Sunday, 30 November 2014

Textured Cakes and Clay Donuts (Wayne Thiebaud style)

It seems to be Birthday season here so I thought a cake lesson was in order.  You can't do a cake lesson without looking at Wayne Thiebaud, an artist who was made famous by his paintings of cakes, pies and ice creams.  Wayne's first exhibition of these paintings was in the 70's just before the Pop Art movement.  He uses very thick paints to capture the texture of icing - people say his paintings look real enough to eat!

This was a great opportunity to get the children to experiment with modelling paste (or impasso, I used modelling paste as its thicker) and palate knives.  I wanted them to feel as if they were icing a cake as they applied the paint to their boards.

What you need:
  • Boards (I used MDF boards which I painted with black gesso - I get these cut for me at Bunnings and it works out really economical compared to using canvas).  You may find paper gets ripped if you are using very thick paints and palate knives.
  • Palate Knives
  • Acrylic Paint*
  • Modelling Paste or Impasso*
  • Paint brushes 
  • Small glass beads for sprinkles (optional)
  • Coloured rice for sprinkles (optional)
* I actually premixed the paint and modelling paste together in small containers so the children just added it directly to their paintings in the colour desired.

 How To:
  • Talk about Wayne's work and show examples
  • Demonstrate how to draw a cake (I showed a tiered cake and a sliced cake - I also provided some handouts)
  • Get them to have a practice first then draw their cake on the board with pencil
  • Paint (with palate knives or brushes)
  • Add sprinkles
The Results:

Close up of that lovely texture:

Some cakes good enough to eat:
Note: not all children enjoyed using the palate knives, actually some found it a little frustrating - I had paintbrushes out as well so they could use them if they preferred.

Clay Donuts

At the end of the lesson we also had time to make some donuts out of air dry clay. 

I tested a new homemade recipe using baking soda and corn flour (check out the directions here).  Once the children had made a donuts shape they painted it with brown liquid watercolour and acrylic paints left over from the cakes.  Finally they added rice or beads for sprinkles.



Monday, 17 November 2014

Watercolour turtles using masking fluid

I love introducing the children to new techniques and mediums that they would have never used before.  Masking fluid is often used in watercolour paintings yet is rarely introduced at such a young age.  I thought it would be fun to give it a try as an alternative to the oil pastel resist technique and was curious to see how the children would react.  I think the end verdict was that they quite liked it.  It was super fun pulling / rubbing it off at the end.

I also love to encourage the children to paint in vivid colours that are not always natural.  I showed them some examples of watercolour paintings where lots of colours were used on animals to a great effect.  However its always the artists choice and some children wanted to stick with turtle colours..

As usual we also experimented with the wet on wet technique, adding salt and blending colours.

Age:  Prep to Grade 5 (the first picture is done by a prep and the one below is by a Grade 1).

What you need:
  • Watercolour paper (I just use Kmart watercolour pads)
  • Liquid Watercolours (you could also use normal pan watercolours)
  • Pictures of Turtles and I also gave out a few different variations on how to draw a turtle
  • Paintbrushes (the ones you use with the masking fluid may never be the same again - don't use your good brushes!)
  • Salt
  • Masking Fluid
  • Black Markers
  • Erasers (to remove masking fluid)
  • Pencils 

How To:
  • Draw the turtle in pencil
  • Go over pencil lines with masking fluid
  • Leave to dry (approx 5 mins - I had them experimenting with the movement of colours on a sheet of paper (which we used in our Halloween lesson) whilst they waited)
  • Paint with liquid watercolours starting with the turtle, then fill in the ocean
  • Add a sprinkle of salt
  • Leave painting to dry (we left ours for a week)
  • Rub or peel off masking fluid
  • Add more details with black marker
The Results:

I just LOVE watercolours - these turned out fab as usual!


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Peter Diem Cows in Oil Pastel

Just look at these crazy cows we produced last week.  These are inspired by Peter Diem's artwork.  Thanks to Small Hands Big Art who did a few lessons based on Peter Diem.  I just love her oil pastel version, so I based this lesson on that.

These were such a huge hit I even got the children in my art club at school to produce them (sorry no pictures from this yet I can tell you there were some beauties!).  A great easy lesson that can produce amazing results in just half and hour - go on give it a go!

All you need is:
  • Black Paper (white will do if you don't have any)
  • Oil Pastels (including white)
I also supplied a handout on how to draw a cow (I need to work out how to copy handouts onto this blog).  However many children just did their own versions.

Ask the children to draw the cow with a white oil pastel first so it shows up on the black paper - then colour in.

Lots of Happy Looking Colourful Cows:


Thursday, 13 November 2014

Halloween Lesson - Glitter Spiderwebs & Painted Sillouettes


Happy belated Halloween!

We had a great lesson with the studio "all dressed up" for Halloween.  Here are some pictures:

I made these spiderwebs with my school art club

In this lesson we completed our glitter spiderwebs (we started these a few weeks back) and then we did some spooky Halloween silhouettes (on watercolour backgrounds we also prepared in an earlier lesson).  A Halloween lesson is not complete without making some lollipop ghosts to take home.


What you need:
  • Glue in small bottles
  • Black Paper
  • Glitter (we used what I had, yet silver looks best) - LOTS!
  • Oil Pastels
  • Fake spiders / flies or items to make spiders (pom poms, pipe cleaners etc)
How To:
  • Show the children how to draw a simple spiderweb (circle in middle of page, larger circles around this until page filled, then starting in middle of smallest circle draw lines from middle of page to edge of paper, radiating out).
  • Using the glue they can then draw their spiderweb onto the black paper (I had some children that wanted to draw in pencil first, after the first lesson I discouraged this, its much easier to do it freehand - spiderwebs don't need to be perfect they get broken and go wonky all the time in the wind).
  • Then cover all glue lines with glitter until you can't see any more white (yes this needs a lot of glitter!!)
  • Place carefully on drying rack flat until glue has dried (about 2 days for us)
  • Shake off excess glitter (make sure you collect it for future use)
  • Colour in spiderweb with oil pastels
  • Add fake or handmade spiders with glue
The results:
 I love these!


What you need:
  • Background paper in sunset colours - we used watercolour paper we produced when testing the wet on wet method in an earlier lesson.  Just orange paper would be fine.
  • Watered down black paint
  • Thin paint brushes
  • Glow in the Dark Paint
  • Stencils (optional)
How To:
  • With a pencil draw in the scene.  Since I have quite a few younger students I produced some stencils they could trace around to help them out.  I asked them all to add some of their own drawings as well.
  • Paint in eyes, windows and anywhere else they want with glow in the dark paint
  • Paint in the rest of the silhouettes with black paint
The results:
Rather spooky....The twist was that we used glow in the dark paint so the kids can hang these up in their bedrooms and look at the glow.....


Kimmy Cantrell inspired Ceramic Masks

We actually made these masks all the way back in Term 3, yet its taken me ages to get around to firing them and deciding how to paint. Most are based on the artist Kimmy Cantrell, whom we had been studying yet some also have animal features based on African masks (which we also looked at as part of our mask lessons).

In the end I decided to try a new technique, I just love to experiment!  This is inspired by a post on the "Its an HSES Arty Party!" blogspot.  Simply colour the bisque fired masks with oil pastels, cover with a layer of black paint, wash off paint.  Sometimes we did the process twice to get the desired effect and sometimes we added more oil pastel after the paint was washed off to make the mask even brighter.  It was a great new technique and I love the results (and the fact they don't need to be fired again!).

 What you need:
  • White clay rolled into slabs
  • Texture tools and stamps
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Oil Pastels
  • Black Paint
How to:
  • Hand out clay slabs
  • Ask the children to lightly draw their mask shape with the bamboo skewer, then cut out
  • Use the remaining bits of the slab to cut out eyes, nose, mouth etc
  • Use texture tools and stamps to add texture
  • Attach eyes etc ensuring they scratch and add slip
  • Leave to dry
  • Fire
  • Add Oil Pastel
  • Add Black Paint
  • Wash
Here are some of the results: