"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Black Glue Line African Animals Watercolour

I posted about this lesson a few years ago (see original post HERE) and had my Grade 8's recently finish it again. It's one of my all time favourite lessons: I love the combination of the dramatic black line contrasted with the loose fluidity of the liquid watercolours. 

So students start by choosing the face of an African animal of their choice. They draw this on heavy white paper focusing on line (no shading). Then, they trace over all the lines using a bamboo stick and black glue (white glue mixed with India ink). This year some students- gasp- revolted- against the bamboo stick and begged me to let them use a Sharpie. Ugh- I gave in but normally I don't. I must have been tired that day, haha.


I store my black glue in a plastic container with a lid and then put it into smaller 
containers for the kids to use.

I store my liquid watercolours in little sauce/condiment ups with lids. It works pretty good but some of them get stiiiinky by the end of the year...

Once the black glue has dried, they wet the entire paper and they just randomly lay down a mixture of liquid watercolours. They know that analogous colours work well together. 

Some Grade 8 results:

Monday, April 9, 2018

Torn Paper Insect Collage

If you're looking for a lesson to use up alot of the scrap paper you've accumulated throughout the year, look no further! I found this lesson HERE on the Dickblick website- it has some amazing lesson plans. I did this project with Grade 3, but in future years I think I'll try it with Grade 4 because I wasn't thrilled with the outcomes and quite a few kids struggled with the tearing part and adding more details part.

Below you can see my scrap paper hoarding box- ugh. It usually ends up with garbage in it and tiny pieces of paper even though I tell kids it has to be good paper at least as big as their open palm. 
Anyway, the kids love rummaging though it to see what treasures they might find. 

We started off by reviewing the parts of an insect. I have handouts and book of insects to help them with their ideas. I show them how to find the grain of the paper as well as how to tear an oval and a circle. I give them each a large sheet of black construction paper 12 x 18". They start by ripping the main body, then add the thorax and head and smaller details such as patterns, eyes, antennae, wings, etc. They had to tear everything but then at the end I let them cut the legs with scissors as it became too much of a struggle for them to tear decent straight lines.

Some Grade 3 results:

Monday, April 2, 2018

Picasso Rooster in Oil Pastel Project

This is a lesson I thought my Grade 5's would love but turns out they weren't huge fans if it! When I showed them the photo of Picasso's "Le Coq" from 1938, they all freaked out and said it was really ugly and weird! We tried to have a discussion about it, the emotions associated , the sense of movement, unusual colours and all that, but they still didn't seem to gain any appreciation of it. 
Nonetheless, we forged on!
I taught this project before to a Grade 3 class and they seemed to enjoy it more. 
See that post HERE.

Picasso, Le Coq, 1938
Students started by sketching out their rooster on brown construction paper. 
Then they went over their pencil lines with a black wax crayon. They used oil pastels to colour these and then used the side of a white oil pastel to cover the background, giving it a soft texture. For a last step, they went over their original black lines with a black oil pastel to really help the lines 'pop'.

Some Grade 5 results:

Monday, March 26, 2018

Tempera Pour Painting---> Northern Lights Silhouette

This is a really fun lesson that I learned at this years NAEA convention in Seattle. This was an activity center set up by the art catalog company Dick Blick. I never order from Blick because it's a US company and I'm in Canada so the shipping costs don't make it worth it unfortunately, which is sad because they have so many great products that I can't get through my own art supply company.

This is a pour painting project that's so popular on YouTube right now. I've had some students request doing this as a project but the cheap side of me is always thinking about how much paint it seems to waste!! But learning this technique showed me that it's possible to do it using cheaper tempera paint (as opposed to acrylic) and there's actually not that much wasted paint at all. 

You can find the PDF lesson plan and steps HERE on the Blick website.

They had the two samples below on display which was helpful to refer to.

They were also giving away hard copies of some art lessons which was handy.

The lady working my side of the table was great! Super patient and calm and kind- kudos to her given the somewhat busy and chaotic atmosphere! We started by making our silhouette out of heavy black paper- cardstock type. They had stencils for us to trace which was a real time saver. 

I cut these out using scissors and a tiny Xacto-type blade they had. It didn't work for me and made really rough cuts so I ended up cleaning everything up with scissors. Put the silhouette aside.

Now for the pour painting part: they gave us a small plastic Dixie cup and told us to fill it with squirts of tempera paint in a bull's eye type pattern to about 1/4th full. We were also given a small canvas board- about 4 x 6". The colours I chose were purples, white, some blue and gold. We could also squirt in some of their new glow in the dark glitter glue. It looked lumpy on top of the smooth paint and I didn't think it would smooth out but it did. Once dry, if you put a black light over these, the glitter glue glows. 

Myself and everyone around kept asking if the paint needed to be watered down. Every tutorial I've watched has the paint watered down to a more ink-like consistency- not simply pure paint. But the instructor insisted it didn't need to be. I was doubtful but I trusted her!!

Then put the canvas board on top of the cup of paint and then flip it over. Dump out all the paint and you'll get a wonderful puddle of paint! Tilt it around, tap the back with your fingers and cover all of the board. I had to add a bit more paint. It thickens up as you go, so you need to work fairly quickly.

Once the canvas was covered, we were given a disposable plastic to-go carton with a lid 
which was to protect our wet painting.

We placed out silhouette right on top of the wet paint and carefully tapped down all of the edges. 

They even taped on a handy handle so we could carry our painting. 

Tomorrow, the painting had dried nicely, but was completely matte- it still looked pretty. 
I would spray varnish these to make them shiny.
Now I'm testing out the same process back at my school with some crap old tempera I have. I've also added in some squirts of WD-40 (silicone) to create a more marbled effect. So far it's worked out- I just need to wait and see how they dry overnight. 
I can't wait to teach this lesson with my junior high kids!

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