Welcome to Super Happy Art Class!

I hope you enjoy looking at the wonderful artwork from Duchesne Academy Lower School. Lower School consists of girls, grades pre-k through fourth. Unfortunately I have not kept record of all the successful projects, but here is a good sampling. Check out the artwork by grade level, but realize that each activity can be used for multi-grades. Click on an image to see a larger view.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Day of the Dead

Living in Houston, Texas, we have a wonderfully diverse community. This year I decided to teach the girls about the Mexican holiday called Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. There are many Day of the Dead celebrations in Houston each year, and since our school is Catholic, the girls had been learning about "All Souls Day" and "All Souls Day" which is celebrated at the same time and is basically a Western-Catholic version of the same holiday.

Day of the Dead celebrates the life of those who have passed. It is a wonderfully happy and colorful holiday with parades and altars created to commemorate the lives of our loved ones. A common symbol used in the holiday is the skull or calavera. Second and fourth graders viewed many different versions of the colorful skulls, and we discussed common decorations and colors used by the Mexican people.

The second grade project was created by first looking at skulls and drawing a skull facing front. They decorated each skull with colored pencils, cut them out and glued them to black paper adding a border around each in either lime green or hot pink. Patterns were added to the frame and jewels and glitter embellished the final product.

The fourth graders looked at classroom skeletons so that they could create a three dimensional skull out of self hardening clay. When the clay dried, they painted them with tempera and embellished them with glitter. The products were amazing and many students had the opportunity to celebrate the life of a loved one lost.



Color Cubes

This is a great alternative color scheme project. You will need to print a cube pattern from the Internet; there are loads of options if you google "cube pattern". Make a list of color schemes on the board and have the girls define each. Have examples of artworks that follow each color scheme. My list included: warm, cool, triad, complimentary, monochromatic, and neutral.

We used colored pencils as the medium. I asked them to use variety in each design, and they could add pictures if they liked as long as they kept to the color scheme. Every side had a different color scheme.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pretty Peacock

Second grade used oil pastel to create these brightly colored peacocks. I printed several images of peacocks from the web for them to use as reference. We discussed texture, color and blending. They cropped the images of the peacocks closely before they drew them.


Block Towers

The Kindergarteners loved this project because it had so many different componets. First we discussed 3-d shapes. I brought in a huge box of wooden blocks and scrap wood for them to dig through. They chose blocks to build a tower with, then did their best to draw the shapes. After they completed their drawing, they covered the lines in crayon and painted using watercolor.

Little Fishy

These whimsical fish sculptures were made by pre-k girls. We used Crayola air-dry clay, and discussed fish parts before we began. We also discussed the shapes necessary to make a fish, starting with an oval for the body and using triangles for fins. After a week of dry-time, the girls painted them using tempera cakes.

Paper Relief

The second grade classes enjoyed creating these textured reliefs. We discussed pattern, balance, texture and variety before the girls began creating components to their reliefs. They had fun inventing new ways to make the individual pieces, and loved seeing the results of adding several pieces to create a new pattern.

Sea Intaglio Prints

Fourth graders made these beautiful metallic sea creature prints using foam plates and metallic pencils. First we discussed composition and cropping. The girls chose a sea creature image from a variety of sources. They cropped the image and then reproduced the picture on a piece of printer paper. The printer paper was laid on top of the foam plate and while applying pressure, they retraced the lines of the drawings. After they completed the tracing, they removed the printer paper revealing the engraved plate. To make sure the indention was deep enough, the girls retraced over the plate with a dull pencil. They were able to choose between a variety of colored printing paper for the print. When the print was dry, they colored over the image with metallic pencils. The results were amazing!

Texture Assemblage

I do this project every year with my pre-K class. We begin by talking about what exactly texture is, and the girls give some examples of textures--(usually soft, bumpy and smooth). Next I give them a sample of textures, which consists of several small pieces of fabric, bubble wrap, sand paper and other types of materials. We have a short "texture hunt" where I call out a texture, then the girls find a material in their texture samples that fits the description. Next I lay out loads of different materials and objects for the girls to glue to a paper to make their own texture assemblage.

Texture samples

Friday, February 17, 2012

Color and Trees

I pulled this lesson by D. Sweeney and J. Rounds from the December 2011 issue of Art and Activities. Every  piece turned out beautifully. Background in chalk pastel, snowy ground in torn paper, fence is painted, the trees are collage with shadows applied with a museum board and lastly white paint splattered for snow flakes. Easy with fantastic results!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rodeo Belt Buckles

Rodeo is big business in Houston and the girls love it! Go Texan Day is celebrated each year on a Friday before the rodeo starts. A massive trail ride makes its way through city streets, and people from every walk of life dress western for the day. At our school, the girls invite parents to see them dance in their western wear. This year our pre-k made their own rodeo belts. We discussed rodeo events and symbols before they got to work. It was so cute to see them galloping around in their belts!

Imaginary Still Life

I love this project because it addresses so many design principles. After looking at many examples of still life paintings, the class discussed how artists make objects look three dimensional, like they are in front of other objects, farther away or closer up on the table, and grounded (rather than floating in space). I set out a large group of items for them to draw from life. After the students had drawn about 7 items, they outlined them with Sharpie, painted them with watercolor and cut them out. The items were arranged on a background made to look like a table. Each girl conferred with me to make sure the space was used well and the object's placements made sense before gluing the items down.

Positive and Negative Space

First graders learned about positive and negative space by doing these easy cut-outs. Simple fold a square in half and cut on the folded side...voila!