Monday, January 31, 2011


For this lesson, students were learning about sculptor George Segal. Segal is well-known for his plaster sculptures of people. The process he used is called plaster casting, which is similar to getting a cast when you break a bone. The result of this process is an exact replicas of real live models. The students were amazed that the models were covered in plaster- clothing and all!! We also discussed that Segal's sculptures were always left white and they were in a setting which included some props.

Students had many creative ideas for their sculptures and were eager to get started. They began by creating their figure out of white Model Magic. They used their fingers to create the shapes need for a head, body, arms and legs.

After the figure was created, they used Tacky Glue to glue it to a base.

They also were thinking of a setting for their figure as they sculpted it. Students were given materials such as pattern paper, tissue paper, plastic coated wire, pipe cleaners, yarn, and random do-dads to create their settings.

             Markers also work well to add color to Model Magic!

Students were allowed to make animal friends with any extra Model Magic that they had.

 Here is one doing Yoga!

This guy is hanging out with his animals!
A relaxing day at the beach for this guy!

And this little guy is toasting marshmellows over a fire while talking on his cell phone!

To learn more about George Segal visit:


I saw this lesson online somewhere and loved how these liquid watercolor paintings looked when finished!

The students started with a piece of rice paper. They tore the rice paper into 5-6 pieces. After they had their pieces, liquid watercolor was painted on each piece. I encouraged them to make each piece look different. They also were careful not to mix colors that would result in muddy, brown colors- they were to create vibrantly colored pieces.

                        What is so cool about the rice paper is that the paper has fibers in it that allow the liquid watercolor to bleed or as the students said "The watercolor grows!" They were amazed by this!

After the watercolor pieces were dry, they picked a background color to glue their pieces to. They overlapped their pieces to create a unified composition.

When all pieces were glued on they added line designs to their picture with black Sharpie.

The last step was to add glitter!!! What 1st grader doesn't love glitter!! It also added a beautiful effect to their awesome artwork!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Creating collograph prints with my 3rd graders is one of my favorite projects. It is one of those projects that is highly successful and the kids have some much fun printing!!

Students begin by making a collage.
I give them a rectangle shaped piece of thicker poster board or cardboard - not too thick or it will be too hard for the students to cut. They create their own background  to work on by cutting close to the edges making their own unique shape.

Students are then given smaller squares/rectangles of poster board to cut out various shapes. I encourage them to cut a variety of shapes in different sizes. Spiral shapes look so cool when printed!  They are also encouraged to overlap their shapes. These things will make their compositions more interesting.

After their collages are finished, now comes the fun part- printing!!

To make things go smoothly, each table has one color ink and the students pick the color and stay at that table for the printing process. A second color is later added to the first color to make a second print. For example, if the table has blue ink to use for the first print they can choose to add white for a lite blue print or they could add yellow to make a green print.

Each table is set up with an inking area one one side. The students roll the brayer, which is a roller, in the ink and then roll it over their collage making sure to cover the entire collage with printing ink.

Students then move to the other side of the table with their inked collage which is the printing side. Students lay their collage on a piece of construction paper and must rub really hard all over to make the ink transfer to the construction paper. They quickly learn the term friction while doing this! Some rub so hard their hands get hot!

Students take a quick peek at their work before they pull of the construction paper to make sure that the ink did transfer.

Each student pulls a few prints and chooses the best one. They cut out the best one and glue it to a piece of construction paper  of their choice. Lastly, they add line designs with construction paper crayons, which add a nice touch!

The students did a fabulous job & they looks so cool!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011


Being new to the 4th -6th grade building, I wanted to make sure that my 4th graders knew all the basics about painting.
I decided to do this project to review the proper way to paint: holding the brush, brush strokes, when to use water, cleaning the brush between colors and how to best stay inside the area you are painting.

I wanted to do a simple composition where the students could focus on their painting skills. I chose to look at artist Wassily Kandisnky for inspiration because his artwork often is made up of simple shapes and lines. Students created their compositions by drawing 1 circle and then drawing 5 different types of lines. The line that intersected created interesting shapes for the students to paint inside.


                      Students were learning about color as well and had to choose to use warm colors (red, yellow, orange) or cool colors (blue, green, violet). Using fluorescent paint just added to the fun!!

The students really did well with remembering all the skills and techniques to create fabulous  paintings!

After the paint was dry they picked a paper for a frame that was from the opposite color group as their paint to create interest! I only have 1 to show so far, but I will be adding more!

To learn more about Wassily Kandinsky visit:

Sunday, January 23, 2011


 Clay is by far the most exciting art lesson for my students! This lesson introduces students to clay in school. They learn where clay comes from - the earth! And, they also learn many important characteristics of clay that they need to remember and techniques that they will build on as they move up through the grades.

The beginning of the lesson has the students rolling their clay into a ball in their palm. They learn quickly that it is wet, soft and cold! One important thing they learn is that the more you handle the clay the quicker it begins to dry out and crack. For the next step,  the students had to shape their ball of clay into a flat disk.....and the best way to do this is to throw it onto the table!!! What fun! They continued to throw it down, pick it up & throw it down on the other side until it was a flat oval or round shape.
                            Next the students learned how to press things into the clay to make designs. They found out that just about anything can be used including interesting shaped pasta noodles!! They also used various clay tools to draw designs.

After the clay dried for a week, students learned about adding color to their clay. They learned that glaze is a special "paint" only used for clay and that the glazed pieces had to be fired in a special oven just for clay called a kiln. They were amazed that the kiln had to get to 1800 degrees for the glaze to change color and get shiny and for the clay to become stronger!! Wow, that is hot!

Ribbon was added to allow them to hang.

I loved these so much I had to show lots of them!!!


 Students began the lesson looking at and discussing Gustav Klimt's Tree of Life artwork. They talked about the characteristic swirls at the end of the branches and all the patterns on the tree. The process of printmaking was also discussed, which is one of the techniques the students will learn. The 1st step of the lesson was to create a background to print on. Students learned about the wet-on-wet watercolor technique, which is the process of wetting the paper before watercolor is applied. This technique caused the colors to "bleed" onto the paper and into one another creating a beautiful effect. This 12x18 paper would be cut in half so that the students could pull 2 prints.

The next step was to create a sketch of their interpretation of Klimt's tree on manila paper. The manila paper was then taped to a piece of printing foam. The students used a dull pencil and enough pressure to trace over their sketch, which transferred to the foam.

Students then had to re-trace over their drawing on the foam to create a deeper impression in it to ensure that their drawing would print well.

Students worked in groups at the tables to pull prints of their drawing. This process involves inking their foam plate with a roller called a brayer. The ink will only go on the raised surface, not the deep pencil lines that were made. The students had so much fun doing this!!

Next, students took their inked foam plate and their watercolor paper to the opposite side of the table to print their drawing onto the watercolor paper they made. Students had to rub hard on all areas of the foam to make sure that all of the ink transferred.It was so exciting to see all of their smiling faces when they pulled the foam off of to reveal their artwork!!

          This is a photo of the steps of the printing process: sketch, foam & 2 prints.

Here are a few example of the finished prints!!
For more information on Gustav Klimt visit: