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Showing posts with label fifth grade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fifth grade. Show all posts

Saturday, January 19, 2013

How to Paint Gorgeous Clouds with Watercolor-- 5th and 6th Grade

Clouds. Aren't they amazing? 

Cloud photography by Carolyn Cochrane  (visit her Etsy shop by clicking on the link)

Two years ago I took a very helpful watercolor painting class.  One of our assignments was to paint clouds. 

Painting by Marcia Beckett

Connecting Art with Science

I love to make connections with other subjects.  This one is perfect for my 5th/6th grade because in Science class they study cloud identification.  They come into my class with a broad understanding of clouds which makes my lesson richer.  

Clouds and Art Resource

The Clouds in Art Gallery is amazing.  This gallery features famous paintings (for example, by Van Gogh, Constable, Turner, Renoir) with the clouds identified.  To start this lesson, I downloaded the powerpoint from the website to show my students.

The One Tool I Can't Live Without for Watercolor Painting

Hands down, my favorite tool for watercolor painting is the fan brush.   Buy fan brushes in a variety of sizes.  If your budget is small, start by buying a small assortment every year.  They are indispensable for creating texture! 
Blick Scholastic Wonder White Fan Blick Scholastic Wonder White Fan
Blick's White Taklon delivers the texture and responsiveness of Red Sable, yet holds up to the caustic nature of solvents and acrylic paints with greater durability, making these brushes a must-have for the classroom. The selection of shapes and sizes available means there's a Wonder White brush for every media and application. The sharp point has good spring. Long handles are finished in blue gloss with nickel-plated brass ferrules.

Tips for Using the Fan Brushes

1.  Find reference photos of clouds to use while painting.

2.  Use the paper towel to dab your brush so it is not dripping wet.  A dry brush will create a nice texture.

3.  Use a light feathery technique to make the texture in the clouds or grass.  Look at this video to see what I mean.  For the clouds, hold the brush flat and dab it up and down.  

4.  When painting the sky, remember to leave the cloud areas white, unpainted.  Paint the sky around the clouds.  While the blue paint is still wet, add other colors (different shades of blues, purples, etc) on top and it will blend the colors together.  Creating variations in the shades makes a more realistic effect.  

5.   Go back in to add depth to your clouds with light touches of grays, pinks, purples.. the sky's the limit! 

Additional Tips for Watercolor Painting Landscapes

  • If you can afford it, don't skimp on the quality of the watercolors for kids.  It does make a big difference, in my opinion.  Every two kids can share the paints.  So if your highest count of kids in a class is 26, buy 13 sets if you can.   Simply instruct them to place the watercolors in between them.  I also find that this helps them to monitor the muddying of the colors.. no one wants all their paints to turn black from careless mixing.   
  • Use a sea sponge for rocky or sandy texture.  
  • As for paper, I have experimented with a lot of paper and I am still on the never-ending quest to find the perfect, non-wrinkly, affordable watercolor paper for kids.  PLEASE let me know if you have any recommendations.  What I have used recently for painting with watercolors and tempera is White Tag Board from Nasco.  I find that it takes paint well and looks pretty nice.  I have not been afraid to get out the iron and carefully iron paintings that have buckled.  Another option is to take a stack of heavy books and place them on top of the dried paintings.  What do you do?


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Round Up

Two of my classes made pictures frames like these: 

They turned out really cute and I did not take pictures until after the kids glued their pictures in, so I did not want to post any of the frames with their pictures in it. 

This year, I did not do too many holiday art projects, but here is a round-up of some that I have done in the past. 

I usually do these in January, but this could be a holiday landscape.

 (I did these again this year, but forgot to take pictures.)

Glass Fusing

The fourth-sixth graders made these glass fused pendants.  We are gluing the "bails" on the back to make necklaces.  The kids are going to give these as holiday gifts to a family member or friend.  They each made two pendants.  

This is the first time I have done fused glass with kids.  I used the how-to guides from the System 96 website and ordered the glass from Delphi glass.  

Have you done fused glass in your kiln before?  If so, I have some questions to ask you and maybe you can help me troubleshoot a bit.  Let me know and we can connect!

Some of the pendants turned out wonderfully (as I expected) and some of them did not seem to melt evenly.  They are still beautiful and the kids are proud of their work, but I am wondering if anyone has any insights.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mixed Media Canvases with Kids

 Thanks for your kind comments about my fingers!  They are actually healing much faster than I expected. 

As you might know, I am a lover of all things mixed media!  I also enjoy occasionally teaching an after school art workshop for my students (I'd love to do more, but since my daughter goes to daycare it's a bit tricky.)  I thought painted canvases would be a great gift for kids to give someone in their family, so I decided to do an after school art class which I taught today.  The kids in this class were in grades K-5, so I had quite a range of skill levels.  23 kids signed up!
1st grade artwork

I bought a bunch of canvases, scrapbook papers and paints on Black Friday (yep, I braved the craziest shopping day to pick up some cheap art supplies.)
5th grader

Each kid chose a 12x12" or 9"x12" canvas and a selection of scrapbook papers.

The kids cut out shapes and imagery from the patterned scrapbook paper.  These were decoupaged on to the canvas using Mod-Podge puzzle saver glue (the kind that you can paint on to a finished puzzle to save it.)  Paint underneath and on top of each shape.  Smooth any wrinkles out with your fingers.  When you are finished mod-podging, use a hair dryer to dry the glue. 
3rd grader

The kids used acrylic craft paints to add paint and designs to their canvas.  Colored sharpie markers were also used for fine details.  It is very important to make sure the paint is dry (with a hair dryer) if you are going to use markers anywhere near the paint.  It will ruin the markers if the paint is wet.  Some students chose to write words on their picture.
Do you see the "love Marcia" at the bottom?  so sweet!  (made by a kindergartner)

The class ran from 3:15-5:00.  The kids mostly all finished by 4:45, which was good because we had a HUGE mess to clean up.  If I did this again, I might split it into two sessions.  It was a long day for the littlest kids. 
Kindergarten-- Lots of expression!
2nd grade

3rd grade

2nd grade  Great shapes!
1st grade  I love the colors in this one.
4th grade girl

The four seasons-- 5th grade boy

(I just got a twitter account if you're interested in becoming my twitter friend.)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Egyptian Clay Sarcophagus-- 4th/5th grade

These are the fun sarcophagi the 4th/5th graders made from clay.  We spent a few days learning about Egyptian art and drawing them on paper.  See my previous post about the drawings. 

Due to my finger problem, I'm not going to type out full directions for the clay sarcophagus.. but we traced the template onto slabs of clay for the top and bottom, built the bottom up with coils and then carved designs in the top of the box.  Kids could either carve or paint their hieroglyphs on the box.  We used regular acrylic paints and some fun gold tempera paint to paint these.  (only one firing before painting.)

A couple of side notes:  I am completely fine with them changing their clay sculpture from the preliminary drawing, personalizing it and not using typical Egyptian sarcophagus colors.  It is a good idea to embrace the change as your ideas progress from the first idea to final artwork.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Name Pattern Designs

This is a great project that ties together math, art, and social studies.  We looked at the repeating patterns and shapes in Islamic tile designs (they are studying Islam in social studies) for inspiration.

The tutorial for this project is in a blogpost I made earlier.  The only difference is that this year we used light tables to trace the image through the triangles.


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