Wednesday, 31 October 2012

ukelele art

 Ukelele art.
Five year olds.

Today I worked in the open plan room with another art teacher. I love working with her, as we complement each other well. We had 37 five year olds so we had to be on top of our game.
We put ukeleles on each group table and the children did an initial observational drawing in pencil. We encourage contrast and detail. The children cut them out and decided where they would glue them in a page.
Secondly, they drew the same ukelele on an A3 page with a fat wax crayon.
Thirdly, they drew it in pen on an A6 piece of paper, which they coloured in coloured pencil. We encourage layering of colours to create new ones.
The last ukelele was drawn in marker pen and painted in water colour paint.
While they dried, they made the strings. They tied four pieces of string to a piece of card with four holes punched in it. We stapled the card to the top of their ukelele and they threaded each string onto plastic needles and through the hole we punched for them at the other end of the ukelele. We sellotaped them on the back for them. They cut the ukelele out.
Some struggled with the knot tying, but several managed and they became our experts and they set off to help others.
We were flat out for the day, but every child achieved a great result.
They were keen to take them home to play them.

Monday, 29 October 2012


Drawing zoo animals,
Six year olds.
We brainstormed all the zoo animals the children could think of. They knew a lot! They each drew a few on a big page and chose one to draw with pen on a triangle shaped page. I had some animal books on hand for them to look at but no one used them, as they were all buzzing with ideas. They coloured the animals with coloured pencil. They used layers of colours which added interest and helped to cover the area with colour. The triangle fitted onto a circle, with the points just touching the sides of the circle. The left over circle was folded up and attached to another circle. I mounted them randomly on the wall. They look very interesting.
The ideas for this lesson came from could be used in a variety of ways.

Sunday, 28 October 2012


Six year olds.
I have just joined a new art blog. She has posted a great art lesson using black glue. I tried this with a younger class a few years ago, but she has inspired me to work with the glue again, but to use chalk instead of oil pastel to add colour. It's a tricky medium to use with little ones as I found out. The glue often clogs the spout or comes out a bit fast. Still, I think the irregular lines add interest.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

kandinsky trees

Collage trees inspired by Kandinsky.
8 year olds.
This idea has been borrowed from I think her lesson was taken with an older group as the finishing was more advanced.
I exposed the children to a little of Kandinskys life and art.
They were given a heavy piece of card to draw their tree on, containing about 5 branches. The cutting of the card was a struggle, but we managed. The tree was covered with newspaper words. Our newspapers today have a lot of coloured photos in them, so I asked the children to use text only. They covered both sides of the card.
The problems that occurred for a few were using too much paste. This made the card weak and floppy. They will still be OK when they dry I think.
They added a little brace so the tree will stand.
The Kandinsky flowers were made with colours the children felt worked well together. They put a flower on the back as well, so it can be viewed from both sides.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

shadow art

 Me and my shadow.
6 year olds.

A wee girl came in from next door to be our model. She made a few poses for the children to draw using black crayon.
They made another drawing of their favorite observational drawing, using pencil and charcoal. These were cut out and then traced around onto black paper which was also cut out. The black shadow was glued onto the page first, then the drawing was glued slightly lower and to one side of the shadow. There were a few hiccups...shadows glued on the wrong side, therefore mirror images; drawings put too far to one side so they didn't look connected.
The addition of the coloured squares as a boarder helped the images 'pop'. I think it us the contrast with the black and white.
The idea for this came from pinterest,many thanks.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

tree house crayon etchings

Tree house etchings.

Seven year olds

The children thoroughly enjoyed this whole process which began by drawing the ngaio trees outside in the playground. They drew several different trees and once inside they used the ideas to draw the tree that would support their dream tree house.

They became designers and drew their dream tree houses.

They explained a feature of their tree house, to the class. This was motivating and delightful. A lot talked about security features.

The idea for this process came from  Many thanks.

The children covered half a page with chalk. Then they covered the chalk with a few layers of wax crayon, finishing with black. The blank half of the paper is folded onto the crayoned half and the image of the tree house is drawn on the plain page. Once opened up, there are two images, one negative and one positive.

I asked the children to write about their tree house features. This was so enlightening.

Monday, 15 October 2012


 Sunflower drawing.
8 year olds.
The children spent a day making drawings of sunflowers in a variety of ways. They used pencils, crayons and pastels, on a variety of surfaces. The advantage of having the flowers in the room really helped. They aren't actually sunflowers as you might have noticed, but they did the trick.

The plastic was a donation which the children drew on with wax crayons. They then painted the flowers with acrylic. When the plastic was turned over, the black lines are very visible.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

the owl and the pussycat collage

"The Owl and the Pussycat" collage.
5 and 6 year olds.

This is an excellent poem to read and base art on. I've taken the lesson twice. Teachers and parents sometimes request that their class or child receive a lesson they have seen I've done with another class. I'm always happy to do this as the second lesson is never the same as the first. I modify, smooth over the problem areas and adjust to the needs of students.
The children have drawn what they want their scene to look like. Then they have drawn the components individually on card and cut them out. Each one has had a different treatment. Such as a glitter pussy, a collage owl and a blended crayon boat.
They discussed what an horizon is and put this across their background page. They coloured the sea and sky with wax crayon, then dye. They stuck on their boat and characters.


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