Musings about the importance and impact of art and art education in the 21st century.

Romero Britto 5th grade

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in
Here are a few images from my fifth graders newly completed Romero Britto inspired project.

The whole project took about 5 to 6 classes. We began by viewing and discussing some Britto artworks  and the artist's life using PowerPoint.    I then gave the kids a packet of Britto artworks to use as reference and gave them the option of using the same subject matter or choosing their own animal to use.  Students make a couple of practice sketches on printer paper, then chose their favorite one, transferring it to 16x20" paper in pencil. 

 I then gave each table a plate with 5 different colored paint cups on it, each paint color had it's own paintbrush so students would have to constantly wash and clean their brushes.  The painting took 2 1/2 (40 minute) class periods and each period I would give them some different colors.  I gave the kids the option of leaving some white spaces but most students didn't.

 After painting the colors, I had them outline all their shapes with thick black lines.  On the last day I gave out Mr. Sketch markers and had them add patterns to a few of their shapes.  Some students who were fast painters added painted patterns, but for finer designs the Mr. Sketch were much easier to use than paintbrushes.


Experiments in Sculpture-Monsters in 4th Grade

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in
If you've read the past few entries I've posted you'll know that I've been complaining about my kiln being out of commission due to a burnt out touch pad (did I mention my kiln is 3 years old???).  Anyways, to say I'm a little frustrated by this is an understatement, but regardless I'm stuck waiting for my admin to get on with ordering the replacement part.  Feeling bad that half my kids may not get the chance to create in clay this year I decided to turn the clay monster project I had told them about into the paper mache clay monster project.  I had some reservations about this because making paper mache anything can be a laborious and difficult process.   What's been happening as a result of this,  is that I've been trying different approaches to the project with each of my five classes.  Here's what I've been trying so far.

I tried two types of armatures:
- Newspaper and brown paper bag armatures with masking tape, paper towel tubes and cereal boxes.
-Tin foil with a little bit of masking tape. 
NOTE: NEVER use "school smart" brand masking tape. It stinks!

To cover the armatures I tried two different materials:
Plaster gauze and paper mache pulp
NOTE: Don't try paper mache mulch to cover armatures! It stinks!

The final results? 
Tin foil armature with plaster gauze overlay.
The foil allowed the children to create more nuanced shapes and forms within their sculpture.  The paper bag/newspaper combo made for an o.k. armature but it wasn't very sturdy especially the arms and legs.  The plaster wraps worked WAY better than the mache pulp which made the monsters seem more like abominable snowman and filled in many of the subtle curves of the original armature making it bulky, heavy and blob-like.  I had never used the mache pulp before very quickly realized that it is really made much more for filling in molds than for covering armatures.
Here are a few of the tin foil monsters with plaster gauze wrap:

Here are a few of the paper bag/newspaper/mache pulp monsters (you'll be able to see the difference in surface texture alone)

I'll post a few pictures of the paper bags/newspaper/plaster wrap monsters when they are finished.