"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.
Thanks for visiting!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Falling Leaves Watercolour Paintings

Grade 4-6 students made these lovely falling leaves watercolour paintings using liquid watercolours.
I was inspired by THIS post on Pinterest- no source is given.

I cut some manila tagboard (cheap!) in half and students drew a leaf of their choice on it. They needed to include a stem and draw the veins on. Once cut out, this was their tracer.
*I encouraged the older students (Grade 6) to draw a more challenging leaf, such as a maple or oak. Grade 4 students mostly drew the simpler leaves.

I cut 12 x 18" heavy white paper in half vertically. Students used their leaf tracer and traced it a bunch of times onto the paper. They need to overlap some of them and I also encouraged the used of a diagonal composition which helps give a sense of movement or falling leaves.
Once traced, the leaves and veins were outlined in Sharpie.

Liquid watercolors have become one of my favorite art media. They are not as convenient as regular palette watercolors but they are just so beautiful to paint with; much more vibrant (at least mine are).
Although I store mine in condiment cups that are placed in tempera puck trays, there is at least one spill per class. So I have cloths handy to wipe up spills.

The kids started off by painting the leaves using warm colours. 
They were encouraged to use the wet-on-wet technique and allow the
 colours to bleed together.

The next class, once the leaves were dry, they painted the background using cool colours.

Here are some of the finished ones- these are much more vibrant in person.
My new camera phone takes terribly dull and washed out photos!


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Concentric Circles Marker Design

This colour theory lesson was the first project of the Year for students in Grades 4-9. It's a great introductory lesson and helps me gauge the ability levels of any new students joining my classes.
There are many versions floating around Pinterest using a hand. I think I saw the original lesson on the excellent website: Art Projects for Kids

I made a template on two different sized copy paper: 8 x 11 and 11 x 17. Big paper for faster students and smaller paper for those slower 'perfectionist' types.  I just enlarged the small paper on the photocopier. We started off by discussing/explaining the concept of concentric circles (Math connection!). The they were to choose an object to draw: it could be anything but just the outline. They didn't want anything too simple yet nothing too complicated as well.

They draw their chosen image nice and large on the paper in pencil; then they could outline 
in black Sharpie if they wished.

Because the paper was simply thin photocopy paper, we used markers for the project as I find they work great on copy paper. And because it's the beginning of the year, we had FRESH NEW markers! We know how much kids love those! haha! 

We reviewed different basic types of colour theory as options for colouring their image. They could do warm/cool colours, complementary colours and I also gave them the choice of free-styling any colours they wanted because I was actually curious how they would turn out. 

I encouraged them to start with either the background or the object and 
to start colouring from the center out.

They all came out beautifully and as a display are so bright, cheery and colourful!

Some Grade 4-6 examples:

free-style colouring

warm/cool as well as complementary



Sunday, September 10, 2017

Symmetrical Mandala Drawings using Reflect-View

This is a fun lesson that was introduced to me by a Math teacher at my school. 
Last year we team-taught a Math + Art cross-curricular class which we call "MART". 

For this mandala lesson, you need to buy these small plastic things called 
"Reflect-View". I found them in the Math section of the educational catalog I order from and they're very inexpensive and sturdy.
In Math, they're used to help teach the basics of geometry, including axes of symmetry, reflections, transformations, and congruence. For Art, we're using them to teach symmetry.
Mandalas are a simple starting point for this lesson but you can also teach face symmetry, insect symmetry, etc.

I found some simple mandala colouring pages online and printed them off. Then I traced three versions of them: the easiest one which is half a mandala. Then a quarter of a mandala, and the last one which is, ummm, I need a Math teacher to help me! (one-eighths?? Math was my WORST subject in school- I struggle with it to this day!) The thin pie one- it's the most difficult because student need to trace it about 7 times to get a completed mandala.

So Grade 2 students picked the sheet of paper they felt most able to do. Most chose the quarter one.
Place the Reflect-View on the middle line of the mandala and you can see it's reflection on the other side of the paper. Students slowly and carefully trace this line. It's really tricky but fun! Once the one section is traced, you keep going around until the mandala is complete. 
The finished mandala looks quite wobbly and such but it's still very charming.

Students coloured these in using coloured pencils or markers.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Painted Paper Plate Yarn Weaving

After a few years of having this project on my 'to teach' list, I finally got around to trying paper plate weaving with my Grade 4-6 mixed class. I saw the original idea HERE on the amazing website of Cassie Stephens. I followed her direction exactly and the weavings turned out really well. 
I HIGHLY recommend only using Chinet brand plates as Cassie states. I tried it with a thinner paper plate and it did not hold up well. So stick with Chinet or the sturdiest brand you can find.

Students started off by painting their plates using tempera. They could use any colours/patterns they wanted to. They had a lot of fun with this step and thought it was pretty cool painting on plates.

They didn't fit in my drying rack so we left them on the floor to dry overnight.

I collected yarn like a madwoman from garage sales and thrift stores. Then a colleague, who I was sharing yarn with, colour coded all the yarn into different plastic bags- sweet! I laid all these out onto a couple of tables so my kids could see the variety of colours and textures available.

Following the directions on Cassie's blog, students wrapped their warp (I demonstrated two times, then we did it together) and then they started weaving using the same warp string. My kids have done paper weaving before and most caught on pretty quickly. Once they have had enough of one colour, they tie on a new colour and keep weaving.

The kids LOVED this project and they all turned out really nice :)

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