Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Motherlode of Tangle Resources

If you are an art teacher and have not heard of Zentangle yet, then you are sorely missing out. It is really a lot of fun and kids and grown up alike love learning how simple and easy these complex looking designs really are to draw. If you already know about Zentangle, chances are you love it as much as I do. If you are like me though, you may get into a rut with the patterns you use in your tangle projects. No more should this happen! A wonderful Certified Zentangle Teacher has created an ever expanding site of patterns from around the web complete with step by step instructions on how to draw them! How cool is that?
Go there now, you will not be disappointed!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Math and Art

In my classes of late we have been exploring relationships between art and math. If you ever go down this path, it is almost a requirement to include a lesson on MC Escher. I usually try to present some biographical information about the artist we are studying. Using a short video to accomplish this works fairly well, not to mention that with a little help from google and youtube, I can almost always find a video premade by someone else. The quality varies, as does the level of the intended audience. I find though, that if I pause the video here and there and explain what is coming up or what was just said, the kids digest it just fine. 
As a teaser to a tessellation lesson I'll be posting about soon, please enjoy this really well done video about MC Escher..

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Leo's Helio's

One of the numerous innovations we can give credit to Leonardo da Vinci for is some of the first concept designs for helicopters. Drawing helicopters is far easier than you might think, and my first grade class pulled it off pretty nicely.
This was a guided drawing lesson, (Monart style) so as I drew a line on the white board, the students would draw a line as well. Even though you might think this would create kind of uniformity in the drawing results, it really doesn't. The way each student interprets and reproduces the lines are totally unique. The  only caveat is making the kids aware that there is no right or wrong way to interpret and to get them through to the end of the drawing. Kids can be very critical of their process if they don't think it looks "right". This is probably the reason we lose so many people to the idea that they are "not artists" because they can't "draw right." We started in pencil, which can be a tricky thing to do. A lot of art teachers don't give pencils because the temptation to erase can be so overwhelming that it just brings the process to a big screaming halt. My pencils are well loved though and most no longer have erasers. I will give a child a big eraser if they really think they need it, but I try to hold them off if possible.
After the helicopter was drawn we added in background details, This is a great project to introduce the concept of the horizon line, as well as foreground and middle ground and background. Once the kids are satisified with their pencil lines I gave them either a brown marker or brown watercolor pencil to trace their lines. After this step was done, I had the kids use a wet q-tip to trace over those lines which cause the brown to bleed a bit, resulting in the appearance of an old sepia ink wash, just like in da Vinci's journals. If you have them you could use watercolor crayons too. I just bought some for myself personally. I am told they are more vibrant than their pencil counterpart. I haven't had a chance to use them yet, but they may be on my order list of classroom supplies for next year. Anyone out there have anything to say about them? Or water soluble oil pastels?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Art Fairy is Born!

It officially Spring! So along with some other Spring cleaning that desperately needs to take place at my house, it is time for a little upkeep here at the blog. What better way than to start fresh? Welcome to The Art Fairy. This is a place for anyone, young or old who has ever said "I wish I could do that!", Well now, like a swish from the wand of a magic fairy princess, you can. Here you will find original projects and links to other wonderful projects
from all over the web.

If you leave an art teacher blog a comment, she will...

Please be careful when you leave me comments...

If you leave an art teacher blog a comment, 
The art teacher will have to check out the commenter blog,
When she checks out the commenter blog,
She will be find an impressive art project.
She will want to try said art project immediately,
But she will find she has no time at that precise moment to do said project,
So she will just "appropriate" said project as a new post on her blog, which...
will probably end up being commented on.

Such happened yesterday with Shannon's comment. I have now been introduced to the wonderful world of Notan! It's bold graphic qualities really appeal to me. I also love the concepts it has to teach about composition and value. 

I really hadn't heard the term before since I am mostly self-taught, so I went in search of Notan... this is what I have found so far...
YouTube - What is Notan
YouTube - Notan Design Instruction Video

You may wonder why I can't just go try all these wonderful projects... Well I am currently involved in a rather time consuming project. I'll give you a sneak peak at it's progress...


Time consuming, but sooo worth it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

So Worth A Try...

This is a project that needs to be done. Logistically it looks to be a nightmare, but with a little careful planning, the process and end result look to be absolutely worth it...

Here you can see how Teacher Tom brought the scale down and did the project with preschoolers.

Teacher Tom took the scale down and used paint mixed with glue to achieve the correct consistency without breaking the bank. This project looks like it would use A LOT of paint which could get expensive very quick in a classroom. The other issue it could present might have to do with the sheer weight of the paint.
I am thinking of using several of the boxes I have laying around left over from all the deliveries after my birthday online shopping spree. I mostly bought books, so the boxes really are the perfect size and shape for something like this. This also looks like something you may want to do as an outside project.
I know my kids will get a kick out of it as well.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New Sources of Inspiration

If you have not seen this blog, you must go there right now! Seriously, I command you, you really need to see it.

Pink and Green Mama