Thursday, 24 October 2013

Klimt's Tree of Life

I read somewhere that Klimt's "The Tree of Life" painting is one of the most reproduced oil paintings, so I thought we should do it too!  Its also the appeal of painting in GOLD paint - so luxurious.....

There are quite a few lesson plans out there for this. I really wanted to paint in thick gold paint on black paper so I've based our lesson on the version posted on We Heart Art.

What you need:
  • Gold Paint (we used a very thick acrylic paint called Dimension paint.  This enabled the children to add the paint very thick in the style of Klimt)
  • Black A3 paper
  • Sequins
  • Glue
  • Metallic blue, purple, silver and white paint (optional)
How to:
  • Discuss Klimt his work, his style and the "The Tree of Life" painting
  • Pass out some handouts with simple steps on how to draw the tree
  • Ask the children to try and fill their page with the spirals
  • Add details with the other paints
  • Add sequins (we did this after the paint had dried)
The Results:

Love all that gold and colour from the sequins...

The Tree of Life by 5 to 9 year olds.

Our artist of the week was Gustav Klimt of course!

The Tree of Life by Gustav Klimt, 1905


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Expanding Scary Fish

This lesson produced so many giggles and "fake" screams - it was lots of fun.  The children just loved the concept of the hidden scary fish.  They opened and closed them millions of times.  This lesson was done by children 5 to 9 years.  It takes about 40 minutes.

I can't take credit for the idea I saw this on the website "Once Upon An Art Room". 

What you need:
  • A3 white paper, folded (I just played around until I worked out how to get the folds about right.  I then prefolded the paper before the lesson as I imagined the children finding this difficult).
  • Oil Pastels
  • Blue Liquid Watercolour paint (optional - add glitter)
  • Large Paintbrushes
  • HB Pencils & Eraser
How To:
  • Demonstrate how to draw a fish using the fold as the centre (I demonstrated an easy fish with an oval and triangle for a tail). 
  • Ask the children to draw their fish with a pencil (I found using a pencil helpful as many found the concept of drawing the fish with the fold in the centre hard and we could rub out the pencil until we got it right, don't worry too much about pencil lines as the oil pastel covers them)
  • Add an eye ensuring it is above the fold
  • Expand the paper and fill in the blank space with a big mouth and teeth.  Fill in the tail.
  • Colour fish using oil pastels ensuring they are applied very thick and covering all the white
  • Outline in black oil pastel
  • Add in bubbles with white oil pastel (optional)
  • Paint over entire piece of paper with blue watercolour (we also used paper towels to dab away some to show ripples in the water)
  • Allow to dry and then refold.
The Results:
 Some very scary fish.....-


Saturday, 19 October 2013

More Georgia O'Keeffe Watercolour Flowers

This would have to be my favourite lesson.  It always produces wonderful results and is a great introduction to watercolours. Children as young as 5 can produce amazing flowers and even the boys seem happy to do a flower (I tell them it can be for mum).  Click here for my previous post and directions.

I ran a holiday workshop on this subject and my new Saturday class (2 places still available click here for details) just did this lesson so I couldn't resist posting some more photos.

So lovely and colourful........


Thursday, 17 October 2013

Melted Crayon Pictures and Sun catchers

Since I had the crayons, graters and iron out for the last step of our Monet Paintings (click here for that post) I decided we should do some melted crayon paintings along with one of my all time favourite crafts, melted crayon sun catchers.

1. Melted Crayon Paintings (with watercolours)

What you need:
  • Crayons
  • Mini graters
  • Wax Paper
  • Iron (or hairdryer)
  • Watercolour paper
  • Liquid Watercolours
  • Salt
  • Oil pastels
  • Permanent markers
Close up of melted crayon combined with watercolour and salt
How to:
  • Hand out watercolour paper
  • Ask the children to draw a picture in permanent markers or oil pastels on their paper
  • Hand out crayons and graters
  • The children can then grate the crayons onto their pictures.
  • They will need to use their fingers to push the crayon into the place they want.  Some may choose to do a more abstract painting, that's Ok just let them enjoy the process.
  • Place a sheet of wax paper over the crayon shavings and then iron or use a hairdryer to melt the wax.
  • Paint a layer of liquid watercolour over the melted wax painting to add a background and more colour.  The wax will resist the paint and show through.  
  • I provided salt as well if they also wanted to add a speckled look.
The Results:
Pretty cool hey?
I had one student who was away at the end of last term so she did her Monet picture using this technique.  It turned out beautifully.  A great alternative for a Monet lesson when time is limited (easily done in 40 mins).

 2. Melted Crayon Sun catchers 

This idea comes from Martha Stewart.  Click here for her post.

What you need:
  • Crayons
  • Mini graters 
  • Wax Paper
  • Iron or hairdryer
  • Hot glue gun
  • Fishing line
How to:
  • Fold a piece of wax paper in half
  • Open up, grate crayon onto one half then fold over the clean side so the crayon is wedged between the two pieces
  • Melt with iron or hairdryer (I did this step however the children loved to watch this and see the crayons melt)
  • Cut out into shapes (I let the children do what they wanted here, some chose one large shape, others did lots of small shapes)
  • Use a hot glue to glue the shapes onto a piece of fishing line (I did this step)
  • Hang up and admire (I just used blu tack to attach to window)
The Results:
Very pretty with the sun shining through....

Note: Wax paper is available from Coles


Sunday, 13 October 2013

Monet's Japanese Bridge painting in acrylic and melted crayon

The Monet exhibition has just finished in Melbourne. It was wonderful!!  I've been wanting to do a Monet inspired painting all year yet decided to leave it until now to maximise the number of children who would have seen the exhibition first.  It was very inspirational.

I've been debating about how to go about this painting for a while.  I decided to do it in three steps to maximise the thickness of paint and ensure the children took their time.

Week One - Paint background
Week Two - Paint water lilies, trees, pond and bridge
Week Three - Melted crayon added to further impressionist effect

Close up of the melted crayon - so pretty!

What you need:
  • Canvas board (I used boards so the paint could be added thickly)
  • Acrylic paints
  • Brayers, rollers, old cards, paint effect tools, bubble wrap etc (really anything you can think of that creates good effects)
  • Paintbrushes in various sizes
  • Crayons
  • Wax Paper
  • Iron (or Hairdryer)
  • Mini graters (purchased cheaply from Kmart)
How to:
Week one:
  • Hand out the canvas boards and a sheet of plastic (I used cheap Ikea chopping boards yet plastic dividers would also work well).
  • Put a squirt of blue, yellow and green/ aqua paint on the sheet of plastic.
  • Ask the children to put the paint on their canvas with the brayers, credit cards etc by rolling/scraping them in the paint on their plastic then onto the canvas.  Tell them we are looking for a mottled look with all colours showing.  They could use the bubble wrap and other paint effect tools for this as well.  The idea was just to enjoy the process of making a fun mottled looking background. They found this part LOTS of FUN!
Week Two:
  • Demonstrate how to draw a bridge and then get the children to paint in their bridge.
  • Demonstrate a dabbing technique and get them to paint in flowers, water lilies and trees.
Week Three:
  • Hand out mini graters and crayons
  • Ask the children to grate crayon onto their paintings (they can move the shavings around with their fingers).
  • When they are happy with their arrangement, cover with wax paper and melt crayon with a hair dryer or iron (I did this step for them).
  • Peel off the wax paper to reveal the final masterpiece.
The Results:
I love how these turned out! These were done by children aged 5 to 9 years.  It was a great exercise as the children learnt:

1) How to apply paint without a brush
2) How to use an impressionist dabbing technique to add flowers and foliage
3) Mixed Media technique by adding melted crayon for another effect


Sunday, 6 October 2013

Paper Mâché Owls - Part 2

This is the second part of my Paper Mâché Owl post click here to see Part One.

The children (aged 5 to 9 years) have finally completed their owls.  They worked on these for 5 weeks!!  However it's only been 10 - 20 minutes at a time.

Week One - First layer of paper mache 
Week Two - Second layer of paper mâché (white paper)
Week Three - Paint base colour 
Week Four - Paint features
Week Five - Add glitter, sequins, eyes and further details.

I coated them with Mod Podge prior to sending them home.

The Results:

A couple of things I would do differently next time to cut down time:
  •  I would use a layer of coloured paper rather than white, this eliminates the need to paint a base coat.
  •  I would possibly not paint them at all yet instead offer materials to stick on the owls (fabric cut out in wing shapes), felt hearts, cut out or goggle eyes, paper beaks, painted paper shapes, sequins etc etc. (children really struggled to paint the round shape in detail).
The children LOVED doing Paper Mache and it was nice to just do a little bit on them each week.  With the rice in them they shake like maraca's and rock about on the table if you push them.