"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, M├ętis 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.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Abstract Sculptures using Stockings

Here are some photos from the ever popular 'stocking sculptures' made by some Grade 7/8 classes. I first did this lessons years ago when I was a student teacher. I found the original lesson plan here on the Incredible Art Department website. I followed the lesson step-by-step and it worked brilliantly.

You essentially cut the end off a wire coat hanger, have a small block of wood with two holes drilled into it, and then put the wire ends in. bend it around to get a pleasing form, then stretch a knee high nylon over-top and around the wood base. Then you need to coat/prime it (gesso, house paint, whatever) a bunch of times. Then students paint it using acrylics (don't use tempera- it ends up cracking, a least it did with me). I spray them with gloss varnish afterwards for protection and shine.

It's a great lesson for introducing the concept of Abstract art. After the sculptures are finished, as an extension, I have students do a black and white charcoal drawing of their piece (see photo below). This is a very popular projects and students can get really creative with these.

You can see in the orange and white sculpture above, the student cut a hole through the nylon.
I didn't think it would work, but it did!

These were the sculptures made during my student teaching days. We used some metallic/pearlized paint and glitter for these- they turned out super cool!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mixed Media Palm Trees

This is a fun 'tropical' project that involves drawing directly with glue and incorporates 
line and texture. This is a lesson I saw in a 2004 issue of Art and Activities magazine. It was entitled:  "Breezy palm trees with mixed media" by Michelle Crosby.

So I started off by having Grade 6 students look at photos of different types of palm trees and then I demo-ed how to draw them. You might even be so lucky as to have palm trees on your school grounds and can do some direct observational drawings. 

Students then practised in their sketchbooks until they felt really comfortable drawing them.

Photos of palm trees I took in Las Terranas, Dominican Republic.
Then, on heavy white paper or watercolour paper, students draw a palm tree directly with a bottle of white glue. Add in a beach scene, ocean, coconuts, sunset, etc. Whatever they want. We didn't draw first with a pencil, but you can definitely try that if you want. Just draw lightly.

Let these dry FLAT overnight and the next day the glue will have flatted out quite a bit.

Dried glue
 Then paint the scene using watercolours. Try not to paint over the glue lines, if possible.

 Once it's painted, let it dry a bit.

Then take a black wax crayon and peel the paper off.  Use the side of the crayon to rub all over the painting- this really stresses the kids out! They all think it will 'ruin' their lovely watercolour. I always demonstrate on my own samples first; then they see it actually looks cool and takes away some of the fear. Have them verbalize how the crayon affects the painting. I use this as a lesson in risk-taking and artistic experimentation.

Having said that, if you want to lessen the stress, have the kids create TWO glue paintings- one they can leave simply painted, and the second one they can add the crayon rubbing.

When you do the rubbing, it's best if you only go in one direction- start off lightly and try to concentrate the rubbing on the raised glue lines.

Ta da!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Shiny Foil Collages

This is a fun and simple collage project my Grade 2 class worked on. It's a great way to use up any scraps of cardboard and coloured tissue paper you have in the classroom.

Simple pre-cut a bunch of cardboard to whatever size you like. Then rip off pieces of tin foil slightly larger than the cardboard. Students cover the front of the cardboard with glue (we used glue sticks) and then carefully wrap the foil around the cardboard and glue it on the back.This is the base for the collage. 

Then the kids cut up tissue paper into whatever type of scene they wanted- most did simple landscapes or seascapes. Using watered-down white glue, use a paintbrush to apply these to the foil covered cardboard. Then the kids made additional shapes, objects or animals out of coloured paper scraps and glued them on. They also used sequins and plastic gems (from the Dollar Store) to add a little extra zazzle dazzle.

The tissue paper, being transparent, allows some of the shiny foil to show through and it has a lovely shimmering quality that these photos unfortunately can't capture.

Ta da!

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