Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Clay Owls-Grade 2

I got this lesson from the blog ArtSmudge-Art for Small Hands.  I had actually pinned this on my Pinterest Board for 3-D art projects...Check that out here if you want to.  Second graders first started with a small ball of clay.  Then we made a small hole like we were going to make a pinch pot.  We then shaped the clay over our thumb and wiggled our thumbs inside of the clay to make the hole a bit bigger.  Then we used clay tools like the plastic modeling tools, toothpicks, paper clips, and marker caps to make textures for our owls.  We also used the pinch and pull  method to make our beaks, feathers and if some one wanted extended wings.  Then when they were finished, we initialed them and let them dry.  Then I fired them in the kiln for the bisque stage.  Once fired we glazed them.  Here are some pictures: 

Clay in the drying stage after building

Bisque Stage (after firing, clay turns white)

Pre-Glaze Fire sitting on kiln shelves

After Glaze Fire.  All shiny and cute! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Color Wheel

Finished color wheel

  First grade students at WES (BMS students will work on this soon!) learned about what a color wheel is today.  We determined that a color wheel is a tool to help artists mix colors.  We knew that primary colors are red, yellow and blue.  When we mix two primary colors together, we get a secondary color.  We used Crayola Model Magic, which is a soft, pliable product that dries in 24 hours.  It stays spongy and lightweight even when dry. 

1st grader mixing model magic

I made a worksheet for first graders.  I drew a circle and on the inside of the circle, I drew a triangle. I drew six dots around the circle.   Below, I made a box that had the color combinations listed (see image for reference). 
Each child received a piece of red, yellow and blue model magic.  we rolled each color into a 'worm' shape and cut them so that we had four pieces of each color.

1st grader working on color wheel

We started with our primary colors and glued a piece of each on the points of the triangle in the worksheet (see image for reference).  We then mixed our secondary colors and placed them on the appropriate spots on our color wheel (orange went between red and yellow, green went between yellow and blue, and purple went between red and blue). We had one more of each color at the end because we had cut our model magic into 4 pieces. We took the last of them and mixed them all together to create either neutral grey or a brown color.  We then glued that in the middle of the color wheel to show that all of the colors mixed make that neutral grey/brown. At the end of the lesson, we wrote down our color combinations and added some crayon drawings on our color wheel.  This is a really fun easy lesson for first graders.  Each child gets so excited to see the color change.  They all think this is a fun lesson.  It is also great for any teacher is a little weary of using paint to make a color wheel.  When using model magic, there is no mess to clean up!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Three Dimensional drawing using Light and Shadow

One of my goals this year is to start teaching 5th graders how to draw things 3-D using light and shadow successfully.   In past years, students have struggled because I don't think I was making it easy for them. I found a great resource that I have been using called Hooked on Drawing, by Sandy Brooke (Clicking this link will take you to Amazon).  It has some great easy ways for grades 4 and up to practice drawing technique. 

 What we did at Birch Meadow and will do at Wood End is start with a basic flat circle and turn it in to a sphere just using light and shadow (see my example below). 
Example by Mrs. Erb

All you need to do is figure out where your light source is coming from, and use your charcoal to add the darkest area first, then you smudge and blend it to create your sphere.  Also use your eraser to help with the light spots.  Taking this idea and knowledge, we are applying it to still life drawing.  I bought some pumpkins and gourds and we are using them as our still life.  Birch Meadow is currently working on this and Wood End will begin this project next week  Here are some examples:

5th graders at BMS drawing from a still life

5th grader drawing still life (detail)

Blind contour Self Portraits in 3-D

A few weeks ago, we worked on a blind contour drawing lesson.  Contour drawing is essentially outline drawing, and blind contour drawing means drawing the outline of the subject without looking at the paper. The end result doesn't matter - what is important is carefully observing the subject. This is a perfect drawing exercise to help train the eyes to look at the subject rather than at the paper.  Students were not allowed to look at their paper, and they had to use one continuous line.  For self portraits we used a mirror to look in.  We also did portraits of partners for practice.  We used a paper bag to draw in because it helped the students not look down at their paper.  We ended up taking those blind contour drawings and turning them into 3-D portraits.  Here are some results:

5th graders at WES working on blind contour portraits in their paper bags

example of blind contour portrait (by Mrs. Erb)
student at BMS working on building wire portrait
Finished student work from BMS

finished student work from BMS

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kiln time!

Here is our kiln at Wood End Elementary School!  It finally arrived today after a little mishap with the company...however, here it is.  We couldn't be happier. 

The purchase of this kiln has been kindly funded by the Reading Education Foundation and the Wood End PTO.  Thank you to all who contributed!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Watercolor Techniques

Mrs. Erb's example

Fourth grade students at BMS and WES will begin to paint their Raewyn Harris paintings using watercolors.  Before we begin painting, we needed to practice some watercolor techniques to apply to our work when we begin.  See original post about our work, here.  We used watercolor paper for this exercise.  We divided our paper into six areas in which to paint. 

First Technique is called a gradient wash.  Start by painting a stripe of paint across your paper.  With the same brush, not rinsed off, dip in the water, wipe excess water off, and paint another stripe touching the last one.  this should result in a lighter wash.  This creates values in a painting (see photo above). 

Second we used the wet on wet technique.  Wet your paper so that it is saturated with water.  Paint on top of the wet paper....see your color spread!

Third we mixed colors on the page.  We wet the paper, just like the wet on wet technique but not as wet.  and we painted with yellow all over the paper.  Wash the brush and paint some blue on top.  Wash the brush again, and paint some red on top and watch your colors mix! 

Picking up paint off of the page was the next technique we learned about.  We painted our paper a color.  We then used a tissue to dab some paint off the page.  This technique is great for painting skies. 

Fifth, we did a wax resist.  We took a white crayon and drew a picture or some lines.  Remember to press down hard with the white crayon.  Then paint over the work.  The white crayon magically appears.  In first grade we called it the "magic crayon".  They remembered this technique from then! 

The last technique was using salt to add texture and the snowflake or salt water look.  We painted our page using a very wet wash.  We then sprinkled a pinch of table salt. As the paint dries, the salt absorbs the paint and leaves behind a white residue that looks like sea spray or snowflakes.  See the photo above. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Name designs- Exploring the Elements of Art

Third graders are reviewing the elements of art.  We reviewed the elements of art during the first part of class.  Second half of the class we began designing a piece of artwork using our names and the elements of art.  We used or will use shape, color, line, texture, value, and space.  form will be difficult because these are 2-Dimensional pieces!  Here are some works in progress:

Koru Spiral Plant Paintings inspired by Raewyn Harris

Fourth graders at Wood End and Birch Meadow are learning about artist Raewyn  Harris from New Zealand and her paintings inspired by the Maori people of New Zealand.  Props to Mrs. Brown-Hemenway Art Teacher in Framingham, MA for this lesson.View the lesson at this link.  Thanks Mrs. Brown for sharing your lessons!

We began by talking about what a "koru" was.  We learned that it is a type of fern and the "koru" is actually the spiral in which a new fern grows in.  The Maori people of New Zealand believe that the spiral is significant because it means the unfolding of new life or a new beginning. 

We also talked about artist Raewyn Harris.  She is an art teacher and artist in New Zealand. She loves the land she lives in and is inspired by the people and the things around her to create art.  Read her bio here

He took all of these things we learned and applied it to creating artwork inspired by "koru" plants, the Maori people, and Raewyn Harris.  Here is what we've come up with so far....

By: Joanna C. (BMS)

By: Gavin P.  (BMS)
We started by drawing in pencil and then we are outlining in India ink.  We then will paint with watercolor.  We are using 90lb. drawing paper cut at 11x16 inches. Before we paint, we will learn about some watercolor techniques, like wet on wet, gradient washes, resist, applying salt, color mixing and learning how to pick up paint with a dry brush.  I'l post when finished!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Contour Line Drawing

Fifth Graders at WES and BMS are beginning a drawing unit.  We are starting with the basics.  We are working on Contour Line drawings.  A contour line is the outline of an object.  No shading or too much detail is added to a contour line drawing.  Here are some examples:

by Katie S.

by Rachel T.

by Gerald C.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Welcome Back!!

Hi Everyone! Welcome back to a new school year! This first week we are going over the art room rules and grades 3-5 are creating thier sketchbooks.  Grades 1 and 2 will go over rules and routines and will have a small collaborative project to work on.  Here are the rules they are the same at BMS and WES:
1. Respect each other and all adults present in the room
2. Use all supplies, materials, and tools in a safe and appropriate way as demonstrated
3. Come prepared to work: sit in assigned seats and work on assigned tasks
4. Clean up after yourslef (the maid is on vacation)
5. Be creative and use your imagination
Students who are having issues following the rules or are justhaving a bad day will have a note sent home to parents about what was happening in class.  Parents should sign and date this note and have their child return it the next day to Mrs. Erb. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Summer!!!

Hi y'all...Mrs. Erb's Art Page will be on summer vacation....
There may be a post here and there, but not too often as Mrs. Erb has some exciting adventures in Canada, art making on her deck, weddings to attend, and more!

The art room at Wood End is looking a little bare, and next year at Birch Meadow, Music is moving out and inter its own room, which means art will be able to spead out a bit more!!! Look for a new classroom design in the fall and more room to create!

Happy summer, Friends!


Mrs. Erb

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

craft stick houses

As a last minute project, 1st graders at Wood End School made craft stick houses.  I got this again from Kathy Barbro's Art Projects for Kids.  I did change a few elements.  I used tooling foil for the roof tops instead of breaking or cutting up sticks in different sizes.  We drew on them with sharpie and colored them in with crayon.
Check it out:

By Bella B.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Aboriginal Dot Painting

I was inspired by Kathy Barbaro's lesson on her blog Art Projects for Kids.  Second graders and I discussed Australian Aboriginal artwork and symbols and meanings and we focused on their Dot paintings. 

I followed the lesson pretty square on, but did change a few things.  I used 6x9 inch watercolor paper.  I had the kids draw a border around their paper and draw in the border.  I let them use any geometric shape they would like to draw like, circles, triangles, rectangles, diamonds, etc.  I also let them use any type of colored marker (sharpies).  We got as far as adding color.  The last step will be to add watercolor paint over the drawings. 

adding color

adding color

adding color

Adding color

drawing in pencil

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pie in the Sky

I went over to one of my favorite art blogs, Deep Space Sparkle and borrowed this lesson.  The art work is adapted from the book "Pie in the Sky", by Lois Elhert.  Lois Elhert is an author and illustrator of children's books.  The way she illustrates books are by creating collages to create images.  Collage is a form of art that usually uses colorful papers to create an image.  You can also use fabrics, threads, gems, and other materials in collage. 

The project focuses o the way the birds are created. I tried this with Second grade over at Birch Meadow, and Third Grade at Wood End. I wanted to see which grade level responded better to this lesson.

 First we began by painting papers to use in our collage.  Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of the students painting their papers.  If you are afraid of messes, this is not the project for you!  The kids really enjoyed just painting and making their own paper.

The next class we created a background for the birds.  We made branches and leaves on the branches. 

Next, we cut out shapes for our birds.  Patty at Deep Space Sparkle offers PDF booklets of lessons for a very reasonable price.  I did purchase the lesson and used the templates provided in the booklet. 

cutting out bird shapes

cutting out branches for the background. 
 After the birds were cut out, we put them together and added cherries and other details to the background.  Here are some of the results:
gluing bird together
completed bird by Shannon

Completed bird by Hannah

completed collages by (Left) Sean M., (Top Right) Matthew J., and (Bottom Right) Claire F.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Picasso Guitars, part 2

We finally started painting our Cubist style guitars using tints and shades of one color.  We chose either Blue (for Blue Period), Red (for Rose Period), or Purple because its a popular color. 
Here are some results:

BMS 4th Graders in Mrs. Garelick's class painting

Alan painting his guitar

Matthew's guitar

Jeffrey's guitar

More 4th graders from Mr. Kaminski's class painting

Renee and Emma painting

Ceeva's guitar (WES)

Matthew D's guitar (WES)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mola Inspired Drawings by BMS grade 3

Third Graders at Birch Meadow are working on a piece of art inspired by Molas. 
A mola is part of the traditional costume of the Kuna women of Panama.   "Mola" means "shirt" or "clothing". The mola originated with the tradition of Kuna women painting their bodies with geometrical designs, using available natural colors; in later years these same designs were woven in cotton, and later still, sewn using cloth bought from the European settlers of Panama. 

Kuna Woman selling Molas (from wikipedia)
Molas are made by using the technique of appliqué.  Appliqué means that pieces of fabric are sewn on to other pieces of fabric. 
For our project, we studied where the Kuna Yala or Guna Yala people lived, which is in Panama on a small group of Islands that were formerly called the San Blas region.  It is near the Darien Rainforest and Columbia.  Since it is so close to the rainforest, we decided that the subject of our mola inspired drawings should be rainforest animals. 
We started by drawing different types of rainforest animals.  We drew them on black paper and outlined them with white Elmer's glue.
Jessie outlining in glue

Once the glue dried, we added color using oil or chalk pastel.  I gave the choice of either material, because many children have some tactile issues with chalk, meaning that they can't stand the feeling of it.  So instead of making them use it, I gave them the option of using oil pastel.  It was split between oil and chalk pastel.  Each has a different outcome.  Here are some of the results:

Chalk Pastel Mola by Kiara

Chalk Pastel Mola by Erin (unfinished)

Chalk Pastel Mola by Braden
Oil Pastel Mola by Haley (unfinished)