Last year, during the holidays, I introduced the (then) 6th/7th graders to Blue Dog. They really loved the vibrancy of Rodrigue’s paintings. The challenge for my students was to add a hat, mittens, scarf, or some sort of wintery look, and then add a crazy background. They a lot of fun with this!
First, I showed a video about George Rodrigue:
Then, we went through a slideshow of Blue Dogs to really pick apart the paintings.
Here are the finished pieces:
Last year, my 5th/6th graders made Greek vases for their sculpture piece. It’s a pretty involved project, and took several classes to complete. However, I think they turned out pretty well!
Here are the example pieces I showed the kids. I took these pictures in the Dallas Museum of Art when I went to visit over the Christmas holiday.
The students first attached a balloon to a bowl and covered it with paper mache.
Then, they rolled up newspaper to make handles and attached a cup to the top, then covered the entire thing with at least two layers of paper mache.
Finally, they painted the vase with copper and black acrylic. They each picked a Greek myth they liked and used that as a reference to paint on the vases.
They looked great at our annual art show!
Last year’s 5th/6th graders had fun making these space shuttles, inspired by Lines, Dots, and Doodles.
In an effort to get caught up, I’m posting three different projects for this one. Whew!
The first set is from my (last year’s) 3rd/4th graders: Jellyfish. First, they drew out their jellyfish very lightly, and then covered it in glue. While the glue was still wet, they dripped watercolors and let it bleed. Once the glue was dry, they added the watercolor background and used saran wrap to make it fractal.
This one didn’t have the same effect in the background, because the color was too muted. Lesson learned by this little artist!
This next set was created by my (then) 5th/6th graders. We were practicing analogous colors.
The final set is from my (then) 7th/8th graders. The challenge was to have at least one partially behind another, and at least one partially off the page. I found some free coloring pages and printed them off for the kids to use and swap out. They were able to trace whichever fishes they liked. Then, they used oil pastels to make the fishes hyper-colorful. Finally, they used watercolor to fill in any remaining fish parts as well as the background water.
Grid drawings are a fun way to challenge even my artistically-minded students. It forces them to think linearly instead of just drawing whatever they think of. For the ones who automatically think linearly, they get a chance to really shine because this project, if done correctly, yields beautiful results! It makes everyone look like a pro!
I found these pre-gridded super heroes, which made this project 100% easier than coming up with the examples myself!
Once the students picked out their favorite superhero, they drew a grid with 1″ spaces. They didn’t draw the super heroes out in pencil first – this was straight-up Sharpie! Once they were done, they erased the grid, and viola!
My 5th/6th graders did piece based on the artwork of Charley Harper. Here’s the picture it was based off of:
First, the students drew a birdbath and outlined it gray oil pastel. Then they used a gray watercolor wash to fill it in. Once it was dry, they cut it out. They lined up the birdbath on the second sheet of paper and made a small mark at the top of it in pencil. They removed the birdbath and drew a cardinal body on the line, like a Hershey’s Kiss. Next, they drew two dots for the eyeballs, and then drew a “U” and connected the dots at the top. Inside of that shape, they drew an upside-down “U”, and then a “V” to create the beak. They colored in the black part with a Sharpie, as well as outlined the cardinal with it. Once they were done with the body, they used a ruler and a red Sharpie to make the “flapping” wings. An orange Sharpie was used to color in the beak. Then they used oil pastels to color in the cardinal and make the branches. They water-colored the background blue and then glued the birdbath into place. Finally, using a mix of glue, shaving cream, and glitter, they added puffy snow to the birdbath, the bottom of the paper, and to the branches. They REALLY loved that part, and it looked pretty awesome!
For this project, I printed out some silhouettes of animals found in Australia. The 5th/6th graders did these projects on a paper bag. Once the students picked out their animal, they drew it onto the paper bag sheet, remembering to fill the page as best they could, and used a Sharpie to outline it, and then drew lines to make sections to fill up the rest of the space. They had fun crumpling the sheet up into a tight ball, and trying to smooth it out. This gave it an aged, bark-like appearance. Tearing the edges gave it an aged look, too.
Next, they used earth-toned chalk pastels to fill in the sections and the animal. Once that was completed, they dipped the end of their paintbrushes into acrylic paints and made dots in circles and lines to represent Aboriginal dot painting.
I really liked how these turned out, and I think all the students enjoyed the process.
Last year, my 6/7 class painted lots of paper. We had it strung up all over the place, but we never got to actually use it for a project. When they were a 5/6 class, those kids tore paper into leaf and petal shapes to make their poinsettias, and they used regular construction paper to do this.
For my new 5/6 students, we kicked it up a few notches. We used the painted papers from last year, and they turned out great!
We drew petal and leaf shapes (for poinsettias, they’re pretty much the same) onto the chosen painted papers. I had lots of oranges and blues for the petals, and reserved the greens for the leaves. Then, we cut them out and positioned the parts where we wanted them, and then we glued everything down. To make it even more elegant, we used gold or silver oil pastels to outline the petals and give them their veining. Yellow oil pastels were used for the centers. Don’t they look beautiful??
My Wednesday class is two hours long this year! Yay! This REALLY helps with being able to complete more complex art pieces. Even though it’s two class periods, it actually works out to be as if it were 2.5 to 3 class periods, because we eliminate the need to clean up and set-up time, as well as the “get focused” time. It really adds up!
One of our first projects was a dragon eye. It was adapted from a black and white sketch I found on the internet. I think these turned out so cool!
First, they sketched out the eye. Then, using watercolor pencils, they emphasized each scale, and pulled in the color. They used watercolors to add shading and more color. They also splattered the skin to add texture, and for the pupils they used black Sharpies.
I did this project with my then 5th/6th-graders, so since I have a new group of 5th/6th-graders, I decided it was time to do it again. It was such a success last time, and the kids had a great time with it! Here’s the original posting.
I did change a couple of things this time. First, instead of having each partner draw in the grass, I had the original artist do all of it after the chicken was done. Second, instead of having the partner artist put in the egg, I let the original artist do that as well.
I love these chickens!