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4th Grade Art Lessons

Paint Like Monet

Paint Like Monet

By on Feb 13, 2017 | 5 comments

ABOUT CLAUDE MONET When Monet was young, he noticed that painters created dark and very serious art during this time. Subjects like history and religion bored him. He preferred bright colors that showed scenes from everyday life. Monet started to paint pictures with loose and sketchy strokes. Many people thought that his work wasn’t complete, but Monet didn’t care. He continued to paint the way he saw the world. Claude Monet was the first painter in the Impressionist movement. The word IMPRESSIONISM comes from one of Monet’s first paintings called Impression: Sunrise. Art critics labelled the painting, impressionism, in order to mock it but the term stuck. It now means painting with light. Monet liked to paint series of the same images with the only difference being how the light fell on the subject during certain times of the day.  He painted over 30 paintings of the haystacks near his home. TRY THIS LESSON: I love lessons that expose a pattern to an otherwise complicated painting. When you first look at Monet’s painting, The Isle Grande Jatte, 1878, it looks rather complicated and daunting to paint. But when you layer the artwork and outline the simple lines of the background first, then add the foreground at the very end, it becomes manageable. HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED: 12″ x 18″ regular white drawing paper (I use Tru-Ray) Liquid tempera paints (white, green, yellow, blue, black) Colored oil pastels medium round brush Small pointed round brush and black tempera paint WHAT TO DO: On a white sheet of paper, draw a simple HORIZON LINE. This operates the water from the sky. Then, draw a hill line over the horizon line. Add a few simple homes/barns and buildings with oil pastels. With a sky color paint (Monet often used yellow tones for the sky) paint a sky. Paint the hills with a muted green color. Paint the water, using white, blues and greens. Keep in mind that Monet painted choppy reflections in the water. have children copy the colors of the buildings and use paint to make dappled marks in the water. Use a small brush and the watered down black tempera paint to paint the trees. Watch the video to see how the trees...

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Candy Hearts Valentine’s Day Project

Candy Hearts Valentine’s Day Project

By on Jan 31, 2017 | 9 comments

No doubt you have access to a few candy hearts right about now. I know I do, so instead of gobbling them up, I decided to turn these sweet pastel treats into an art project. This lesson is a great way for kids in grades 3 and above to observe a color and try to replicate the value. You can free-draw the heart or use a template. The older the child, the easier it is to draw a large heart. Drawing a heart big enough to paint inside is the goal so if you notice that some children are struggling with drawing the heart, use a template. WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Grab some liquid tempera paints, paper plates, 6″ white paper squares, a pencil, a black marker and of course, a few sweet heart candies. CREATING VALUE Tints are created by mixing white to any hue (color).  This might seem rather boring but I tell you, kid’s LOVE watching white paint do it’s magic on a color. It really is all about the paint mixing here, so if you can give each child a small paper plate in which to explore the painting mixing, please do. Place a quarter size dollop of white paint in the center of each child’s plate. Place a candy heart (random colors) on the plate and then squirt a dime-sized dollop of the candy color on the plate too. Some colors like light teal require three colors: white, turquoise and yellow. For older students, using COMPLEMENTARY colors adds an authentic darker tone or SHADE to use as the contrast. Although, it just might be easier to use less white for the darker parts of the candy hearts. Mix the white and colors together until the color is the same as the candy heart. PAINTING THE HEART Painting the heart is very quick because the paper size is small (6″ x 6″). This allows the child to create more than one heart. If you are doing this lesson with younger kids (ages 6-8) use a larger 10″ x 10″ paper. The bigger area is more forgiving. Where the shadows lies on the heart, use a darker color to add as the contrast. When the heart is...

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Gustav Klimt: Master of Metallics

Gustav Klimt: Master of Metallics

By on Dec 5, 2016 | 4 comments

Introducing Gustav Klimt to your students is really like opening up a pot of gold. There are so many interesting facets to his art and his life. One of the most impactful pieces to his story is how many of his works were destroyed by the Germans during WWII. Medicine, painted in 1900-1907 was destroyed along with a few others. I recently picked up a book that features beautiful Klimt-inspired illustrations. If you are doing a lesson on Klimt and in particular, his Tree of Life, I encourage you to find a copy of this book. Perfect for grade 3 and...

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Mola-Inspired Holiday Stockings

Mola-Inspired Holiday Stockings

By on Dec 4, 2016 | 0 comments

Part culture, part color theory and all fun, this Mola-inspired Holiday Stocking will keep the kids busy drawing, cutting and composing their own colorful stockings. ABOUT MOLAS Molas are cloth panels that form part of a blouse for the Kuna women of Panama. They use a quilting technique called reverse appliqué to create the designs in the fabric. Because I used to be (and hope to be again!) a quilter, I know all about reverse appliqué. It’s pretty fun to do but darn hard to explain to kids. After a few attempts I decided that it’s just best to say that a Mola is a fabric panel with colorful strips sewn in. USING MOLAS IN THE ART ROOM Art teachers all over the world incorporate Mola art into their curriculum to help children connect with the process and purpose of creating art. Sometime art becomes abstract for kids if all we do is teach our students that art is about history and famous artists. Art can be found all around us: where we live, our clothing and everyday objects. One way to do this is by understanding THE STEPS to making a Mola-Inspired project: Draw Mola image with basic shapes and rainbow or echo lines. Molas are made up of basic, recognizable shapes: turtle, sun, flower, fish, etc. Notice that the Mola has a basic center shape and then lines are drawn around this shape to create the recognizable image. In the Mola above, the turtle starts out as an OVAl. Lines are drawn around the oval to create the head and four legs. Repeat the drawing of lines until you have the shape desired. Add vertical or horizontal strips of paper to achieve the decorative background. This can also be achieved using construction paper crayons or oil pastels. DOWNLOAD A FREE MOLA STOCKING PROJECT   ARE YOU A MEMBER? The Mola-Inspired Stocking full project tutorial plus hundreds of lesson plans, art resources and videos is included with your monthly membership. Enrollment opens again in August...

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Paper Plate Poinsettia: Holiday Craft for Kids

Paper Plate Poinsettia: Holiday Craft for Kids

By on Nov 22, 2016 | 10 comments

While decidedly Christmas in flavor, this easy holiday craft for kids can vary in paint colors to compliment any season. I’ll admit that creating these pink beauties filled my creativity bucket for the day. So grab some paint, a few paper plates from your pantry and crank up the holiday tunes. I guarantee, you’ll enjoy this as much as your kids! This project is perfect for those days during the holiday season when you need a fun activity for your festival of lights unit or holiday unit. Picture Book Recommendation The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie DePaola This book is set in a small village in Mexico and is a retelling of a traditional folk tale. It does have strong religious content so it may not be appropriate for your class. Each teacher can determine whether it is suitable for his or her classroom. Here’s what you’ll need: 10”, 9” & 6” Plate (exact size is not as important as 3 different sizes) Red, white, green and yellow liquid tempera paint Gold metallic paint (optional) Small kitchen sponges (cut a regular sponge into smaller rectangles) Red, white and green oil pastels Paint brushes Yellow tissue paper Scissors Pencil Small plastic cup or lid White School Glue Don’t be alarmed by the extensive supply list. Most everything can be found in your art pantry. I find tempera paints are best but if you have craft acrylic paints (the kind you find in craft stores) then you are great. Curious what the difference is between tempera paint and acrylic paint? Here’s a video showing what I discovered: Acrylic vs Tempera Paint. * DOWNLOAD THE FREE PDF BELOW FOR INSTRUCTIONS, PHOTOGRAPHS AND ARTIST STATEMENT How to Make the Poinsettia: Each student receives 3 paper plates. I use the most inexpensive brand that has no printing on it. It doesn’t matter the size of the plates, but it does help to have 3 different sizes: small, medium and large. Place a small condiment cup or circle template in the middle of the LARGEST PLATE. Draw a circle. Starting at the outside edge of the plate, cut a leaf shape towards the center circle. Do not cut through the circle. For younger kids, it may be helpful to...

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Contour Cat Watercolor Project

Contour Cat Watercolor Project

By on Oct 5, 2016 | 3 comments

The complementary colors of orange and blue are everywhere this fall season. And why not showcase these happy colors with a blue belly cat? A bit of doodling the other day prompted a quick contour drawing of this cute cat. Using the simple drawing handout,  children can free-draw their own contour cat to use as the subject of three watercolor techniques: Wet-on-wet watercolor (cat) Wet-on-dry watercolor (background) Wax resist (white outline and watercolor barrier) This lesson can be done in two steps. First, draw the contour cat with a sharpie on watercolor paper. Then paint the cat and background. Second, after the paint dries, add the pattern and lines. ART SUPPLIES waterproof black marker watercolor paper (90 lb) pan watercolor paints white crayon or oil pastel medium round brush water TECHNIQUES wet-on-wet wet-on-dry wax resist contour line drawing patterns, shape and line DRAWING DIRECTIONS Use the drawing handout as a guide to draw a contour line of a simple cat. Focus on drawing two ears, a head, a long neck, hunched shoulders, simple paws and a long, curvy tail. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect. The fun part is drawing wonky lines! Draw two oval shapes for the EYES. With a white crayon, trace carefully along the outside of the black marker line. With a brush, touch the blue paint and dip into water so the clear water has a tint of blue. Brush water inside the contour line. With BLUE paint, start painting a LINE of color along the bottom of the cat. Hold paper upside down so that the blue drips and mingles towards the body. Continue painting the cat blue, allowing the paint to migrate down the paper using gravity. This is really fun for kids as they can see how the colored paint will travel to the wet areas. Paint outside of the contour line (NEGATIVE SPACE) blue’s COMPLEMENTARY COLOR (orange!) After paint dries, use the black marker to add a NOSE and a MOUTH. Fill the cat with patterns, lines and...

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