Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Art Gallery

It's my first year at my current school and there hasn't been an art co-ordinator so I've stepped into the role informally over the past couple of months and will be taking it officially from September next school year.

I thought it would be a nice way to finish the year by having a mini celebration of artwork that had been taking place in my classroom. During lunchtime, many children and staff came in and browsed with enthusiasm which was lovely to see. After school, many parents of children in my art club came to look. It was great to have their support!

On display was all of the work from my art club over the past half-term, the 3D letters from the activity afternoons and some artwork that my usual class had completed. Although on a small scale, the exhibition was a great success. Hopefully in the future it can be more of a celebration of the whole school in the main hall.

Thanks to children, staff and parents who came along.

Art Activity Afternoon Project- 3D Letters

For the last 3 weeks of the year, children get to opt into a fun activity and each class is a mixture of years 3-6. I had about 24 in my art group and thought we'd attempt an ambitious project over the 3 1-hour sessions.

I came across this idea on this website. It has step-by-step instructions and a helpful video tutorial too if any of you want to attempt it at home over the holidays!

Each child could choose one letter (most went for their first initial) and over the 3 weeks we planned, created the structure and then finally decorated.
Here are some photos of the overall process:

These were so much fun and it was great to see some of the older children help those in younger year groups. These were a huge success and definitely attracted the most attention in the art gallery. I will definitely be doing these again next year for the art activity afternoons.


Art club project #5- Klimt Tree Scratch Art

This was our last project and it took a couple of hour sessions to complete. I came across this project on another great blog and wanted to give it a go. The first stage was to cover our paper with a huge range of colour and organic shapes using a wax crayon. When the page was filled with solid colour we painted over the page with black tempera paint with a few drops of washing up liquid (this helps the scratching process when it's dry).

We looked at Klimt's "Tree of Life" and used that as inspiration to create our own.
We learnt how to draw basic trees by first creating a 'Y' shape and practised these on scrap paper. We then did a rough drawing lightly on our home-made scratch paper and used a mixture of compasses/tooth-picks/skewers to scratch over the pencil. Some children had create difficulty getting their colour to shine through. This may have been because their layer of paint was too thick or perhaps not enough washing up liquid was used. However, many pieces of work came out bea
utifully and they really come to life when held up next to a window.

They're so beautiful and it's a great project to do that isn't too tricky.


Class Art- Kente cloth paper weaving

I came across this picture on pinterest and knew straight away that I had to include this as an end-of-year activity that would go well with our African unit in art.

1. Cut two identical square/rectangular pieces of paper in two colours
2. On one piece, decorate with vertical lines and patterns, on the other, decorate with horizontal lines and patterns
3. Cut vertical strips along the vertical line paper and go close to the edge of the paper but not all the way to the end
4. On the other piece of paper, cut all the way across horizontally to make strips with a similar width
5. Weave the horizontal strips into the vertical strips
6. Use  coloured paper to add extra details like face/arms/legs and the hat.
7. We added an extra border by following instructions that I found here

They had not done weaving before so some found this quite tricky but I was very impressed with most of the final results. They were a hit at our mini gallery (to be blogged about soon!) because they were so different to anything else that we cover.


Monday, 14 July 2014

Class Art- African masks

This is a big post about the amazing African masks created by my home class. This was an incredibly enjoyable project that required extensive planning before going on to producing our masterpieces. Our first lesson was spent looking at lots of examples of African masks and we discussed tribes and traditions. We broke our pages into sections and sketched out possible ideas for our mask, trying out different shapes and sizes.
Once we'd chosen our design, we then spent the next lesson discussing and exploring colour. I let the children use brighter colours than what we had researched if they wanted to as long as there were still clear features taken from African masks. We broke up the page into four and drew our mask out 4 times. We used different colours to experiment what worked and what didn't. The next step was to draw our mask on A3 paper with our chosen colour and then label different materials we would use etc.
The next stage was to start to build the structure of our mask. We could use papier-mache to build depth and bring a 3D feel to the design. We also learnt about how to use cardboard to add depth by gluing it on layer by layer. We cut out the outline first and then built up the levels.
Once we were happy with our shape we began with the papier-mache. The white substance you can see in the picture above is an instant papier-mache which worked quite well but after trying it I felt it wouldn't work so well for the children.
We did about 3 layers of papier-mache with newspaper and a mixture of water and PVA glue. The last layer (not pictured) was white scrap paper. Once this was completed and dried we could paint our designs and add any extra embellishments.

They're just a handful of the brilliant masks that we came up with. I'm so impressed with these, particularly as they've never done anything like this before and they're still only in year 3. Well done 3B, I'm a very proud teacher!


Saturday, 5 July 2014

Class art- Collaborative van Gogh sunflower mosaics

Came across a few pictures that I took earlier on in the year. We had a big unit on van Gogh and this collaborative project used his painting 'Sunflowers' as inspiration. It was quite a basic process but I liked the results and it was a good opportunity to build on teamwork.

1. I had three printed A3 sunflower templates that groups could use but some chose to create their own.
2. Pupils cut coloured paper into small squares and slowly built up their sunflower. They filled the background with their own patterns and contrasting colours.
As easy as that!

Here are the results from 3B:

The class were very focused and the results are very impressive in person.


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Art Club Project #4- Complementary Zebras

It's been a while since my last post. In our art lessons we've spent the past couple of weeks planning and designing African masks to finish off the unit. They should be finished by the end of the week and they're looking very impressive so far.

Our most recent art project with the art club has been these complementary zebras with a self-dyed chalk paper background. The zebras are very popular on numerous art blogs (usually analogous but I went for complementary to consolidate learning) and we followed step-by-step instructions from here.

Here is my model that we were all aiming towards:

The background
1. Fill a tray with a few inches of water (large enough to dip an A4 sheet of paper into) and choose a selection of chalk colours.
2. Use a pointed edge (we used BBQ skewers) to scrape away at the chalk to make small bits and dust fall off into the water. Keep going with your different colours until the surface of the water if covered with colour.
3. Take your A4 paper and place it carefully into the tray. Leave it there for 5 seconds or so and then take it out.
4. Let it dry carefully. If there are spaces that haven't really picked up the colour you can either dip it back in or scrape some more chalk over that particular area.
1. Follow the step-by-step instructions linked in the first paragraph.
2. Fill each stripe with complementary colours. Blend where they meet.
3. Cut out your finished zebra and stick onto the background.

Here are some of the results of the club. Students are 8-9 years old and completed in roughly two 45-minute sessions.

In all honesty, this might have been slightly too tricky for this age group but they gave it a good go. The instructions we used were good but there was more scope for errors here. The backgrounds have come out much brighter than the pictures show and the kids really enjoyed making them.

Good job art club. I'm sure these will get lots of attention on our display board from passers-by!