Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Tiger Lesson

In my previous post I discussed the artist Ito Jakuchu. One of his most famous paintings is of a tiger. So for this lesson I chose to draw a tiger. Below is a step-by step slideshow of how to draw this tiger. It is a bit rough as I drew it out in paint using only my mouse. I did not add any color. In my original picture, I used chalk pastel, though in my lessons this week we will be using marker.

For now, here is the slide show...

Student Examples

By Ryan
Age 7

By Gabi Age 10

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

King Tut's All Broken Up- Make an Egyptian Mosaic Paper Collage

Last week in art class we did a lesson on King Tut's Mask. You can find a great step by step lesson on how to draw the mask at
Art Projects for Kids.
Unfortunately quite a few of my students did not make it to class last week. So instead of letting all those kids miss that project or making the kids who came redo the project, I decided to combine it with my lesson on Roman mosaics. I ended up with some pretty terrific results and the kids all really enjoyed the project.

What you will need

8 1/2" X 11" white cardstock with 5 x 5 grid
(kids can either measure and draw out the grid or you can preprint one on
the cardstock like this one)

Markers(regular and metallic)

Black Sharpie Markers (fine and extra fine point)
12" x 12" colored piece of cardstock (I like scrapbook cardstock)


1. Start by having kids pick two colors. Use these two colors to color the outside 14 squares of the grid in an alternating pattern. There should be nine left in the center.

2. Draw King Tut in pencil in the remaining nine squares. Make Tut's face exactly in the center square and then follow the rest of the steps at Art Projects for Kids.

3. Once Tut is all drawn in kids can color him in as well as the background behind him. If they are using metallic markers have them use Sharpie to outline Tut.
Metallic markers are opaque and will cover up their pencil lines completely. They go over sharpie too so be careful.
The sharpie should make the line thicker though
so it will be easier not to cover their lines completely.
They can also add design to the border tiles

(Egyptian hieroglyphics of their names perhaps?)

4. Once everything is colored in, have them cut out the
squares along the grid lines.

If they have lost the lines because of coloring, re-pencil
in the lines using a pencil and ruler.

5. Once all the squares are cut out, arrange them
on the 12 x 12 cardstock leaving a uniform space
between each of the paper tiles.
These will be the "grout lines".

6. After the tiles are arranged to their satisfaction,
begin gluing the tiles down.

7. Once the glue is dry, using Sharpie to outline the edges of each tile can give a more dramatic look to the finished piece as can mounting the piece on another piece of larger contrasting paper as I did in my sample.

You can do quite a bit with this as an educational project. Put whatever you are studying in the center and then add design elements of what you've learned about that subject in the border tiles. If you were studying deserts you could put a cactus in the middle and then put desert animal designs on the border tiles. You are limited only by your imagination. This can be a good introduction to symbolism as well as color theory by suggesting kids use complimentary colors
or alternating warm and cool colors.

These are examples completed by two of my students.

This one was done by a 13 year old student.

This one was done by an 11 year old student.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Say it Forward Friday- and the winner is!

One of my very favorite blog buddies and commenters.
Jessica at Art Smarts4Kids
is an awesome writer, teacher, and though she may not agree,
I think a pretty good artist as well!

She helped me title this Tangle.

The title is....
Knossos Eclipse

and her reasoning was this...

The image reminds me of a medieval castle. Medieval castles often had labyrinths. Though not a medieval labyrinth, the labyrinth at Knossos immediately springs to mind when I think about labyrinths. I don't know if you're familiar with the myth, but it says that people were often sacrificed to the Minotaur that was kept in the Knossos Labyrinth. It was so complex that no one could escape. But one man, with the help of his love, found a way. Theseus killed the Minotaur and escaped by following a string that he had unwound behind him as he entered the labyrinth. The bold lines of the tangle make me think of the walls of the labyrinth and the thinner lines that fill in the spaces remind me of the string.

Finally, one of the first things I notice when I look at the picture is the circle in the upper right corner. It makes me think of a lunar eclipse.

Thus, Knossos Eclipse.

And what does she win Bob?

A tangle tree 1 Mug- already on its way!

Can you guess which art lesson inspired "Knossos Eclipse"?

Hint- Check yesterday's post!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Klee's Castle

I really love the work of Paul Klee, if nothing else for the fact that his work has the childlike purity and joy to it. He also loved drawing cats when he was young and since feline appreciation runs deep in our house, it is all the more reason to love him!
My seven year old son draws cats all the time and would love to have one, but alas the great irony is that he is allergic to them!!!
So rather than cats, we will look at his castles! The projects below are based on these pieces above in his castle series. Don't they look like building blocks?

Well our projects were made with building blocks- of the cardstock template kind. Below you will find a PDF template you can print out to help in making these projects.

First we traced the shapes with pencil as we "built" our castles
from the bottom up.
We made sure to leave enough room for a sun in the sky-
just like Klee did.
The we outlined first in metallic marker and then
colored in with oil pastel.

My sample

By Anna Age 9

Why not make a standing castle city where you can host your own jousting tournaments?
Just build your castles on paper bags and then
they can stand all by themselves.
Be sure to build them on the smooth side of the bag
without the bottom paper fold-
that way your bag will lay flat while you are building it.

How big will your castle city be?

I used pencil and crayon for these.

My castle city is still under construction...

The circle that intersects the large rectangle will give you two semi-circles
and create the archway block

These projects were inspired by these projects at Art Projects for Kids
Castle 1
Castle 2

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day, the last two projects I chose for art class were based on recycling. The first one is a Louise Nevelson assemblage project. This week's project will focus on Frank Stella (based on this lesson at Modern Art 4 Kids) and will use recycled cardboard. I will post pictures on that soon, but for now here are the results of our Nevelson exploration.
The project was based on this lesson at Art Projects for Kids.
All materials used were recycled. They were assembled using a hot glue gun and then painted white or black with acrylic craft paint.

My sample

Completed by a 5th grader

Completed by a 2nd grader

Completed by a 3rd grader

Completed by a 4th grader

Learn more about Louise Nevelson at Artist of the Week

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Oh My Gosh it's a Bosch! Part Two the Art Lesson

By Kendall- Age 9

The Art Lesson-
Bosch was a Dutch Surrealist Painter in the 15th and 16th century. This is 400 years before most people think surrealism really began. Artists like Salvador Dali took the art form to it's highest peak in the early 20th century. The art form incorporates realism in fantastic and often nightmarish situations.
Bosch explored the both the good and bad extremes that people can sometimes be. In this we will do the same through depicting beauty and monsters together.


9" x 12" piece of drawing paper
black sharpie
oil pastels

1. Fold the paper in half lengthwise. On one side draw the side of a vase in pencil. Start at the top corner and make curves all the way down to the bottom of the paper.

2. Now draw the same curves on the other side in a mirror image.

3 Some of you will recognize this as a drawing exercise called "vase faces" or "gargoyles". If you look carefully you will see the profile of two rather grotesque figures in the curves you have just made. Now it's time to play them up and make them as bad as you can.

4. Once you are happy with how horrifying your profiles are, make as pretty a face as you can in the middle space left by the profiles.(see the Botticelli Face of Venus lesson for a face drawing tutorial)

5. If you have any white space left fill it up with pictures of things you like and don't like. (For instance kitty cats and broccoli)

6. Use a black sharpie to go over all the pencil lines, and then color in with a combination of marker and oil pastel.

7. Bosch used his paintings to tell stories, so as an extension of this activity you can write a story about what it happening in your picture.

More pieces from the kids gallery

By Tatum Age 8

By Zee Zee Age 9

This lesson has just been used by Tech4Learning in their Spring 2009 issue of Creative Educator to support the integration of technology,
art, and language in the classroom using their Pixie2 software

(which my kids love by the way, though it was not used to create this lesson
and is not necessarily needed to complete it)

Friday, April 3, 2009

An Easter Rainbow Book

7 sheets of paper, red, orange, green, blue, purple, white
paper plate
paper trimmer and or scissors

1.Start with 7 sheets of paper stacked in this color order, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and white. Use a paper trimmer or scissors to cut the papers in half lengthwise.

2.Use a large circle to draw a curve at the short edge one of the papers. Cut this curve and use it as a template to trace the same curve on the remaining papers. Turn over and trace on the other side of the papers. You want a mirrored curve here so that later when the pages are folded in the curves will match up.

3. On the white paper, after the curve is traced, add a wavy line on both sides.

4. Cut all the curves.

. Stagger the papers so that each shows evenly. Fold the bottom up to meet the white and create two rows of cloud. Crease the fold. Clip to hold in place.

6. Reopen and staple on the crease. It is best to staple from the outside in so that staple points aren't sticking out to poke little fingers.

7. Close book up and place under heavier books to get to lay flat.

In honor of National Poetry Month, this is my Easter rainbow poem. You could write this out in the rainbow book you just made! I am planning on making these with my Sunday school class of kindergartners and four year olds this Easter. I will print out each verse on labels or sticker paper and have them stick on the appropriate verse for each color.
If anyone would like the corresponding bible verses, let me know and I will post them.

A Rainbow for Jesus
By Julie Moses

Red is for the blood
Jesus shed on the cross
Orange is the color of spices
Used to prepare his death cloths
Yellow is the color of the hem
Of an angel's robe,
who From the tomb,
Rolled away the stone.
Green is the color of
the brand new life
We find in Jesus Christ
Blue is the color
of the comfort and peace He gives,
even in the midst of strife.
Purple is the color
Used to dress a king.
Remember the rainbow and
How Christ gave us everything.

This book can become many things. You can write your own rainbow poem or story in it, cut out same colored items from magazines and make a rainbow collage,
or think of items that are that color and draw them in yourself.
Turn it into your own favorite bedtime story so that you too can have rainbow dreams!
For older kids who want to get in on the fun have them check out some rainbow history.

This is a video of the same process.