"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.

Saturday, December 31, 2016


Here's a mixed media winter cardinal project my Grade 2 students finished before Xmas break. 
I love the bright red of cardinals and they have such a graphic quality to their bodies, so it's a fun lesson to teach.

See my other cardinal lesson HERE.

Students started on Day 1 by drawing a cardinal on 9 x 12" heavy white paper. They outlined their drawing with a jumbo Sharpie, then painted it using tempera paint. Once dry they were cut out.
The next class they created their background.  Students chose a background colour of 9 x 12" construction paper. In pencil, they drew on a branch. For a challenge, I showed students how to overlap branches. They coloured these in using oil pastels. They were encouraged to mix colours for a more realistic effect. Lastly, white tempera paint was dabbed onto the top of branches and painted onto the sky for snow. Then they glued on their cardinal. I hot glued on a red feather for a wing for those students that wanted one.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Faux Stained Glass

Santa Karl Marx, haha!

This was a project my junior and high school classes started right before the Christmas holidays. Most didn't get a chance to finish- I underestimated how long this project would take- but a few finished so I'll show those. You can tie this lesson into any unit on Medieval art where students learn the history and technique of stained glass.

I've seen a few 'faux' stained glass lessons like this online (here's one example) and have always wanted to try it and finally got around to it. Some projects use acetate, others used plastic wrap. I didn't have acetate and tried plastic wrap and didn't like it so I used plastic sheet protectors (much cheaper than acetate!!) instead which worked great.

Students had to design their own stained glass image- it could be Christmas or Winter themed or anything they wanted, really. They drew it on regular photocopy paper then slid it into a page protector. Then they traced over all the pencil lines with a black Sharpie (for the lead lines) then coloured in the image with coloured permanent markers. Areas left blank will show the silver aluminum foil in the background. Once that's all finished, you cut away just the top sheet.

Cut a piece of thin card (we use old cereal boxes) the same size as your plastic sheet (about 8 x 10").
Rip off a sheet of aluminum foil slightly larger than the card and crumple it up then flatten it out. Wrap it around the card and tape it on the back.

As you see below, you'll have an aluminum foil covered cardboard with your image on plastic.

Staple the plastic on top of the foil. The staples actually really doesn't show which is nice.

These were really difficult to photograph with such a reflective nature! 
The photos don't do these justice- they are so sparkly and shimmery with the aluminum foil!

You can also tape around the border with coloured mini duck tape or electrical tape.

a detail of Santa Marx

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Torn Paper Collage Candles

The theme for our upcoming school Winter Concert is 'light'. I try to incorporate this theme into some of my art classes. I found THIS pin on Pinterest and thought it would be perfect for my Grade 3 class.

On heavy white paper, they used tempera discs and painted a yellow and orange circular pattern that would represent the candle light's cast light.

Then, on smaller white paper they painted one sheet colours for their candle, a yellow sheet for the flame and a green sheet for the wreath/greenery a the bottom of the candle.

The next class, students tore a shape for their candle, then the flame. 
Once glued down they ripped long rectangular pieces for the greenery. 

I love the simple charm about these!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Penguins in Watercolour

I've started my 'winter' themed lessons with my younger students, even though it (surprisingly) hasn't snowed here yet. Kids love penguins so I knew this project would be a hit with them.

I used one of the drawing lessons from Art Projects for Kids. Kathy always has amazing step-by-step drawing lessons that really help some students. I gave my Grade 2 students the option of using the drawing handout (after I demonstrated it to them) or to draw their own penguin. 
Once drawn, they outlined it in Sharpie then used watercolours to paint them. 
I love all the different personalities!

I think this is a Harry Potter penguin, haha!

Another Harry Potter penguin- with a wand!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Large Decorative Poppies

Posting these a little late for Remembrance Day (Nov 11th here in Canada), so sorry about that! 
Maybe use this idea for next year?!
I was inspired by THIS post on the wonderful Painted Paper website.
I was asked to make decorations for our school's Remembrance Day assembly. I wanted something large and simple- effective and 'eye-popping' enough to decorate a gym. I also left this until the last minute so needed something fairly straightforward so a couple of my classes could 'mass produce' them, haha! Luckily my Grades 4-6 students seemed to really enjoy making them.
I have them for an 80 minute period- each student made between one and two large poppies during that time. There is some waiting time while the petals dry.
On 11 x 17 photocopy paper I traced two large hearts- these were the petals. I made a ton of photocopies of these as each students needed to paint 6 hearts/petals (3 sheets per student).
They used tempera pucks/discs for these. 

We ran out of room in my small drying rack fairly quickly so spread them out onto the floor to dry.

Once dry, cut out 6 hearts. Glue these together into a poppy shape using white glue.

For the centers, I used the same sort of style that was shown on the Painted Paper website.
I traced circles onto black construction paper and cut up small squares of black tissue paper.

Cut out the circle and cut a fringe around the outside edges. 
Glue onto poppy.

Then scrumple up the tissue paper and glue onto the black paper.

Pretty nice but not finished yet!
Make sure students write their names on the back.

For some reason I wanted to varnish these- I felt it made them a bit sturdier and just 'nicer' looking overall. I hate the dry texture that tempera pucks leave. They're so convenient to use with large classes but the chalky finish bothers me. However varnishing them is totally optional.
I watered down some 'modge podge' type varnish and painted all the poppies 
(a teacher on her break came and helped me, thank god, as it took forever!)

Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of them in the gym for our assembly, but we used clear packing tape loops on the back to stick them to our painted cinder block walls. They stayed up for the entire 45 minute assembly and were very easy to take down and didn't affect the wall finish.

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