Remember those awkward school photos in the 80’s?
Well, obviously my 8th/9th graders don’t, and as we were making these, a friend of mine gave me the idea to turn this surrealism lesson into the laser beam pictures, and thus, “Awkward School Pictures” was born. The kids had a great time finding their animal head and adding the Zen tangle-styled clothing, and they used markers and colored pencils. The background laser beams were done with oil pastels watercolor. Fun stuff!
I’m STILL posting art projects from last year. Still. It’s ok, though. I’ll get there…
Last year, my 3rd/4th graders had a great time stamping leaves. I brought in some nice big ones, and once they sponged the background color, they sponged the white on the leaves, pressed them, and viola! Leaf prints. The bright white really helps them stand out.
This was done by my high school kids. The concept is pretty easy, and yet challenging. The kids picked out a scene from an old calendar. Then they cut it into equal strips and glued them down to a piece of paper, making sure to keep the strips equally apart. The students then determine how to fill in the blank spaces between the strips. The challenge comes as the kids try to blend the blank spaces into the surrounding scenery. They used colored pencils for this.
My 5th/6th graders did this project. They used mat board for the background, and then glued yarn in overlapping lines. The yarn could go anywhere, but it just had to make it to another edge. Then they glued a foil sheet to cover the yarn and board. They used Sharpies to color between the yarn pieces.
I got the original idea from here. However, I changed a few things up a bit.
First, we made ours landscape; it seemed to allow for more trees. Next, we used colored squares of tissue paper and collaged them on. This allowed for some process of color-mixing since we were overlapping the squares. Finally, we left the snow bank white, and added salt to the water-colored sky to look like snowflakes. My 3rd-4th graders really liked this project.
Abstract, for me, is the hardest style. My brain NEEDS to make sense of what it’s looking at, so you can imagine how difficult it was/is to teach to others! That’s why I was super-thrilled to find a website with an awesome tutorial on a guided project. I just needed that little (HUGE) push to tackle it, and they came out great!
A word to those of you trying it: make sure you buy a package of disposable brushes for the liquid masking. You may even need to replace a brush midway, if you have a slower, more thoughtful student. I had the students draw what they were going to do on a scratch paper first. This eliminated a lot of the thought-process when it was time to use the liquid masking.
Also, this project made me realize that I need a lot more watercolor pencils. I thought they could share, and they DID, but oftentimes they had to wait a little, and some students felt the need to Bogart them.
A good rule of thumb when teaching this is to remember that it’s really only the artist who knows for sure which end is up on an abstract, so have your students keep turning it, so it doesn’t weigh heavily on one side. To be honest, I don’t even know if the following photos are upright. Only the artists do…
I can’t remember where I got the inspiration for this, but as soon as I find it, I’ll update the post.
This was done by my Wednesday class, and basically, the kids made a frame, and then they traced their hands. They outlined the frame and their hand in Sharpie, and then zentangled the edges, as well as created a henna design for the center. I gave them reference sheets for the zentangling. Once that was done, they used oil pastels to create a radiating effect from the hands. They turned out pretty cool!