Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Oil Pastel Volcanos



As part of our Pebble In My Pocket text we started our term by drawing our own volcano pictures. The children had the opportunity to explore the use of warm colours and lines to create texture.
Encouraging the children to use the point and the side of the pastel to create different lines and textures really made for some interesting pictures. The children also varied their lines and mark making. This added to the textured created in the pictures.
Another opportunity that arose from this session was the use of analogues colours (three colours next to each other on a colour wheel). When the children came to drawing the lava it was great to see them using the analogues colours and blending them to create a seamless transition from yellow to red.


Textured Dinosaurs



Dinosaur paper plates

This term my year 3 and 4 classes are using the book, The Pebble In My Pocket, to generate writing opportunities. The book follows the journey of a pebble through time, from the creation of the earth to modern day.
The children have been concentrating on texture this term so using paper plates we created dinosaurs. In the first session, we drew a line down the centre of our paper plates, to create two equal halves. The children then looked at complimentary colours and where to find them on a colour wheel. We then painted the two halves different colours and allowed to dry. This didn't take long and then we could create a new layer of paint with two different colours. Before this layer dried we used modelling tools but anything that could make lines and marks would do i.e knife, forks or pen lids. Next, we created texture using the implements to give a skin or scale effect to the plate.
Finally, in the next session the children were able to cut their paper plates in two. Choosing one side as the body, while the other was used for the limbs and head. The result were very cool and the children truly did grasp the concept of creating texture using marks.


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Water Colour Techniques


Using Water Colours To Create a Landscape Picture.

My year 5 and 6 class were working with the text Floodlands by Marcus Sedgwick. The book deals with many themes but mainly looks at global warming and the rising shore lines. In the book Norwich has been cut off from the rest of Britain and the main character Zoe is stuck on Norwich which is now an island.
As part of our cross curricular link to the book I decided that looking at water colours and landscapes fitted nicely with the book. We took a couple of weeks looking at different watercolour techniques using video from Pinterest and You Tube. Click here to find the videos.
I gave the children strips of cartridge paper (plain paper is too thin and would curl) and we used the varying techniques the children had chosen to try to paint the strips. The most popular were the cling film, salt, dry brush and wet on wet.
The following week, we used oil pastels to create our Eel island landscapes. Some children chose to draw the church that is a focal point on the island other chose to create a indiscriminate landscape. Next the children gave the Horizon a sky watercolour wash over the oil pastel landscape.
Whilst this was drying the children arranged their strips of watercolours as their sea cutting curves out to create a wave effect. The children then stuck these down to create a textures sea scape in the foreground.
This particular project is fantastic for introducing perspective of foreground, middle ground and background.

Potato Printing Lighthouses

Potato Printing Repeating Patterns 

As another activity under the topic of The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch we experimented with potatoes printing repeating patterns. The children really enjoyed creating the pattern of the white and red stripes of Mr Grinling's lighthouse.
we used sugar paper and ready mixed paint and any variety of potatoes I could find. I then sat back and let the children create.

Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch Resist


Water Colour Resist


Another activity that my year 1 and 2 classes undertook whilst covering the topic of The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch was the watercolour resist.
The children were asked to draw a picture of the lighthouse from the book. The children used basic wax crayons and were encouraged to press hard to get a good about of wax crayon on the paper.
Once they were finished they used water colours to apply a blue colour wash over the top of their picture. It was really important that the children used the water colours properly so I concentrated on brush strokes and pressure and some children were scrubbing with their brushes rather than stroking. It was also a good opportunity for the children to see that the more water they used the weaker the colour.

Franz Marc Animal Collage - Cubism


Animal Oil Pastel and Tissue Paper Collage

Whilst my year 3 and 4 classes were studying the book ZOO by Anthony Browne I took the opportunity to connect their art lessons with other artist who painted animals.
Franz Marc was a great artist who also use animals as his subject. We played ping pong critic (see my getting children thinking about art post) with some example of his work. We discussed why and how he used straight lines and angels in his work. This is were I introduced the children to the idea of cubism.
We then as a class set about drawing animals from the ZOO book using oil pastels. In the second session we recap the use of geometric shapes and sharp angels. The children then used tissue paper cut into geometric shapes to overlay their oil pastel picture.
I don't have many pictures of the finished result but the children really connected with this mixed media project.

Gruffalo Art

Julia Donaldson - The Gruffalo Art Lessons

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson was story of choice by my daughters for many years when the were little. I am so well versed in the story I can recite on demand.
So, when the book became a recommended book for the curriculum I was over the moon. There are so many different art activities you could do (my natural found object art session can easily be adapted to suit the Gruffalo topic) but below are the ones we had time to complete in the short term we had.


Chocolate Salt Dough Gruffalo Models

The children used chocolate salt dough (recipe found on Pinterest) along with lentils, seeds and dried pasta to create their own Gruffalo models. These were on display in the school for a long time before needing to be removed.

Gruffalo Character Soft Pastel Pictures

This was the first time the year 1 & 2 classes had been exposed to soft pastels and their properties - which is the same as chalks. Some of the children experimented with blending and others used them just like crayons. Either way the children created some great pictures.

Haring Shadow Pictures

Keith Haring - Secret Agent Shadow Pictures



In the summer term, my year 5 & 6 classes were studying the book Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz. I found this a really hard book to connect to the art curriculum so I went along the lines of secret agents and linked that to their science focus of light and electricity. We began the session talking about famous secret agents and practising posing like secret agents. We then looked at the work of Keith Haring and how he used chalk to create motion figures.

Some of the children had prior knowledge of the artist as I had covered him in an art club session. Were the children drew around each other and painted the figure in and we made a replica of one of Keith Haring's most famous works.

Once the children had an idea of which poses they were going to use we moved outside to the playground were they posed for their partner to draw around their shadow with chalk and filled in the space with coloured chalks. To extend the lesson the children had to create a secret agent story to go with their shadow picture to share with the class. This session also gave rise to the discussion of light and shadow and how if we moved around in relation to the afternoon sun then the shape and size of the shadow changed to.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Cave Art Paintings and Interpretations

When looking at cave art I really wanted the children to begin to interpret art for themselves and look at what messages the artist wanted to send. Cave art is a perfect place to begin children looking for messages and the purpose of art.

Fortunately, before we started the topic I had taken a trip to the Bristol Museum and came across an interesting piece of cave art. See Below


Underneath the caption read that the art work had been found in Somerset and archaeologist have no idea of its purpose or meaning. I took this inspiration and began the lesson by asking the children to write their own interpretations on post it notes and discuss as a class.

We later moved onto drawing representation of the class text, set in the stone age, on scrunched up parcel paper with charcoal and soft pastels.

We later displayed them all over the walls in the corridor to create a cave look.


Positive and Negative Space

Roald Dahl - Georges Marvellous Medicine.

Teaching the children about space in a picture can be tricky but I found combining it with the maths concept of symmetry can help.

Whilst studying, the great Roald Dahl Book, George's Marvellous Medicine the opportunity arose to cover space. I gave the children two pieces of paper (colour combinations of your choice). One has to be significantly small than the other. A simple piece of A4 and A3 would be fine.

We then drew shapes that would represent the story of George's Marvellous Medicine. You can really be creative with this maybe covering; lines getting the children to draw lots of different lines, shape geometric and organic or other occasional and topical representations. The world is really your oyster with this activity.

Be sure to tell the children to draw their shapes around the outer edge of their small piece of paper. Shapes drawn not touching the outer edge will NOT work.

Next allow the children to cut out their shapes. The age of the children and their dexterity with scissors comes into play at this stage. If the children have drawn shapes that are intricate and they don't have advanced fine motor skills to cut out the shapes, they can find this stage difficult.

Once all the shapes have been cut out, place the smaller piece of paper in the centre of the larger piece and fix down with glue. Now ask the children to re assemble the piece of paper putting back the pieces they have cut out. This is normally when they can't find all their shapes and need to check under their chairs and tables for those pieces that have fallen on the floor.

After they have reassembles their puzzle, flip the shapes out again using the edge of the small piece of paper as a mirror line (this is where the symmetry and maths bit comes in). Hopefully the children will recognise that the shape and the whole it leaves are a reflection of its self.

If they do this all the way around their paper and fix the newly arranged pieces down with glue the results can be stunning. The examples shown were done by 7-8 year olds. You don't even need to use rectangular shapes pieces of paper just shapes with straight edges work best.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Artist Appreciation Lessons - Part 3

Monet - Water Lilies

Covering Monet was a really enjoyable session. Making sure we had the right tools did have a positive effect on the results for the children.

We used cartridge paper which I know can be expensive but was worth it. The children had square tipped brushes to help get that Monet look. I began with demonstrating the Tache technique(a tapping motion) used by Monet and other impressionist.

The next bit you can either do ready for the children to paint or get them to do it themselves. I used making tape to mark out the bridge shape across the landscape of the paper. This could also be done with masking fluid (again can be expensive).

Once that is done the children are ready to paint. I gave them a selection of green and blue paint. Blue for the pond in the bottom half of the picture and the green for above the bridge. I also made available some pinks and purples to add flower detail. 

Finally we added a few white lilies to the pond and left to dry. Once completely dry we removed the masking tape to see our finished paintings.

Art Appreciation Lessons Part 2


Kandinsky - Circles, Circles, Circles

Kandinsky is a great artist to focus on both shape and colour. His concentric circle painting is a great springboard. In this post I have two separate lessons that I used to cover Kandinsky in KS1 and KS2.

In KS1 we looked at the painting and discussed the shapes and how the circles were inside each other. We then went on a shape hunt trying to find other example of concentric circles or other shapes. We then used found circular objects to print in a Kandinsky style. Encourage the children to layer circles on top of each other.

For KS2 we used pastels on sugar paper to create concentric circles. Varying the thickness of the circles and colours. You could extend the lesson so the children have to use just cool or warm colours or that the colour have to be analogues. After cutting them out, we displayed them as the foliage on a Kandinsky tree.

Artist Appreciation Lessons

Matisse - Painting With Scissors


My most favourite lesson are those were I get to expose the children to new artists both modern and the masters. I have a number of lesson ideas for different artist I will post but the Matisse lesson yielded the best results.
I began with using a you tube video of Matisse working and moving on to interpreting the shapes and what they represent. We moved on to discussion about what was important to us and what shapes could represent those ideas.
I provided the children with a range of primary and secondary coloured paper, a pile of scissors and glue sticks and let them express themselves.