"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, April 3, 2020

Japanese Cherry Blossom Paintings

This cherry blossom painting lesson is one of the most popular on my blog according to my stats and hits from Pinterest!

There are a few steps so definitely plan for some drying time in between layers. You'll need watercolours for the background blue sky and then tempera or acrylic for the branch and blossoms.

See my original post with more photos of the process HERE.

I cut long pieces of thick white paper ahead of time. Basically cut posterboard in half or so. Use a plastic container and hold it down on one end and paint all around it with blue watercolour (or watered down tempera paint). This will create the full moon. Let the sky dry.

Then water down some brown tempera to an ink-like consistency. Blob some on the end opposite the moon and then, using a straw, blow the paint across the paper to create an organic looking branch. Let dry. then use pink or purple tempera to create tiny flower blossoms all over the branch with a small round brush. 

Some Grade 7-9 results! 
These look absolutely gorgeous hung together and get a lot of 
positive comments from staff and parents. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Name Mandalas

This is a wonderful project to keep the kids focused and working even when they're antsy at home. 
Simple materials as well: photocopy paper (cut into squares) and markers or colored pencils.

I found this lesson HERE on the blog Apples Loves Oranges
She gives excellent detailed instructions which my students followed. 

Here are some Grade 5 results:

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Maya Glyphs in Charcoal

Starting today I'm going to try and post art lessons that use simple and/or minimal supplies, to help those of us who are teaching from home (including me!)

This lesson only requires charcoal and some type of drawing paper. It helps if you have white chalk pastels as well for shading.

I introduced my Grade 7-9 students to the ancient Maya civilization. I showed them a map of the world where they are located as well as some images of their glyphs. I also showed the video below:

I created handout from images I found online of Maya glyphs and their translations. Students could also choose to write their name as per instructions in THIS PDF file. 
First they sketched out their glyph(s) onto grey construction paper.
I did a demo on the different types of charcoal (vine, conte and compressed) and let them choose between conte or compressed. I also showed them how to shade these to make them look like carved glyphs. 

They fill in the center areas with white then outline them with black or brown and then blend it all together using their fingers or a blending stump.

Charcoal does erase and I recommend that you keep specific erasers separate just for charcoal and chalk pastels projects- mine were so dirty afterwards, lol

Some finished Grade 7-9 artworks- our school shut down mid project!

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Modigliani Style Portrait Paintings

This is one of my all time favorite lessons to teach to my junior high (Grade 7-9) students. 
I get so excited for the new results every time I teach it. 

You can see my previous posts on this lesson HERE and HERE.

It's inspired by one of my favourite artists, Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920). He is known for portraits and nudes in a modern style characterized by elongation of faces, necks, and figures that were not received well during his lifetime but later found acceptance and now sell in the millions at auction. 

Portrait of Jeanne HĂ©buterne, 1918
 Students start off by looking at his work and then drawing a quick practice sketch. Then they draw their good copy on 12 x 18" heavy white paper. They need to elongate the neck and stylize the facial features. Many of them struggle with this because they say that the faces look 'so weird' and 'so creepy', haha.

Once the drawing is complete, they start by painting the skin colour. We use tempera paint for this project. I love the flat matte finish it gives. 

Then paint the hair and body/clothing and finally the background. I encourage students to mix colours and paint in a loose, free style.
Once everything is dry, go over all the pencil lines with a charcoal pencil (I like the General's brand) and blend with your finger to create a beautiful, soft shaded effect. 

Some Grade 7 - 9 artworks 
(and yes, I have mostly girls in my classes, hence all the female portraits!)

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