Wednesday, December 18, 2013

O Christmas Tree...

Some of the first graders and Kindergartners created these fun Christmas trees this week for their last project before winter break. We drew a triangle at the bottom of the paper, and then continued to stack triangles up until the top of the tree. Then we added a star and a trunk. We traced these with black oil pastel, then colored with soft drawing chalk. They were messy, but fun. Each one turned out so different!

Elf Yourself at the North Pole!

Meet the newest elves in the North Pole: The second grade class! We started by drawing a picture of Santa's workshop and what we imagine the North Pole might look like. Then we used a digital picture of the students' heads, created new elf bodies, and then added these to our north pole scenes. Finally, some chalk was added to make a streak of northern lights across the night sky. Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Starry Night over Nebraska

Time for one of my FAVORITE projects in the 4th grade! Starry Night (in Nebraska)! We start this project by looking at the original VanGogh starry night. Then we compare this starry night to two similar paintings: Burning with Cosmic Rhythm by T. F. Chen, and The Dark Starry Night by James Hance. Students discuss the similarities and differences of the three paintings. We talk about how artists use famous works like Starry Night to learn how to paint in different ways and because they are recognizable by a lot of people. We even watched a video by an artist who created starry night out of dominoes!

We talked about how the "composition" of all three is the same. They all have tall objects on the left side, a moon on the right, and a smaller object and a city in the center. They all have the swirl of color in the sky as well. But each is a picture of a different location. We talked about what objects might become part of a "Nebraska" composition. Good tall objects were trees, flag poles, windmills, silos, Chimney Rock, our city water tower, etc. Then we talked about what small landmark could take the place of the center. After we drew our pictures, we painted in an impressionist style so you could see our brush strokes like the style of Vincent VanGogh!

 Top: A student's backyard with a tree and tomato towers in the garden.
Bottom: A flagpole and our school building.

Top: Nebraska State Capital building and Memorial stadium (home of the Huskers!).
Bottom: A windmill and barn with a silo on a farm.
Top: Chimney Rock and a covered wagon on the prarie.
Bottom: City water tower and the school building.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Winter Trees

The third grade students made these fantastic trees this week using some new painting techniques. Starting with a brush they created the snowy horizon line. They then used a piece of flat cardboard to stamp and drag the white paint to create a trunk and branches for their trees. A thumb print in the tree makes an owl body, and the corner of the cardboard can be used for snowflakes. After cleaning up the paint and washing hands, the rest of the details, including the shadows and mood, were made with color sticks.

Brrrrrr! Penguins!!

The first grade class created these fantastic penguins this week, just in time for the cold weather to hit. It is COLD outside, so we need to bundle up. I love these inspiration pieces from Mrs. Anderson's Art Blog. We started by creating arch shapes for the body and tummy of our penguins, and used the black and white scraps to make eyes. Add an orange beak and some cold weather accessories, and we're all set for a blustery December. The perfect final touch on these guys was to stamp some snowflakes with a q-tip, and sprinkle the wet paint with sparkly glitter.