Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Collaborative Mural Painting!!!

I am so excited to share with you my first ever TIME-LAPSE VIDEO of my Annual Collaborative Mural Painting!  This year the theme was " Hot Air Balloon Magic".  I looked at many images for inspiration. Most ideas came from three main artists; Joey Chou, a current Disney Illustrator, Mary Blair, a Disney Illustrator from the 50's, and Ton Schulten, my favorite abstract landscape painter.


I have done this for about 10 years now.  I used to have students paint a flower garden. They could paint any kind of flower, anywhere, any color. Doing a mural that way is more creative for students but it runs into some issues.  It is not a smooth process, there are arguments about location, size, colors. Then if someone does not finish, they are upset when someone finishes it differently than they planned. You can see the headache it can become.  

I started 6 years ago drawing a mural around a school wide theme.  First year, I let students paint in certain areas with warm colors, other areas cool colors. It was okay, but looked very unorganized.  Then, 3 years ago, my classes were taken from 60 to 45 minutes.  Game changer, I began creating a large paint by number.  I mix lots of colors, this year 21 color wheel colors. 

I tell students, "I get to be the artist! My vision, my work of art, you are going to help me paint it!".  THEY LOVE THIS!  It has made this experience so fun! Everyone likes having a color with a number. No arguing, no issues!  They have a blast and feel proud of being a part of something huge.  

I number part of the mural first, let the colors get filled in, then decide how to number the rest of the areas.  Students paint way faster than you expect! If yo see me in the video working, I am numbering, not painting. I try to keep up with their pace!


Thursday, May 7, 2015

4th Grade Keith Haring Crazy Art Folders!

Keith Haring is great for art folders... Working on a large 18x24 is perfect for a BIG space!  My fourth graders each made at least one template of their own out of tag board.  They were required to use it at least twice.  They could make more or share with their friends.  Most made 2 templates, and then there was a lot of sharing!  This is the final product, lots of color, lots of fun!!!

Friday, May 1, 2015

3rd Grade James Rizzi Art Folders!

Who doesn't love James Rizzi??? His artwork is always a favorite of my students! We look at his cityscapes closely, noticing the perspective and layers of spaces he creates. While most items are created flat, the near and far element is definitely there! Here are a few samples of Rizzi's cityscapes  I use with my 3rd graders...

When I start the lesson with students, we are looking to create foreground, middleground and background.  We start by drawing a line a little lower than the middle to create the background first... the silly buildings with personality!  After the buildings are in place, they are able to decide how to finish the foreground and middleground.  Street with cars, subway, park with playground, sidewalks, river with boats... or anything they come up with!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

2nd Grade Landscapes (SLO lesson) on Art Folders

This lesson might look familiar...  This the lesson I taught my 2nd graders BEFORE the SLO test. The difference??? This was a directed drawing, making sure each student drew a house and a tree in the foregound, middleground and background.  Very simple, they could add anything extra they wanted to that would be appropriate for a landscape. 

We first looked closely at several landscapes, but my favorite we used for our main drawing inspiration was this one below by Gabriele Munter. 

I show my students how to draw a house with two sides, more 3-dimensional. How to add on a garage, driveway, roads.  They all want mountains like the painting, so they add those behind their third house.  This is seriously a fantastic lesson... every kid wants to draw something real, but they often times just simple need to be shown how to.  I have parents who are always so shocked at how well their child is drawing after completing this lesson!  I just got another landscape yesterday from a student who drew one at home to bring me.  It reinforces the success of the lesson when they go home to practice it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

1st Grade Art Folders inspired by Rousseau!

This lesson is inspired by Henri Rousseau's painting, Surprised! Storm in the Forest. I love this lesson for many reasons... First, the results are always great.  Second, it is a great directed drawing lesson for first graders.... they all draw the same steps to complete a whole tiger, but they have no assistance, and feel proud and great at the end!  Which results in my favorite reason I love this project... It is a creative confidence boost!  You know they're proud when they work so hard to make it look fabulous!

Pencil first... We draw a tiger based on Ed Emberley.  U-shape head, long nose... then I showed them how to draw the tiger looking like he is crouching, ready to pounce. To do that we draw 2 paws, (large potatoes) at the bottom of the page, Draw the body from paw, all the way around to other paw. Then hind legs on each side, tail... voila!

Draw the green grass and branches hiding the tiger direct with green markers. 
Color in the leaves with crayon. 

Outline and color in the tiger!

I would like to add... I do not think there is anything wrong with a directed drawing lesson for young elementary students.  They have no strategies of how to draw unless they follow steps a few times.  Once they understand how to look at something and break it down into simple shapes...  And realizing there are millions of ways to draw something, they will have the tools and confidence to do it without directions.  I always say, "YES" when a student wants to draw something differently. A project like this, they usually are not changing much, they want it to look similar.  They drew 100% of their tiger by themselves, which for some, was a huge accomplishment!