Friday, 28 September 2012


Matisse collage
9 and 10 year olds.

This day was a bit crazy.  I had 28 children to teach and a room to vacate. I had to vacate the room I've had this year to make way for the new entrants, (5 year olds).
The art paraphernalia had to be put in other places, like a borrowed shelf here and a stolen corner there.
The lovely class of children worked so independently, allowing for the classroom transformation to occur around them.
We discussed the later work of Henri Matisse, after he had become weakened by cancer. The idea to cut out shapes without drawing them first was daunting for some. They had the opportunity to cut practice shapes out. They had to choose their own parameters such as curvy, sharp, etc. They chose their own colour combinations from what was there.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

collage gardens

Collage gardens.
Five year olds.

I thank and attribute the idea for this lesson to Deep Space Sparkle. I have adapted it for a year one class. The children made their own coloured paper in an Eric Carl way. They cut their paper into strips and glued them down onto card. The left over paper was used to make layered flower heads and stalks. The children added details with black pen, which I think was their favorite part. I did a similar lesson recently with printed paper. Blogged on 23 July.

Monday, 24 September 2012

stuffed birds

3D birds.
Five year olds.

I have blogged about how we made the birds on July 17 this year, with a different class of five year olds. This class is even younger. One little guy had his second day at school today.
The children made their black marker birds on canvas paper  which is tear proof. They cut them out. I taped each one to the window backwards. Then put another piece of canvas paper over top for them to copy their bird onto. This gave them two sides to the same bird that could be stapled together and stuffed.
Before stapling and stuffing, they painted them with fine brushes and water colour paint. I asked them to repeat the same colours on the other side. Some chose not to.
The long pictures are group efforts.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

mt holdsworth

Mt Holdsworth.
11 to 57 year olds.
What art teachers do in their weekends. Snow near Wellington at the end of September! Not what we expected.

Thursday, 20 September 2012


8 and 9 year olds.

The children viewed and discussed the embroidered cloth made traditionally by the women in Panama. They used this art as inspiration for their own mola. They drew a favourite creature and glued smaller images of it on top. Traditionally the mola have up to seven layers. The more layers, the more value.
We moved through the process, explaining each step as we got to it, but several children still found it confusing. If I did this again I would take more time. We rushed the outside part, but this could have benefited from more planning.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

aboriginal dot painting

Aboriginal art.
8 year olds

After a discussion about how and why Aboriginal people make their dot art, the children drew an image of a lizard or a tortoise as a base for their art. They decided  on what land features they wanted to include in the negative space. They drew the ideas onto brown paper lightly with pencil. They added colour using acrylic paint and cotton buds. They aimed to make the dots uniform, small and close.
They used the same images on a flat river stone. The surface is great to paint and draw on. This was not straight forward for many though as the area is small and they needed a steady hand.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

bamboo group work

Team work
8 and 9 year olds

This art lesson took much longer than I thought. They found the hunting for the right tones in magazines quite hard, and the wiring together.
The children sat at 6 tables of about 5 children. Each table chose a colour to work with. Fortunately they covered the primary and secondary colours. Each child got a bamboo rod to put his or her tone of paper beads onto. The central bead was to be the complimentary colour. The group wired their coloured rods together, then wired their work to the other group's work.
This idea came from my beloved Pinterest. Check out Lisa Kretchmap's beautifully neat example.


Koru design in Rueben Paterson style.
8-10 year olds.

I have tried this lesson earlier with a younger group of children. The older children's initial designs using the koru shape were interesting and complicated. This often tripped the children up because they had to cut them out, retaining the negative space as well. I suggested a glitter layer in Rueben Patersons style. This varied in it's success. We tried both putting glitter on glued paper shapes and applying glitter paint. Both methods had success.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

cicada in foil

Foil relief rubbings.
8-10 year olds.

Cicada cast off their skin in Summer. I collected enough for each child to observe their own cicada exoskeleton. They made observational drawings in pencil then charcoal, with the aid of magnifying glasses. They made a cardboard relief image of it then a wax crayon rubbing to check out the details. Once they were happy with their image, they wrapped it in tinfoil and carefully exposed the relief with their fingers. It tares easily. They rubbed Indian ink over the surface and rubbed it off once it was dry.


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