Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Colour Theory, Paul Klee and Painting on Old Book Pages

For our first lesson back this term I wanted to revisit Colour Theory.  I have some new children in my classes and there are a few children that have not yet grasped the concepts.

We started the lesson with a wonderful idea from the Beyond the Basics ecourse I've just completed at Deep Space Sparkle.

Playdoh Colour Wheel

What you need:
  • Playdoh in Red, Blue and Yellow
  • Paper Plate
  • Colour wheel template
 How to:
  • Roll the Playdoh into small balls
  • Pass each child a ball in each of the colours
  • Ask them to place these on the correct segment on their colour wheel (younger children may need help with this)
  • Have a discussion around the PRIMARY colours
  • Ask them to take a small piece from the yellow and a small piece from the blue
  • Ask the child to mix them with their fingers to make Green
  • Place into the green segment
  • Continue until you have all the SECONDARY colours and discuss
  • Continue process until all of the segments have a ball of coloured playdoh in them
  • Discuss TERTIARY colours
  • Discuss COMPLEMENTARY colours
  • Discuss WARM and COOL colours and ask them to put a line through their pie writing Warm on one side and Cool on the other.
  • Discuss how different colours make us feel and what do we think of when we mention certain colours (eg Red  = fire).
  • Squish down all the balls of playdoh onto the plates so they don't fall off
The Results:

Paul Klee Paintings on Old Book Pages

After discussing all this colour theory it was time to put it into practice.  I wanted Paul Klee as our artist of the week as he has been dubbed as the "Newton of Colour".  Many of his paintings are certainly vibrant and I showed the children a selection of his paintings.

I just love this pin from Arte a scuola and have based this lesson on hers however I used tempera paints instead of watercolours.  I did this as I wanted the children to mix their paint directly on the page using a technique called "double loading" which I learnt from Patty at Deep Space Sparkle.  Simply you dip your paint brush into one colour and then another so both are on the brush and then mix the paint onto the page as you go.  Its a great way to reinforce colour theory.  I love the use of old book pages as its so fun to paint on something other than white paper.

What you need:
  • Old Book Pages
  • Tempera Paints (Red, Blue, Yellow and White)
  • Black Markers (I used Sharpies)

How To:

Ask the children to draw various squares, lines, boxes and triangles on their page in Paul Klee style using a black marker.  Bring out the paints, demonstrate the double loading technique and leave them to it.  Once the children had drawn one Paul Klee inspired piece they were allowed to draw other pictures on their book pages.  I asked for some pictures entirely in Warm or Cool colours as well.

The Results:

Our artist of the week is Paul Klee,  a Swiss painter from the early 1900's.  His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. He was very good friends with Wassily Kandinsky.  I love this quote by Klee " Color possesses me.  I don't have to pursue it.  It will possess me always, I know it. That is the meaning of this happy hour. Color and I are one.  I am the painter".



Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Creating Mosaics with Children

Poppy - Seahorse (7 years old)

I love mosaics.  We have several around our house that I have made and I'm always wishing I had time to create more.  When children come around they often admire the mosaics.  Many are quite simple and even childlike in their design.  The wonderful thing about mosaics is that they are a piece of artwork that will last a very long time.

People often shy away from creating mosaics with children for obvious reasons, its messy, involves some sharp pieces, the use of cement and grout, can be fiddly and requires children to concentrate for a long period of time.  Yet if you do persist and take precautions where necessary the results are wonderful.

tiles on table and finished ungrouted mosaics
Our school holidays were very busy with the preparation and running of three Mosaic Workshops.  We worked with ceramic tiles and children could create either an inside piece (using normal ply and Weldbond glue to attach the tiles) or an outside piece (using marine ply and cement to attach the tiles).  I cut, primed and attached hooks to all wood prior to the workshops.  Tiles were also precut into pieces (some children were allowed to break a tile using a hammer whilst wearing safety glasses).  Some of the internal ply was also cut into shapes. Our panels were approx 30cm by 40cm which is quite large yet it meant the children could work with larger pieces of tile.

Ailsa - my rabbit (7 years old)
I had approximately 10 children attend each day and many took up the option of attending two sessions so they could grout the pieces themselves (a very messy yet enjoyable task according to the kids).   After grouting I had other art activities available to the children and they created mosaic glass sun catchers (click here for a post on this), mosaic tiles, paper mosaics and had a play with some clay.  The children were aged 5 to 10 years old and we had a couple of Mum's attend or stay to help as well.

It was loads of fun and the results speak for themselves. There were some very proud children afterwards!!  All the hard work (there was a lot of prep) is worth it when you see the children thrilled with what they have created.  Often they would go back several times to give their finished mosaic another polish. In the flurry of people leaving I forgot to take photos of some pieces yet I have managed to get some emailed to me which is why the picture quality varies below.

Pela - Midnight tree (7 years old)

Jordyn - Butterfly (7 years old)

Brianna - Heart (9 years old)
Leo - Rocket (6 years old)

Poppy - our chicken (7 years old)
Summer - snowman (7 years old)

Ada - Heart (5 years old)

Rebecca - Butterfly (8 years old)
Olivia - Butterfly (6 years old)

Immy - Cupcake (7 years old)
Isabella - Butterfly (7 years old)
Bella - Cat (5 years old)

Remi - Seahorse (8 years old) UN GROUTED
Piper - Butterfly (10 years old) UN GROUTED
Mosaic tiles
Mosaic sun catchers

Paper Mosaics

P.S Happy to answer any questions via email if people are thinking of doing mosaics with children.  I found there wasn't a lot of information available on the Internet.  We had no injuries and the children really enjoyed it.  It was a little difficult for the younger children yet with a some help they were fine.  To make it easier for younger children I would recommend they create indoor mosaics using glue and a precut shape.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Mad Science Party

We had such a good time at my son's Mad Science Party a few weeks back I had to do a post on it.  It doesn't strictly fit with my art theme here, however I do believe planning and organising a themed birthday party requires a lot of creativity.  I just love it!  Decorated cakes and cookies is edible art work.  Researching for the party was so much fun as was testing all the experiments!

So here a few pictures and key things that we did:

  • We put a sign on the front door saying "Scan to enter" with a hand print on it
  • I cut up green plastic table clothes and put them on either door in our laundry to make it look like it was a sanitation area
  • We put signs on the Laboratory door (my studio) saying you are now entering Professor Leo's Laboratory
  • The kids decorated our blackboard wall under the stairs with a science theme
  • My mum lent me some huge glass bottles which we filled with coloured water and placed around the "lab"
The Lab in action
  • I also filled some small jars with fake animals, cauliflower (brains) and coloured water
  • I got out all my old science books (I have a science degree), plasma ball and lava lamps and put them around the rooms
  • All the children had a finger scan (Iphone app) to enter the sanitation area
  • Then they had an antibiotic (jellybean)
  • Washed their hands (squirt of antibacterial gel), 
  • Put on a Lab coat (shirt from op shop with name tag on it) and safety goggles ($2 shop).  
  • Clip board and pencil to mark off experiments as we did them

  • Jelly Marbles 
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar Fizzes
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar Balloons
  • Slime

  • Elephants Toothpaste

  • Instant Snow
  • Mentos and Diet Coke Geysers

  • Air Rockets
*I have a list of all experiments (how to and explanations) if anyone wants me to email it to them

  • Petri Dish & Test Tube Jellies 
  • Science Cookies
  • Fruit
  • Sushi
  • Cupcake Experimentation's Station (decorate your own cupcake and experiment with toppings)

  • The Cake - A flask with purple potion bubbling out (exactly what my son asked for...)

  • Test tube with the jelly marbles
  • Test tube with instant snow powder
  • Popping Candy
  • Homemade Science Biscuit
  • Slime made at the party
It was SO much fun!  A great theme for a child's birthday party.  Leo grinned the entire party.  Thanks to all the wonderful bloggers and pinners out there whom I got ideas from.


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

End of Term Free Art Lesson & a lovely warm up exercise

Our last lesson of the term was a free art lesson - featuring the best of the art experiences of the year so far....

First however I wanted to mention the lovely warm up exercise we started last weeks class with.  Painting to music was such a fun lesson that I mentioned it to my drawing teacher who in turn suggested that we add another element where we all move along one place after each song or segment of music.

Progressive Drawings

You will need:
  • Paper
  • Oil Pastels (you could use any drawing medium)
How to:
  • Have a piece of paper and pastels in front of each child
  • Start the music and let them draw for say 5 minutes
  • Stop the music and get them all to move one place to their left, leaving their paper and pastels where they were
  • Start the music, the children add to the picture in front of them.  The pictures can be abstract if they wish.
  • Stop the music, move again, start music, draw, stop music, move etc
  • Continue with this until they have progressed all around the table and are back where they started.
  • Discuss the pictures in front of them, how did the picture turn out?  Do they like what people added?  Which picture turned out the best?  Why?  How did it feel adding to others pictures?  
Free Art Lesson

Children could choose from the following:

Watercolour Painting
Using skills learnt so far this year.  I suggested turtles (see my post on that here) yet there was a definite Lion theme going on....

Clay Work
Hand building with Paper clay - anything they wanted.

Pottery Wheel:
Having a go at the basics of the pottery wheel.  At this stage its just about getting a feel for the clay and enjoying the sensation of the slippery clay beneath their hands.  For some of my students this was their first experience of using a pottery wheel.  We used paper clay so that if they made something that resembled a pot they would be able to keep it and paint it with normal paints later.

Children's Pots from the pottery wheel

This little video by Olive Us captures the thrill of children using the wheel so well....

Chalk Pastels:
Draw anything they wanted on black paper.  Cats were again popular..

Baking Soda Fizzes:
Dropping coloured vinegar onto baking soda.  Great for colour experimentation.  See my post on this here

Finishing off the glazing of pinch pots and pinch pot animals / monsters we have been working on over the past few months.  These should be ready early next term.

Another term comes to a close.  Have a lovely term break!