Wednesday, February 29, 2012

4th Grade Rizzi Cars

I always love to learn about an artist that I have never heard of before.  So thanks to Phyl (aka   There's a Dragon in my artroom) I learned about James Rizzi.  Of course just as I learned about him and his art he passed away. Anyways, I saw her lesson on Rizzi cars and thought that was one of the best lessons I have ever seen.  It is a great way to recycle used CD's and I am always looking for ways to use some of these supplies that I have accumulated.

Here is her original lesson on her blog which is really good.  Also on a side note, I am impressed by the fact that she follows like 50 blogs. 

Here are our cars.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Van Gogh's Landscapes

For some reason I have never done a Van Gogh project with my Art 1 class.  We talk about Van Gogh, we even take a test over him, but I have never done his painting style.

So last year I found an elementary lesson that used chalk and paint to create his style.  My 4th graders tried the project and it worked great.  So this year I figured if 4th grade could do the project high school should also be able to do it and do it better.  Well lucky for me they did not disappoint.

For this project I had them pick a landscape picture that had a focal point, but not a lot of detail.  We then use colored chalk and colored paint.  The only rule is that you can't use the same color of chalk with the same color of paint.  The color from the chalk mixes with the color from the paint to make new colors.  And since chalk can't hold a lot of paint like a brush you constantly have to re-dip in the paint which gives those short brush strokes like van gogh's style.




Logan Z.


Kenzie R.


Friday, February 24, 2012

3rd Grade Owls

A year ago I was trying to find a project for my third grade class (this was before Pinterest) and I came across a picture of an owl by an artist Sapna Sapna.

Forest Owl Art Print
I thought that these owls were cute and had alot of potential for a third grade project.
So we talked about making a mixed media project using several different techniques.  First we start by making a stencil out of cardboard that they will use to stamp on leaves and flowers.  Then we make tree branches on paper so that they will have a stand for their owl. 
The following week we paint with our stamps onto the paper.  Since we use cardboard they have to stamp quickly and then throw them away.  After that we make the owls.  The last step is to attach the owl to the stamped paper after it dries.  Here are samples from my first class that is done.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Negative Shapes

So for the last project with my six week 7th grade class I had them look at the negative spaec around a shape and fill in the paper around it.  I found this lesson on .  The teacher on this site had a couple of different ways of doing the negative shapes but I liked the one where the page is just in black and white and the students use doodles, zentangles and graffitii to fill in the positive space around the object.





A few years ago I had a student who wanted to do a project entirely out of paper punched dots.  At first I thought she was crazy, but I said go for it.  Needles to say she started with a huge piece of paper and never finished the project, but she did give me the idea for this art 1 project.  So in someways I have to tell her thank you.  Now if I could only remember her name...

Anyways,  for art Art 1 we study the pointillism work of Georges Seurat and I was always amazed that the man painted huge paintings with dots the size of a pencil eraser.  But I needed a project to get that point across to my students.  So I took the idea of that former student and I shrunk it down.  Instead of a 12 x 18 piece of paper (yes that is what size she thought she could cover with dots and not lose her sanity) I made the project into a 4x6 piece of paper.  So about the size of a postcard.  Then I talk about how to do color blending with your eyes and how to mix the colors of construction paper to create a picture that looks like it has been layered. 

The overall project takes about a good week to week and a half.  Not because it is necessarily a difficult project, but it is a time consuming project to punch and glue all of those dots.  I have learned over the years to either bring earplugs or just tune out the constant whinning that prevails over the classroom.  Also a few reminders that I could have been this worse by asking for a bigger project helps with the attitude issues.  In the end when they come out really nice both of us forget the complaining.



Logan Z


So this year they found my modge podge,  I haven't decided yet if I like that or not.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Concentric Circles

I found the idea for this project on a website years ago.  So long ago that in fact I have no idea where.  And it took me forever to figure out what they meant by concentric circles.  Obviously I did not find the lesson on a blog where they could tell me what they meant.

Anyways, you start with a dot in the center and use the compass to make bigger and bigger circles around the dot, like a bullseye.  (If nothing else I hope I have helped someone else figure out what concentric circles are.)  After you make about 12 -14 circles then you add perpendicular lines going through the center dot.  Then you divide the circle with two more lines so you end up with a pie (pizza or apple).  I found the easiest way to make sure that those other perpendicular lines are the exact distance is to measure the disstance between the first set of lines and divide it in half.

After all of those confusing directions, the main purpose of these lines and circles is to get measuring points to connect.  So for instance then you would draw a line from circle one to circle 4 and just repeat that step for all 8 lines.  Again, I am sure that is as clear as mud.  I promise my kids get the concept, or at least eventually they do.  After you have created a variety of lines, then you need to fill those shapes with designs.  This year I have discovered zentangles and they helped us with this project.



Monday, February 13, 2012


Ok, so I have to brag about my hubby for one minute.  He bought me flowers for Valentine's Day. 
And it only took 13 years.  :)

Wire/Plaster people

To help inspire my Painting/Sculpture class we looked at the sculpture artist Alberto Giacometti.  We took the inspiration of his very thin wire/plaster people and made our own versions.  I wasn't as concerned that our people be as thin as his, I was more interested in giving our people movement.  So they had to create a wire person in movement and then we covered it with plaster casting.




Logan H.

Justin U.



Art 1 watercolor

Every year about this time my high school Art 1 class learns about Impressionism and I have found that the best project to teach about impressionism is watercolor.  Watercolor is all about color blending as is impressionism.

So as a group we start by making a watercolor boat scene together.

In this one picture we use about 8 different techniques.  It is like the catch all watercolor project.  Now this year they turned out better then ever before.and I think I need to credit that to the fact that it finally dawned on me to use the school's elmo tool.  We have had these elmo's (a projection tool where I can work on projects and the image is projected onto my promethean board) this allowed me to actually do the steps with the kids instead of just trying to explain the techniques.  So much easier.

After we made these boats together then I had them do a final project of their choosing.  In the past I had them do a full landscape scene, and they turned out okay, but this year I decided to make them focus their picture into one object.  I think they turned out better, even though some still practically did a full scene.




Mackenzie R.