Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Black Metallic Clay Mask Magic

Somewhere someone invented this lesson.  It wasn't me.  I don't even remember when or where I saw it first, and I've never carried out this lesson until this year.  My fifth graders have been learning about four artists: Paul Klee, Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso and Jasper Johns.  Right after our Picasso posters, we made small clay faces using slab methods. We just used low fire white clay, and students could make whatever sort of face they wanted, but texture was strongly encouraged. Students were also told to use straws to create holes along the top of their slab (to later add hair or other embellishments). Once fired, black acrylic paint was painted over it all (insert fifth grade whining here).  After the black paint dried, I gave out small amounts of liquid metallic acrylic paint and had students use their fingers to add it to their projects:

We learned the half-hitch knot and frayed yarn to add some oomph.
Oomph is a real made up technical term

The black adds something under the metallic paint, even when students used way more metallic than I advised.  These will be a great addition to our art show in two and half weeks!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Year of the Rooster

It should probably come as no surprise that I read blogs, and enjoy looking at other art teacher blogs to get ideas for my own classroom.  I saw this lesson on Mrs. Knight's Smartest Artists blog and decided it was time for some rooster painting with my sixth graders.  
With all the yucky sickness going around (hello, looking at you, February) I was home feeling awful one day and made a little goal setting sheet tied to the Chinese New Year for my sixth graders.  We spent one class period filling those out and then got to work drawing roosters with pencil.  I actually had the students bring their chromebooks to art so they could find an image of a rooster that they liked, and had them use Google translate to translate one of their goals to Chinese.  Students drew their roosters with only pencil, but they did trace their Chinese writing with permanent marker.  Next we used chalk pastels (I really think I have an allergy to chalk, but that's what obsessive hand washing is for) and cotton swabs for the background.  We used only yellow and red paint the first day, applied with paint brushes and spread with hair picks (which I'd bought years ago for something else that didn't work out):

When students returned to art, we added some blue, then used tiny brushes for details:

This rooster really needs a beak.
Someone remind me to have this student add a beak.
[Side note, this is why we all need assistants or secretaries,
'cause who can remember all of this stuff?!]

These will be displayed during our art show with their Chinese New Year goals worksheet, most likely mounted on black paper, because a little black fancies everything up.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Want To Feel Like A Rock Star?

I taught wet-on-wet painting to second graders this week.  It was like I gave them the secret to rainbow unicorns!  I had pre-written their names on their papers, and had them paint with plain water (lots of grumbling here and "WHAT?" "WHY?!").  Then we used warm colors of tempera blocks and worked quickly.  Here is some student work:

Sorry that they need to pivot and blogger won't let me.
That first little add of color really got them going.  It sounded like they were watching fireworks "ooooooooooo!!!! Aahhhhhhh!!!"  "Look look look!"  
These are going to be awesome backgrounds for our cityscapes. Sometimes you just need a free your mind painting day.  It's good for the soul!  And helps you to imagine a world full of rainbow unicorns!
 I'm pushing hard to get them done in time for our art show--three weeks and two days away!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Some Egyptian Profiles LOVE THEM

A long time ago, in a district far, far away (not really), I printed off this lesson from Crayola, and stuck it in a binder.  It was probably, hmmmm, more than 10-12 years ago?  For some reason, I decided now was the time and of course I didn't read a speck of the directions.  Here's what I had my third graders do: they worked in pairs to lay (individually) on a piece of paper while their partner traced their profile with pencil.  Once each student was traced onto paper, they added their own details to make an ancient Egyptian:

Then block tempera was used to add color:

While students painted, I pulled small groups back to an empty table to use the Egyptian hieroglyphics stamps that I borrow from another teacher every year.  These white papers were later used for backgrounds, and scenes from daily Egyptian life were added.

Students drew with pencil and added color with colored pencil.  
Finally, we used metallic tempera block paint for a bit of sparkle (I don't love this paint), cut out the profiles and glued them to our white background papers:

Close up of a background.

I do love how they turned out and I think they'll be a great addition to our art show this year!  Anyone else have lessons they've held onto for a decade or more before finally following through and teaching it?

Monday, February 6, 2017

Just About a Million Things and It's FEBRUARY

I'm going to apologize now for seeming to fall behind on blogging, but January was about a thousand gray, dreary days long and February, oh, FEBRUARY.  February means the art show is coming up fast and my panic begins in earnest.
My students have been busy:

This is a Paul Klee lesson that I was sure I'd blogged about before, but I guess not? In kindergarten we look at Paul Klee's Senecio from 1922 and use a circle template for the face and rulers for our straight lines.  We draw with pencil, trace with black Sharpie and paint with tempera cakes.  They're super adorable when finished!

And then these Today I Feel Portraits that we've recently finished in second grade:

We've had some clay issues lately in my district (due mostly to a new clay supplier), which is stressing us all out.  I've got a kiln full of fifth grade masks to unload for painting, so HAPPY FEBRUARY, everyone!
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