"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, Métis 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.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Whale Watchers Watercolor Landscape

love this little beluga guy- he looks like he's planking! ha!ha!

This is a fun watercolour lesson I found here on the Crayola website.
It would be a great project to tie-in to any ocean unit students are working on with the classroom 
or Science teachers. I've done this lesson with Grade 4 up to Grade 6. 
The materials are very simple: heavy-ish white paper or watercolour paper, 
black wax crayon or marker and watercolours.

Have student research different types of whales and then practice sketching them. For the good copy, have them lightly sketch, in pencil, a seascape with their chosen whale. Include a background, middle ground and foreground. Once they're happy with the drawing, pass over all the pencil lines with a black wax crayon.


Students could also use black permanent markers as well.

Then paint away with watercolours! I encourage students to keep a thin white line between the black lines. This way the paint colours definitely won't 'bleed' together. I also encourage them to mix colours within each section in order to get varying shades and tones.

teacher sample- it was so fun to make

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Surrealism Magazine Collage

This is a classic Surrealism collage art lesson- I give it a slight twist by using
a circular composition. This is a perfect project for Grades 6-8 because I find they are so imaginative and funny at that age :)
You need alot of magazines for this project; a variety of different types of magazines helps too- some nature ones, fashion, travel, current events, cooking, etc. This way, students will be able to find a wide assortment of images to mix together. I try to send out a letter at the beginning of each school year asking parents to donate any old magazines; I usually get quite a few this way.
I start this lesson off by showing students a slideshow of famous Surrealism paintings- mainly examples from Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte. Have the students point out the things they notice.Talk about the fantasty, dream-like effect of the paintings, the sense of depth, as well as the high realism.
Salvador Dali, "The Persistence of Memory", 1931  Source
Rene Magritte, "The Son of Man", 1964      Source
There is a fantastic scene in one of my favourite movies, "Midnight in Paris", where the main character (Owen Wilson) meets Salvador Dali, along with Man Ray and Luis Buñuel, in a Paris cafe. It really showcases Dali's famous wacky public persona:

Anyway, back to the project... using magazines, students are going to look for strange and interesting images to juxtapoze and put together. Unrelated objects and images.
Think weird and dream-like.
They should look for a large background first- something simple and uncluttered, like a big sky, landscape, seascape, etc. I tell students to cut out a whole bunch of images and then spend time placing them and re-arranging them on the background to see what
really works the best.
So here's an example of a good background: simple, uncluttered.
Use a lid to trace a circle onto the magazine page, then cut it out.

I used to do this project collaged onto a CD. Some of you might remember back in the 90's when AOL used to send tons of free CD's in the mail?  Seriously, how much money did that cost them?! Well, I used to save those, and that's what we used as a base for our collages. Then we strung them with yarn and beads so they could be hung as seen below:

I emphasize that everything needs to be cut out really precisely so it looks polished and very realistic. Make sure your scissors are clean and sharp for this project, in particular. Once all the images are chosen and arranged how they want, they are glued on using a glue stick. Students can add embellishments, if they wish, such as glitter, for extra 'dazzle'.
Ta da!

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