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3th Grade Art Lessons

Matisse Garden – Book Review & Video

Matisse Garden – Book Review & Video

By on Jun 13, 2016 | 4 comments

MATISSE’S GARDEN My favorite activity is popping into a book store to browse. I hardly do it anymore mostly because bookstores aren’t as plentiful. And doesn’t Amazon make it easy to buy your favorite books? But as I was walking down Sate Street last week with my daughter, we popped into The Santa Barbara Museum of Art book store. Nothing makes me happier than being immersed in colorful children’s book covers, except maybe art books written for children. Matisse’s Garden by Samantha Friedman is a must have book for your art room library. It moves past Matisse’s back story and dives straight into the process of creating art, choosing colors and seeing art in a new way. And if you don’t have any of Matisse’s works of art nearby, there are eight reproductions you can use to show your students. Nice, huh? I love the illustrations by Cristina Amodeo. Perhaps a little less saturated than I prefer but still lovely and appealing. I was so inspired that I decided to draw my own little Matisse Garden inspired by Amodeo’s illustrations. Here’s a video that shows how to use basic markers to draw organic shapes and create a composition of your own. I used a simple sketchbook and Faber-Castell broad-tip markers. I tried really hard to leave the colors flat, like Matisse, but I couldn’t resist. In the end, I grabbed a Sharpie and outlined the flowers. I think you are either in one camp or another. I almost always outline but I love the organic beauty of not outlining, too. I know. So many tough decisions in art-making. Which do you prefer? Outlining or not?     SAVE THIS POST!...

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Ancient Dwellings Rock Art

Ancient Dwellings Rock Art

By on Mar 6, 2016 | 2 comments

This art project offers kids the opportunity to create their own rock art petroglyphs using terra cotta clay scraps and white paint. And the best part is that the project takes less than 45-minutes. To start, read your favorite ancient rock art book. I picked up a copy of Ancient Dwellings of the Southwest in Arizona but there are many other books that illustrate the art of our earliest habitants. This is a project that is perfect for air dry clay. Sometimes with air dry clay, the small details in a work of art can be chipped off, but this flat shape is safe from the typical perils of it dry clay. Purchase terra cotta clay and you’ll make the project even easier to do (and more authentic). I gave each student a handout of petroglyph drawings. If you don’t have one, you can download one from a site similar to this one or make your own. We practiced etching with a wooden dowel on clay and then they drew their petroglyph on their clay square (about 3″ x 3″). It would be far easier to just paint the image on the square but it didn’t really occur to me at the time, so etching is what we did. After the students etched their design, they use white underglaze to paint on top. If you are using air dry clay, using acrylic paint or even liquid tempera paint would work very well. I fired the clay rock tile since they were dry. No glaze is needed. Here’s what my group of second graders created: If you are looking for a more detailed lesson on cave paintings, take a look at...

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“Antiqued” Oil Pastel Flowers in a Vase

“Antiqued” Oil Pastel Flowers in a Vase

By on Feb 12, 2016 | 8 comments

Recognize this beauty? This was the one of the first lesson I posted on my writing blog back in 2007 before Deep Space Sparkle existed. Such classics should be given due credit, don’t you think? Create this sophisticated bouquet with your little ones to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Here is a great way to teach watercolor resist. It’s simple and involves a surprise at the end. On the white board, demonstrate how to draw a vase, a table line, then circles for the center of the flowers. Give the students different options for drawing the petals. Ask the kids to choose a favorite color from the pastel palette with the rule that it should be a dark color. This helps the drawings stand out after the watercolor is applied. The kids then draw their vase, table line, flower centers, petals, leaves and stems. Using any color they wish, color in the shapes. When the kids are about halfway through their coloring (slow part), demonstrate the next step. This provides great motivation to complete the coloring portion. SCRUNCH THE PAPER Demonstrate how to take their beautifully colored picture and scrunch it. Because the paper is stiff, the kids literally have to sit on their crushed balled of paper or push really hard with their hands in order to get the required wrinkles. After smoothing out the paper, the kids apply a watercolor wash to the entire surface. TEACHING TIPS A tempera wash doesn’t work. Liquid watercolor is best. I put out two containers of wash; one brown and one blue. The kids can chose which one they like. When the wash settles in the wrinkles, it gives the picture an “antiqued” look. Do you have left-over coffee or tea? Try brushing the cold beverage over the paper to see what happens. The paper will become quite soggy, so leave on testable to prevent tearing when lifted. After the paper dries a bit, you can transfer tho a drying rack. For a more colorful version of a bouquet, try this Watercolor Bouquet project. Perfect for kids ages 7-10. ART SUPPLIES You’ll need a 12″ x 18″ piece of white drawing paper (76lb) Oil Pastels (non water-soluble) Blue or brown liquid watercolor paints Or cold coffee and tea  ...

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Create With Clay Projects for K-3

Create With Clay Projects for K-3

By on Jan 27, 2016 | 3 comments

As much as I like watching kids color and paint, there is absolutely no substitute for the tactile experience of clay. I am lucky to have a kiln at my school but not everyone does. You may be a home-educator who doesn’t own a kiln (nor should you!) or even a classroom teacher who prefers to work without the kiln-experience. While it’s true that it’s hard to replicate kiln-fired clay and gloss glaze, you can come pretty close. If you have access to basic art supplies like Crayola air-dry clay, liquid tempera paints and Mod-Podge, then you can do all of the projects in this booklet. I explain how to create a fish and a lizard using both kiln-fire and air dry clay and these techniques can be applied to all projects. This booklet is designed to give you step-by-step instructions so you can make creative clay projects with your kids and students. There are SIX projects included in this packet and every project sis easily made with either kiln-fired clay or air dry clay. Templates help students easily create the shape from a clay tile....

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“Petunia” Painting Project for Kids

“Petunia” Painting Project for Kids

By on Jan 26, 2016 | 7 comments

Incorporating literature into art projects remains my favorite type of lesson.  Last year, I introduced Petunia to my third grade students. Using a painting technique that I call smoothing, my students sketched a goose with pencil then  painted with happy colors, just like the book. Don’t have the book? You can download this delightful video found on YouTube: WHAT YOU’LL NEED: 12″ x 18″ white sulphite paper Pencil and Eraser Red, yellow, white, blue, green and black liquid tempera paint (I use Crayola) I medium tip round brush 1 small tip round brush (for outlining) Black marker, black crayon or lack oil pastel as optional outing supplies.   DRAWING I photocopied a few pages from the book and placed on the children’s tables. Using observation techniques, the kids practiced drawing their own Petunia. I encouraged them to make a dot near the top of the paper and one near the bottom. The dots provided guidelines for where to start the head and where to place the feet. This ensures the goose will be drawn large enough to fill most of the paper.     PAINTING Once the drawing was complete, children dipped a medium paint brush in the red paint and painted sections of the background paper. We used the smoothing technique to achieve a smooth paint finish. The children carefully painted around Petunia and the spring flowers. After the background was complete, the children painted the flowers and leaves with a collection of green, yellow and blue paint mixed with small amounts of white. This created TINTS and resembled the illustrations found in the book.   OUTLINING Once the paint is dry, children can use a small pointed brush dipped in watered-down black paint to outline Petunia. Notice how the children didn’t paint Petunia white? The white paper offered enough contrast so that painting the goose white seemed unnecessary. Although, children can paint their goose if they wish. If you don’t like to use black paint to outline, you can use a thick black marker or even a crayon. Experiment and see what medium works best for you.  ...

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Abstract Moose Winter Art Project

Abstract Moose Winter Art Project

By on Jan 11, 2016 | 3 comments

During my visit to Alaska in 2014, I scoured books stores and art galleries looking for an artist who captured the spirit of Alaska and whose art could be translated to children. Dawn Gerety’s work fit the bill. I love her paintings: colorful, pattern-filled and whimsical, her collection of art went beyond the galleries to books for kids. When I got home, I crafted this project for older students. It is rich with the elements of art, captures the graphic beauty of the mighty moose and is easy enough for even the most art-timid child to be successful. The project uses watercolor paints and watercolor paper along with salt to achieve the fabulous texture, but if you don’t have all three ingredients, I offer great substitutions....

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