Friday, November 11, 2016

Glitter Fish

Students in grades 1-3 created these fun artworks to learn about seascapes. During the first class, we looked at The Goldfish by Paul Klee. We discussed the use of lines and symbols in his seascape and also how he shows EMPHASIS and MOVEMENT. Students then used cool color crayons to create their oceans- using symbols and lines to show the movement they see in the water. The next class we read the book Pattern Fish and compared the many different patterns in the book. Students looked at pictures of many different types of fish and then drew their own using lines and patterns. We painted the fish with warm colors to create a contrast with the cool colored seascapes and help with emphasizing the fish and making them stand out. The final touch was finger stamping some small fish into the background and adding a little glitter to help the fish stand out. This is a highly effective lesson to teach about warm/cool colors, emphasis, movement and patterns!

Pattern Pumpkins

 Students in grades 4-6 created these detailed pattern pumpkins for a fun autumn project. We began by drawing three-dimensional pumpkins using direct observation. Students were encouraged to show a great amount of detail and texture in their drawings. For the painting, students learned all about VALUE. We learned that adding white to a color and making it lighter is called a tint and that adding black to make a color darker is called a shade. Students painted in the pumpkins and the backgrounds with many different values of orange. During the final class, students outlined with black paint and again used different values of orange to create their own patterns throughout the composition. This was a great project to teach value, pattern and emphasis and all the pumpkins look so fun and unique!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


International Academy students learned about the guerilla marketing style known as subvertising. Subvertisements are parodies and spoofs of corporate or political advertisements. Subvertisements may take the form of a new image or be an alteration to an already existing image or icon. Students were challenged to come up with their own original parodies to bring more truth to traditional advertisements. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Tiki Prints

International Academy students were introduced to printmaking for this cultural project. We began by learning about Tikis- how they come from Polynesian countries, that they are used for worship or good/bad luck and that they are typically made from wood or stone. We examined the features and textures of Tiki masks to incorporate those into our own designs. Once students drew out an original Tiki, it was carved into a piece of foam. These were then colored with marker and then printed onto a slightly damp piece of paper. This allowed the students to get good color areas and do plenty of experimenting. The best prints were chosen and mounted onto black paper for display. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Primary Color Monsters

PreK and kinder made these fun primary color monsters! We began by learning about shapes- students then practiced cutting large ovals, rectangles, and triangles. These shapes were made in the primary colors- called primary because they make up all the other colors. We read several books about monsters- Monsters Don't Eat Broccoli and Monsters Love Colors. Students looked at these monsters to get ideas for how to make their monsters- how to make the arms and legs, weird eyes and teeth, etc. We also extended this out to learning how to mix the primary colors to make green, purple and orange. A super fun lesson that helped teach the young ones all about color and shapes!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Watercolor Self-Portraits

Students in grades 4-6 began the school year with these vibrant self-portraits. We began by drawing a proportional self-portrait in pencil during the first week. These were then traced over with crayons before being painted in with watercolor paints. Students learned about all different styles of portraits- from Frida Kahlo to Pablo Picasso and Chuck Close. Students were given the option to do a more realistic portrait or one that was more colorful and expressive. We also wrote out and added names by adding textures and patterns in crayon and painting it over. I am loving the uniqueness of each piece and how it reflects each artist's personality!

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 fluid 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.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Rainbow Rain Self-Portraits

Students in grades 1-3 created these self-portraits. We began by drawing a proportional full body self-portrait and coloring it with colored pencils. For the background, students applied drops of watercolor paint then used a straw to blow it out to create the illusion of rain. During the final class, students created an umbrella using a paper folding technique. The final result is a fun take on self-portraits that all the students really enjoyed!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Emphasis Designs

International Academy students created these designs to learn about the principles of emphasis and contrast. We drew out grids in the background and filled them with detailed patterns. Students needed to create a variety of patterns that showed a range of different values. The overlying figures were colored in with markers or colored pencils. Students needed to have one letter or number that was the emphasis. This figure needed to be made the emphasis through size, placement and color. 

Kinder Self-Portraits

PreK and Kinder classes began the year with a self-portrait project. We began the first class of the year by completing a crayon drawing. These were then mounted onto a large yellow paper. We used different shapes to create a self-portrait and drew the faces using simple lines. During the final class, students attached yarn for hair and filled some of the negative space with colorful stamps. We also attached a crayon to the hand to commemorate their drawing from the first week of school!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Contour Line Self-Portraits

Students in middle school began the semester with some drawing activities. One of my favorite lessons is blind contour drawing. It teaches the artist to become more observant and focused while quickly improving their drawing skills. We spent a day doing blind contour drawings of hands before using mirrors and drawing our faces. Once these were finished, students traced them to the back of the paper to complete multiple transfers in any way or style they wanted. These were then traced with sharpie and colored in using a split complementary color scheme. These turned out great and the artist's personality definitely shines through in each one!