Tuesday, 25 August 2015

What's in a name??

We have been having lots of fun with our names in art. We have explored a few projects that the kids just can't get enough of. The one thing I love about these projects is that the kids can do them on their own, and they keep trying them over and over to see what they can come up with.  When you are teaching art to your kids, teach them a new idea or concept, then let them have at it for a few weeks. Let them explore it until they they have truly explored it as much as they can. I love this project because all you need is printer paper and markers.

Here is how you do it:

1) You just need a regular old piece of printer paper 8.5 x 11. Fold one corner up and along the side to make a square piece. Or you could measure 8.5" on each long side and cut. (Then you could call that math for the day and give yourself a big ol' checkmark.) Either way, you need to start with a square piece of paper.

2) Now you need to fold that square. Fold in half one way, then open it up and do it the opposite way so that you have a +. you have four sections on your page. Then fold it corner to corner, unfold, and do the opposite two corners. You now have and X over your +. total of eight pie shaped pieces.

3) In one of the triangular shapes you need to draw your name in thick lettering, making sure each letters touch both the top and bottom of the line. I started in the middle and worked out to the wide end. Try a combination of upper and lower case letters, or even cursive. (Then you can check writing off your list for the day too!)

4)trace your name in black marker, making sure that  YOU DO NOT TRACE ALONG ANY FOLD LINES.  Just leave these blank, that way your design will run nicely together.

5) Here's the fun part. fold the paper anyway you like so that the marker part is under one of the blank sections. making sure that you are ALWAYS TRACING ON THE SAME SIDE, (so that all marker is  on the same side of the page) trace what you just drew onto the blank triangle. Continue until all triangles are complete.

6) Now you just have to color your design with markers, crayons, or whatever medium you prefer. You can do alternating patterns, all different colors, a black, white or multi coloured background.

The kids love this project, and have many examples to share with you!

See if you can guess all the names in these projects! 

As usual, this isn't an original idea with me. I found it on Pinterest. I LOVE pinterest. If you want to see what I am pinning on there I have and 'art for kids' board. You are welcome to check it out for more art ideas.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Teaching art appreciation in your homeschool

It has been a while since my last post, and I found this free program from freehomeschooldeals.com that I just had to share. I hear a lot of moms say that they feel like they can't teach art, that they feel completely unqualified. I understand that feeling (although in different areas). This curriculum that I found will help you teach principals and techniques that famous artists used and also give them a bit of world history and geography as well. You can create a mini timeline to see when the art was created, as well as provide a world map and help your children find where all the artists were from, and where they ended up. Did I mention it was FREE?? That's always a good thing in my books!

This curriculum teaches:

- about each piece of art, the artist, and what techniques the artist used.

-elements of art

-periods of art

-color theory

-principals of design

-art terms

-provides a recommended reading list

You can find this free download HERE.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Relief Animal Pannels

My kids like to make their own oatmeal in the mornings for breakfast. That is why I love my K-cup machine SOOOOO much! They can pour a steaming hot cup of water into a measuring cup and make their own instant oatmeal without much risk of burning themselves.  However, they really, really like to eat their oatmeal. So much so that by the end of the week we have a few empty cartons on hand. I found these little cartons to be the perfect size for our next project: creating pounded tin look tiles. 
I started by giving the kids a choice of what they wanted to draw. Abstract, or real. And they chose animals. We drew the animals big enough to take up the whole tile without breaking the sides. 

We then carefully traced over our pencil lines with white glue. This part was a little tricky. If we put too much glue in one spot it would all pool together. That's o.k. We just wiped it off and tried again till we got it right. We then let our white glue drawings dry overnight.

The next day we each took a sheet of tinfoil. If you look at your foil, it should have a shiny and a dull side. We used a glue stick and put glue all over the dull side, so there were no bare spaces. We then carefully placed our animal drawings face down onto the glue side of the foil and folded the edges over and wrapped them like a present. We used cotton swabs (like q-tips) to then trace the lines of our animal drawings and made sure all the foil was glued down well. I think they turned out pretty cool, what do you think?



Another octopus. FYI the plural of octopus is octopuses. 

My 5 year old made a 5 eyed spider.

Crayon & Oil Pastel Resist

Crayon/Oil Pastel Resist

This was an introductory lesson to the Pysanky. I wanted the children to be able to understand that wax/oil would resist the paint in the same way that it would resist the dye once applied to the eggs. These are a few of the pictures we drew with wax crayon then painted over with water color paints. 

It was really important for the children to color very dark with the crayons, if it was too light, the paint would cover right over the crayon. 

We started by drawing circles, then embellishing them until they were large.
We also filled in the backgrounds.

We then used a very watered down dark color.
The kids all chose black, but any dark color would work too. 

We had a few puddles that took a while to dry out!

the finished product!

You could get very creative with this project. Try using only white crayon and cover it with a bright color. Try writing secret messages that can be decoded when they are painted over. The sky is the limit, have fun!!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Pretty Oil Pastel Pictures.

The next medium we started exploring was oil pastels. These are a bit messy, but they are lots of fun!

I started with a lesson on the basic color wheel. We discussed primary colors, secondary colors, complimentary colors and warm/cool colors.  We drew our very own color wheel and labeled it. We made a 'list' of warm color swatches and cool color swatches.

Next we picked a topic. My kids like bugs and we have a beautiful beetle book with many pictures of all kinds of beetles.

We practiced making dark lines and light lines with the oil pastels. Next we practiced shading from dark to light. The point of this exercise is to get a good feel for how the pastels work.

Next we drew our bugs. The children were to use as much of the paper as they could for this. No teeny tiny bugs in the middle of the page. They had a choice to have their beetle be in all warm or cool colors and were allowed ONE complimentary color on their bug. The flower in the background was to be opposite of what they chose for their beetle. I think they turned out great!
Lady bug in warm colors

lady bug in cool colors

Our bug gallery!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Fun with Foreshortening

 We continued on with a fun self portrait using the pencil crayons. There is a method to my madness here. If the children were going to learn to play an instrument, I wouldn't let them learn piano one day, violin the next day and the tuba after that. I like to treat each medium like I would a musical instrument. Give them many opportunities to really explore the medium and push it to it's limits.

We began with two large sheets of paper and taped them together.

Then, we traced our hands and feet. The kids were then to draw their faces and bodies as if they were free falling.

In the background we put all kinds of symbols, and things that are individual to each child. This is a self portrait and I wanted them to include things that were of interest to them. It was interesting to me to see what sorts of things they thought described themselves.

This first one is of my three year old. I did the drawing for her and she told me what she wanted in the background. She included Minnie Mouse, snowflakes (because she LOVES the movie 'Frozen'), ABC's and 123's because she loves to be like the big kids and claims she is in preschool. She also included three hearts because she loves her three siblings!

Next was my 7 year old. He was born with a very dark complexion and I had to laugh because of the color he chose for his skin. It looked a bit dark to me, but on further inspection the crayon matched his skin perfectly!  He drew himself as a very smile-y super hero complete with cape!

Like his big brother, the 5 year old also drew himself as a super hero. He looked a little angry in the drawing, and when I asked him about it, he said he wasn't angry, just flexing his muscles. It is his way of depicting how strong he is. One thing I have learned being the mom of boys is that being seen as strong is a very important thing to them.

My daughter drew herself in a tiger suit. Her favorite color is orange because tigers are her favorite animal and they are orange. And her favorite animal is a tiger because they are orange....just a tad of circular reasoning here, but this is all the reason she needs! I love how she incorporated her new glasses. They are very well drawn compared to how they look in real life. The perspective in the tail is also a very nice added touch!

One important lesson I have learned is to never ask 'what is that?' Children have feelings that can be easily hurt and they can be discouraged very easily as well. A better way to phrase the question if you don't understand their drawing is to ask them to tell you about their art. 'Tell me about why you chose blue here?' Or 'I sure love your drawing, could you tell me about it?' They usually tell you exactly what they have drawn and sometimes there is a story to go along.  Then it is important to commend them on all of the good parts of their piece.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Pete and Repeat

Pete and Repeat were in a boat. Pete fell out. Who was left?


Pete and Repeat were in a boat. Pete fell out. Who was left?

Repeat. I could go on....

This is the funniest thing to a seven year old boy at the moment.  I love the way their little minds work!

Repeat pattern was also the theme of one of our projects we did this year. All you will need to do this project is a sheet of paper, markers, and imagination.

We started out with a blank sheet of paper, and I drew two leaves with a sharpie. I then traced the same design on to two more sheets of paper. This went well with the 'pattern repeat' theme. In each section of the leaves the assignment was to add a different repeating pattern. We used colored pencils for our project.  It was fun to see how many different patterns we could come up with. This was also a great project for fine motor skills for my younger child. Notice how all the little lines follow one another.

I did find this project on pinterest, so the idea was by far not original by me. I just cannot find the link. If you know of it, please post in the comments

My sweet boy. He made an entire section for his little sister. Such a sweetie

my project. I love creating with the kids.

Pretty impressed with my daughter's creativity!

Remember ~ as with all art, there is no right or wrong. Each child/artist is an individual and will express this in a unique way.  Most of us don't have a natural ability but skills can be learned, and practice really does make perfect! Have fun!