November 22, 2016

Get your Yayoi Kusama polka dot Pumpkin

Inspired Artwork by 1st grade kids

This is a fabulous art lesson to learn about a current artist and an alternative way to create pumpkin art. 
Not your everyday art.

The students explored basic design principles with opposites to create contrast within their composition: 
1- black vs white 
2- line design vs dots
3- warm colors (usually lighter) vs cool colors (usually darker)

  I came across this art project over at Plastiquem.

The artwork explains itself, but here are simple directions just in case.
  •  First the kids picked from either light/warm  or dark/cool color papers to draw their pumpkin on.
  • Next, if they picked a warm/lighter color, then they painted with black dots. If they drew their pumpkin on a cool/dark color, they painted white dots on their pumpkin. 
  • When painting the pumpkins we started in the middle of each pumpkin section. We dipped our thumb to make the larger dots, then a pencil eraser top for the next size, and then a pencil tip for the smallest size. If the students were able to follow those directions, their dot design really popped!

  • Once the pumpkins were dry, we cut the pumpkins out and used the opposite warm/cool or light/dark color for the back ground. If their dots were black, then they created a triangle design background with white. You get the idea. 

The kids learned many basic design and color theory principles and had fun. 

Original artwork by Yayoi Kusama

October 11, 2016

Starry Starry Night Pumpkin Patch

Vincent Van Gogh  PumpkinMasterpiece 

I love Halloween & Fall! Seriously. Love it. But I do not like the creepy & bloody decor. I really get into giant piles of pumpkins, gourds, brightly colored squash - the sweeter side of Halloween, and art with kids.

This is a super fun art project for any age, we created these with 4th graders. There are a few easy steps to help keep it simple. I found an image from 
Mr. O's Art Room on Pinterest and ran with it.

You can create this in either order (background or pumpkins) and then glue pumpkins to the starry background. It helped to have different paint stations in the classroom. 

    (full sheet black)
    We painted the starry starry night sky with light colors first then dark colors,  so it would show up on the black paper. 

I gave them examples so they could see the two projects before they were glued on top.

(1/2 sheet white)
  • They drew the pumpkins with pencil, then outlined with permanent black marker.                 
  • Next they painted from light oranges to darker oranges for shadows to create a more 3-D effect. It's a hard concept to grasp and I think those that dared to try did awesome.
  • Once the paint was dry, they cut out their pumpkins and glued it on top of their starry night.


I encouraged them to paint a variety of pumpkins- because there are so many shapes, sizes and colors.  

Happy Fall Y'all!


June 12, 2016

Always Fly High {Hot Air Balloon tutorial}

When I was a kid my family went to a hot air ballon festival. Many brightly colored balloons dotted the blue sky... The sight was awesome, I will never forget it. I remember begging to ride in a hot air balloon. I didn't get to though. 

I don't think I want to ride in a hot air balloon now...
I am content to look up at them from below (I'm more chicken of heights now that I'm older).

Here's a simple charcoal tutorial on how our 4th-graders drew their balloons. Charcoal is one of my favorite mediums for all ages. It is smooth and soft, can create lines & shapes fast as lightning, and the final image is just cool looking almost always.

 Try it out if you haven't already. Dare you. You'll just get a little messy, that's all. I used the drawing steps from The Lost Sock 

{Charcoal Hot Air Balloon Tutorial}

You will Need:
  • charcoal sticks (various thicknesses if desired)
  • paper
  • rubber eraser

1 - Draw a quick line down the middle and draw a circle. 2 - Draw "pumpkins lines", less space between lines as you go further towards back of the balloon. Draw "pancakes."

 3 - Finish connecting lines to the "pancakes, and the opening to balloon.  4 - Add shading and details. 

From this...

To this! Makes you want to jump in one and head up into the clouds...

Each balloon has unique personality and detail even though the instructions are the same.

Always fly high. . .