

Love LOVE this one!
The third time they came to art, we reviewed WARM colors and got large paper (18 x 24") for our warm backgrounds.  I had to use the super-big paper because we drew our cats and dogs on 12 x 18".  It took two class periods to color our warm backgrounds and collage on our animals, and even then several weren't all the way colored.  I have one class who's a little behind, and I'm thinking of having them use BOTH warm colors of paper collaged on AND markers, because SHEW! that was a lot of coloring!

I just love the expressive-ness of them:

And bonus they're so large no mat is required for my upcoming displays--they'll fit in the frames as is!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Origami Dragon How-To

As promised, here is the "how to" post.  I have students paint Chinese letters (characters?) all over 12 x 18 paper:

This one isn't finished, and for ease of returning work,
I have each class use different colors.
We use bamboo brushes and ceramic brush rests that we've made when we do this.  It's important that they write their names SIX TIMES on the back (spread out three times evenly along the top, three times on the bottom). Each page is cut to 6 x 6":

I then teach them a super-easy origami fold:

Fold in half, painting side out.

Fold in half the other direction, painting side still out.

Open up and fold corners to the middle.

All corners folded in.

Now, fold the tips back just until it meets the edge of the paper.
They spend most of one class period folding, and then they glue them, tips-to-tips and back-to-back, making the dragon body:

The length of the body is dependent on how many papers they have.
Next, they use 9 x 12 construction paper to make the dragon's head, and scraps (same color + black and white) to make the details.  Their dragon should have: the head of a camel, horns of a deer, ears of a cow and eyes of a rabbit.  Some add things like eyebrows and teeth.

Confession: this is last year's yellow group.
This year's isn't up yet.  I'll get to it. . . eventually!
Some classes (like my red class this year) get super competitive and try to make the biggest dragons.  And some classes (hello, blue class!) do the absolute minimum despite my prodding.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

That's One Big Dragon!

This is one BIG origami dragon.  Look at that monster!  I haven't ever done an official post on the origami dragons, and I will [soon], but I just got this one up and wanted to show it off.
Another view, even though it doesn't all fit in frame:

And the beautiful thing is it was made [mostly] by ONE STUDENT.  Yep, that's right.  That dream student: she's interesting, funny, (though pretty quiet) and comes to art with her head full of ideas.  I love her.  And I'm so sad that this is my last year with her as she moves on to middle school next year.  This happy art teacher will be shedding some tears at the end of this year.  Another awesome thing about the class she's in: there's another student (a boy) who's super into art as well, and they really push each other in a totally cool sort of way.  His dragon body is really long too, but he let a bunch of other boys attach their dragon heads (and small bodies) to his and so it was a little more difficult to hang.  But I'm sure I'll post pictures of that one with my how-to-make-an-origami-dragon post.
One last picture of her dragon:

The wings were totally her idea and she designed and made them all on her own.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

One Overwhelmed Art Teacher

Ugggghhhhh, hello February.  Hello, a week of snow days.  Hello, lots-of-stuff-going-on-at-home.  It's just an overwhelming time of year for this art teacher.  SO much to hang, hallway displays to change out and they're HARD ones.  Peacocks and origami dragons and kinetic Stella sculptures.   Central office display is coming up for me, and our school-wide art show is six (or is it eight?) weeks away. Not to mention getting my stuff together for a presentation at my spring state conference in three weeks.  It's all so OVERWHELMING.
But then I take a step back and realize I feel this way every year at this time, and somehow it all always gets done.  I just haven't done it with a regressing-potty-training three year old and pumping 3x a day at work before. . . 
How much longer until May again???
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