Friday, October 29, 2010

Howling at the Moon

October is such a beautiful night sky month, and lately we have had lovely weather for being out and looking up in the dark.  It has been dry (at least it was up until this week), so no clouds obscure, and our nighttime temperatures  have been warm enough that we don't shiver, yet cool enough to refresh. The full Hunter's Moon from last week was as pretty and clear as I have ever seen it.

{A little parenthetical historical note:  When I was growing up, though I lived in the country with no light pollution - I tell ya' it was DARK at night, and still is - I never could see the "man in the moon" or make any sense out of star charts with constellations.  I think my vision was already that bad.  The moon was just a white disc; and I think I only saw the brightest stars and planets.  Now I look up with my glasses or contacts, and I am amazed at the texture I can see.}
Shameless copycat that I am, I borrowed from two new art teacher blogs for the lesson:  We Heart Art's Spooky Silouettes! lesson and  Fine Lines' Ghost Eye Tree lesson.  Thank you for sharing, ladies!

{Second parenthetical thought:  Perhaps I should have named this blog Copycat Homeshool Art Lessons.  KEISUZI, a teacher before she was a homeschool teacher, tells me all teachers are copycats, so I am in good company}
I began our lesson with a bit of classical astronomy.  We talked about the fall equinox, the harvest moon, and the hunter's moon.  Full hunter's moon had just gone by, so the timing was good.  After reviewing tints and shades and remembering what monochromatic means, we painted our full moons with tempura on watercolor paper, and cut out dark trees from black construction paper, gluing them on so that the moon shown through the limbs.


Then it was on to Spooky Eyes, one of the cutest little projects we have ever done.  When I showed my samples to Science Geek, I said "...if we have time, we'll do spooky eyes..." to which she replied, "Oh please get to Spooky Eyes." 

Orange cardstock, black Sharpies, and the white punchouts from a hole puncher - easy fun!  

When I read about this project originally, I misinterpreted that I was to punch holes in the orange paper and mount white paper behind to shine through.  On second, or maybe third read, I realized we were just to glue on the little dots.  Ha!  Did I feel silly!

I cut 8.5" x 11" orange cardstock into 6" x 11".  This resulted in lots of 2.5" x 11" strips.  I made one into a scaredy cat bookmark, and sent the others home with the Sm'Arties for homework fun.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My future's so bright, I gotta wear shades...

Inspiration for this lesson comes from  these 2 posts at Fine Lines, here and here.

Tints!  Shades!  Mixing paint!  Monochromatic still life painting!  I loved the simplicity of Ms. Christie's lesson, and wanted the Sm'Arties to get in on it.

But first, a little homework from last time:

Their homework was to use one of Catherine Horvath's pictures as inspiration for another piece of artwork.  Aren't these pretty?

Now, on to tints and shades!  We defined "tint" and "shade" and painted color strips using only one color of tempura, plus black and white.

Then we defined "monochromatic," and using only our single colors plus black and white, painted a still life of our water cups.  I painted along so I could demonstrate how simply I was putting down the paint, how streaky the color could be, finding the light source and putting in a shadow.

Love how she interpreted the "shadow" as lighter than the table.  It looks more like a reflection, doesn't it?

The boys pointed out that not only was her picture monochromatic; she and her picture were monochromatic, except for that punch of her green bracelet.

One more note from our previous time.  I made a cell model for Science Geeks, too!  I based my design on a Find It game.  (Crispy introduced this game to us - it is addictive!  One of those may make it to our house this Christmas - don't tell!)  Mine was made in an empty mayo jar,  and contained organelles you had to search for, turning to move aside the cytoplasm (cut up drinking straws).  Let's see:  I can see the green nucleus and the yellow lysosome, and orange endoplasmic reticulum.  The gold lightbulb and the stamp...cannot recall what they are, and am not going to pull out Earthgirl's folder to find out.  Mama's perogative.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fall colors in Perspective

Perspective - again!  I think these lessons on perspective will yield art projects that the Sm'Arties will be happy to claim. 

Our Sm'Arties lesson this week is inspired by these very pretty acrylics by Catherine Hogarth, a contemporary artist who lives in Canada. I love her use of perspective and her vibrant colors.  I first saw her works on the MoxieFabWorld blog, in a Tuesday Trigger paper craft challenge. When I saw that first picture, I gasped mentally - so pretty!  I would love to have one of her pictures hanging above my fireplace - oh, wait, I don't have a fireplace. 

Sm'Arties remember what "contemporary" means- at least 2 of them do.  We learned about contemporary artists when we did a project inspired by the art of Bernard Hoyes last spring.  I showed the Sm'Arties copies of Ms. Horvath's pictures printed from her website with her permission - Thank you!

The Sm'Arties each chose a picture to copy and went right to work with pencils first.   I had a mix of simpler and more complex pictures.  The Sm'Arties surprised me by ALL picking the complex pictures, assuring that art class would go over time.  Good thing Art is the last class of the day. The pumpkins picture was the favorite.

No shading!  We'll do shading with our
watercolor pencils!

I have several brown pens I use for scrapbooking and in my Ephesian journal.  I love brown pens - instant vintage.  The Sm'Arties used them to outline over their pencil lines.

Time to shade in with watercolor pencils.  We used LOTS of red, orange, gold, pink, and brown, often mixed together.  I encouraged them to color hard, but allowed them to go lightly if they preferred.

The last step is to wash the colors with a wet paintbrush, which makes the colors pop and allows more blending.  Wetting these colors always makes an impact. 

This lesson so nicely reinforces the perspective drawing we have been learning.  For homework, they all took a picture or two home to do using whatever coloring media they choose.  I am looking forward to seeing the results!