Sunday, December 23, 2012

Snowy Silhouettes

In Florida, we're TORN about winter! I mean, we want it to get colder....but we also enjoy playing with Christmas gifts outside in our warm weather! My third graders created these beautiful snowy silhouettes, though, and I wanted to share them!

First, I gave them blue, purple, and white paints (no water, I wanted the paint to mix on their brushes) and had them create a background. Most turned out stripe-y. 
On Day 2, I gave them a 4x18 strip of white paper and had them tear the long edge off and glue it on as the layer of "snow". I then gave them a 3x18 strip of black and had them do the same thing...and this was the silhouetted "land".
They used scrap black and white from the scrap box to make their torn trees and snow!
I love how everyone's turned out so differently. I was glad they were able to move beyond their imperfections (bumpy, lumpy limbs and tree trunks) to see the true beauty of nature. 

It's funny that as I write this we're "freezing" and it's 69 degrees today. We'll see ya on the beach on Christmas Day, though...we should be back up to 80. ENJOY!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Paper Pointsettias

These 3-D paper pointsettias are so much fun to make...I've been making them for years and am just now getting around to blogging about them! They have been a "favorite" of my 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders each year! This year I decided to give this project as a "free choice" project after they finished their work. I really thought most of the boys would opt out and would do free draw...but I was WRONG! They boys embraced it and desperately wanted to finish them to give them to mom!
First, start out with a 12x18 sheet of green paper. Fold the paper long-ways (hot dog style) and HOLD THE FOLD. Cut the fringe up to the opening of the paper, but don't cut "off" the paper. Do this the entire length of the paper. Then, twist the folded paper into a circle and staple the end so it stays in place. I like to stick my finger inside the folds to puff them out a bit.
Lastly, use red construction paper to cut the flower petals...4 petals per flower. You don't need to put a flower on every single "stem". Use crumbled bits of tissue paper to make the seed/pollen pods.
VOILA! A beautiful Christmas Flower centerpiece! Easy (and fun!!!) too! Happy Holidays from We Heart Art!

Polar Express

This has turned out to be a great 1-day lesson for my first graders this crazy week before Christmas break! They're all watching "Polar Express" anyway, so I thought I'd dangle the splatter box in front of their noses like a little carrot. It's working!!!

We used white oil pastel to draw the train, and colored oil pastels to color the train, trees, and snow in.
If they behaved, they got to use the splatter box to make their snow!!!
These are so much fun and make for nice wintery scenes (even if you don't like to "do" holiday projects with your kids!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Blog Posts of Holidays Past

I've been going through my arsenal of holiday-ish art projects, many of which I have forgotten about. I really love doing snowman projects with my kids (even though we live in Florida, and even though half of them have no inkling how to make a snowman, and I even make some  of these snowy projects AFTER the holidays.)

Anyway, here are some blog posts from Holidays past and links to the lessons. Enjoy!

Paper Quilled Christmas Trees. Easy quilling for beginners!

Stringing Up the Lights. A quick project using only chalk and sharpie!

 Shadowbox Snowmen Ornaments. These take a little time, and some extra materials you may not just have lying around your classroom. They are so cute and fun!

Fun Santa handprint art. A cute project a student made at home for me.

Handprint Reindeer Art. A controversial blog post about using handprints as art "jumping off points".

Are You UP for Winter. My most popular blog post, EVER. Not really sure why!

Perspective Snowmen, love the three different perspectives on this one.

Aerial Perspective Snowmen. Love how we're looking down at this guy!

Snowflake snowmen made with computer paper and a paint-resist background!

I'm working on lots of projects in the next couple of weeks, so I hope to add more soon!

Looking UP to Winter Layered Landscapes

I did a different, more simplified version of this project with my Kindergartners a few years ago and saw it popping up all over Pinterest again lately, which reminded me that I really loved it!
I love the perspective of the snowman looking up to the sky rather than right at you! Lots of my kids told me that their snowment were looking at Santa flying through the sky! Love it!
For this project you will need:
9x12 dark blue paper
9x10 turquoise paper
9x8 light blue paper
9x6 white paper
white tempera paint
crayons, buttons, scrap paper for scarves and other snowman details

The directions are pretty self-explanatory. We tore the tops off the white, light blue, and turquoise paper to make them look like snowy glaciers.
The only change I would make if I did this project again (which I will, likely when I'm reminded of it popping up on Pinterest again! Ha!) would be to use that "shaving cream paint" to make the actual snowman have some puff/volume to his body!

What winter projects are you UP to?!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Inspired by Karla Gerard

While scrolling through my favorite site, Pinterest, I came across an EBay seller/artist named Karla Gerard.  Her work is what I would categorize as modern folk art...whimsical, colorful, and simple. Not only was her work appealing to me, it was appealing to my fifth graders!

We started off the project by using a 12x18 sheet of white paper and drew some elements from her work on the page in white oil pastel...elements which we continued to see repeated throughout many of her series of artworks: hills with colorful patterns, simple colorful 2-D and 3-D houses, and big swirly trees. Actually, they only drew the hills and houses and left room for the tree, which would be the last thing they would paint on Day 2.
We then used liquid watercolors (my new favorite medium, I just love the bright colors you can get with them!!!) **side note** I use ice cube trays to dispense the liquid watercolors. Even though I somewhat limited their palette here, there was still plenty of room in the trays for them to dip.
I had them paint the sky/background first on Day 1. On day two I let them use their choices to paint in their designs. They used liquid black (water-soluble) ink to paint their tree on top of their background.
I wish I had 256,098 square feet of space to hang all of these colorful pieces of work...I am just so in love with EACH of them!
Who has inspired you lately?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Up, Up, and Away!

I saw a version of this lesson on Pinterest and I loved the open-ended-ness of it so I thought I'd give it a try with my first graders. The concept seemed easy: "If you had three giant balloons that could lift something LARGE up in the sky, what would you want to see floating through the sky?"
It was TORTURE to them, and frustrating to me. Once I mentioned that it could be an animal, they all drew animals. Once I mentioned that it could have been a building, they all drew houses. Once I mentioned it could be Santa and his sleigh...well...you get the idea.
Later in the week my explanation was more involved...they had to put their heads down, close their eyes,  and THINK. Crazy, I know.
Once they did that, their drawings became more detailed...and more thoughtful. I definitely need to do more of these type of projects, and while they're not the most visually-appealing projects I've ever done with them, they're meaningful, and thoughtful. We overlapped the balloons so I could get some color theory in there, too!
For the backgrounds we used liquid watercolors. I LOVE liquid watercolors! So much easier when you're using one color than using the little watercolor cakes. I like to use SAX liquid watercolors, they're (relatively) inexpensive and while they do stain the tables a bit, the colors are SUPER vibrant and appealing.
(By the way, baby wipes wipe the stains off in a second!)
So in the new year, my goal is to do more projects like this, with every grade level...so stay tuned!!