Tag Archives: Books

Dots Rule!

We are wrapping up our Australian-inspired art at school, and just starting it with the homeschoolers. I am especially thankful to the art ed blog community for introducing me to this book:

book cover of the story the dot, consisting of an illustration of a girl painting a giant orange dot, with the text the dot wirtten in the middle.  author name peter h reynolds is written along the outside lower right edge of the dot. Peter Reynolds even has a website!!

What better book to accompany art lessons on the Australian aborigines’ tribal art? Kindergarten loved this book yesterday, and sat more quietly listening than I have ever seen them. Some of their attempts at Australian-inspired art:

Kinder art

First and Second grades have finished, too:

Make sure and check out their Artsonia gallery, linked to your right!


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Filed under Art, First/Second Grade, Kindergarten, Teaching

My First Canvas!

I couldn’t manage any art classes this summer, due to either finances, scheduling, or both. So I picked up some books to work through in hopes of filling in some gaps in my skills. Yes, if you learn art from your mother and pick up whatever else you can on your own, you could wind up with gaps. Yesterday I started Acrylics in 10 Steps, by Ian Sidaway. I am an anxious artist, not having retained my artistic confidence from childhood, and whole blank canvasses made my tummy acid boil over. I’ve been painting a lot on canvas paper, which somehow seemed less sacred. But the book prescribed a canvas for its first project, so I obediently picked one up. (It helps that it’s a wee 8×10.)

The unveiling of project #1:


I plan to add text (probably Love: the Spice of Life), and make a gift of it, maybe to my mother-in-law. I just know I don’t need a bunch of little canvasses collecting dust around here.

Lessons learned from this painting:

  • I can paint a single little canvas in a day, but it’s like working a job: it takes ALL day!
  • A wet palette for acrylics is an AMAZING tool and paint saver.
  • Make your background color with a little of your subject color. This was a duh moment for me. I know to incorporate my subject color in my cast shadow, so why would I ever try to make a background color without it? This should actually solve a source of dissatisfaction with some of my paintings.

I am please with this painting, but wish I could be confident that I can translate what I learn to my own compositions as successfully. Time will tell, eh?

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Spring Caterpillars

Kindergarten finished up the year with paper sculpture Carle caterpillars on oil pastel fruits. I emphasized the circle hidden in each fruit that they can build on, and they chose which of the book’s fruit to draw for their caterpillar. This idea was courtesy of B-Art-Z. I don’t have my model anymore, so offer a student’s adorable version:

A Hungry Caterpillar and an orange

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Filed under Art, Teaching

Coming up

I haven’t shown my finished mug, so here it is. Although, I have NO idea what to do with it. It reminds me of my best friend’s husband, but I doubt he would want this distorted version of himself. *g* However, distortion was one thing I was teaching in this lesson, so it’s actually a good thing! LOL!

Little Al

Monday I finish the Warhol-style Lincoln portraits with the 7th graders. I need to post my model here. I think they are doing GREAT! Tuesday the 5th-7th grades begin this Byzantine-style Madonna and Child icon. I am doing it on that heavy cardboard/chipboard that backs bound art paper notebooks, since so much of the painting of the period was tempera on wood. The goal is for them to show the flat, elongated style of the time, tilted heads and expressionless faces. And, of course, gold halos. If I have time, next Tuesday when they finish I will read Clown of God to them, too.

Byzantine-style Madonna and Child

Thursday I get my homeschoolers back. They will do the cardinals the Faith kinders have already done, and the tints and shades background for the silhouettes next week, thanks to That Artist Woman (http://thatartistwoman.blogspot.com/2008/12/how-to-make-nativity-silhouette-art.html). My model is in a Nov. 28 blogpost.  The Faith kinders are doing a stacked layer-cake collage in honor of their teacher’s birthday. First and Second grades begin the colorwheel clown the homeschoolers have already done (a Deep Space Sparkle lesson!).

Now I just wait to see how my best-laid plans will go awry. LOL!

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Filed under Art, Fifth/Sixth Grade, Seventh/Eighth Grade, Teaching

Fall project models

Here are some teacher models for some of our fall projects. Of course, I don’t do models for every project, but visual learners often feel more comfortable with visual directions rather than auditory to achieve an objective (duh).

The first and second grade pumpkin patch was, first step, a lesson in horizon line and filling the page, with a fun trick of masking in watercolor thrown in. That was like magic for them, with all sorts of oohs and aahs when they pulled off their “moon” circles! The second step was a lesson in perspective through size and placement, and defining foreground, midground and background. Here we added the pumpkins and the fence. Lastly we read my new fav picture book, The Scarecrow’s Dance by Jane Yolen, and created a collage scarecrow to guard our pumpkins.

pumpkin patch 1-2

Kindergarten is doing a much simpler scarecrow collage.

Next week third and fourth grade begin this glue “batik” pumpkin as a lesson in value. They already drew their pumpkins from observation, and their sketches are posted on Artsonia. Tracing them in glue is the next step!

value pumpkin 3-4

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Filed under Art, First/Second Grade, Teaching, Third/Fourth Grade