"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
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LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I acknowledge, with deep respect, that I am gathered on Treaty 7 territory. I acknowledge the many First Nations, Métis and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands for generations. I respect the histories, languages and cultures all the Indigenous peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our community.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Art History on a Bottle

Art Nouveau Stained Glass
 This is one of my all-time favourite projects. I was inspired by an Arts & Activities lesson entitled: Painting Cloud Nine: A Study of Magritte's Bottle Series (author: Diane Turner, November 2000)
 However, instead of Magritte, I have students choose any artist or art style/period they wish. This year I did this project with my Grade 10's. There is a bit of prep work involved, though. I collected wine bottles (leave a note in the staff room and you'll get a ton- teachers drink alot of wine!!), soaked the labels off, washed and dried them, then had my student volunteer prime them all with gesso. Then students had to choose an artwork to re-create or they could choose their own subject matter but in the style of a famous artist. I find landscapes work the best as they can most easily be 'wrapped' around the entire bottle for a seamless finish.
 They painted these with acrylics and I spray varnished them at the end. 

Start off by soaking off the labels off the bottle (I leave them in a bucket of water overnight)
 and wash and dry them. 

Prime them (I used gesso but white house paint would also work). 
Two coats may be necessary to get a really white, opaque finish.


Once students have decided on their image, sponge paint the main background colour(s). 
Let dry. 
Once dry, they can draw their design on this layer and start building up 
layers of acrylic paint from there.

These are easy to knock off the table so be careful!  We had one casualty :(

R.I.P Warhol bottle  :(


BUT she did a new one and hot glued together the old one! 
We all agreed the broken one looked more unique and edgy!

So here's a background layer drying.

this student added final details at the end with a permanent black marker.

Students printed off photo references.
It's important to varnish these at the end for protection; the paint can chip off quite easily, 
as glass isn't a porous surface to paint on.

Grade 10 results! Ta da!

Van Gogh


Andy Warhol

This student resined her bottle for a high gloss love which I LOVE.

My sample, based on Magritte.

Another Warhol


Holley said...

I assigned this project this year using 2Liter cylinder shaped soda bottles. We added a small amount of
plaster of paris in the bottoms to
weight the bottles. I will try the gesso next time instead of wall primer. Good project...your students did some awesome art on the bottles!

Miss said...

Holley: Thanks for your comment! I hope the project worked out for you and your students. I've never considered using plastic bottles before- good tip about the plaster for weight.

Donald Peters said...

I did this project with my students last year with some slight variations. I had them choose an 'art style' and they had to do a 2 minute research video on that style (we are 1:1 school) then paint the bottle in the style they did their research on. Then I put QR codes on the finished bottles to connect to their research. I would like to talk to you more about this project. Could you please contact me at 'donaldpeters@mgsd.k12.nc.us'?

Miss said...

Your version sounds really cool, Donald! I sent you an email.

Anonymous said...

Hello, What did/do you use to varnish the bottles? Thanks.

Miss said...

Anonymous: for varnish, we used a basic spray varnish (Krylon brand)- you can use matte or gloss finish depending on what you prefer. I sprayed them outside after school because of the fumes.

Students could also use any regular brush on water-based varnish and do it themselves.

The really shiny ones- like the Warhol bottle, was resined for a super thick high gloss finish.

Anonymous said...

First I just want to say I love you blog! Such inspiring art projects! I am doing my student teaching right now and will be graduating this December. I am only 21 years old, so I am a young teacher that is just getting started! I have been collecting lessons that really inspire me! I found this one and plan on using it! I have been collecting bottles. I saw you got this lesson from Arts and Activities, but I am not subscribed to them. I have a couple of their magazines that teachers have given me. I was wondering if you would happen to have this lesson from the magazine still or a written lesson of history on a bottle? And if you do, if you would be so kind and pass it on to me? It would be much appreciated! Thanks so much

Miss said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks very much for your comment. I remember my student teaching days fondly :) Alot of late nights!!

I assume you need a written lesson plan for your coursework? I rarely write lesson plans anymore!

So sorry, I don't have a lesson plan for this- I read the orginal lesson in the Arts & Activities magazine like I mentioned (you should definitely subscribe to this magazine) but don't have the hardcopy.

Good luck entering the world of art teaching :)

thomas and dad said...

Hi! Can you email me more specific step by step like when to paint and if they print and cut and glue them varnish? Super cool idea! Dsevy@sd251.org

Miss said...

Hi Dana, the steps are pretty much written in the post. Not sure what you mean about printing, cutting and gluing? There was none of that- it's all paint.
1. Students choose an artwork to paint (from a book or Internet). 2. Prime bottles. 3. Draw the design with pencil; paint with acrylic. 4. Let dry. Spray with varnish. Done!
Hope this helps :)

Anonymous said...

hello~I have a question for the bottle.when I put Plaster and glue cover the bottle.the bottle have many Granules.but I saw your bottle is looks very smooth.what is the reason? thx you very much~~~

Miss said...

Hi anonymous: to paint the bottles white first, use latex house paint or primer. If you use a white spray paint, it would be even smoother. I think 'gesso' translated wrong for you. Any smooth, opaque white paint will work. White acrylic might even work, but you'll need two coats. I spray varnish the bottles at the end, so that's why they're smooth and shiny :)

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