Friday, 28 June 2013

Pirate Ship Art Lesson for Prep (Kinder) to Grade 2

This is my second homework task for the Deep Space Sparkle Ecourse I'm doing.  It has been so fun learning new techniques and lessons.  I can't wait to try some next term.  The task this week was to take one of the lessons and change it to suit another Grade level.  There was a lesson on Homers DSS Clipper Ship that I just loved yet it was aimed at Grade 5 students.  Since a lot of my students are Prep (that's Kinder for those of you in the US) to Grade 2 I thought I would modify it to suit my students.  Changing the boat to a Pirate Ship and adding more colour seemed appropriate for this age group, although it did mean we lost the lovely reference to Homers work (sorry)...


You will need:
  • Watercolour Paper A3
  • Liquid Watercolours in Blue, Aqua and Orange
  • Paper Towels
  • Tempura paint**
  • Old card 
**I used tempura paints as they are better for younger children yet acrylic would also be fine
How To:
  • Paint in the sky and water with watercolour paint.  I would use this opportunity to show the students the wet on wet watercolour technique.   Use Blue for the sky and Aqua for the water.  Add some orange to the water to make it go a little grey and look stormy.  Demonstrate to the children how to paint on the watercolour in horizontal strips so that it looks like waves in the water.  Use some paper towel to blot off some of the colour in the sky to look like clouds (or use lemon juice for this).  Leave to dry.
  • With tempura paint get the children to draw a simple boat.  
  • Show them how to use a card dipped in brown paint to put in a masts
  • Show them how to wipe the card clean (with a paper towel) and then dip it into another colour to make the sails by dragging card downwards.

  • Wipe the card clean and then use some blue & white paint to add in some waves.

  • The children can add other elements to their painting (fish, birds etc) if they wish. Since its a pirate ship they may wish to add canons, flags. even pirates to their pictures - let their imagination go wild!  This step could be done with oil pastels when the paint is dry if this works with your timing.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Raised Salt Paintings

Last week we did raised salt paintings.  This is a great process art activity, yet the final product didn't work out as well as I would have liked.  It is best to take a photo of the final picture and remember it that way as the colours do fade and the salt can crumble off once dry.  Probably not such a good activity if parents expect to see a piece of artwork to take home.  That said the children really enjoyed the process and its a great activity to show colour theory.

What you need:
  • White or Black paper (watercolour or thicker paper would probably work better yet I just used normal cartridge paper)
  • Table Salt
  • Liquid Watercolours
  • Paint brushes
  • White Glue
How To:
  • Ask the children to draw pictures on their paper with the glue.
  • Sprinkle a generous amount of salt over your picture ensuring you cover all the glue
  • Tip salt off picture into a large container
  • Ask the children to touch the liquid watercolours to the salt with the tip of a paintbrush and then watch the colour spread along the lines
  • Remind the children not to brush the picture, they just need to touch the paintbrush to the salt.
  • This is a great chance for them to practice colour blending, ask them what happens when a blue line meets a yellow line etc.
The Results:

These looked lovely when they were first done.  Yet the colours did fade when dry and the salt flaked off in some spots.  I tried spraying with a clear varnish in the hope it would hold the salt on yet it didn't have a huge impact.  Below is just a small sample of what the children did as I ran out of time to photograph them all.  There were some lovely pictures of hearts, flowers and butterflies.

Our artist of the week was Ken Done.  He is a well known Australian artist who is best known for his colourful paintings of the Sydney harbour.  One of my students if very keen on Ken Done's work so this artist of the week is for her...



Sunday, 23 June 2013

Watercolour Turtles using Warm and Cool Colours

Watercolour Turtle
This lesson is actually my homework for the second ecourse I'm doing at Deep Space Sparkle - Beyond the Basics.  I just loved the first course so much I'm now doing the follow up course.  This post is a little different to my normal ones, in that I haven't actually done this lesson with the children.  I quite like it though so I think I will try it next week!  In true homework style I've left this to the very last minute and its due tonight and I'm just doing it now.  That said I did hold a home science party for my son yesterday and in true "Fiona" fashion I took it as an opportunity to show my creative flair and it was a full on affair with homemade everything!  Completely time consuming.... Post to come on that too!

So back to the homework - today's post is a lesson plan for Watercolour Turtles.  We had to recreate a lesson from the course with a different subject and when I showed my 7 year old the lovely Paul Klee fish in the course she said that would look great as turtles - so to follow a child's lead that's what I did.  Now turtles aren't typically bright colours yet I'm always telling the kids that artists can paint things whatever colour they want.....


Age 5 - 8 years (Since I have children up to 12 years in my classes, I would do the same lesson for the entire class however older children may wish to draw their turtles in more detail and with black permanent marker)
What you need:
  • Watercolour Paper A3 size
  • Black oil pastel
  • White oil pastel
  • Liquid Watercolours
  • Salt
  • Blue Glitter (optional)
How to:
  • On the whiteboard demonstrate how to draw a turtle using various shape shells, flippers and shell decorations.  I would also put up a couple of pictures of real turtles. I always tell the children they can be creative as they like yet I also do a directed line drawing for those who are a little stuck as to where to start.
Examples of different ways to draw turtles (for whiteboard)
  • Ask the children to draw their turtle using a black oil pastel
  • Ask them to draw in the waves, fish, coral etc with the white oil pastel in the background
  • Paint the background in cool colours (with a sprinkle of glitter if you wish, I LOVE glitter!)
close up of cool colours and glitter
  • Paint the turtle with warm colours
Close up of warm colours and salt
  • Sprinkle salt onto the turtles shell to create a speckled effect
The Results:

Beautiful turtle - my teacher example of course.  I will post the children's pictures next week, I'm sure they will be even better!


Friday, 14 June 2013

Rockets, Space and The Solar System

After painting to the music of Holst: The Planets last week in seemed timely to do a lesson on Space.  I borrowed some space and solar system books from the library and placed them all over the table for inspiration.  We discussed what the children knew about space, planets and rockets (yes Star Wars references did come up...).  We completed two pieces of artwork (my little artists work very fast!!) in this lesson.

I got this idea from Lil Picasso's only I used oil pastels instead of the watercolour pencils as I wanted the rockets to be really bright and stand out.

You will need:
  • Black Paper A3
  • White Paper A4
  • Oil Pastels
  • White Paint
  • Red, Orange & Yellow Paint
  • Red & Gold Glitter
How To:
  • Get the children to splatter the white paint onto the black paper. put aside to dry
  • Ask the children to draw a rocket on the white paper with the oil pastels and colour in
  • Cut out rocket
  • Glue rocket onto paper and then paint in the fire from the jets
  • Sprinkle with glitter
The Results:


I got this idea from Art with Ms Gram She did it with 5th graders though.  Since I have a few Prep students I made it easier for them by providing a template with circles already drawn on it so they could concentrate on colouring, cutting and pasting. 

What you need:
  • same as above
How to:
  • Splatter Black paper with white paint
  • Colour planets with oil pastels (I used this lesson to show them a little about shading so we discussed what part of the planet would be in the sun and what would be in shade and they added some shading to their colouring in)
  • Cut out planets
  • Paint in sun on paper with red, yellow and orange paint (some used glitter for the sun too)
  • Glue on Planets
  • Add in rings and other space elements with oil pastel
The Results:

Our artist of the week was Chesley Bonestell.  He was a pioneer of astronomical and space art.
Below is his painting of a view of Saturn from its moon Titan, a work of art that has been so inspiring to artists, sci fi writers, astronomers, rocket scientists and anyone else connected to the world of space travel that it's been dubbed, "the painting that launched a thousand careers."

Saturn As Seen From Titan

Cheers Fiona

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Marshmallow towers

Marshmallow and Spaghetti Construction

One cold rainy day my daughter decided she wanted to make some marshmallow towers. This experiment is in our Usborne 100 Science Experiments book.

This entertained her for HOURS!  It's of small cost (we went through two packs of marshmallows which we saved afterwards for those winter hot chocolates) and half a pack of spaghetti.

You will need:
  • Pack of spaghetti
  • Packs of marshmallows (we used 2 yet you can see the construction is huge)
How to:

Break the spaghetti into halves to make a cube.  Use two thirds of a piece to make a diagonal that makes the cube stronger.  Simply use the marshmallows as "joiners" for your spaghetti.  I showed Poppy how to make the first cube and then she was on her own from there.  The final structure covered our entire dining room table!

The construction phase

The first structure was small enough to fit on a place mat

The next structure grew and grew till it was all over the table and even down onto chairs!

Why not try this with your kids on a rainy day?


Monday, 3 June 2013

Painting to Music

I've been wanting to do this lesson for ages and this week the time seemed right.  I've been talking about what inspires artists and music is one element that has come up.  Wassily Kandinsky was one of our artists of the week last term and his name has come up a few times (we likened our Paper Circles to his artwork as well). 

It was a bit of a "paint a thon" during class this week, each child produced at least 5 paintings each in an hour and a half.  There were no guidelines, they could paint whatever they wanted, I just told them to listen to the music and let it inspire them.....

dancing to Gangnam Style.....

I really enjoyed this class, so I hope this kids did too.  It was really liberating just going with the flow, playing music and seeing what developed on their paper.  We discussed each piece of music afterwards, talking about what colours people saw, what it made them think of and what it inspired them to paint  To start I encouraged them to close their eyes and just listen to the music to get a feel for it. They could even paint the whole thing with their eyes closed if they wanted too.

it was rather messy.............

We mainly listened to Classical music - Holst: The Planet Suite to be exact.  I love how each piece is so different in tempo.  After listening to 4 classical pieces we finished the class with something totally different - Gangnam Style - what kid doesn't like that?? They were all moving to the beat, actually some were standing up and dancing!  It was a fun ending to a fun class....I think some of the parents thought we were holding a disco rather than an art class when they turned up! 

What you need:
  • Lots of paint in lots of colours (I had the colours pre mixed in tubs on the table)
  • White Paper (5 per student)
  • Paintbrushes (various sizes)
  • Music (we used classical music yet you could use anything)*  
*I would love to see what they painted listening to Jazz, Reggae, Techno etc - maybe another lesson..

How to:
  • Play the music
  • Let them paint whatever they want.  
  • Ensure they write their name and a number (track 1, 2 etc) on each piece of paper so you can sort them afterwards.
  • After each track ask them to explain what they saw and how they felt (write it down)
The Results:

1. Holst: The Planets Suite, Mars - The Bringer of WAR
Comments from the children: Crazy, Tired, Scared, Waves Crashing, Black, Red (blood), Cold, Dark, Army, Tornado, Thunderstorm, Army in a thunderstorm, Purple and Blue, Black, Blue and Yellow, Waves up to a beach, Castles.

2. Holst: The Planet Suite, Jupiter - the Bringer of JOLLITY

Comments from the children: Musical instruments, big, crazy, joy, big splattering, big bang theory, flying, a race

3. Holst: The Planet Suite,  Mercury - The Winged Messenger
Comments from the children: Spooky, Flowers, Shooting stars, ballet dancers, boat on water, pink, colourful, hungry, sun & music, eagle

4. Holst: The Planet Suite, Venus - The Bringer of PEACE

 Comments from the children: floating person in the sky, food in the oven and a lovely smell, ballerina, cupcakes, lines and splashes, pinks and blues, rainbow and sunset, fairies, water and land, slow, shiny, slow music, smooth music, waves, ripples, coloured waves, sunset, blurry

5. Gangnam Style- PSY

Comments from the children:  crazy, party, blue, green, yellow, all colours, sexy lady, horse, dancing

Our artist of the week is again Wassily Kandinsky.  I couldn't do a lesson to music without talking about Kandinsky again.  I love many of his quotes here are a few:
  • Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, and the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul (Wassily Kandinsky). 
  • A parallel between color and music can only be relative – just as a violin can give warm shades of tone, so yellow has shades, which can be expressed by various instruments. (Wassily Kandinsky)  
  • The sound of colors is so definite that it would be hard to find anyone who would express bright yellow with bass notes or dark lake with treble... (Wassily Kandinsky)
  • Color provokes a psychic vibration. Color hides a power still unknown but real, which acts on every part of the human body. (Wassily Kandinsky) 

I showed them his Composition VII piece of artwork (above)


Sunday, 2 June 2013

More Paper Clay creations..

Paper Clay Bowl and Lid (8 Year old)

We have been experiementing with clay again over the past few weeks.  This has to be the children's favourite medium.  Read my earlier post on All Kids Love Clay to read all about the benefits of exposing children to clay.

We have been making mainly pinch pot bowls, fish and mosters.  I will publish a post on these once they have been fired and glazed.  If the children had finished these I gave them some paper clay to play with.  We spent some time using paper clay in the first term, click here to see that post.

Paper Clay Snakes

Paper clay is still a little brittle when dry yet it does hold together better than normal clay.  It's just like working with normal clay which I love as the children can practice their techniques such as using slip, scoring and joining pieces of clay together.  It also saves on firing costs and the kids can take their pieces home a lot quicker.  I get the children to paint their pieces with acrylic paint when they are dry and then I add a layer of gloss Mod Podge all over to help hold them together and give the piece a lovely shiny look.  Its not quite the same as glaze, yet it still looks impressive.

Here are a few of the childrens finished pieces.  These are done my my younger students who are 5-8 yrs old.


Thumb Puppets





Saturday, 1 June 2013

Chalk Pastel Cameleon's

This is another great lesson from the Deep Space Sparkle ecourse I did.  It's using my favourite medium Chalk Pastels.  I just love the mess of them, the ability to smudge them (and cover mistakes), the vibrant colours, the ability to blend,  the easy prep and clean up and finally the lovely results! It was tagged as a lesson for Grade 4 & 5 so I wasn't sure how my Prep & Grade 2 students would handle it.  I'm really pleased everyone gave it a go and did an excellent job (Preps were given the option to draw a snake instead yet they really wanted to try this).

You will need:
  • Chalk Pastels
  • Black Paper
  • Black oil pastel
  • Pictures of Cameleon's
  • Fixative or Hairspray (optional)

How To:
  • Demonstrate how to draw a lizard on the whiteboard.  I've been getting the children to do a practice on white paper first and then following along a second time on the black paper.  Often the second attempt is much better and it enables them a few goes if they make a mistake. 
  • Get the children to draw their outline in black oil pastel
  • Colour in with the chalk pastels, blending as they go.
  • Finish by going over their black lines with the black oil pastel a second time
  • Spray with fixative (optional)
The Results:


Our artist of the week was Edgar DEGAS.  I choose Degas as he comes to mind when I think of pastel drawings.  I've always loved his style, especially the beautiful drawings/paintings of ballet dancers (of which many are done in pastel).  I showed the children some of his other works and there were a few giggles at the naked figures so I explained the human body is something that is wonderful to draw or paint and is called lifedrawing.
Edgar Degas - Blue Dancers