Monday, April 20, 2015

Glue Shoes

International Academy students continued the year with a different type of self-portrait. We did some detailed contour line drawings of our shoes in class. These drawings were then transferred onto a large paper and then traced over with a black glue. The black glue gives objects a nice and solid black outline that also shows a nice movement. Students extended the lines of the shoes out into the background and finished it off with some watercolor paint. These paintings are great because they show a great deal of the students personality, both in the style of shoe and the way it was painted.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hundertwasser Flowers

I have a new article featured in the May/June issue of SchoolArts magazine about Austrian painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser. 

Hundertwasser's original and unruly artistic vision expressed itself in pictorial art, environmentalism, philosophy, and design of facades, postage stamps, flags, and clothing (among other areas). The common themes in his work utilized bright colors, organic forms, a reconciliation of humans with nature, and a strong individualism rejecting straight lines.

He was fascinated by spirals, and called straight lines "godless and immoral" and "something cowardly drawn with a rule, without thought or feeling." He called his theory of art "transautomatism", focusing on the experience of the viewer rather than the artist. This was encapsulated by his design of a new flag for New Zealand, which incorporated the image of the Koru, a spiral shape based on the image of a new unfurling silver fern frond and symbolizing new life, growth, strength and peace according to the Māori people.

You can view an online version of the magazine here:

Friday, April 10, 2015

Frogs in Monet's Pond

Students in PreK and Kinder created these paintings to learn about French Impressionist painter Claude Monet. We began by doing an abstract watercolor painting for the pond. We used cool colors and I let the students fill in the space however they liked. Next, students created lily pads and lilies with tissue paper. On the final day, I showed the students how to make frogs using simple circle shapes. We also rolled up the red paper to create a fun three-dimensional tongue!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Street Art Cityscapes

Students in grades 4-6 created these street art cityscapes. We began by drawing out our names in bubble letters. I gave the students several different fonts for examples and also showed them how to create "wild style" letters. These were colored in with colored pencils and the students used blending to mimic the blended style of spray paint. We learned about several street artists and discussed the differences between legal street art and illegal vandalism. Street artists often are payed for their murals and create art that addresses social or political topics. The students printed a brick background in black for extra contrast and then painted a cityscape of downtown Dallas in different values of one color.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Masks of Nepal

International Academy students learned about the culture of Nepal and created these vibrant watercolor masks. We began by drawing out a symmetrical mask in pencil. Masks of Nepal typically have a third eye, sharp teeth and a decorative crown. Students painted these using bright colors and some color blending. The final step was to outline all the edges. These masks are usually used in ceremonies and are hung in the temples when not in use. Students really enjoyed the ferocious look of these masks and they have received many compliments while on display.

Under the Sea

Montessori students in grades 1-3 made these seascapes. We began by drawing a fish and creating original patterns within the body. Students learned that a pattern is created when a line or a shape is repeated. These were then painted with watercolors. The ocean was painted using different values of blue- students learned that value is the lightness or darkness of a color and created their own values by mixing. On the final day, students stamped some smaller fish using their thumbs and cut out some seaweed to complete the seascape.