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"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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Friday, September 28, 2012

Pattern: Plaid Cat Collage


This is a collage project, suitable for elementary grades, using paper painted in a plaid pattern. If you encourage the use of "Halloween" type colours (oranges, purples, greens) it could make a nice Halloween project. One of the main objectives, though, is to teach students how to paint a plaid pattern, and how to look at an animal in more simple terms of basic shapes in order to create a collage (similar to the technique used by Eric Carle).

I was initially inspired by the "Mixed Media Plaid Puppy" project posted by Barbara Boville on the Incredible Art Department website here.

So start off by showing students example of plaid patterns. Maybe point out some that students themselves might be wearing. Have them describe the pattern and colours used. plaid is a pattern consisting of crossed horizontal and vertical bands in two or more colors in woven cloth. Common examples of plaid patterns include: tartan (most common) and the more simple gingham. (Source)

So to start off, students need to use flat brushes in at least three different sizes
large, medium and a thin one. For the paint, you can use watercolours, tempera or acrylics. 


This is the most simple way I found to create a plaid, but there are limitless ways so just experiment. 

We used watercolour paint. Start off by painting the thickest or widest lines first and then work down to the thinnest lines. On white paper (heavier weight is best), paint three wide stripes (largest brush) horizontally, then turn the paper around and paint three vertical lines. Depending on how watery your paint it, you might need to wait a bit at this point before adding any more stripes or the paint will just end up bleeding together. Try to have student work on 2-3 different sheets of paper separately so each one has a bit of time to dry in between.


OK- then switch to the medium sized brush and add more stripes both horizontally and vertically.
You don't need to use the same colour at this point.


Using a smaller brush, add some thinner stripes of colour. Again, you can switch up your colours.


Finally, try to add some really thin stripes. And there you have a basic plaid. You can paint over more and more if you like, continuing to layer different colours to get a more complex design.


For younger students (Grade 2 for example), a simple check or gingham pattern is much easier. Try to have the kid paint the stripes as close to each other as possible. Using larger paper will help alot with this.




The next class, once the paper is dry, flip it over and have students draw the basic shapes for a cat collage- encourage them to 'break-down' or separate the head, the body, paws, tail and ears. Cut those apart.


Assemble them onto a black sheet of paper and arrange it how you like, then glue all the pieces down using a glue stick. Then add facial features using markers or more collage pieces or 
googly eyes or however you like.



Ta da!












15 comments:

Elizabeth - Dream Painters said...

Your plaid cats are absolutely gorgeous! I especially love the orange gingham puss - thanks also for the plaid idea, it has so many potential applications! :)

Hope Hunter Knight said...

Really cute - I could paint plaid patterns all day, myself!

Jessica Young said...

Those are really cute! I love the demo photos of making the plaid pattern....beautiful results!

Mrs. C said...

These are real cute! :) Love the plaid papers!

Miss said...

Thanks everyone!

Chesterbrook Academy Elementary said...

The cats are adorable.
I love the colors and patterns.

Tatjana Knudsen said...

This is a wonderful idea, and I will look forward to try this in my art classes.

Greetings from Denmark

Tatjanaknudsen.blogspot.com

Seizing My Day said...

So cute!! I just found your blog... and will likely visit regularly... we love crafting and art! =) I love the glue line pumpkins... that one will be done soon... and perhaps the plaid too! ;) thanks for sharing!

Art House Mum said...

So cute! Might have to try one myself... and with the kidlets of course...

Rina k6art.com said...

Hi Miss

I LOVE the plaid papers! I think these will be perfect for a father's day project next spring.

Andrea Ream Ellwood said...

Absolutely positively ADORE this project and the fact that you made the Plaid papers!!! So brilliant and inspiring!!! Bravo!

Miss said...

Thanks for all your comments everyone! Painting plaid is so much fun and I think your kids will definitely enjoy this project.

Anonymous said...

Last week I combined this tartan idea with your costume collage idea (http://afaithfulattempt.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/folk-costume-collage.html) to make Victorian ladies in tartan dresses! Even the boys loved making them. Thank you for the inspiration :)

Miss said...

Anonymous: that is so cool- I wish I could see photos of your results! I'm actually gearing up to do the Costume Collage lesson this year again. I love it!

Miss R said...

I posted a blog entry about the Victorian tartan dresses here: http://scottishprimarycolourists.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/tartan-victorian-ladies.html
It worked well as a variation for my class of 10-year-olds :) I didn't take many photos but the results all turned out really well!

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