For my Saturday art class this fall, I taught students how to create a lot of sculptures. We started out using clay and students designed sketches of what they wanted to create and then used clay techniques to put together their clay pieces (with air dry clay). They painted their sculptures with tempera. We also made plaster strip sculptures. Students created their base with balled up newspaper and tape and then went over the newspaper with plaster strips. My little kids made pumpkins/jack-o-lanterns and my older kids designed their own sculpture.
Saturday Art Studio
These are some of the projects we worked on in Saturday art studio this spring.
The first project we made was these houses:
Paper Mache Animals:
Explorations and Other Projects:
Kindergarten learned about Georgia O’Keeffe today and created their own close-up, enlarged flower artworks. Kindergarteners looked at fake flowers for inspiration, then sketched out their flower in pencil. Then they colored each petal and the background with chalk pastel and smudged the colors together. Lastly, they traced over their pencil lines with black ink using foam brushes. These are the finished artworks! I love how they turned out.
This fall, lower elementary made these lovely fall leaves using chalk pastel and construction paper. Students practiced tracing leaf templates and adding colorful patterns with chalk pastels. Students even experimented with blending and smudging the pastels together.
Kindergarten also created fall leaves using a cool colored paper for the background and a warm colored paper for the leaf. Students also practiced tracing and cutting leaves. With kindergarten, I try to do as much cutting practice as possible so students can continue working on strengthening cutting skills.
Teaching kindergarten about self-portraits is really fun because they come up with such creative ideas and their drawings of themselves are so happy. It’s been a very long and tiring week of teaching but seeing the art my students create always makes me happy and reminds me of the reason I love teaching art.
One kindergarten class drew self-portraits from head to shoulders. They added yarn for hair and buttons/sequins as decorations.
The other kindergarten class painted pictures and then drew a self-portrait of themselves as an artist, holding a paintbrush and painting the background.
Making Paper With My Students
This fall, I taught a weekend art class at my local arts center. Since the classes were smaller, I really wanted to make paper with my students. It was a lot of prep work and my blender started smoking at one point, but it was really fun and a great way to introduce students to the paper-making process.
I prepped red, yellow, and blue paper pulp by blending soaked paper scraps and adding acrylic paint to the blender. The main paper pulp was in big tubs and students used smaller cups to scoop up paper pulp to take to their seats. Students created paper pulp designs on top of a piece of cardboard covered in plastic wrap.
Here is the process of making paper pulp designs:
The finished paper!:
Earth Day Stewardship Hands & April Showers Bring May Flowers
Earth Day Stewardship Hands
For Earth Day with lower elementary and kindergarten, we read the book Earth Day by Todd Parr, which is about different ways people can help the Earth. Then, we brainstormed different ways we can help and honor the Earth (turning off the lights, planting flowers, recycling, walking, etc.). Students traced their hand onto their paper and drew a picture of themselves helping the environment inside the hand, and in the background, students drew their favorite place in nature or other things they appreciate about nature.
In the spring, we were still mostly doing virtual school, so short, one-day lessons worked the best, because otherwise, many students misplaced their art and would have to start over in the next class.
April Showers Bring May Flowers
Another one-day lesson I did was this “April Showers Bring May Flowers” card. On the outside, students used cool and neutral colors for April Showers, and on the inside, students used bright colors and the rainbow to show “May flowers”. We also reviewed the colors of the rainbow (can’t forget about indigo!).