Tag Archives: art project

Art – Greek Vases


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!

Art – Charley Harper Cardinals


My 5th/6th graders did piece based on the artwork of Charley Harper.  Here’s the picture it was based off of:

Schooled in Love: Charley Harper Cardinals

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!

Art – The 2015 Art Show


I know, I know… It’s the end of July and I’m STILL posting for the school year.  But it is what it is.

We had our art show at the St. Sabina Gym this year.  A HUGE thank-you to the Altar Society for reserving the gym.  This helped IMMENSLY with the cost.  Remember – we’re a co-op, and we don’t have the luxury of tax-paid gyms or large spaces (or supplies, paper, tables, chairs, etc.).  Everything we do comes out of pocket or from donations.  The Altar Society was able to use our art show to have a bake sale and raise money, and we were able to scratch each other’s backs this way.

We started setting up about 9:00 on the morning of May 8th.  The show was scheduled to begin later that day at 6:30pm, and it was time to rock and roll.  Let me say this up front:  I could NOT have done this without the help of the adults and students who came in.  Some stayed a couple of hours, and others stayed for most of the day.  They were a HUGE HELP!

This next year’s show is schedule for April 29th.  It’s a little earlier in the year, but it seems the beginning of May is difficult for most families because of graduation, soccer nationals, and other end-of-the-year things.  Having it a week or so earlier should help ease that.  We’ve also reserved the day before to start the set-up.  I think this will help with the stress-overdrive that happens about 3 hours before the show opens, when we’re all scrambling to get things put up.  If I can get the pillars and panels set up as well as the lay-out for the projects done the night before, we can start hanging things a LOT earlier.

Enough talking!  On to the show…

But first!  Thank-you to my hubby of 20 {fabulous} years for taking all these pictures AND taking the day off to help set up!  I love you, Chris!

This first set is the overall view of the show.  We added another set of panels this year and had four pillars.  We also utilized the walls.  We had two activity tables:  the draw-what-you-want table with kraft paper, and the make-a-dot table.  Both were a hit!

Here’s the first pillar:

This next set is the pictures that were on the perimeter walls of the gym.

Here’s a our “Make-A-Dot” station.  Apparently the “M” got put in the wrong place.  Maybe next year…

The 7th/8th grade woven circles looked beautifully placed here.  It was SUCH a great idea from one of the helpers, because I couldn’t get them to hang on a panel.

Here are the 5th/6th grade Day of the Dead skulls:

The first panel set:

I just love the way the volunteer arranged these fish paintings made by my 7th/8th graders!

The monsters, made by my 7th/8th graders:

The second panel set:

The high school Trophy Animal Heads:

The second pillar:

The Greek vases, made by my 5th/6th graders:

The third panel set:

Paper mache bowls, created by my 3rd/4th graders:

The third pillar:

Yarn and foil designs, created by my 5th/6th-graders:

The fourth panel set:

The perspective project, by my high schoolers:

Here’s our center piece:  a chandelier in the style of Dale Chihuly, using water bottles.  It was definitely the star of our show!  When the a/c came on in the gym, it made our chandelier slowly spin.  How cool was that?  This was made primarily by my Wednesday class, but other classes helped to paint the bottles because there were so many.  I think we used almost 300.

Schooled in Love:  2015 Art Show

Here’s the bake sale and refreshment station.  Thank you again to the St, Sabina Altar Society for lining up the use of the gym!

Art – Aboriginal Paintings


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.

Art – Dragon Eyes


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.

Art – Funky Chickens, pt. 2


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!

Art – Turkey Selfies

Somehow, he knows what's coming...

Somehow, he knows what’s coming…

Somehow, he knew what was coming….

I passed out a sheet of cartoon eyes that depicted emotion to my 7th/8th grade class.  Then, I asked the kids to think about the idea of the Thanksgiving turkey having a smartphone, and on that smartphone would be pictures.  What would the final selfie of the turkey look like?  Did he (or she) know what’s coming, or was he completely and blissfully unaware?

At first, we make this all about the turkeys, and used chalk pastels, with the black oil pastels to outline and fill-in, on orange paper.  They were fine like that, but I felt like it could use something else, so we made backgrounds of the turkey farms and they REALLY came alive!  The backgrounds were made using colored pencils and watercolors.

Caution… the expressions of the turkeys and their unique farms are pretty dang funny.




Level 2 Art – Finding Poetry in Book Pages

Schooled in Love:  Poetry

“When they all journey together, it had always been among a great many places, like the lake and delightful gardens.”

I really love having an older group to work with.  We can do all the intricate things and get great results!  Plus I get to do the art projects right along with them at the table.  It’s a very relaxed environment for them AND me.  Bonus!Here’s what we did:  I grabbed a book off my shelf.  We’re homeschoolers, so there’s no shortage of books, and we sometimes even have duplicates.  In this case, I used A Horse and His Boy from the Narnia series (great series, by the way!).  We actually have the complete series in one giant book, and having an additional copy of A Horse and His Boy was unnecessary, so we sacrificed it in the name of Art.

I went through the book and clipped the strings that held the sections together, resulting in having two pages separated by the binding crease.  The left side (that had the title of the book) was going to be our resulting page, and the right side was to be our scratch paper.

Once everyone had a page, I made a duplicate of each one on the copy machine.  We used the copied version to find words that cascaded down the page that created a complete thought.  By using the copied version, were able to make mistakes, erase them, cross them out, or whatever.  After we found a sentence we were happy with, we circled each word, and connected them.

After that, we had fun drawing all manner of lines around the page.  Some of us added color with watercolor pencils, and some stuck to grey-scale.  Finally, we mounted the pages to a black mat.


“The fresh set grave, mysterious and free, was ready for his life. It cried out, “There he is!” and seized him by the moment.”


“Gooseberry really thought he was dazed about fine, little, promised years.”

Level 2 Art – Cityscape

My sample piece of a cityscape.

My sample piece of a cityscape.

This was a fairly easily guided process, and if you have kids that like to use Sharpies, this is a good piece for them.  I wanted the group to create either a sunset or a sunrise, and I think they did a great job. They’re excited to start the next project!

1.  Using a pencil, draw a frame just inside the outer edges, on all four sides.  Then, using a ruler and a pencil, draw geometric shapes (rectangles and triangles) to create the first (bottom) layer of building structures.  Make sure the buildings touch each other.  Once that’s done, draw another set just above the first, making sure to stagger the vertical lines, or walls, of the buildings.  Do it again with a third set of buildings.  Make sure to only go up two-thirds of the way up the paper, so you have room for the sky.

2.  Once all the buildings are drawn, add the windows.  It looks best if the windows are alternated and changed up a bit.

3.  Use a super-fine Sharpie marker to trace over all the buildings and windows.  Use a ruler, if needed.  Those edges need to be straight!

4.  Add the shading by using a grey marker on the left sides and bottoms only.  If you’ve drawn diagonal lines (like my students did), you’ll realize that you’re probably best shading only the vertical line that’s connected with them – unless you want to do it differently.  Hey!  It’s art!

5.  Using the same grey marker, draw a thick line to separate and emphasize the layers of buildings.

Step 1

Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

6.  Mask the tops of the buildings using blue painter’s tape.  Try to get the tape to cover all of the top black line, but not go over it.  IMPORTANT:  Make sure you rub your fingernail along the edges.  If you don’t, your watercolor might seep under it.

Step 6

Step 6

7.  Watercolor the different shades of a sunset or a sunrise.  Don’t use too much water when you brush up against the tape, and blend the colors together with water on the paper.

Faith's sunset looks almost like a wildfire is in the background.  I love it!

Faith’s sunset looks almost like a wildfire is in the background. I love it!

Annika didn't like the grey line that separated the building levels, so she blended it out.  Brilliant!

Annika didn’t like the grey line that separated the building levels, so she blended it out. Brilliant!

Katie's colorscheme for her cityscape is beautiful for a sunrise.

Katie’s colorscheme for her cityscape is beautiful for a sunrise.