Thursday, February 15, 2018

#Crush on the Medium Chalk

I ADORE getting outside whenever the sun is out... for Minnesota... it's rare. We love the sun and the warmth because it's a precious commodity. Below is one of my favorite lessons we did outside. The kids LOVED it. It's where you mirror a partner and use your whole body to create. 

Another fun lesson for outside chalk enjoyment is this Kandinsky project. 

Super proud to be a Minnesota member when we have projects like Kindness in Chalk. Every fall there is a celebration worldwide for participating families and schools to write words of kindness on the sidewalks. Join us next October. 

When I'm working with chalk I often put a request out there for parents to donate to the classroom.  Here is an example of how I have proposed the need to the families of my school. (click here)

Chalk is a blast, but chalk paint is even better. If you have never played with chalk paint, as soon as it's nice outside, you HAVE to make some up.  Take a look at my favorite recipes from a previous post

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Art Ed Blogger Network- Artist that Inspire Us

I am so excited to announce my involvement with a new Art Education Blogging Group called Art Ed Blogger Network.  Each month we will be posting on a similar subject. I'm very excited about this post because it's going to allow me to celebrate the latest Artist soon to be in my #WelcomeWall

Images found on Amazon
Two years ago I made a commitment to myself to collect Artwork to display in my house. I wanted this art to be original pieces.  I have created a uniformed size and I common color of blue, but my goal is to collect many different kinds of Art to display in my home. I call it the #WelcomeWall and have posted a bit more about the project here.

I have a piece that is coming my way in the mail and I'm so excited to celebrate the Artist who created the work. I think this Artist is one that we can all incorporate in our classrooms as a living, working Artist. I'm excited to share her work with you.  Allow me to introduce you to Clare Youngs. 

I first found Clare on Instagram posting her amazing collage work.  I fell in love the textures of the papers, the color palette, and the energy of her characters. This find led me to her beautiful website where I learned that Clare also has several books and many that look quite interesting to an Art Education Teacher.  

What is great about Clare Youngs is that you can learn a lot about this humble Artist with a couple social network searches.  It was quite a find to run across Handmade Home YouTube Channel where Clare Youngs was interviewed. It makes her so real and it's always amazing to listen to someone talk about their passion, whatever it may be (video above).

Explore Clare Youngs Instagram and Website... You'll fall in love! I know I will be overjoyed when her artwork created for our family arrives... should be any day now.  You better believe this project will bring joy to our house and my #WelcomeWall. Her work already is inspiring to me and my work so it will only be a short time until I bring that inspiration into my classroom as well. I love the paper created by her as well as the subject matter. I think Clare Youngs work would inspire many of us in the classroom and in our personal work.

Check out the whole list of participating blogs below to find out what each one of us wrote about in our first post as an Art Ed Blogging Network.


Monday, February 12, 2018

#Crush on the Medium Oil Pastel

Oil pastels are such a hit with the kids. They cheer... I mean really cheer when I say we are going to get them out.  They love the bold bright colors and the smooth texture. I have several past posts that I will be sharing with you in this write-up but also this post works as a bit of a tease because I have had my students working with oil pastel in the past couple weeks and have not had a chance to share the lessons quite yet. 

Well, it's still really, really, really cold here in Minnesota. It's only appropriate that I start this post with a snowman. Oil Pastel is a GREAT way to teach shadow and form in Art. Here is a collaborative project featuring form, oil pastel, and snowmen

I love this Hockney inspired Landscape lesson. Students are very successful with this project and researching oil pastels reminded me of that.  I have a complete video lesson ready to show the students and it is a perfect project for this time of the year. 

I have two posts on oil pastel transfer prints. One is a lesson on balance. I have done this butterfly lesson with students as young as Kindergarten. Again, full student ready video and lot's of student samples can be found on this previous post about the Butterfly Prints. I also have the same method of transferring oil pastel with a game, an image shown below. I used it for review of shapes and lines but I would imagine you could use the method for countless activities. 

I have used oil pastel for glaze alternatives in the past as well. Students can color onto clay and then use a paint wash on the service that was not covered by pastel and it creates a stunning outcome. There are three different ways I share to use nonglazed finishing for clay. Click here to see all three

For my older students, I like to give a little exploration of the materials before asking them to use it on their final project. In this post, I talk about the 7 way I ask my students to experiment with oil pastel. 

The rest of these images are simply ways that I have used oil pastel in the very recent past. I do not have a post for them, but you can count on them being an upcoming post. Sometimes we just need an image anyway for inspiration.  Take a look at these three. 

Bears in a Blanket

Sea Turtles


Thursday, February 8, 2018

#Crush on the Medium Paint

Continuing on my #Crush Series, I'll be writing about markers today.  I have to tell you, as I started this post I was thinking it would be a stretch to find any reason why I crush on markers.  They run out of ink... the kids mix the caps... They make a mess on my table... But as I started collecting some of the fun ways I have used markers, I realized I like them a whole lot better than I thought. Here's why.

I use markers for this really fun warmup activity where I have the students collaboratively work on drawing a picture with markers. There are a lot of details on how this is achieved in my previous post but it has become one of the most fun days in Art Class for my 6th grade this year.

Markers are totally worth it for the bright colors they provide.  This Dinosaur Sculpture project posted on MiniMatisse by a guest blogger Mark Rode is a perfect example of why makers should be used with even our youngest artist. These Dinos are amazing! 

I have two examples of how I used permanent markers on fibers to create a batik or tie-dye effect. Using the markers on the fabric and then adding rubbing alcohol over the marker after applied creates a bleed. I adore these Owl Softies and my family had a great time making these Tie-dye shirts.  It's another nontraditional way to use the medium markers. 

Mr. Kantor is a past coworker of mine and a current friend and fellow educator.  We had the opportunity to share a room for a year and as I was prepping for my class I saw him sharing this lesson with his students.  Soon I was another bystander watching Mr. K make his marker foam prints. This is an amazing way to print and as I said that markers can get messy... it's nothing compared to ink and printmaking.  This is a more clean way to create a print and very engaging for students. I created a video a while ago to show my students how to do this process. 

Marker bleeds have always been one of my favorite ways to use markers.  That might be why I asked Lauralee Chambers to guest blog about her Alphabet Soup lesson. I loved the look of the WHOLE project but really loved the marker bleeds. Her post was a good reminder of the marker bleeds, and that inspired me to use this method with my own 1st-grade students as they were drawing their sheep in the Farm Animal Project. It was a great touch!

Reaching back a couple of years, I found this Aboriginal Hands project.  I love getting the Florescent/Neon, Metalic, or Pastel colored markers... Any of the specialty markers are always fun for my students to use.  They give a beautiful look and then if I only take them out for some projects... they become special and celebrated. 

One of my favorite lessons of all times is these Metal and Marker Bugs! Again, super engaging and such a great finished product.  It allows students to use materials that they normally don't. Using the permanent markers on metal is stunning! 

These Bird Sculptures were created using marker bleeds but the markers were not put on paper... but rather coffee filters. This was magic for my students. 

My middle schoolers used permanent markers on their Shrinky Dink Bracelets. This is an easy and bold medium to create the fine details you see here on the shrunken plastic.

I'll end this post with the sweet smell of Mr. Sketch markers.  This is something I purchase every now and again for my classroom.  I think it creates memories for the kids.  They will smell mint someday and it will put them right back to the Art Studio.  My hope is it makes them feel loved again, wanted, celebrated again... all the feelings I hope they feel every day they come into class.  Plus, it's just really good entertainment for me to see all the marker on upper lips and nose as they leave the classroom because they were smelling Mr. Sketch's sent the whole time. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Drawing Farm Animals Using Shapes

I was approached by my music team this year to see if I would be interested in collaborating on some of the themes they are working on for upcoming performances. I was more than happy to do so, plus the team chose some really fun themes. I can often take any subject and work them into my curriculum... so, the First Grade has been working on drawing farm animals to coincide with the upcoming musical performance. 

The main concept here is to teach my young artist that they should use shapes to simplify their drawings. They can look at a subject and break it down into the geometric shapes that we have spent the first have of the year studying. I chose to do a different drawing for each of my four classes. I'm happy to share these lessons with you here on my Teachers Pay Teacher store. Here is a breakdown of the lesson in the video below. 

All four of these classes started out the same. I would show them the picture of an animal and ask them to draw it. They would look at me like I was crazy. "How can I draw that?" they would ask. Then I would bring them through the lesson breaking down a complex animal into simple shapes. All students were successful after this breakdown. 

We would take our practice that we created on a whiteboard and use it as the inspiration for our final drawing.  I always try to leave time for a second drawing of the same subject on the back side of the paper. This allows my students to choose their favorite drawing. I have the students 'X' out their least favorite and write their name on the 'back' or the side with the 'X' on it.  Many times we still had time to outline the subject with a sharpie marker... if not that is the first task for the following class. 

The following week we added color.  We used a variety of methods to create the final results. 

For the cows, we colored the spots and details with crayons 'getting rid of all the white spots'. Then the students used paint to color the sky (all the way down to the horizon line) and the ground (all the way up to the horizon line) using tempera cakes. 

The pigs were simply painted.  First I gave each table a container of pink liquid watercolor for the pig. We gave the pink a chance to soak into the paper while I instructed the students how to use the tempera cakes and how to manage the materials. They then gave the sky, ground, and mud a little paint. 

The sheep we addressed a little different using water soluble markers first.  They added repeating swirls on the sheep. Then they used a brush to add water to the marker. This allowed for a marker bleed. In order to keep the students from overworking the swirls, they had a limited time before they had the tempera cakes in front of them and they were asked to add the sky and ground. They did have a few minutes of a third class to add crayons to the details remaining. 

The chickens were painted with tempera cakes as well.  This was a class who needed to finish their outlining so they had time for the marker and paints and that was all.  We wanted to add some texture in a third visit to the art room. They used construction paper crayons on the chickens to make feathers but that didn't take much time at all. This gave us the rest of the hour to record our feelings about our artwork to our parents using the app Seesaw. Here is an example. 

There will be more to add to this 'theme' in the next couple weeks, but I'm really excited for our paintings thus far.  I know this is going to create a beautiful Art Insulation for their performance.