Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Art Fairy's Weekly Top Twenty on Tuesday! (Volume 2)

This week's top twenty...



If you have a lesson or know of one that deserves to make The Top Twenty List for next week,
please let me know, either in the comments or at my email msjuliesartclass at AOLdot com.
Please write "Top Twenty" in the subject line.

If you were featured here, please feel free to grab a button!

The Art Fairy


Friday, May 20, 2011

Sorry Sneak Peek

I had a pretty good pace going there for projects and posts which all came to a screeching halt because of a sick baby and even sicker husband. After five bouts of vomiting and that other wonderful thing in only four weeks, her doctor and I decided it must be a food intolerance issue. She was already only drinking soy milk after me thinking perhaps the almond milk was the culprit since she had tolerated soy formula well for so long. Well, we stopped the soy and lo and behold the symptoms stopped too. Until last night when she had pasta for dinner, so now I am wondering if it was the sauce or the wheat. Amidst all that lovely pondering, my hubby has been trying to pass a rather large kidney stone for more than a week. 
This is third time he's had one and the second time this year. After two trips to the ER
where all they did was give him pain killers we are exploring homeopathic options.

In the meantime I have still been teaching and looking for contenders for The Art Fairy's Weekly Top Twenty. In fact I have the next list of twenty ready to roll out, but because of my extreme fondness for alliteration, I am going to wait until Tuesday to post it and that will become it's regular home. And until I have some time to write up tutorials for you, I am going to leave with some images of projects I have been working on...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Painted Paper City Skyline

8 1/2 " X  11" cardstock cut in half length wise.
tempera paint or acrylic in various colors including black, yellow, and purple.
oil pastels
old credit card
decorative edge scissors
 old toothbrush

This piece was created in stages.

The background was stapled together to create the panoramic length and first painted purple over the upper 2/3 of the pages and allowed to dry. 

Then black paint was added  over the purple layer and texturized with an old credit card that had been trimmed with decorative scissors. 

We combed through the black paint to reveal the under layer of purple. 

The lower 1/3 was painted yellow. 

Once that was all dry we added stars by flicking white paint off of a toothbrush.

For the buildings we started out by created several colors of painted paper and adding texture in the same manner as the background was done. 

After they were all dry, we used the shape template from this lesson in combinations to create buildings on the unpainted sides of the paper. 

Then we added details with black oil pastel and metallic markers. 

The buildings were cut out and glued on to the skyline at the bottom edge of the paper.

Highlights and shadows were added with white and respective building color oil pastels.

Optionally you could use a layer of Mod Podge to seal the whole picture and leave a shiny finish.

Warm and Cool Color Exploration with Kandinsky

I begin this lesson by introducing or reviewing color theory and the color wheel. We talk about primary and secondary colors. We also discuss complimentary colors or color opposites and how those combination are always the result of a pairing of one primary color with a secondary color. We also explore how the complimentary colors are made up of a warm color and a cool color and how they site across form each other on the color wheel.

Red(a warm primary color) is the compliment(opposite) of Green( a cool secondary color)

Blue(a cool primary color) is the compliment(opposite) of Orange( a warm secondary color)

Yellow(a warm primary color) is the compliment(opposite) of Purple(a cool secondary color)

Depending on the age of the group, we will talk about tertiary colors too and how we can remember color theory with a little bit of math.

A primary color plus a primary color equals a secondary color.  1+1=2
A secondary color plus a primary color equals a tertiary color. 2+1=3

 This piece looks deceptively simple, but keeping the color pattern can be tricky for some kids. 

We started by folding cardstock in half one direction and then in half again in the other direction so that you end up with four boxes.

We then drew diagonal lines in one box, starting in the middle and radiating outward. 

This was repeated on the remaining three boxes so that all the lines would match up at the folds. 

When color was added with watercolor pencils, the students were asked to add them in an alternating pattern of warm and cool.

I kept a chart on the white board to help reminded them which colors were in which category.

Color is added in such a way as that the warm cool pattern continues both from the center to the sides of each color.

Once all the color was added we use Q-tips to add water and blend

This lesson is of course an exploration of Vassily Kandinsky's color studies, so it is also a perfect time to discuss this artist and how he recognized the correlations between art, math, and music.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Art Fairy's Weekly Top Twenty

Welcome to what I hope will become a weekly feature around here... My weekly top 20 favorite art lessons I have found in the blogosphere. It is also a wishlist of sorts, since I hope to use these lessons in my classes at some point as will you I hope! There's something for just about every age group here. Please enjoy and take the time to check out the blogs of these lovely teachers and parents if you haven't already. And a big thank you to the author's of these lessons, they are truly awesome! 

(There are no pictures here as I did not want to infringe on anyone's copyrights.)

If you have a lesson or know of one that deserves to make The Top Twenty List for next week,
please let me know, either in the comments or at my email msjuliesartclass@AOLdot com.
Please write "Top Twenty" in the subject line.

If you were featured here, please feel free to grab a button!

The Art Fairy

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Elephant Vortex

This you will probably recognize as two different projects that have been very popular as of late. For some reason, I felt the need to combine them and this is what resulted.

The links for each lesson are here for the optical illusion background and here for the elephant.

This piece was created with three separate pieces of paper. The first piece I used was 12" X 18" drawing paper. I folded down the corner at a diagonal to make a square and used a pencil to mark where the fold was. After opening I cut off the extra paper. 
The extra paper was used for the elephant. 
Black construction paper was used for mounting.

First the elephant was drawn  in a guided drawing lesson and outlined in water based crayola marker. I started by giving the students an oval tracer just for the body. Often just that starting point is all they need to keep their proportions in check.

We then used a wet Q-tip to go over it. All of those wonderful gray tones just magically appear. 

The vortex was then completed and colored. This is where I  start to have a few tips.

Start by folding a square piece of paper in half and then in half again to achieve four boxes. Then fold on the diagonal in half and then in half again.(The result should look like a cross with an X through it.) This will create the 8 arms of the radial circle without the need of a ruler.

Another tip, number the sections that are to receive convex curves with 1, 2, 3,  and 4, skipping a section each time. Have students complete those curves first. Once they are complete, then they can create the concave curves in the open sections.

When it comes to coloring, I like to reinforce color theory as often as possible so I chose to use warm and cool complimentary colors, but as long as there is a strong contrast the projects will look great.

I started with regular colored pencils, coloring with lighter pressure. Once the initial layer was down, I went back darker at the edge of the convex lines and in the middle for the concave lines. Then I went over the darker layer with white oil pastel and blended with my fingertip until the whole area was smooth. The pastel mixed with the oil pastel and blended out most of the pencil texture. I repeated for each section.

I then used a black oil pastel to darken the convex and concave lines. 

The elephant was then cut out and attached in the center. I used mod podge, but I think regular glue would work a lot better. 

For a final finish I used the black oil pastel to darken up some of the detail lines on the elephant that had been blurred in the q-tip painting process. I smudged the pastel around the edges of the elephant as well and blended with my q-tip to create a shadow behind the elephant. 

Finally I cut on the curves a bit to create a unique shape and mount the piece on black construction paper. 

Obviously this is a sample that I myself completed since my students are still working on theirs, but I just had to share. Just remember as always, that art is about the process and not the finished result so water down this lesson as you see fit for whatever grades you might try this with.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Science, Milk, and Fireworks!

After seeing a great link to a science experiment post about making fireworks with milk, dish soap, and food coloring, I wondered if the results might yield a print. Boy did it!

You can find the original instructions for the experiment here...

After following all the steps here I placed the paper on top of our mixture we had prepared in a shallow cookie pan. What resulted was very pretty, but not exactly vibrant as you can see...

In pursuit of capturing the bright firework colors permanently, we decided to try placing the paper in the pan first and then adding the milk, food coloring and finally the dish soap. 
This process produced significantly richer colors.

We allowed them to stay in the milk mixture for about 10 minutes after we were done adding colors and soap and laid them to dry on paper towels. The paper was quite curled by the time it was dry so I mounted them on shiny black cardstock to simulate a night time sky.

This was a fun way to combine science and art with my boys and I plan to try it out soon with my art students as well.

Next time I think I will experiment with liquid watercolor paint and perhaps tempera as well and see what happens!

As a science extension to this activity you might try finding out what causes this reaction. Is it a physical or chemical reaction that occurs.
Steve Spangler has a great explanation of 
the science behind the fun here.

Or for more soapy fun, check out this link.

As an art extension, take a look at the prints and see if there are any hidden pictures in there waiting to be more defined. Might there be an alien hiding in those fireworks or maybe a friendly hoot owl, or even a roaring lion. Just think ink blot and see where your imagination will take you.