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Toothpaste Batik on Fabric

Batik Painting

My creative and wonderful blogging friend, Phyl, has posted several times about her toothpaste batik process.  I have admired the results for years and decided to try it last year for our Wild about the Arts Fine Arts Night.  I was hesitant to try because of the logistics.  It was not a quick and easy project, but I loved the process and I loved that it was so “different” than other things my students have experienced. These were made with 4th … Read more…

Mixed Media Collages by Kids – Inspired by Sabrina Ward Harrison

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In my last post, I showed you some of Sabrina Ward Harrison’s artwork and talked about what she shared with us at her artist visit.  Her artwork is very inspiring, messy and beautiful.  Please check out the other post to learn all about this artist.   After the presentation, smaller groups of kids in grades 3-6 had a collage workshop with Sabrina.  She demonstrated how to use Mod-Podge to paste down pieces of her pinwheel shape. While she demonstrated the … Read more…

4th and 5th Grade Profile Drawings: In the Style of Egyptians, Mixtec Codex and Duncan Tonatiuh

My students were treated to a visit by illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh.  He is both Mexican and American. He grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York City. His images are inspired by ancient Mexican art, especially the Mixtec codex of the 14th and 15th centuries. Like the people and animals in the codex, the figures in his illustrations are always drawn in profile– their entire bodies are usually shown and their ears … Read more…

“Emily’s Blue Period” Art Project: Personal Collages

detail-of-personal-collage

Personal Collages:  4th and 5th Grade   We read the book Emily’s Blue Period, which is about a girl whose parents are divorcing and now she has two homes. Emily was learning about Pablo Picasso, his Blue Period and his collages in her art class. She goes through her own “blue period” of sadness.  Her art teacher asks the class to make personal collages about their homes.  She doesn’t know what to do because she has two homes now.  She ends up … Read more…

All About Me Collaborative Puzzle Pieces

puzzle-pieces

You are part of the puzzle!  Each student in my older grades (3-5) made a puzzle piece about themselves and their interests.  I should have written:  You are a PIECE of the puzzle.  Or, I could have said: We all fit together.  I know, it’s kind of corny, but the puzzle piece making was fun. I bought a set of wooden puzzle pieces (the package came with two pieces) and I traced them onto several pieces of tagboard to make … Read more…

3-D Bedroom Constructions and Perspective

Student-directed vs. teacher-directed and choice vs. “cookie cutter projects”  (I hate that phrase, it’s so annoying) are big discussions with art teachers online lately.  This is an example of how teacher-directed projects (perspective and interior models) can include lot of student choice and opportunities for creativity. When I went to the Art Institute of Chicago this Spring, I was lucky to be able to see the traveling van Gogh bedroom paintings exhibit.  My friend Dawn told me that she used … Read more…

Frank Stella Inspired Pictures

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First, I want to give a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who follows my blog.  I appreciate your support in reading my blog, leaving comments, pinning images and sharing my posts.  Whenever I get a positive comment or email from a reader, it just MAKES MY DAY and makes all the time worthwhile.  Without this kind of feedback and support, I would not continue blogging! A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who bought resources during the TPT Best Year Ever … Read more…

Doodled Drawings, Collages and Sculptures

Doodled Drawings (3)

It’s summer time!  This wrapped up my 10th year of teaching at my current school and 13 1/2 years teaching total.   The good news is that since I was so busy this year, I have a huge backlog of art projects to share with you.  I will probably write them all up this summer and then save some of them for the busy times next school year. Doodle patterns are always good for focus and concentration. This project is also … Read more…

Published Article

Great news! I have been published in the Summer issue of School Arts magazine. I wrote an article about artwork my students made after learning about the art of contemporary artist Justin Vining.  You can read the article here.  I wrote a blog post last year all about this project:  Inspired by Artist Justin Vining. I love Justin’s artwork and you can see pictures of his artwork on his website.

Earth Day Oil Pastel Drawings

Endangered Birds

For Earth Day, my 4th & 5th grade class drew endangered trees and birds using oil pastels.  The entire lesson took about 3-4 class periods to finish.  The students each used a picture of their tree or bird to recreate on a piece of 9″x12″ paper.  We talked a little bit about layering and blending colors with the oil pastels.  We were able to go outside on Earth Day to enjoy the sunshine while drawing. Our Earth Day committee came … Read more…

Sand Art Pictures with 5th & 6th Grade

Sand Art

This project was a huge hit with my 5th/6th grade classes.  There’s something about the feel of sand through your fingers that is soothing.  I’m telling you, every kid was very engaged.  I got applause after one of my demonstrations.  Applause!  When was the last time you had your class cheer and applaud after a demonstration? We used Sand-O Adhesive Boards and X-Acto knives to make our pictures.  First, we drew the design with pencil.  Then we carefully cut one … Read more…

Watercolor Animals with 5th and 6th Grade

Watercolor Bird Painting

With all the fancy projects an art teacher can find on Pinterest, sometimes it’s good to go back to the basics.  Simple drawing and painting of familiar subjects.  This week my students drew art manekins.  You could see much more concentration in the students than while doing other projects.  I was looking through the folders on my computer and found these animal watercolor paintings my students had made last year. For more watercolor lessons, check out these old posts: How … Read more…

Clay Projects for Kids

Clay Bobbleheads

Hello!  Today I am going to catch up on some of the clay projects my students have been working on.  The last few weeks we have been busy learning clay techniques, building and glazing.  We weren’t able to use regular clay for the past year since the kiln was out of commission, so my students were itching to work with clay! The 5th/6th grade classes made Clay Castles. We connected a clay unit to their study of the Middle Ages.  … Read more…

Personal Patchwork Drawings by 4th & 5th Graders

Personal Patchwork Drawings

I got this project idea from the Art Teachers group on Facebook.  A teacher had posted a similar personal grid lesson from high schoolers with stunning results!  I loved the concept and adapted it for my 4th and 5th grade class. The first step is to divide your 12″ x 18″ paper into 3 inch squares using a ruler.  Then you fill in each squares with drawings and designs that are personalized to tell something about yourself.  The catch is … Read more…

Happy Veteran’s Day!

Veterans Day Art

Today is Veteran’s Day.  A day to remember our history and the people who fought for our freedom and safety. Every year my students create Veteran’s Day posters that are displayed at the Senior Center for their Veteran’s Day ceremony.  My fifth/sixth grade students go on a trip to the program and sing a few patriotic songs and participate in the ceremony. You can see some of the artwork made in year’s past and read more about this lesson in … Read more…

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