"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.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Bubble Print Hydrangeas

Here's a fairly simple hydrangea project using bubble painting. The original project was posted on the Discount School Supplies website found via Pinterest. I think using bubble painting to create these hydrangeas is an absolutely brilliant idea and I was super excited to try out this project! It took a bit of time to figure out the best way that would work for my students, so this is what I came up with.

pretty hydrangeas

I've posted about bubble painting previously here and here.
Warning- this is a MESSY technique!!  Lay out lots of newspaper and cover your clothes. 
The bubble paint drips everywhere and when the bubbles pop, tiny specks of paint fly all over the 
place including your face, hands, clothes, etc. 

Basically, you mix up a big batch of bubble paint: some tempera paint with a big squirt of dish soap and then lots water to thin it out. I find an inky consistency works well. I'm sure there are more accurate recipes out there somewhere... Do some test bubbles on a sheet of white paper first. If the prints are too light, add more paint. Then, pour some paint into whatever size container you'd like the hydrangeas to be- if you want them nice and big and true to size, use aluminium pie pans. Using straws, blow the bubble paint so it comes over the edges of the container and lightly place a sheet of white paper on top. 

I find it takes students a few tries to get some really nice prints. So give them lots of paper to practice/work with. Some of the bubble prints just don't end up looking nice, so it's sometimes a bit of trial and error. They should make about 3 - 5 prints, depending again, on how large you're working. 

Let these sheets dry.

Next class, once the prints are dry, have students draw big 'hydrangea'-type flowers shapes around their bubble prints (post some photos of hydrangeas so students can refer to them). Cut them out.

Students can mix and match colours. 

We used green paper for the background. Arrange some blooms onto the paper and overlap them and move them around until you get a pleasing composition. Glue down. Then fold some green paper (we used two different shades of green for variety) a bunch of times and draw a leaf shape. Cut it out and glue the leaves under the blooms.

Some Grade 6 results:

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Rouault Clowns Tempera Batik

This is a tempera batik project I did with a Grade 6 class. There are many variations of how to do this process floating around the internet. I essentially followed this one. The idea is to create a batik-type effect using tempera paint and black ink. I don't find it's so much like batik; more of a haunting textural effect.

 With tempera batik I have found that you need to experiment ahead of time and test it out with your equipment (different brands seem to have different effects). Most importantly, use nice thick paper as it needs to be soaked in water later.

I used the French Expressionist artist George Rouault and his clown series for the inspiration for this project. I think his clowns look so dark and emotive and work well with this technique.

I took the photo below when I visited the Pompidou Center in Paris. There was a whole wall devoted to Rouault's portraits, including the clowns.

Clown by Georges Rouault
I started off by showing a slide show of his works. Have students discuss the characteristics of his work and the emotions the paintings evoke. Then students did practice sketches of clown faces in their sketchbooks.

Draw the good copy in pencil on heavy white paper. Then pass over all the pencil lines with a thick line of chalk. Above you can see the clown has been drawn in yellow chalk. Now paint everything with tempera paint, but not the thick chalk lines. Students need to let each layer dry and paint at least two thick layers.  It's best to use lighter and brighter colours as the overall picture will get dulled down by the India ink in the later steps.

Then, using a wide foam brush, lay on an even layer of India ink.
I think I only let it dry about 5 minutes or less, then students washed them off in the sink. They wet the whole paper, then use their fingers to gently 'scrub' away the ink, revealing the paint below. If you scrub it too hard, or let it soak too long, the tempera paint will start to dissolve and the paper could tear, so be careful wih this step. 
Some of the ink stays, hence the textural effect.

Ta da!

This display really creeped me out, I have to say...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mini Whiteboard Free Time Activity

This is a fun free-time activity that one of my Grade 2 students taught me years ago. It's basically a quick and friendly drawing competition (less than 5 minutes).  We used to do them on scrap paper but now we use  super awesome mini whiteboards (dry erase boards). For a cheaper alternative, simply laminate sheets of heavy white paper. Use cut up squares of soft fabric (old towels, etc.) for erasers.

I love whiteboards and feel they are fantastic for so many activities: practice drawings and for the sharing of ideas ('whiteboarding' which is often shown on the TV "The Big Bang Theory"). I knew an amazing high school Math teacher in one of my schools who had all her walls covered with large whiteboards. Instead of working in their notebooks, all the students in the class (yes, all) stood up and worked directly on the whiteboards. In this way, the teacher could walk around and more easily see where students were struggling with their formulas. The students could also help each other. No wasted paper, it always works (as opposed to laptops and other technology- cough, cough), and the kids enjoy it. My only problem with whiteboards are the toxic and non-recyclable markers, but more and more, there are companies offering both non-toxic (Crayola, Dixon, Expo) and also refillable whiteboard markers which is great.

This works best with small groups of students. I play this with my 'fast finishers' while the other kids are still working on their class projects. I basically choose a word (ie: clown face, monkey, zombie, etc.)  and then the kids have about 3-5 minutes to quickly draw it on their whiteboard. Then we show them all and I choose a winner. (And yes, I try to choose a different 'winner' each time!) The kids love it and we get a good laugh out of some of the drawings!
Obviously, kids could also work on this alone, without teacher assistance, in small groups. You could keep a zip-lock bag full of different words that the kids could choose from (to avoid arguments...) or have them choose their own.

students love drawing on these!!

Class set of whiteboard markers.

Here's one for "MONKEY"


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