"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.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bugs in the Garden

I found the perfect art project to tie into an insect unit Grade 2 students had just finished. 
I found this lesson on the art blog "K-8 Art" here.

I pre-traced (used a large plastic ice cream lid) a whole bunch of large circles onto medium weight white drawing paper. Students could choose any flying insect they wanted- most, if not all, chose a dragonfly or butterfly. Draw that off-center somewhere, focussing on getting the correct body parts (head, thorax, abdomen, wings, antennae). Then, fill in the rest of the circle with a variety of flowers. We discussed variety and how it makes an artwork more interesting to look at. We talked about varying the sizes, heights and types of flowers. After drawing in pencil, ideally you should have the kids outline the flowers and insect with a permanent black marker. We had run out, however, so used washable black markers at the end, once the watercolour step had dried.

Color in everything, except the sky/background, using wax crayons. 

Students had fun painting over the whole image with watercolor paint. Let dry.

Once dry, you can outline with black markers like we did, then cut out the circle.

Ta da!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Kandinsky Trees Collage

Ah, the ever popular "Kandinsky Tree" art project. Not sure who originally had the idea for this lesson, but it exploded all over pinterest with a wide variety of media and techniques. We went for the 'it's the end of the year; let's use up all the colored scrap paper" technique. hahaha!

Students started out by looking at some of Kandinky's abstract works. I explained to them that this artist was considered one of the first artists to use abstract art. I find it really challenging explaining to this age group how avant-garde a painting like the one below was in 1913. His concentric circles remains one of his most iconic works. He was heavily influenced by classical music such as Wagner, even stating that "music is the ultimate teacher."
Wassily Kandinsky (Russian), "Color Study: Squares with Concentric Circles", 1913

So students started out by drawing a bare tree with branches on a brown sheet of construction paper. Cut that out. The background is simply colored paper with some green paper grass on the bottom. They could cut this or rip it for more texture. 

Glue the tree on top. Then, using scraps of colored paper. cut out a small circle. Glue this circle to a larger piece of colored paper. Cut around it leaving a border. Repeat until you have 3-4 layers of circles.
Once a few of these are made, arrange them on the tree, finding a composition that looks nice and balanced, and glue them on.

Ta da!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Rainy Day Pictures

A cute Spring project Grade 2 students did a while back. They drew a little boy or girl standing in a rain puddle holding an umbrella. They made 'dashes' in the sky using water-based markers. We sprayed them with a water bottle and the markers dissolved slightly to give a wet, hazy effect to the sky. I was inspired by this project by Whitney Elementary School on Artsonia.

Start off by drawing your picture in pencil. Outline with a permanent black marker.
Color in the whole picture, except for the sky, with colored pencils.

Using water-based markers (we used Crayola), draw small dashes all over the sky. 
Kids can mix colors; whatever they want. Random note: after I showed kids my example, I had to reeeaaally emphasize that you never go outside during a lightning storm! hahahaha  My picture actually looks a bit dangerous- but the boys, especially, loved the lightning bolts! lol

Once the sky is done, use a spray bottle filled with water and spray the entire picture. I encouraged students to use lots of marker in the sky- it makes for a more vibrant picture in the end. We talked about why the marker 'bleeds' (they think this term is so weird!) and why the colored pencil parts stays the same. 


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Birdhouse & Bunting Collage

I wanted to create a whimsical Spring-y/Summer-y art project to celebrate warm weather after a looong winter! So Grade 3 students made these charming and colorful birdhouses out of colored paper. 
I gave each students a blank sheet of white paper that already had blank bunting drawn at the top. They colored these in with colored pencils.

Then they cut out a birdhouse shape from colored paper and chose construction paper strips that I had pre-cut on the paper-cutter into about 6" long strips by 2" wide. Then they glued on a brown paper 'pole' at the bottom. Finally they added a black paper circle for the birdhouse entrance.

Using construction paper scraps, students then drew and cut out a simple bird shape. Using another color of paper, they drew, cut out and glued on a paper wing. Then they added a paper beak, a googly eye (they could also easily draw on eyes) and finally glued on a tail feather. 

We glued thick cardboard squares underneath the bird's body and then 
students glued their bid onto the birdhouse wherever they wanted it. 
The cardboard square underneath the bird helps it 'pop-out' a bit, which I think 
looks nice and gives it a bit of a relief/3D element.

Finally, the kids drew in random designs (flowers, insects, whatever) with 
a black marker and colored them in with colored pencils. 
They also drew designs on their birdhouses using markers, etc.
I think they all came out pretty cute and the kids were thrilled with them!
Happy Summer everyone!

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