Monday, April 18, 2011

Mosaic Aztec Mask Project

This is another project I did with one of my 5th and 6th grade classes this year.  I tied it in with their study of the Aztec and Mayan cultures and the early explorers This took two 2 hour class periods.


wood board
acrylic paint in yellow, orange, turquoise, white and black
watercolor paper
mod podge
cardboard  (for the nose)
Extra fine line Sharpie

I had created a mask template (with eyes cut out) that each student traced around onto their board, then they attached a piece of cardboard we cut for a nose shape using tape. The inside of the mask was base coated black (except for the eyes and mouth), and the outside of the mask was base coated white. While that was drying, I had the students paint 1/4 sheets of watercolor paper with a med., dark, and light turquoise color streaking it on the paper instead of blending it in ( to make it look like real turquoise). When the paint was dry they cut these into small tile pieces. After the mask board was dry they added a border with a ruler and painted that in yellow, and the background orange. Next step was adding the mosaic pieces with some mod podge, being careful to leave the black showing thru on all sides of each piece. This was a time consuming process, but produced a very real mosaic look when finished. After painting the teeth and eyes in they went over the whole mask with the mod podge.  They each finished the piece with their own border design, and a Sharpie outline between the background and border. I forgot my camera that day and so I don't have any pictures of the student's work. Here is my sample:

You can find lots of pictures of  a similar Aztec mask online.

Andy Warhol meets George Washington

I came up with this lesson for the 5th and 6th graders I am teaching this year. They are studying the early explorers thru the 1800s. I was going to do a portrait lesson on George Washington and a study on the artist who did his portrait for the dollar bill, but decided the kids would have more  fun with this Andy Warhol inspired lesson. They chose from a profile or full face view of Washington that I had made copies of. They could determine what to add to their picture that would illustrate something about Washington, his life, or time in history. To create a Warhol style painting they had to choose a set group of colors and then use them in each of the four sections but in a different way. We used carbon paper and tracing paper to duplicate their pictures. This took alot of time and care but the kids rose to the challenge and the end results were great.


watercolor paper
carbon paper
tracing paper
extra fine line Sharpie
photo copies of George Washington

After picking the profile or full view of Washington they traced him onto tracing paper and then added dates,guns,cherries or something else to their piece. They divided their watercolor paper into four sections and using a stylis and carbon paper traced their design into each of the four sections. They then outlined everything in Sharpie and filled in the pictures with watercolor. Coming up with different combinations with  the same color palette was a challenge. (but one they enjoyed). Here are some of the works in progress and finished pieces:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hundertwasser Art Project

I was inspired by the banner on the art blog Paintedpaper (great lessons, check this blog out) for this Hundertwasser lesson. I love projects with lots of color and mixed media. I have done this three different ways in the last two weeks. The samples from this 5-6th grade class that are shown below are done on heavy cardboard, with acrylic paint, and the cut paper houses are decoupaged on. I have also done it on black poster board, with acrylic paint and just gluing the houses on, not using the mod podge. And with my preschoolers, we used chalk pastel on black poster board, and also just glued the houses on.

Hundertwasser is a fun artist to introduce to kids-they really relate to his colorful style and playful ideas. He designed houses, did paintings, created postage stamps and banners, and shared his concern for the environment thru posters. Next week  I am going to have my 7th-12th grade students do a poster in his style conveying a message that is important to them.


acrylic paint in bright colors
mod podge
scrapbook paper for houses

After sharing the book  Harvesting Dreams-Hundertwasser for Kids with the students I had them draw in some simple hill shapes at the bottom of their cardboard piece. They painted the hills in green and the background in black. Then using a round brush they painted in tall flower stalks and some leaves. Using a small flat brush they topped each stem with a circle in the color of their choice. I showed them how to use the round brush to make beautiful petals for each flower, mixing and matching colors. (We added white to all the colors to make them more opaque on the black background). We then did a black spiral in the center of each flower, and white wavy lines in the background using the round brush. (Hundertwasser liked to use lines and spirals in his art).

While the paint was drying the kids picked out three different house shapes,roof shapes, and doors and windows. (I precut out a variety of different paper to save on time). When the paint was dry they decoupaged the houses on and then covered their whole painting in the mod podge to finish it off. I love how colorful and unique they all turned out.

Pink Elephants and Blue Horses-Franz Marc for Preschoolers

During the month of March my preschool class did two lessons based on the artist Franz Marc. The vivid use of color to express emotions and ideas is a trademark of this German born artist. He is most famous for his paintings of unusually colored animals set in almost abstract style scenery. Here is an example of some of his work:


Acrylic paint (see sample for colors)
chalk pastels
Paint brushes
glue sticks
spray fixative

For the first project I found a Franz Marc horse on the internet as a coloring sheet which I traced onto  a scrap ofposter board. They outlined them in sharpie and used chalk pastel to fill in the color. After spraying them with fixative I cut them out. The kids then painted a colorful "warm colors" background with acrylic paints, using a sponge to add texture. When the background was dry they used the glue stick to place their horse in the scene. Here are some of the fininshed projects:

The second project was a great drawing project. I taught the kids how to draw a step by step simple elephant starting with a circle.(This is a simple way to draw an elephant-see How to Draw an Elephant We practiced this two times on a practice sheet. Then we did the final drawing on a sheet of watercolor paper. We outlined the elephant in Sharpie. Then we used watercolors to fill in the pink and create a setting. I think both projects turned out amazingly well considering these are 3-5 yr.olds.


Watercolor paper
scratch paper

Here are a few of the finished paintings:


I am going to adapt these two lessons for some of my older kids classes.

Here are some of the prints I showed the kids when doing this lesson: