Jul 9, 2017

Tree Collagraphs

I have completed Autumn tree collages with students before (see HERE and HERE) however this time I have added a print-making element which also adds more texture. 

We began by drawing a large circle on the top half of our paper. This acted as a guide for creating the foliage. Students were given the option of many pieces of coloured tissue paper and were asked to use only the warm colours for their collage. They tore their paper into small pieces and glued onto their paper, overlapping to create new shapes and colours. We then brushed a thin paste over the collage to smooth down any bumps. Students were then given cardboard in many different thicknesses and textures and asked to create a separate collage on a piece of white card. This time they would cut and glue down cardboard pieces to create only the tree trunk. I told them to think of building a large capital letter 'Y' and building on from there. 
Once both collages were complete, students painted their tree trunk using a thick black acrylic paint, lay it face down onto their tissue paper collage and created the final print. Using a collage to make prints in this way is called a collagraph. I think they turned out beautifully!



Day of the Dead Masks

 My grade 5 students created these masks a couple of years ago. I plan to do them again this year as they turned out really well and the kids really enjoyed making them. This project was inspired by this post from 'Scrumdilly-Do', where you can also find instructions.

During the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos), decorative or edible skulls or 'calaveras' are made from either sugar or clay. Small sugar skulls represent the children who have passed away, while the larger sugar skulls represent the adults. These celebrations take place over the 1st and 2nd of November and it is believed that the departed return home to enjoy the offering on the alter.

I had my students fold their paper plate in half to draw the shape of the skull so that once cut ot the shape would be symmetrical. We also discussed symmetry of design. After discussing the origins and traditions surrounding sugar skulls or calaveras, I provided many images of traditional Mexican designs on skulls to inspire student's own designs. We drew in pencil and coloured with textas (felt tip markers).

I also gave the option of using metallic pens and I think this year I will also make jewels and sequins available to them. Students may also choose to decorate the popstick handle which is taped to the back of each mask.



Jun 11, 2017

Spin Paintings




I saw this activity at 'Casa Maria's Creative Learning Zone' and knew I would have to try it at some point. Her student's results were so beautiful and reminded me of British artist Damien Hirst's Spin Paintings. 

The only place  I know that still sells salad spinners is IKEA. Grab yourself a couple. I then made a cardboard template of a circle that fit the inside of the salad spinner. I had the students trace the template and cut out a couple of circles for themselves out of white paper. The consistency of the paint is important. It needs to be fairly thin and runny. We used liquid watercolours in squeezy bottles. The painting process is best completed in pairs with younger students. One can hold the spinner whilst the other adds paints and spins the lid. Students can open the lid at any time and decide whether to spin more or add more paint. 

The results were exciting and once dry you could incorporate them into another art work. We simply glued ours onto card as an example of experimental painting. We also completed 'Tie Dye with Baby Wipes' in the same lesson.



Tie Dye with Baby Wipes

This is a really easy project that I enjoyed as much as the students. I did this with grade 1 students but I'm sure any year level will enjoy it. The idea comes from 'I Can Teach My Child', where Jenae says you can use either regular textas/markers or liquid watercolours. I found the markers weren't as effective so we used tempera paints. I also discovered that very few children this age could wind the rubber bands around the wipes so you will probably need a helper for young children.

The results were exciting though and once dry you could incorporate them into another art work. We simply glued ours onto card as an example of experimental painting. We also completed 'Spin Paintings' in the same lesson. With older students you could discuss more about the history of the artform and perhaps link it to similar techniques such as Batik.
  
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