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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Monday, January 12, 2015

Fourth Grade Still Life

This is a great drawing project for older elementary students. It covers space, form, color, and composition. Each individual object was drawn independently and later cut out and added to the still life. 

Before the girls chose objects from around the room and drew them, we had an activity on how to draw cubes and cylinders. This gave them a good basis for pretty much every object they drew.  

After drawing the objects in pencil, and coloring them, they traced them in black Sharpie. We discussed space with depth and focused on overlapping and placement to create a deep space. The kids were very proud of their final pieces. 

William Wegman Dogs

This project kept us laughing the whole class. After watching several videos and looking at still photos by William Wegman featuring his Weimararners, we discussed his use of animals and how he used humor to make art. I printed out a color dog head for each girl, and they added a body, coloring it with colored pencil. We had references to pop culture as well as careers. It was a fun project that the faculty and staff at our school loved seeing. 

Owl intaglio Prints

Kids love printmaking. It can however be a long, sometimes messy process, and figuring out how to manage the process can be difficult. I love teaching it and have gotten the process down to make it a pretty painless activity. 

We used owls as our subject and I placed several different pictures of owls on the tables for reference. I used printer paper first because it is easier to transfer a drawing from a thin paper. I gave each girl a foam piece that was 6" X 9" and they traced the perimeter on the printer paper (this helps them make a drawing that is the appropriate size for printing). The girls then drew their owl--vertically or horizontally--and they could crop it if they wanted. We discussed adding detail and they also had to figure out how to fill the background space. 

When their drawings were complete, we taped the image on top of the foam plate. They retraced their drawings, removed the drawing, then used their pencils to retrace the image directly on the foam. Retracing on the foam ensures that the image is deep enough to make a clean print. Make sure your pencils are not too sharp, because they will tear up the foam. 

I have learned after many printmaking projects, that having each child print their own print is not as successful as me just printing them all. I always print one in front of them, and show them all the printmaking tools so that they understand the process, but having 20+ students printing at once has proven to be quite a crazy class. Plus, it takes up too much time, and I only meet with them once a week. If I print them, they are guaranteed a nice dark, clean print. 

First Grade Jasper Johns

After viewing a slide show on artist Jasper Johns, and discussing his style and subject matter, first grade made these expressionistic oil pastel drawings. They first folded the paper in half vertically and horizontally to make the division lines. I had a large stack of stencils for them to trace and make the letters. They were allowed to use any color combination they wanted. 

First grade line activity

First grade made these colorful marks using marker on paper. We discussed a variety of types on lines, looked at artworks that had heavy use of lines and abstraction and briefly discussed color usage/mood. The girls drew their own grid to create the spaces and were told to use a different line design in every space.