Tag Archives: oil pastel

Matisse Goldfish

11 Apr

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I love to create Matisse-inspired art projects with kids. Matisse’s paintings are full of color, pattern and energy. Here is a project that combines features of two of his famous paintings, Woman in a Purple Coat and Goldfish.
Day 1: pattern hunt

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We begin with a ‘pattern hunt.’ I look around the room and find kids wearing patterned clothing. They stand up and we discuss their patterns. Then we take a very close look at Matisse’s Woman in a Purple a Coat, and tally up all the patterns one by one. I can’t tell you how excited those first graders became when they identified the patterned curtains and wallpaper in the painting. They tallied up 13 patterns, including the fruit on the table.

Day 2: create patterned paper
Materials:
White paper 12″x18″
Tempera cakes
Water cups, brushes
Oil pastels or construction paper

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Here is a fast way to create four patterns. Fold the white paper into quarters and open. Using tempera cakes, paint one quarter a solid color. Paint the remaining quarters with patterned lines (wavy, zig zag, etc.). Now take oil pastels and create a pattern on the solid quarter. The tempera cake dries so quickly you can draw on it in just a few minutes. Add oil pastel patterns to the remaining quarters. Place on drying rack.

Day 3: create a goldfish bowl

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Materials
Blue paper, 6″x10″
Oil pastels (or construction paper crayons)
Scissors
Glue sticks
Turn blue paper vertically and draw a ‘rainbow’ at the top using a black oil pastel. Draw a ‘smile’ under the rainbow. Cut along the top line to remove the corners and create the look of a round vase edge.
Add goldfish or other aquarium creatures. Glue to patterned background paper with glue stick.

First Grade Results:
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Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite Matisse lesson?

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Happy Earth Day!

22 Apr

 

eyes on the table

 

Happy Earth Day!  Our fifth graders created this whole class artwork using recycled CD cases colored with Sharpie and oil pastel. For more art projects using CD cases, click here and here.

I just entered the piece in an online art contest offered by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) (P.S. MCASD is free to everyone 25 and under. It’s a great place for young people to discover contemporary art).

It feels great to make fun art projects and keep ‘trash’ out of the landfill!

Enjoy!

 

Do you have a favorite recycled art project?

CD Case Portraits

3 Mar

CD case portraits

Do you remember those old-fashioned lockets with little portraits inside? Our fourth graders made modern-day double portraits using recycled CD cases, Sharpies and oil pastels.

Materials:

  • Clear plastic CD ‘jewel’ cases, with trays removed
  • Sharpies
  • pencils/erasers
  • oil pastels (we used Crayola Oil Pastel Sticks plus a few Pentel Oil Pastels for the skin tone)
  • paper for sketching
  • baby oil + q-tip (for correcting oil pastel mistakes)
  • rubbing alcohol + q-tip (for correcting Sharpie mistakes)

We began by looking a pictures of lockets from Google images.

lockets

We talked about how you could only put a couple of photos into your locket.  You had to choose carefully. Our students then sketched two portraits to fit their CD ‘lockets’: one self-portrait, plus one portraits of someone very special.

tracing the portrait in sharpie

  1. Trace around CD case with Sharpie, then sketch a portrait in pencil.
  2. Place sketch under CD case. Trace lines in Sharpie on OUTSIDE OF CASE.
  3. Completed line drawing of single portrait.
  4. Completed line drawing of double portraits.

It was really wonderful to see who the students drew for the second portrait. Most drew a parent or a sibling. Several drew their current or late pet. A couple of students drew religious portraits. My intention was to do an identity project, and I do believe we got a better idea of the student based on who he or she selected for that second portrait.

The last step was coloring with oil pastel INSIDE OF THE CASE . The oil pastel is messy and can smear – by putting the pastel on the inside we can trap that mess for tidy storage.

Tips for success:

Sharpie on the outside of the case, oil pastel on the inside of the case. Erase Sharpie mistakes with a little alcohol and a cotton ball; erase oil pastel mistakes with baby oil and a cotton ball or q-Tip.

color with oil pastel on the inside

 

The project took three 40-minute classes, including writing an artist statement. It was lots of fun and extremely successful. These look great displayed accordion style on a table, especially with a light coming through from behind. I think the 4th graders will be very proud to show their families their very special double-portrait ‘lockets’.

This would also be a great recycled art or Earth Day project. It would also be a GREAT Mother’s or Father’s Day gift!

P.S. I got double duty out of my 250 donated CD cases! Here is a Kandinsky circles project made from the discarded CD trays.

 

Kandinsky Circles Mural

3 Feb

kandinsky circles mural

Here is a twist on the popular Wassily Kandinsky circles project: a group art mural made from recycled CD case trays. This project is perfect for Earth Day, but it does require advance planning.

Kindergarteners use oil pastels to draw concentric circles in CD inserts. Allow one 40 minute class, plus time to assemble mural.

Kindergarteners use oil pastels to draw concentric circles in CD trays. Allow one 40 minute class, plus time to assemble mural.

Materials:

  • CD Jewel Case insert trays, preferably donated, one per student
  • Oil Pastels (we used Crayola)
  • glue and backing for mounting (see below)

Prep:

  • Source CD jewel cases. I got 250 CD jewel cases via the ‘for sale – free’ section on Craigslist. Like many others, the donor had switched from CDs to MP3s and didn’t want the old CD cases going to a landfill. Score!!!! Free art materials AND trash kept out of the landfill.
  • Pry off the colored plastic CD trays from the clear jewel cases (a parent volunteer helped me with this step). Save the clear cases for another project.

The Art Lesson:

I introduced Wassily Kandinsky to the kindergarteners. We looked at several of his famous artwork including Color Study: Squares with Concentric Circles. We noticed Kandinsky liked to make paintings with bright colors and shapes – not landscapes or paintings of people. Here are two brief YouTube videos I showed the kinders.

 

kandinsky circles how to

The Art Project

The art project couldn’t be easier:

1. Pass out oil pastels and CD case insert trays. Flip trays so central ‘bump’ is up.

2. Students start by coloring a fat ring around the center bump. They trade colors with a neighbor, then color another concentric circle. Repeat until the entire plastic circle is colored. Finally, they color the edges.

3. Group completed insert trays and mount

So easy and fun!  100% of kindergarteners had success with this project.

Mounting:

I plan on using four glue dots per CD tray and mounting on foam core.

UPDATE: The glue dots failed immediately. I had better luck with strong spray glue (3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive - use it outside or in a well-ventilated area). One week after the art show, I was able to remove the plastic circles to hand back to the kids.

However, you may choose to use a different adhesive and base depending on the number of circles you have, and the length of time you want the mural on display. Because I have 45 circles and only want the mural on display for one week, I am creating a display that can be easily dissembled.

UPDATE:  If you want to a more powerful adhesive for long-term mounting, try 3M Scotch Heavy Duty Mounting Tape. I created CD case mural using the mounting tape, and sent it off to a museum show. The mounting tape worked beautifully.

 Another option: keep the plastic insert inside the jewel case. Color, then close and mount each case to display surface (I separated the insert tray from the jewel case because I needed the clear cases for another project).

This would be a great activity for an Earth Day event – each participant can make a square for the mural. The entire activity, including the videos and clean up, took only 40 minutes.  I also see this as a fun art activity booth at an art fair or school carnival.

Enjoy!

Do you have a great resource for free art supplies?

 Do you have a favorite recycled art project?

Paul Klee Name Art

23 Sep

Looking for an exciting name art project? How about introducing a famous artist at the same time? Try this Paul Klee-inspired graphic name art project.

Second graders create name art in the style of Paul Klee. Allow 1-2 40 minute classes. Artwork by Tyler.

Start out by introducing artworks by Paul Klee. This project is inspired by his graphic works such as Castle and SunWikiPaintings has lots of images of his art. Click here,  herehere, and here to see some of Klee’s other graphic artworks. This is a good time to talk about abstract art.

Materials:

  • Black construction paper, 11″x14″
  • pencils and erasers
  • Oil Pastels (including white)

Students should turn their paper horizontally. They write their names in pencil, using all capital letters. Encourage students to S-T-R-E-T-C-H their letters from the bottom to the top of the paper (note: students with long names may need to draw extra skinny letters, use longer paper, or perhaps use their nicknames).  The letters can touch the left and right sides of the paper AND touch each other: letters such as ‘E’, ‘F’ and ‘K’ look more abstract when drawn in this manner.

After they are pleased with the layout, they trace over their pencil lines in white oil pastel.

Students write their name in white oil pastel, then fill in the spaces with colored pastels.

Next they color in the spaces in their name. Encourage them to use a variety of colors, although it is fine to repeat colors. Students must not color in with black pastels.

Completed second grade art:

Randie

Flynn

Jax

 

Chris

Kian

Show students the completed projects and ask if they can read the artist’s name. Successful artworks are often abstracted to the point it is challenging to see the artist’s name! How does this compare to Klee’s graphic artworks?

This lesson plan was inspired by (or abstracted from!) this fabulous post on the Kids Artists blog.

Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite name art lesson plan for the beginning of the year?

 

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