Saturday, November 21, 2015

Matching pairs, winter socks & mittens

Kinder artists made their own matching pairs after reading the book A Pair of Socks. They were amazed to learn the trick of folding the paper before cutting to get two identical shapes! They did an fantastic job with their cutting and gluing and making matching patterns.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Winter in the Forest, 5th grade

I love the beauty of nature in winter. Although you will find me buried under blankets indoors the entire cold weather season, it is still the most beautiful season :).
I chose 5th grade for this lesson because much of their curriculum involves precise drawing and complicated steps - I felt like they would really enjoy a fun lesson with painted papers and stamp printing! I saw some beautiful acorns and mushrooms over at Painted Paper blog ( ) and decided we should try some. We spent one class texturizing a large paper with neutral color tempera, using brushes, sponges, and plastic combing tools. We also stamp printed our backgrounds with pine needles and berries, made from cardboard strips and pencil ends. These were left to dry until the following week.
Next, we cut out the shapes of forest tidbits - acorns, mushrooms, twigs, pine cones - and some kids also made animals or tracks. We glued them down to appear as they would if we were looking at the forest floor during the first snowfall of winter, and the final step was a few printed snowflakes using foam sticker stamps and white tempera.

The snowflake stampers are little plastic cups with foam stickers and white tempera brushed on:

Artsonia savings thru Dec. 14

Parents - our online art gallery Artsonia is offering 25% off one regularly priced item until December 14 - use the code HOLIDAYFUNDS15 at checkout. There is also a sale on holiday cards through November 30.
We have been uploading fall and winter themed art in many classes and will continue uploading after the Thanksgiving break, so please stop by and check out the products available for your gift giving needs! Thanks for your support.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Snowy Evergreens collage & print, 2nd grade

These colorful landscapes were inspired by the beautiful illustrations of Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts. There were mixed feelings among the characters regarding the colorful "evergreen" trees in the famous Charlie Brown animated special, but I was always enamored with their bright & bold style. 

We began by drawing evergreen shapes like pine, fir, cypress, and spruce, then we added cones and berries some of these trees produce. We chose warm or cool color Fadeless brand paper - one of my favorite art supplies! The snowy background is created from printing tempera coated bubble wrap, and we finished it off with a doily "snow cloud" and some footprints in the snow.

Scraps make great "half trees" for the edges and folding the paper makes the trees symmetrical while cutting the cutting time in half. :)

Winter landscapes by 1st grade - one day project

I needed a quick winter themed artwork for a holiday card deadline and thank goodness for the great ideas at McLean Magnet ES found on Artsonia - I knew their landscapes would be a nice inspiration for my first graders, who learned about creating space in a landscape through size and placement choices.  First we sketched in the hills and bare branched trees, and added a moon and a few footprints in the snow. Next, we painted colorful skies to contrast with the hills of white snow and topped it off with some snowflake spots using the back end of our watercolor brushes. Sometimes simple is all you need for just the right look!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

This week in art... First of November

Here is a sneek peak of what's going on in the art room now - a few of these will have more detailed posts coming soon. Please follow me on Instagram @smartestartists for daily updates!
The picture above shows a 5th grade class reading their pen pal letters that arrived from California. They are excited about designing postcards to send back.

My fourth graders are beginning their city building drawings based on James Gulliver Hancock's project "All the Buildings in New York" - this is always an amazing printmaking lesson for 4th and I know this year will be no different, pics soon to come. See his work here - great style and subject!

Third graders are working on expressive line drawings and still doing some uploading to Artsonia - they are hooked and want to upload everything!

Second graders have begun some wintry landscape collages with bubble print backgrounds - these evergreen trees are in expressive warm or cool colors using Fadeless art paper - I love that stuff! We looked to one of my all-time favorites, Charles Schulz, for inspiration here. More to come.

First graders are completing their sunflower still lifes inspired by Vincent Van Gogh and will soon research his Starry Night. This is part of our "nouns in art" unit. People=portraits, Places=landscapes, and Things=still life.

 This resource is available on my Teachers pay Teachers site.

Kindergarteners turned paint blobs into interesting collage creatures after reading the book Beautiful Oops. We learned about shapes, textures, and collage techniques as well as creating art from our imaginations.

Have a great weekend - thanks for stopping by!