Sunday, June 12, 2016

First Grade Colorful Fish

I love these colorful painted fish created by my first grade students.  We read the book Fish Eyes by Lois Ehlert.  There are a lot of great fish inspiration in it and the kids love to read it.  To get started I made some drawing pages to help them. There were ideas for body shapes, fins and other fish details.  Students made sketches in pencil first and then black tempera paint on large paper.  We talked about the differences in drawing their fish in pencil and then using a brush.  The next class the kids used colorful tempera to fill in the fish and add any background details.  The following class the background was painted using liquid watercolors.  I love how colorful they are and how creative student were when drawing their fish.  It was also a great project for the kids to use tempera and watercolor paints.  Here are some of the finished pieces.  If you would like to see them all you can visit our online gallery here:

James Rizzi Citiscapes

My son introduced me to this fun artist.  He came home talking about an artist he learned about in art class at his school.  He liked him so much I decided to look him up.  I immediately knew that my kids would love looking at his whimsical city scapes too.  My son's project was done in watercolors but I adapted it to be a mixed media project.  They came out great.  The kids were so into them and added lots of details that made them all so different.  Here are some photos of the finished pieces.  If you would like to see all of them you can visit our online gallery here:

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Third Grade Stop Motion Animations

This year I decided to let my students choose the idea for their movies.  In the past I have chosen the theme for them thinking I was helping them but they were very capable of coming up with their own ideas, creating their scenes and characters and filming their movie.  I made a checklist to help keep them organized.  Stop motion animation is always a favorite lesson but I think choosing their own ideas made it even more of a hit.  I was impressed with their ideas and realized how limiting it was when I made all the decisions.  I have such a creative group of students.  Check out their class movies.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Internet Safety Super Heroes

This project was a collaboration between our library media specialist and myself.  In library, fourth grade students learned about being a good digital citizen.  Their assignment was to create a superhero and write a script that would teach other students how to be good digital citizens.  In art class they used their ideas to create the superhero.  We used color pencil and watercolor for the background.  Students tried to give the illusion of space by using bright, bold colors for the foreground and lighter values for the middle and background.  When they were finished we used the Chatterpix app on the iPads to record our messages.  Each superhero has a QR code so that students can quickly scan and hear their message.  Here are a few finished ones.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Color Mixing Fun Grade 1

I'm always looking for different ways to let my first grade students practice mixing colors.  The first day we talked about the primary colors and how we can use them to mix other colors on the color wheel.  I demonstrated how to mix colors using model magic clay, which the kids always think is so amazing, and a palette and watercolors.  I split the class up into groups.  Half of them practiced mixing with the paint and half of the class mixed with clay and then the two groups switched.    Some of the kids were even able to mix some of the intermediate colors.  I saved the colors we mixed with the model magic for the next class.  When the kids came in next time we used the model magic and tooth picks to create these colorful sculptures.  Some of the kids had a hard time getting their sculptures to stay up as they build but everyone still had a great time.  I'm not sure if they made it home in one piece but they definitely learned a lot about color mixing.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Second Grade Fruit and Vegetable Drawings

This project was inspired by two things, a beautiful painting by Miroco MachikoJapanese artist and illustrator and a healthy foods unit taught by our PE teacher and school nurse.  I loved the simple shapes and bright colors of this print and thought the children would love it as well.  I also showed them Artist photographer, Amber Locke's Geometric plant compositions of raw fruits and vegetables. 
We used coloring book pages of fruits and vegetables at first to draw so that we could focus on shape.  Once we went on to final copy paper I brought in some real food so that we could observe the different colors and textures.  The kids really enjoyed having the fruit and vegetables to look at.  We will hang these up in the hallway with some healthy eating tips.  Here are some photos of our inspiration pieces and some of the kids work.  You can see all of our artwork on the Artsonia site.  

Friday, January 1, 2016

Pinch Pot Animals

These cute pots were a challenge for my third grade students.  I used to make pinch pots with first grade but found that I ended up doing most of the work.  Pinch pots have always been challenging for kids in my art classes.  The clay either dries out from them overworking it, they have trouble pinching and turning as well as getting all of the clay pinched at the bottom without thinning out the side to much.  I love pinch pots and they look so simple but they are definitely not.  The extra challenge with these were making them sturdy enough to add animal decorations to.  There was a great variety of animals created and they did an excellent job underglazing them.  If you would like to see all of our pinch pots visit our online art gallery at: