Thursday, October 12, 2017

Picasso Portrait Inspired Art Lesson Using Folded Paper and Watercolor

There are so many ways to teach Picasso portraits, 
I'm working with 3rd grade so I wanted to keep it simple.
I'll show them some of Picasso's Portraits and then go into the project - demonstrating each step.

I'm going to ask them to create diagonal folds, not even folds that create squares on their page, but more random folds.
They should make about 5 folds and then using a ruler go over the fold lines with a sharpie.
Looking at the lines on their page and turning it around from different sides they should see the suggestion of a face and they can begin sketching.
I'm going to show them how to use the lines to begin the eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth, chin etc...

When they have a face they like they should go over it with sharpie.
Now they can use watercolor to finish the portrait.  
I am going to emphasize complementary colors which is another way to force them to be more abstract, but also something Picasso did in his paintings.

Student Work

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

"The Starry Night" Simplified Art Lesson

Using Vincent Van Gogh's "The Starry Night" as inspiration students will create their own experimental watercolor version.

My students are learning about Van Gogh this year and I wanted a fun project to get the year started inspired by "The Starry Night" - one of the most famous and well liked paintings in the world.

Using Watercolor washes and wet into wet, oil pastel, alcohol and salt resist students will make their own version of the sky from the painting.

You will need:
Liquid Watercolor in dark blue and purple
Watercolor paper
Water and brushes
Oil Pastels 
Isopropyl alcohol
droppers or Q-tips

I am going to discuss Van Gogh and his work with the students and in particular this painting.
This is a great painting to discuss warm and cool colors, energy in art, an artist's style, post impressionism, active/still, abstract/realistic, mood etc...

I'll demonstrate sketching an easy composition.
They can begin by lightly sketching the moon, stars, clouds and the horizon line.
If they choose to add the cypress or other details that's fine.  I'm just going to let them do what they want - as long as it's inspired by "The Starry Night"
Next add the oil pastel over the sketch and wherever else they want.
After they finish with the oil pastels I'll demonstrate the next step.
Using the dark blue watercolor with lots of water do a wash over the entire painting - so it's quite diluted. 

The Oil pastel resists the watercolor.
Add more of the blue in the painting, but this time don't add any water so it's darker.
Use big brushstrokes in the same style as the oil pastels to reinforce the energy in the painting.
Imagine being Van Gogh - is this how he would do it?
Working quickly so the paper doesn't dry add some purple brushstrokes as well.
Next add the alcohol in the areas you want to lighten.
This is right after I added the alcohol and a little bit of salt.
I want the salt to suggest other smaller stars so just used a little.
I like the way the alcohol makes the stars look like they are glowing in the night sky.

This is primarily an experiment with watercolor.
Students don't need any drawing ability so pretty much any age or ability level will enjoy this lesson.
As the painting dries the salt and the alcohol really react.
It's kind of like magic and a lot of fun, but also you're giving the students a few new tools to add to their art repertoire and the opportunity to simply explore in a loose manner.  
I'm going to have them sign it with their first name followed by Van Gogh : )

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Dandelion Watercolor Lesson Using Alcohol, Crayon Resist and Salt

This lesson is all about process - virtually anyone can do this!

You will need:
Watercolor Paper
Liquid Watercolor paint in yellow, blue and green
Pipettes or droppers
Table Salt
Crayons in green, yellow and orange
Brushes and water
I used:

The finished painting is inspired by a field of Dandelions.
The Crayon creates a wax resist for the stems and a few yellow flowers.

The alcohol creates the dandelion when it has finished blooming and has the ray of florets.
I know I used to play with these as a child, blowing the seeds away and making a wish.
The salt suggests these individual florets floating in the air.

Begin by drawing some random length and shape dandelion stems with crayon.
Add the yellow bursts at the top of a few stems.
Add a little bit of orange in the center of the yellow and then get the paper wet with at least two coats of water brushed over the surface.  You want the paper to be wet so the watercolor paint will be going onto wet paper, wet into wet.
If the paper starts to curl on the edges just pick it up and bend it to flatten it again.
Drop some yellow onto the paper in the sky and the foreground.  Just put it wherever you want.

Next add some blue into the sky and some green in the foreground and just let it mix with the yellow.
Now stand the painting up and let the colors run down the paper.
Drop some alcohol onto the empty stems with the pipette.  If you don't like the shape the drop makes you can draw the alcohol on with the tip of the pipette.
Sprinkle a little bit of salt around the painting.
When the salt dries you will get that crystal like effect.
I think it looks like the dandelion florets floating in the air.

 Now your students have done:
Wax resist
Wet into Wet
Alcohol reaction
Salt reaction

All in one painting which requires no drawing or painting skills.  
Great for any age and any level of ability.  
Process art is very relaxing and freeing - even for students who have a high ability level.

Have fun! 
Some of my students' work - if they like it, I like it!  I don't try and force them to do it a certain way, just give them options.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Tie Dye Hand Puppets DIY

This project will tap into the silly side of your creativity!  

Art is Fun!!

What You'll Need:
White DIY Hand Puppets OR White Socks
Tie Dye - I used:
purple, pink, green, red and blue
Rubber Bands
Bags to store the dyed puppets 24 hours
Pom Poms
Foam craft sheets
Googley Eyes
Hot Glue gun

I ordered some DIY hand puppets from a craft warehouse a few years ago and I did a project where the students painted them with acrylic paint.  I wasn't thrilled with the process because of all the dry time and also they were stiff when finished.  I wanted to make some puppets again because they are so much fun - so decided to try tie dye.  
I thought of having the students do it themselves and would consider doing it that way with older students and a small group, but you have to leave the tie dye for 24 hours to set the dye and then they really need to be rinsed well and dry.  Pretty much a 3 day process unless you have a washer and dryer on site, which I don't.  Decided to dye them myself so the students can just create their puppets.

Folded my puppets from the bottom up in a zigzag pattern and rubber banded them - then just used the tie dye I had on hand to make several different colors.

I think it will be fun for the students to choose their puppet and decide what it wants to be : )
Mine wanted to be a Horse of Course!
I'm going to have all the materials available and just let them experiment.  I'm also going to show them several examples of puppets so they see all of the possibilities.

The Mane is created by using about 5 yards of yarn and folding it over and over until it is about 12" long.  Then tie a knot in the middle.  Glue the knot on the puppet and trim to desired length. 
The front part of the mane it made by tying the knot at the top of the layers of yarn and glueing the knot between the ears.
If you need a pattern for the ears and eyelashes see jpeg below:
The Ears are basically two triangles.
Below are a few examples to get them thinking about how to make their own puppet.
Because of the tie dye I think they'll really get colorful and imaginative with theirs.

Can't wait to see what they come up with!
 Some Crazy Critters

Picasso Portrait Inspired Art Lesson Using Folded Paper and Watercolor

Th ere are so many ways to teach Picasso portraits,  I'm working with 3rd grade so I wanted to keep it simple. I'll show them...