Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Art Show Inspiration

Last weekend we went to a local Fine Arts Show.  Many real live full-time artists exhibited beautiful works.  At this show, a large children's area is set up with exhibits from school-age children, hands-on art to do right there, and entertainment.  Middle and High School works are judged; Elementary students receive a ribbon as participant.

Earthgirl had a few entries for the art show.  No, she didn't do the Mona Lisa - that was done by another talented local homeschooler. Earthgirl did the other 3 works in this picture. See those batik leaves?

I saw some familiar art - I think some of these school art teachers go to some of my sources for ideas, too.

Oooo...We must draw trees like this.  I cannot say for sure if this is a talking tree or if the hole in the tree just looks like a mouth.  I think it talks.

This cat is way cool.  I think the Sm'Arties will draw a cat like this.  Maybe we can come up with a dog, too. 

I think this giraffe is beautiful and copyable.  I did not pay attention to the medium, but looks like oil pastels.  The leaves are so bright and happy!  See how he is looking down at us while munching his lunch?

Friday, October 23, 2009


On a beautiful autumn day, we  must go outside for school!

 Last year, when Earthgirl and I discovered Art Projects for Kids, the first project we did was Batik Crayon Pumpkins.  We also made Batik Leaves, Batik Gourds, and maybe a few more that slip my mind. 

So I brought Batik to Sm'Arties.  Now the Sm'Arties know what batik is, what a resist is, and that you can dye fabric using natural dyes like tea.  (When it falls on your shirt, you call it a stain; when you toss it all over the shirt, it's dye.)

Paper, permanent black markers, crayons, and some sort of paint or dye is all we needed.  We drew pumpkins, colored them,

Drawing the pumpkins provides some practice in using perspective.

...then crumpled up our perfectly good drawings - several times!

Crumpling - the boys were surprisingly careful - I had to encourage them to really crumple.

Then we brushed on diluted brown or blue acrylic paint, while 3 moms stood by armed with paper towels to blot up the excess before the drawings turned into soppy messes.

Drying time is short on a breezy day.  The chains are holding down drawings, newspaper, and tablecloths.

I gave the children colored paper mats to give their pictures a finished look.

Earthgirl's final product

We are not finished with batik.  I have a project in planning stages for November - real batik, with fabric!  I can hardly wait. 

Monday, October 19, 2009


Kadinsky-inspired homework! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


This project brought to you by copycatting real art teacher Kathy over at Art Projects for Kids. Another project using this same artwork as inspiration for the younger set can be found at  Deep Space Sparkle.

 Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was an early abstract artist (he could paint realistically, too).  Kadinsky was one of the artists targeted by the Nazis for his Degenerate Art. Our project for this class was inspired by this Kadinsky painting. I showed the children how a colorful fabric design used as chair upholstery mimicked this painting. 

We used oil pastels on dark construction paper.  Each child chose black or brown construction paper, and I directed them to fold the paper in half lengthwise (hotdog fold), and then in thirds, then flatten out the paper.  Then they simply filled each rectangle with concentric circles of color with oil pastels.  They chose the colors.  Some colored randomly; others chose to make warm or cool color circles.   

Keisuzi even got involved with her own picture.

Each week I want to teach the children something about the art we are doing - artist, history, technique...something.  After our Mondrian-inspired art, Keisuzi and her son were surprised to hear that the question was, "Who was Mondrian?" on an episode of Jeopardy.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Warm Hand

Warm hand, project borrowed from Art Projects for Kids.  (See what Oodles of Art did with this idea.)

This week we finished up our Color Wheel handouts,

...traced our own hands on the striped pages PE Mom did during Writing (prep work on the pages really helps move the  process along - we used ovals and L-shapes),


...got out our colored pencils, sorting them into warm colors and cool colors,

...and did art.

Good quality colored pencils are so nice for working.  My favorites at the moment are Crayola Twistables, and I love the Vibrant Variety set.  They are soft and blendable, and no sharpening is needed. (Today we were all using regular wood colored pencils. By the end of this project, the pencil sharperner was in constant demand.) I use Twistables as Highlighters sometimes, they are so smooth and nice. 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mondrian style

Update:  I am embarrassed to realize I skipped a link - credit where credit is due!  This project is very much inspired from this project at Art Projects For Kids, one of my very favorite websites.
This project was inspired by art by Piet Mondrian, a 20th century Dutch artist who, in his latter years painted many pictures with names like Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red.  This worked in nicely with a 2-part lesson on the color wheel.  I used Donna Young's printables of the color wheel, with some fill-in-the-blanks I typed up for the Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary colors.  Next week we plan to continue with Complimentary and Analogous colors, and warm and cool colors. I found out that I don't know how to spell "analogous."  I want to spell "analygous."

We used rulers and pencils to line off about 3 lines each way on white cardstock; then erased some of the lines to make interesting rectangles.  These were re-lined using mostly black Sharpies (all our black student markers were sort of grayish).  A few rectangles were then colored in using markers in just the primary colors - red, blue, and yellow.