Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Crayon Resist Peacocks

We 'travel' around the world learning about various cultures, in my 4th grade art history class. The country of India is one of the cultures we learn about in our 'travels'. And here is one of the art lessons we do when we 'visit' India- creating a crayon resist peacock.

The  peacock is the national symbol of India and it's known for its beauty and grace. In Hinduism it is associated with  Laksmi, the god that represents benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion and good luck.

To start of the lesson, I let the kids use a tracer, if they want, for the head and neck shape of the peacock. Other than that, everything else is drawn on their own. On the neck they should draw in some kind of a texture pattern. For the feathers, they can draw their own shapes- ovals, hearts, circles, stars. It's up to them. The feather shapes should be doubled, though, one inside the other. They then need to drawn a lot of loose, wavy lines around the feather shapes. After the peacock is penciled in, the kids can outline over everything in black Sharpie marker.

Once everything is drawn in and outlined, we start coloring with crayons.  The peacock should be colored in with either warm or cool colors. Pick one, not both. (We'll be working with contrasting colors later on.) It's their choice. 

Just keep reminding the kids to press hard with the crayons. The resist won't work right if there's not a lot of wax (that comes from the crayons) on the paper.

After all the peacock details are colored in, it's time to paint! For this crayon resist we use watercolors for the background. Before painting you can talk about contrasting colors with the kids. If the colors used in the peacock are cool,  the contrasting warm colors should be painted in the background. Emphasis that the contrast of color will make the peacock stand out. The kids can use just one contrasting color in the background or blend a few colors together. It's up to them. 

After the background is painting in, they're all done. They have a beautiful, colorful peacock!

What do you think of our crayon resist peacocks? Would they work in your art class? How do you make peacocks in your art class? I'd love to hear about it! You can comment below.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Wayne Thiebaud Inspired Cupcakes

I love to show the kids Wayne Thiebaud's  dessert paintings as examples  of how to add value to an art work.  They're high interest and fun to look at. And besides value- you can use them as examples of using repetition and form in art. In this post, though, I'm going to focus on how we created value on our cupcakes.

We start out the lesson by drawing a cylinder in pencil (yeah, math connection!) together, step by step.

Then we talk about what kind of frosting they want- dripping, not dripping, swirling, no swirl, etc. How many layers of frosting they want. And what kind of toppings they want- sprinkles, m & m's, cherry etc. It's totally their design and choice as to whatever their frosting and toppings will look like on their cupcake.

After everything is drawn in with pencil, we are ready to start coloring with oil crayons. One word of warning- the kids should no use the colors black and white at this point. Those colors will be used later on. Also, any toppings or patterns should not be colored in at this point. (That'll  be done later.) Just the main base colors on of the cupcake and frosting should be colored in. No details yet!

Next, we start talking about value. The kids like to learn about value because it helps to make things look 3D and more life-like. So we spend time talking about highlights, shading and the position of the light source that creates them. 

The kids then start adding white oil crayon along one side of their cupcake to create the highlight. I ask the kids to color in the highlight about 1 inch wide. And yes, white oil crayon will show up on other colors, even dark ones. And it should be on top the cupcake and the frosting along the whichever side they choose. *Teacher alert- stress that it should be colored in from top to bottom along the edge.

The shading is then added in next. It is one thin line of black oil crayon on the opposite side of the highlight. It should be added along the edge of the cupcake and frosting from top to bottom. They watch me demonstrate how to blend it toward the center of the cupcake. I like to use the thumb for blending the oil crayons. Because it is one thin line, the blending doesn't go all the way into the center of the cupcake though. It stays close to the edge, as you can see on the cupcake above. *Teacher alert- warn them to expect their fingers to get very dirty with the black oil crayon!

After the highlight and shading are added the kids can add in the toppings and patterns with the oil crayons.

Once the topping are added in with the oil crayons, we cut the cupcakes out. They are then glued onto construction paper. After they are glued down we color in a shadow on the construction paper. *Another teacher alert- It needs to be made very clear to the kids that the shadow is colored in on the same side as the shading.

And that is our Wayne Thiebaud inspired, oil crayon cupcakes. As you can see they come out really bright and colorful. And the kids learn all about shading and highlighting.

If you're looking for another Wayne Thiebaud inspired  art lesson, you can find one here.

What do you think about our cupcakes? Would this lesson work in your art class? Do you have another lesson using Wayne Thiebaud's art work? 
I'd love to hear about it.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Making Bookmarks For Reading Week

This is a project we did earlier in the Spring.  (I just forgot to post it. You know how that goes. So many things get piled up.) They are the bookmarks the kids made during Reading Week. It was a whole school project  done by all the kids in grades K- 5.

I bought a bunch of colored card-stock,  scrapbook paper, glitter markers, stickers, ribbons and colored markers for the supplies.

It was a totally open ended project. All I did was cut the card-stock into a standard size. Other than that the kids designed their bookmark in any way they wanted. They could add text, pictures or patterns, etc. Using which ever combination of supplies they liked.

What do you think about these bookmarks? Would they work in your art room?