Saturday, May 26, 2018

More Memory Project Portraits

You may recall that our students have participated in the Memory Project in the past. 

We first created portraits of Bolivian children in early 2017. We then created portraits of Congolese children.  
We just completed our third Memory Project portraits, this time of Afghani children.

We are always excited to see the video the Memory Project creates for us of our efforts and delivery of the portraits to the children. When it is available, we will post it for you!

Here is the video of the Afghan children receiving their portraits.

Friday, May 25, 2018

We Love Candy!

On our last Friday art class of the school year, our charter kids created some sweet pop art (think Andy Warhol or Peter Blake). 

Our subject was CANDY, which was also their reward after their candy art was completed - yummy!

First, the artists arranged their favorite candy on a paper 'stage' and observed it carefully. It was okay to open the candy and poke it out of the wrapper, or to draw the candy without the wrapper. 

Each artist pretended to be a bug, looking at those HUGE pieces of candy. Our goal was to draw the candy much LARGER than life size; to fill the paper, even taking it past the paper's edges. 

For some, this was not an easy task. 

Once the basic shapes were drawn on the paper, they filled them in with tempera paint. We used cake temperas because they can be thinned with water to resemble watercolor for things like Gummy Worms, or we can create thicker, more vivid colors for bright candy wrappers.

We used liquid burnt sienna, blue, and white to create creamy brown chocolate colors. Then we painted the background using a solid color.

When all of the paint was dry, we added details using Sharpies. This included the zigzags around the edges of the peanut butter cups and outlines around the lettering. The kids enjoyed filling in the Hershey's Kisses and Hershey's lettering with silver metallic Sharpies.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Designer Feathers!

We just designed and created feathers. 

Very LARGE feathers! 

We drew them lightly with pencil, divided each into sections, and painted using just four colors. 

Then we painted in additional details and interesting patterns and so forth. We also used a variety of interesting objects to stamp on shapes and our trusty stylus collection for dots.

We then dried them, cut them out, and cut little V's from the edges to give them a 'feathery look. 

Then we added some matching fuzzy feathers to the bottoms for a realistic touch, and attached our amazing feathers to a piece of black poster board using three little pieces of two-sided tape. Our finished feathers are 9" by 22."

We LOVE how they turned out!

Our thanks to Small Hands Big Art for this
great project idea!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Flowers for Mom!

This week we painted flowers for Mother's Day. The original plan was to paint a little watercolor painting to attach to a card to give to Mom. That way she would get a personal card and a piece of art to keep and display too. 

Often kids have different ideas, like painting on a full sheet of paper. They wanted to paint a PAINTING, so they did. A few even painted a second one for Grandma. 

First each child chose a vase that he or she liked. Then they chose flowers that would work with the vase as far as size and color, and they arranged them in the vase.

Now they needed to study their subject very carefully. 

What is the shape of the vase? 
How large is it compared to the flowers? 
How can the entire subject be fit into the composition without going off the edges? 
(This often happens, usually cutting off the flowers at the top, which we didn't want to do.)

I reminded them that they have "creative license" to change whatever they want to. So if the vase is tall and skinny, they can make it shorter so the flowers will fit on the page, like this one with the pink tulips. 

The only 'rule' was that no pencils were allowed. I didn't want them to focus so much on drawing. I wanted them to trust themselves and dive right into the process of painting.

They began by visually measuring how large the vase will be, and then sketching the shape of the vase with thinned watercolor.  They then painted at will, with very little instruction. Some added a few details to the vase if it was clear glass, like stems and leaves. Others painted it a solid color.

Then they added the main flowers, stems, leaves, and the smaller flowers. They learned that white flowers could be added by simply choosing a color to paint the outlines; then adding the centers with a few dots of color. Let the white paper do the rest. They also learned that adding water to thin colors creates watercolor tints such as baby blue and pink and lavender. No white paint required.

The last step was to paint the background. This required imagination, while the flowers required careful observation skills. The background could be realistic, like a table and a window, or it could be very simple or maybe a mishmash of colors and patterns.

For the background, our artists also needed to select colors that would complement the floral arrangement. 

Decisions, decisions!

This artist painted a small floral (my original idea), which we glued to a folded piece of cardstock.

Below are our flowers for Mom!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Fabulous Fish!

These fabulous schools of fish resemble the batik fish project we did a couple of years ago, but our process was a bit different. 

This time we used white oil pastel to 'resist' the paint instead of masking fluid because our format was larger so we needed a speedier way to complete the project within the given time. Also, I'm not crazy about letting younger artists work with masking fluid; it dries quickly and it has to be completely rubbed off after the painting is dry.

I have a number of fish templates, from which a favorite is  drawn at least five times as if swimming in the same direction and overlapping for realism. 

Eyes and simple patterns are also added within each fish, and then all lines are traced heavily with white oil pastel.

Each fish is then painted with thinned liquid watercolor so that the oil pastel resists the paint.

The space around the fish is painted a new color, and the eyes are outlines with a Sharpie.

Some artists painted a different type of fish hidden somewhere within their school of fish!