Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Henri Rousseau Inspired Mixed Media Jungle Paintings

5th grade artists have been up to some really amazing stuff in the art room this past week. Students looked at Henri Rousseau's jungle paintings for inspiration and I got this idea from a fellow instagramming art teacher. For my project I changed it a little bit. I had students follow along with my drawing a rhinoceros, making sure that they added their own individual flare to their own work (we talked about their rhino's emotions and how that could translate to the picture). Then after they rough drafted their ideas, we got to work on watercolor paper. Drawing in pencil to start out with, students were to make sure that the rhino as the main focal point and at least 80% of the page.


Next students students used black acrylic paint to outline their pencil lines. And oh my gosh did they want to use marker. Even if I did this next time I would still have them use paint because it really helps them work on painting accuracy.

Then students worked on blending oil pastel ( I didn't steer them in any particular direction for their color choices) and filled in their rhinos.

After that we talked about different ways to apply watercolor (a lot of students have never really played with this material before) and then I let them paint their backgrounds the different methods. 

I seriously love how these turned out and everyone, every single child in class completed a successful picture. I love when that happens.

Things to note: 

Remind students about creating variety with their leaves, have print outs or images on computers where they are able to look at all different types of foliage. I didn't stop students from adding trees or flowers too.

Also mentioning about how it was more than OK to OVERLAP your leaves!

Encourage expression to evoke feelings from the viewer, placement of eyes, and eyebrows play a huge part in this. 

Make sure the whole page is covered with color (if that's your thing) I allow my students to use white, they just have to color it in with a white oil pastel. 

Have students get up and walk around and look at other student's work every once and a while. This fosters lots of great conversations about art!

What have you been making in your classroom?


Thursday, March 10, 2016

8th Grade Clay Slab Bio Boxes

I inherited my middle school art classroom from a phenomenal art teacher, who is now a ceramics teacher at the high school in my district. Her strength is definitely clay and my students love her. Needless to say, I had to find a fun ceramic project to grab my students because they expected something awesome.

I searched for a while and I totally fell in love with the idea of slab boxes. Here and here are some great examples via the web with student work. I initially hoped for these slab boxes to be narrative, explaining in depth things about my students lives. We talked about symbols and how they could relate to them. However as this project progressed it kind of morphed into things my students enjoyed like dirt bikes and ice cream cones and I am totally okay with that. 

This student transferred an image using a computer print out and a needle tool, amazing job.

I was really excited about the slab box in the back. The lid broke into two and instead of flipping out this student chose to put teeth on it and make it look intentional.



Below is the rubric that we used, feel free to grab it!

8th Grade Narrative Slab Box Assessment Rubric
Good 9
Basic 8
Needs Improvement 7 or below
Your rating
Teacher rating
Student created a slab box that was 4x4 inches on each side,  free of cracks and bumps, with smooth texture.

Student created 5 different sides with symbols describing the artist.

Student was on task for the entire project, slipping and scoring work properly, using clay correctly and treating others with respect.

Student had at least 3 sides with raised images. And used the needle tool correctly for small details.

Student participated in class critique.

Friday, February 26, 2016

In Process Recycled Grid Superheroes

Holy cow this year is flying by. My classes have been going so much smoother then the last and I think I am finally finding my rhythm at this school.

My students have been looking at recycled art artist, Jeff Ballard. They were super impressed with his superheroes and have been spending the last two weeks working on their own. We are taking time off on this project  next week until later so they can have fresh eyes while they are working on this because it takes A LOT of patience!

Below is the lesson plan I created, along with the rubric which you are more than welcome to use!

Lesson Plan Objective:
Students will create a grid drawing of a super hero and then use magazines to collage the entire piece.

Washington State Content Standards addressed:

GLE: 1.1.1 Applies, analyzes, and creates the element line when producing a work of art.

GLE: 2.2.1 Applies a performance and/or presentation process to visual arts
GLE: 4.2.1 Analyzes and evaluates relationships between visual arts and other content areas.
GLE: 4.5.1 Analyzes and applies understanding of how the knowledge, skills, and work habits of visual arts are needed and used in the world of work, including careers in visual arts.

Grid Method- grid drawing transfers an image from one format in one set of proportions, to another format in different set of proportions
Collage- a piece of art made by sticking various different materials such as photographs and pieces of paper or fabric onto a backing.
  • the art of making collages.
  • a combination or collection of various things.
Value- The lightness or darkness of tones or colors. White is the lightest value; black is the darkest. The value halfway between these extremes is called middle gray

9 by 12 pieces of paper
12 by 16 pieces of paper
Comic book print outs (or a computer lab so students can choose their own images)
Magazines, books, recycled paper for collage
Glue bottles and Glue Sticks

Procedure for Teaching/Learning Structure
Day 1
  • Introduce project, show artist examples and teacher examples.
  • Go to the computer lab, find a superhero (close up simple shapes work the best) that they like. Desaturate color in Pixlr (pixlr.com) and send it to the teacher via Google drive.
  • Using Google classroom, have them read through project description again and watch the YouTube video about the Grid Method.
Day 2
  • Class will go over rubric
  • Pass out printed superhero pictures on a 9 by 12 piece of paper, as well as a 12 by 16 piece of paper.
  • Demo how to make a 3 by 3 inch box and a 4 by 4 inch box, have students follow along and create their grid.
  • Re show you tube video for recall.
  • Create a 3 by 3 inch view finder with leftover card stock and demo how to use it.
  • Have students begin drawing their super heroes
Day 3-5
  • Students will continue drawing their super hero.
  • After they are finished students will outline their super hero with permanent marker and erase the grid
  • Teacher will explain the importance of keeping their collage pieces small and neat.
Day 6-10
  • Students will begin cutting out pieces of magazines and either using a glue bottle or glue stick will begin their collages.
  • Teacher will talk about using darker and light pieces of paper to create value in their work.
Day 11
  • Class will critique students work, fill out their rubric and hand their work in.

Magazine Superhero Grid inspired by Jeff Ballard


Assessment Rubric

Thing by Jeff Ballard
Great 10
Good 9
Basic 8
Needs Improvement 7 or below
Your Grade:
Teacher Grade:
Student created two grids, properly proportioned for their grid drawing.

Student’s magazine pieces were cut neatly and placed on the larger grid strategically leaving no white spaces. Using lighter and darker pieces of paper to show value.

Student had impeccable craftsmanship, worked hard and tried their best.

Each grid in the computer printable lined up with students finished painting.

Student participated in class critique.  and used class time efficiently.


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