Thursday, 21 August 2014

Homemade Snow Globes

SNOW was our theme of the week a few weeks back.  A great time to make homemade snow globes.  Actually my children asked me to do this with them at Christmas and its only taken me 7 months to get around to it!  Now I know how to do this I feel a Christmas workshop coming on.......

I searched the internet here and far for a tutorial that let the children be really creative with this and all I could find were tutorials on how to do it with plastic ornaments.  I really wanted the children to create their own thing to go into the snow globe.  The Artful parent did a great post on ones with playdoh yet I really wanted snow....I read somewhere you could use baked polymer clay yet at $5 a small packet it was going to get expensive (and stretch over two lessons).  Finally I thought I would just try it with Plasticine and see how it went (I had lots left from our plasticine pictures and just needed to buy extra white).  It seems to have worked a treat!  I also asked parents to donate glass jars to keep costs down - thanks to all that did!!

What you need:
  • Glass jars (any size works)
  • Water
  • Glycerine (buy at supermarket)
  • Glitter (I used a whitish one)
  • Plasticine
  • Glue Gun and glue sticks
  • Sandpaper
How To:
  • Sand the inside lids of the jars (helps the glue adhere better)
  • Get the children to make anything out of plasticine to put into the jar (ensure it fits)
  • Glue plasticine figures to the inside of lid
  • Add water to jar with a dash of glycerine and good shake of glitter
  • Screw on lid to jar and invert
The Results:

The children were so excited about these I let them take them home on the day, however I captured a few photos on the way out.  We did have a few variations with Chistmas trees and other sculptures yet I only have the photos of the snowmen.


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Spooky Trees

Hi all, this is an old post from Oct 2013, no idea why it's reposted now yet I don't really want to delete it so please scroll down for my latest post - chalk pastel landscapes......

 It was Halloween week at Sunnyside Art House a few weeks ago (yes I am rather behind in posts...)

 the studio ready for Halloween lessons

In our lesson we did the Spooky Tree's paintings below.  We also did some "witches legs" paintings which I will post about next.  To complete the lesson we made spider and ghost lollypops and coloured in some Halloween masks.

I have been wanting to do some blow paintings for a while yet when I tried a sample a while back it didn't work that well.  This time I tried a few different paints and used different consistencies.  I have to say the paint consistency is very important.  If its too thick the children will have difficulty blowing it around.  If its too thin it tends to soak into the paper before you blow it around.  I'm sorry I dont have exact ratios to give you as it depends on your paint, just be prepared to test it out until it seems about right.

The spooky trees idea is from my Usborn Art Book.  It required an orange painted background though and I really wanted to do this in one lesson.  I then spied a pin (sorry I can no longer find) on Pinterest using a charcoal background and painted black trees. Perfect!  A quick charcoal background is perfect to enable this lesson to be done in only about 30 mins. It also looks great.  With a little smudged charcoal on our faces we looked like we were in costume already...

What you need:
  • A3 cartridge paper
  • charcoal
  • Watered down black paint (I used acrylic)
  • straws
  • plastic spoon
How to:
  • Demonstrate how to draw a big moon shape (this can be anywhere on the page) with the charcoal
  • Use the side of the charcoal stick to lightly colour the sky around the moon.  
  • With your fingers smudge in the charcoal
  • Ask each child to point on their page where they would like their tree
  • Place a spoonful of black paint on their paper where indicated
  • Pass them a straw and ask them to blow a tree shape
  • They may ask for another blob of black paint for a second or third tree if they wish
The Results:

Spooky trees by 5 to 9 year olds

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Ted Harrison Chalk Pastel Landscapes

I just love drawing with chalk pastels, especially with a glue outline.  This always takes a bit of planning though as the glue needs time to dry so this lesson always takes at least two weeks.

This lesson is from Chumly Scobey Art Room - thank you very much, I loved it!.   I did this with children aged 5 to 10 and all managed with the glue outline and colouring with pastels.  The lovely thing about these landscapes is that the curvy lines are fairly easy to do with glue and it's easy to make mistakes look like they were part of the picture!

Ted Harrison is a Canadian painter whose paintings are characterised by bright saturated tones, undulating lines and sweeping skies.  I printed out examples of Ted Harrison's work and asked the children to draw a picture inspired by his style (lots of curvy lines, bright colours, mountains or the sea in the foreground, big skies, whales & dolphins or trees & small villages). 

What you need:
  • Black A3 paper
  • Chalk Pastels
  • Glue (I used Elmer's school glue)
  • Hairspray
  • Cotton tips 
How to:
  • Week one - Draw the picture in pencil then go over the pencil lines with glue.  Leave to dry (flat or the glue will run)
  • Week two - Colour in with pastels
The Results:

Lovely and colourful.  I always clean up the glue lines with a cotton tip dipped in water and spray with hairspray before giving the children their work back.  I also wrap it in a piece of newspaper.  This is quite time consuming yet I think it gives the best results if I do the cleaning up.  I have asked the children to do it before and the water has gone everywhere.  If you were doing this exercise with Grade 4 and up they could do the clean up themselves.


Saturday, 9 August 2014

Playing with Plaster - Balloon Sculptures & Leaf Imprints

 I've been wanting to try plaster balloon sculptures ever since "The Artful Parent" did a post on it a few months ago.  Jean did say in her post it could be hard to do in larger groups yet I'm always up for a challenge.

The leaf imprints into plaster I spotted over at "That Artist Woman" ages ago.  It has been at the back of my mind ever since and seemed the perfect activity to team with the plaster balloon sculptures.

The balloon sculptures were without a doubt a massive hit - just for the process side of things.  It was a challenge getting around the room to fill all those balloons yet the children just loved it.  Especially when the plaster started to gel, then hardened and then heated up.

I followed the directions on both websites so probably not worth repeating here (they both give excellent directions).  However here are a few pointers if you want to try these activities (I had 10 or 11 children in my group).

  • I  measured the plaster into zip lock bags prior to the class so all I had to do was add the water.  I had several ready to go.  I used Jeans method of transferring the plaster to the bottles for the balloon sculptures and I poured it straight from the zip lock bags (with corner cut off) for the leaf imprints.
  • I got the children to blow up their balloons to stretch them and this seemed to entertain them whilst I made the plaster.  I started with the leaf imprints so they could be arranging their leaves whilst I then started going around the room filling the balloons with plaster.  They did need to be a bit patient with me on this as it took a while yet they seem quite happy chatting away, arranging leaves, blowing up their balloons and talking about the process.
  • As soon as the plaster starts to "gel" for the balloon sculptures ensure the children hold their balloon in the shape they want and do not move it.  I had several children who continued to try to manipulate their sculptures as the plaster was trying to harden and this resulted in broken sculptures that were a bit crumbly.  That said it didn't really matter as they loved the process so much anyway.
  • The heating up process was absolutely fascinating for the children so ensure that the balloons stay in front of them once they have gone hard so they can keep touching them and feeling the heat.
  • You can paint your sculptures with any paint yet I loved the look of the metallic paints on them.  They look like Gold nuggets! 
Balloon sculptures before removing the balloons
  • I collected some leaves and also got the children to go into the garden and choose some of their own.  The best leaves were the lettuce, cabbage and strawberry leaves.  These were harder to get out yet left much more interesting imprints
  • Remind the children to place the leaves with the back facing down (some will still forget)
  • Some of our leaves got a bit stuck into the plaster, we just used a bamboo skewer to scrape them out.  If they left a bit of green it didn't matter as we just painted over this.
  • I also got the children to paint white around the leaves as it cleaned it all up where they had dropped paint or gone over where they shouldn't. 
  • I didn't bother adding varnish before painting yet I did add varnish afterwards to give them a gloss look.  
Leaf Imprint before removing the leaves
The Results:

Here are some examples of the results.  The balloons will make lovely paper weights and the leaves will look good on a shelf display.