Monday, 10 August 2015

Pom Pom Animals / Pets

This lesson has been on my "to do" list for well over a year.  I just love making pom poms and so do my children.  We discovered the "easy" way of making them using just our hands or forks a year or so ago and ever since then making a pom pom can be a spur of the moment thing and is ohh so easy....  If you have never made a pom pom on your hand you must give it a go.  You can whirl up a pom pom garland in an evening just sitting there watching TV.  I can't remember where I first learnt it from yet there is a great tutorial on Made. For a tutorial on how to make a pom pom on a fork click here.

 For this lesson I first demonstrated how to make pom poms on a hand and fork then I really just left the children to it.  I did help many with the knots to make sure they were tight enough, and I controlled the glue gun to stick on all their goodies. 

A few days before this lesson I also discovered the Klutz book for Pom Pom Pets.  Its a great book and would make a great present (as all the Klutz books do).  We used some of the animals in this book as inspiration for our own creations.

What you need:
  • wool
  • florist wire
  • felt
  • mini pom poms 
  • google eyes
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • small black beads (for noses)
How To:
  • Demonstrate how to make a pom pom on a hand and with a fork
  • Help the children make the pom poms and trim them
  • Attach two pom poms together by threading wire through them and looping the ends so it stays together.
  • Get them to cut out felt for ears etc
  • Assemble animal / pet by sticking on all the "bits" with the glue gun
  • Admire and play
Our cute animals / pets:


Saturday, 8 August 2015

Koi Fish and the Great Wave

It was a Japanese themed painting class a few weeks ago.  I spoke to the children about artist Hokusai and his painting "The Great Wave".

We also spoke about Koi fish and that they are a symbol of good luck and to never give up.  It is said that Koi can climb waterfalls.

I gave the children the choice of painting the Great Wave or some Japanese Koi fish.  Most choose the fish, however its actually the wave paintings that caught my attention.

I was lucky to pick up a few oval frames at a good price so the Monday class were lucky to paint on these.  For the rest of the classes I used an all time favourite of canvas sheets.  These I tape to boards with masking tape.  This leaves a lovely white border and ensures the paper stays flat whilst painting.  The quality of canvas is far superior to paper.  We used acrylic paints since they are thicker and give a good coverage over the canvas.

Here are the results:


Saturday, 1 August 2015

Circle Paintings

I had seen a few posts and pictures of circle paintings on the Internet over the past year and had been very curious to try.   Check out the circle painting website for more information.   I finally convinced my son's grade 2 teachers to give it a try earlier this year and they let me come into the classroom to produce some with 80 students - it was SO MUCH fun!  Besides that the results were AMAZING! Check them out:

I was hooked and couldn't wait to give it a go again.  I had that chance a few weeks ago when we produced more at the school, this time on wood panels and also on some poles for the playground.  These were again done by the Grade 2's and my lunchtime art club.  They will be hung up around the school shortly (will post some pics then).

At the same time I decided that I have to do this in my after school classes, and thought how amazing would these look hanging in my back garden?????  So I purchased some marine ply (3 panels fit perfectly on the top of my art table in the studio), got out the acrylic paints and away we went.  These were the most enjoyable lessons ever.  I painted alongside the children and we all worked together as a team.  It was amazing what we achieved in just over an hour.

After the initial class I placed the panels out for two more lessons (along a wall so we could use the table for the main art activity,  these were there for the early finishers) and the children added to them even more with Posca Paint Markers and gold and silver acrylic paints.  Finally I sprayed them with a waterproof sealant to give them a little more protection and gloss.

I'm so happy with how they turned out.

I'm going to keep 4 of the 12 panels (I would have loved to keep all of them, yet that is getting greedy).  The other 8 I've put up for sale to the art class parents.

Here are my tips for circle painting if you are thinking of giving it a go:
  • Place the paints pre-mixed in plastic cups 
  • Use thick paints (so if the cup tips over the paint does not come out)
  • Place one paintbrush in each cup and advise the children they have to use that paintbrush
  • Use marine ply if you want to put them outside
  • Paper can get soggy so if you have the $ go with a ply instead (even normal ply for indoors if you can)
  • Advise the children they can add to others circles yet not completely cover them
  • Try to get them to start in the middle and work out (prevents smudging of the edges)
  • Posca paint markers are great for adding finer details later on
  • Too many children working on it at once can get out of control so try to limit it to around 10 children per panel (size of a small table)
If you haven't given circle painting a go - YOU MUST!  It is so much fun.  I found it very meditative and I had trouble stopping myself.