Friday, 19 August 2016

Winter Portraits

This fabulous lesson is inspired by the amazing Cassie Stephens.  She never ceases to amaze me with her creativity and ideas.  She even produces video's on how to do things!  Click here for her directions on this project. 

I just love this lesson as it incorporates so many elements of art.  We printed, used collage, drew lines and patterns, painted with tints, learnt how to make pom poms, plaits and finger knitted.  We even learnt how to draw facial features. Wow!!

We did these over two weeks.  The first week we produced the foam templates for the hats and gloves and produced marker prints from these.  The second week we printed with brayers and ink, drew our faces and put it all together (yes this was a busy lesson yet we managed it, a few finished them off the next week)..

It's best to follow Cassie's fab directions for this lesson.  Our only changes were we added bodies to our people and we used wool for the hair (an opportunity to teach the girls to plait).  Some children wanted to learn finger knitting so some have finger knitted scarfs.

I love how these all came out so different.

Well done students! 

Now we have done these I think its time for Spring to arrive as I'm over Winter!


Wednesday, 3 August 2016

SPIN ART - 5 Ways...

It was just a SPIN of creativity in the studio (and school art room) last week with all 8 of my classes learning lots of different ways of creating Spin Art.....

I welcomed my new BWPS Lunchtime art class and it was so much fun seeing how creative and excited they all were...

Look at these colours (no filters)......

1. Spin Art with a Salad Spinner

This is just so much fun.  I'm not going to tell you how to do it here as you just need to Google "salad spinner art" and lots of posts come up.  I can't quite believe its taken me this long to do this in my classes.  I've had a salad spinner sitting in the art room for 3 years with plans on doing a lesson on it. 

My new preschool classes have got me remembering all the great process orientated art I've seen or done in the past.

We used fluro paint (and some normal colours) for this and I love the vibrancy of the results.  Kmart sells little packs of 4 fluro paints for $5, this paint is quite thin for normal painting yet perfect for spin art!

2. Spin Art using the Pottery Wheel

I've done this a few times now at parties and workshops and its always the biggest hit.  Actually I think all the children could have done numerous ones of these yet I only had time for everyone to have one go.  Unfortunately I couldn't do this one with the school group as there is no wheel at school...

Although its really just about experimenting and there are no rights and wrongs, the way to get the best results is:
  • Use watercolour paints
  • Have the wheel spinning before touching the paintbrush
  • Don't saturate the paper too much (or it tears)
  • Use watercolour paper or heavy paper
  • Blue tac the paper to the wheel (so it doesn't fly off)
  • I recommend that the children do rings first with a paint brush then we use a pipette to add blobs of colour that splatter outwards
  • For very young children an adult will need to stand on the wheel peddle for them

3. Spin Art using CD's

This one is pretty easy and the results would make the best wrapping paper if you don't want to put it up.  We used big paper (A2) so that the children could fit lots of prints on the paper.

  • Squeeze small blobs of paint onto a CD
  • Flip CD over 
  • SPIN using your hand
  • Take off CD
  • Repeat

4. Marker CD Spinners (and some store bought ones too)

I made some of these myself using CD's, markers and blue tac (to keep the marker in place) yet I also found some in Kmart afterwards we used the store bought ones too.  Admittedly the store ones do work better.  The children just spin the marker spinner on a piece of paper (like using a spinning top) and watch the amazing patterns it makes..

5. Mandala CD Spinners (School and Friday classes only)

I've done these a few times before and I just love how easy and fun they are.  You just need to glue a marble into the centre of a CD.  The children the draw a mandala onto the CD (we used perm markers and Posca markers).  When complete get them to spin it like a spinning top...Fun!! 

 Happy Spinning...



Thursday, 28 July 2016

SNOW themed lesson

For the first week of Term 3 it was so so COLD!  It may not snow in Melbourne yet it certainly felt like snow weather....

To tie in with this extreme coldness I based all my lessons around SNOW... We even ate snow flake shaped cookies for afternoon tea.

Below are the art activities we did.  I found the recipes for homemade Fake Snow, Snow Paint, Snow Dough and Snow Slime on the Growing a Jeweled Rose website - a great website to check out if you have young children.

Fake Snow
I used this with the preschool classes, yet my own children (aged 9&10 loved playing with the left overs, they made a snow world with Lego).  I got the children to mix the baking soda and shaving cream themselves (great sensory experience).  We then put some snow balls into silver trays and they added vinegar to make their snowballs fizz.....

Snow Slime
All my classes loved this.  I made three batches of it for the 7 classes.  I stored it in little sauce containers and added a bit of glitter on top of each one.  These I stored in the fridge so it was nice and cold when they started playing with it.  The after school classes made their own snowman parts out of Plasticine.  The preschoolers were given some carrots already made and buttons and beads to add to theirs.  We also made "melting snowflakes" by cutting out snowflake shapes with cookie cutters and watched them melt on the table.

Snow Dough
The preschoolers used this to make snow men, using materials on the table.  This was also kept in the fridge to stay cold.

Snow Paint
Love this puffy paint - it stays puffy even after its dried.  I will be using this again in other projects for sure!  The preschool class used this to paint a snowman and then added beads and buttons to him.

Snowmen at Night Drawings
The after school classes did Snowmen at Night drawings using chalk pastels on black paper.  I used the directions on The Teacher Life blog.  These turned out great.  I'm so impressed that nearly all the children got the concept of the shading and shadow, even the ones in Prep.

Paper Snowflakes 
Early finishers made paper snowflakes out of doilies.  It always so much fun cutting these and then opening them up to see what pattern you made.

Enjoy the snow if you go, otherwise keep warm!


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Clay Sgraffito Cats & Dogs

This blog post is well and truly over due, yet here it is finally (and these adorable kitty's and pups went home....finally..... last week).

Our final Cats themed project for Term 1 was these Clay Sgraffito Cats and Dogs (yes some children were well and truly over cats so I let them produce a dog instead)....

Sgraffito (in Italian "to scratch") is a decorating pottery technique produced by applying layers of colour or colour's (under glazes or coloured slips) to leather hard pottery and then scratching off parts of the layer(s) to create contrasting images, patterns and texture and reveal the clay colour underneath.  I use this technique in my own artwork and it is often admired by the children and parents so I thought it was worth a go in class.

To ensure success I did help the children along with this project.  I don't normally do this as I believe their work should be their own, however I realised in my first lesson that this project was not going to work (as I wanted) if I didn't step in and help.  As you can see each piece has turned out very differently and has its own unique style so I believe they are the children's creations yet I did facilitate some of the process to ensure success.  This does take time through so I wouldn't recommend this project for very large groups or if you are short on time.  I actually happily put on an audio book in the studio and enjoyed doing this work.

First I produced the basic cat bodies using a piece of clay that I molded into a cylinder and pushed a wooden rod into it to hollow it out. These I prepared ahead of the lesson. I then passed these out to the children as a starting point.

It was great doing the ceramics straight after the paper mache as the children applied the knowledge of how to build a cat (ie adding ears and tails etc) to this project.  They were given some extra clay and shown how to make ears and tails and attach them.  They were allowed to squash gently around the neck area if they wanted a more defined neck. Once their cat or dog was complete and named they put it on the drying shelf and selected an underglaze colour.

Before the next lesson I let the clay dry to leather hard and applied the underglaze in the child's chosen colour.

Before we started I then explained the process of sgraffito and got them to design what they were going to scratch into their dog or cat on a piece of paper.  When they were ready they started scratching away some of the glaze with small scratch tools (I just used the plastic scratch tools that come with scratch art kits).  We used old paintbrushes for wiping away the crumbs.

Once the sgraffito was complete the cats and dogs were left to dry and bisque fired.

I then coated them with a layer of Zart's Clear Gloss.  I decided to do this rather than clear glaze and another trip to the kiln since there had been a few small breakages and I didn't want to risk putting them all in the car again.  If only I had my own kiln...wish...wish....

Check them out!