Sunday, January 20, 2013

Kevin Red Star

Kevin Red Star is one of my favorite artists to talk about. He visited our school district several years ago and really inspired the kids with his art and life story. He is a Montana artist (another reason I love to share his art). Intensely brilliant colors and an almost mystical use of light bring a special joy to his canvases. He draws from his Crow culture for his subjects-historical and modern. I have done several art lessons on him from portraits to tepees, horses, and shields. I just finished a lesson with my 3rd-6th graders on his shields.

We did these on white poster board, and they used sponges to add texture and color for a realistic look. I had templates for bison and horses and told them that they could used any Native American symbols they wanted, as well as trace their hands, (like he did in one of his paintings). We used acrylic paint and Sharpies to outline and add details. They all did some kind of border to finish them off. We made feathers out of card stock and attached beads with rawhide.

Below are some of his paintings and a few of the shields my students did.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Matisse Goldfish

Matisse is one of my favorite artists and so I am always looking for new projects to share him with my students. This is a class I did this summer for kids ages 9 and up. I bought some new watercolor paper to try and it was so fun to work with. (Canson XL Watercolor pads)  The sheets are 18x24, and 140# paper weight so you can erase a lot and it takes more abuse than a lighter weight paper. We also used Dick Blick liquid watercolors which are so vibrant. The liquid watercolors are so much easier to use for the larger paper format. The kids don't have to stop and mix more color and so they had more success with their washes. We did a sample drawing first on a smaller sheet of paper, looking at Matisse's original painting.I also gave them each a coloring sheet picture of the painting. I had them simplify their drawings and leave out some of the background foliage and details. We did the drawing and painting step by step, taking time to talk about proportion and reflections. This was a great lesson and they all ended up with some beautiful paintings.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Picasso Rooster

I love doing Picasso for my art classes because kids are always fascinated with his crazy faces and the variety of art that he created over his lifetime.Recently while searching for a fun animal project to do I cam across some lessons based on Picasso's Rooster paintings. The project below I did in a small class over Christmas break with 7 students, ages 9-15. All of them turned out great as you can see! We started with a practice drawing of Picasso's painting. I gave them each a copy of his painting (see below)

and had them mark off sections with a pencil-they measured the head from the comb down using their pencils as a ruler. Then I had them mark off that same distance down the rest of the rooster. We started the practice drawing with the comb and lined up the sections so that the picture came out in proportion.

 This step really helped when we transferred their drawings to a large canvas. I had them use a yellow nu pastel to do the sketch on the canvas-following the same measuring system. The nu pastel worked great as it was easy to see, but could be erased with a damp paper towel is they needed to. We used an expo marker as a measuring stick as it was just the right size to get a rooster that fit the whole canvas. We did the background first with yellow acrylic mixed with matte medium to allow them some blending time, then we added some blue. Next we base coated the body and tail feathers with yellow. And then proceeded with the rest of the colors and features until we had everything filled in, using Picasso's painting as a guide.We added the black outline last and some touches of white.