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<p>Valentine’s Day and Dr. Suess art lessons</p>

Romero Britto-Inspired Hearts

Romero Britto-Inspired Hearts

By on Jan 22, 2016 | 16 comments

Romero Britto is a Brazilian born artist who now lives in Miami, Florida. His modern pop culture art work is known and celebrated all over the world. Like many art teachers, I love his work and love introducing his colorful art to my students. THE PROJECT Using broad tip markers like these markers from Faber-Castell and a piece of card stock, you can create an easy-to-draw Valentine’s Day Pop-Art Hearts with your kids. Here are the basic steps: Draw curved lines on bottom of paper with black marker Draw “sun” and sun’s rays (straight lines) Draw a large heart over and in-between the rays Double up the black lines so they are thick Use broad tip markers to color in areas of the artwork Light colors make a good color choice for large areas Draw patterns over white paper or colored areas THE VIDEO   Download a Free drawing Guide RESOURCES If you enjoyed the short video, you can extend your unit on Pop Art by studying Pop Art painter, Romero Britto. Artists bio and mixed-media lesson plan and video below: Romero Britto Pop Art Mixed Media PDF Lesson plan & Video Faber-Castell Children’s Art Products...

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Happy Birthday, Winslow Homer!

Happy Birthday, Winslow Homer!

By on Feb 16, 2015 | 1 comment

About Winslow Homer Winslow Homer was born in Boston, Massachusetts on February 24, 1836. His mother was a watercolor artist and taught Homer how to draw and paint. When Homer was old enough, he moved to New York City to make illustrations for a magazine. When the Civil War broke out, Homer was sent to the battlefields to draw what he saw. Homer liked to show the relationships between people and nature. He loved the outdoors and moved to Maine to paint. He is best known for his Seascapes which are paintings of the sea. He is famous for capturing the many moods of the ocean from the clod, grey waters of New England to the warm waters of the Caribbean. Over my dozen years of teaching art, seascapes remain one of my favorite subjects to teach. I grew up near the ocean and love the changing moods, colors and textures of the sea. Drawing clipper ships, sailboats and viking ships have become a standard lesson for my 5th graders. It’s easy to tie in a clipper ship or sailboat with Homer. Using watercolors like Homer did offers the opportunity to teach the many colors of blue. Here’s an exercise to try: With a pan of watercolor paints and a small piece of watercolor paper, ask your students to paint as many different variations of blue on their paper. At first, you’ll get a small range of royal blue and turquoise. Basically the paint colors that are available in the palette. Now introduce black. Swirl paintbrush into the blue paint and make a puddle in the tray. Dip brush in the black and add a very small amount to the blue. The kids just created navy blue. Next, try something a bit different. Make a small puddle of blue paint in the tray cover. Clean brush then swirl in orange paint. Mix the orange paint with the blue puddle. What color forms? Navy. Mixing complementary colors is a great way to show how to add depth and mood to a seascape. My favorite Homer-Inspired Art Lessons (Top left) Chalk Sailboat from Beyond the Basics e-course. Students draw a sailboat on one paper and a chalk seascape on the other. The sailboat is cut away from...

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How to Make a Paper Lantern

How to Make a Paper Lantern

By on Feb 11, 2015 | 4 comments

I was curious how to make paper lanterns for a while now. I’ve seen some pretty cute ones on Pinterest but was having a hard time sourcing directions that would tell me exactly how to make them. After a few tries, I managed to figure out the trick…. First of all, you can make elaborate lanterns with decorative inners (the cylinder on the inside) and flaps that are either pointy or curved. For the purpose of making lanterns with 25, seven and eight-year-olds, I’m going to stick to the very basic model. You will need TWO pieces of paper.  They need to be the EXACT same length but one must be taller than the other by at least two inches.  If you need measurements, the first paper should measure 12″ X 12″ and the second paper 12″ x 16″. You can change the height and width but just keep one side of equal length on both pieces. Each child needs two pieces of paper: the tall paper and the short paper. The tall paper is the outside or slatted side of the lantern and the shorter paper is the inside cylinder. I pre-cut the papers and placed various colors on a table. The children were instructed to choose one color from one pile and another color from the other pile. Then the kids folded the LONG paper in half lengthwise (you will have to supervise this as so many of my students folded the wrong way). TIP: If I was to do it again, I would pre-fold the paper and then ask the children to pick one folded paper and one flat paper. That would have saved a great deal of time. Draw a line across one edge of the paper as a reminder to stop cutting. Cut slits into the paper just like the start of a woven placemat. Here’s where I went a little artsy: the children decorated the papers. I’m not really sure what I was thinking but I set out paints, oil pastels, glittery embellishments and some paper scraps. Good grief. What a mess. The idea was honorable but it’s really hard painting cut paper and even more difficult gluing on embellishments. If you chose to decorate with paint, allow the paper to...

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Picasso’s Rose-Period Woven Hearts

Picasso’s Rose-Period Woven Hearts

By on Jan 29, 2015 | 3 comments

My students focus on a weaving project in second grade and by the time the unit rolls around, it’s usually very close to Valentine’s Day. We were studying Picasso and so it made sense to talk about his Rose and Blue Period. Placing both blue paint hues and red paint hues on the tables, my students create one piece of painted paper each. You might be surprised to note that the majority of the class gravitated towards the pink and red tables. Not sure why but I love watching this happen. Once each student created one piece of painted paper, we cleaned up and I allowed the students to work on unfinished work with the remaining class time. For the next session, we created a standard woven placemat by folding the painted paper in half and cutting strips to almost the edge. We used strips of colored paper to weave through the slits.  Click here to see how to make a woven placemat. When the placemat is complete, glue to a piece of paper so the placemat has stability. I used white paper. For the kids who finished early, they used a few oil pastels to create some pretty designs on their placemats. I’m going to be honest here. I assumed this would be the end of the project. I thought the pretty pink and blue placemats were wonderful, but then a funny thing happened. While I was helping one child with her weaving, a table of kids began cutting their placemats into hearts. I noticed this and suggested that they fold their paper first to achieve a symmetrical heart. They got busy creating the most wonderful hearts. How fun is that? Here are the pink editions of the woven placemats…....

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Valentine’s Day Art Projects and Resource Round-up

Valentine’s Day Art Projects and Resource Round-up

By on Jan 25, 2015 | 3 comments

Need a quick lesson idea for Valentine’s Day? I’ve been pinning like crazy to my Valentine Pinterest Board because I absolutely love Valentine’s Day art projects. All those red tints! It’s also an opportunity to get creative and try something new. I love sourcing new ideas but I find I’m always drawn to the projects that combine art techniques and maybe an inspiration form a famous artist. Here are some of my favorite finds. Hopefully, you’ll find the perfect lesson to do at home or in your classroom. No glitter required! 1. Jim Dine-Inspired Hearts from Art With Mrs. A 2. Painted Paper in the Art Room’s Picasso Period Hearts 3. Notes from the Orchard’s Heart Printable 4. Martha Stewart’s Crayon Hearts Craft 5. Kids Artist’s Burton Morris-Inspired Hearts 6. Painted Paper in the Art Room Popsicle Stick Heart Activity 7. Drip Drip Splatter Splash Heart Painting Mixed-Media 8. For the Love of Art’s Jackson Pollock-Inspired Hearts 9. Joy of My Life Heart Craft 10. Momista Beginning’s Jim Dine-inspired Valentine Project Aren’t they all beautiful? Need some ready made plans? Deep Space Sparkle has downloadable lesson plans to get you started. My favorite is Shape of My Heart Watercolors and Value Hearts for the young ones and Mosaic Hearts and Watercolor Bouquets for the older group. For more ideas, follow my Valentines Pinterest Board: Visit Deep Space Sparkle’s profile on...

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Watercolor & Paper Bouquets

Watercolor & Paper Bouquets

By on Jan 30, 2014 | 8 comments

Here is a simple art lesson that combines a watercolor and oil pastel resist with creating shapes with paper and scissors. We created these bouquets in January so colors veered towards that lovely February holiday. The students used regular sulphite paper instead of watercolor paper since there was very little blending or advanced watercolor skills involved in the project, so using my limited stash of watercolor paper wasn’t necessary. What you do need is watercolor paint. For fast application, you can’t beat liquid watercolors. I showed a few vase sample son the white board so the kids drew a vase first with oil pastel. Then they added a table line and finally a few stems for the flowers that would be added in the next step. When you are applying watercolor to sulphite paper, you will notice that the paint will soak into the paper. To avoid using too much paint, tell the children what will happen so they understand not to keep applying paint over paint. It will dry lighter but it will look nice. I bought some printed scrapbook paper at a craft store and felt that this was a good opportunity to use it. I don’t like making pre-printed materials the star of any art project, but the truth is, the kids loved being able to select their colors. I asked the kids to make 2-3 centers first, glue the middle of the centers to the paper and then start adding petals. As the children worked, I sat with each table and encouraged a variety of shaped petals. Oil pastels were set on the table so that children could add details. This lesson requires about three, 45-minute art sessions.  Fifth Grade...

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