Friday, 14 November 2014

Class Art- Overlapping Potion Bottles

This week's art lesson was a cracker! I've had a beautiful piece of work pinned for a while that I found here but never had a way of incorporating it into school. With our new topic, Potions, I finally have a unit of work where it can fit in perfectly.

We've been looking at lot at potion bottles and glass designs which gave us a good head-start. We observed pictures of overlapping wine bottles and glasses and the children were hooked with the colours straight away. So, these are the steps that we followed to try and reach the target of the one below that I made. This was slightly simpler but still gave them a challenge!

A4 black paper
A5 white paper
Oil pastels

1. Each table started off with a black A4 piece of paper and lots of A5 sheets of white scrap paper. First, children had to fold this A5 paper in half and draw the shape of half a bottle. They then cut this out and it opens up into a perfectly symmetrical bottle shape. This then became a stencil for them to use.

2. Children created and cut out their bottle designs to fill the page and once happy, they could start using a different colour for each design. We used oil pastels for this activity. I stressed that each glass had to be overlapping with at least one other and I also wanted to see some glasses in the foreground and some in the background. This could be achieved by some having their base lower down the page and those at the back having their base higher up the page.

3. Once all the outlines were done, we imagined a small arrow in the top corner of our page which acted as light. Children then took a white pastel and went along the outlines of the bottles that would be directly in the light. On the opposite side, they thickened the line with the same colour that they had used and then smudged in towards the centre of the bottle. This made it look more 3D and realistic.

It wasn't too tricky a project and only took just over an hour to complete, Some children tapped into their creativity and attempted different shading styles and some tried to create shadows. Other teachers passed the room after-school and complimented how well they had all turned out.

Here they are!

Everyone did such a great job but unfortunately I can't post 30 individual pictures! Well done and keep trying more at home.


Monday, 10 November 2014

Class Art- Potion Bottle Sketches

Right, this should bring us up to date! This half-term our topic is called 'Potions' and last Friday we did our first art activity related to it.

We looked at a range of pictures of potion bottles and discussed their shapes and designs. We then looked at a short video of an artist sketching and some other pencil drawings of bottles. We talked about form and shape and then sketched rough ideas for our own bottle.

In year 3, we did some sketching but we never really broke it down to the basics. As you will see, sketching isn't a strength of mine but I thought if I could break it down into easier steps for the class then we might end up with some interesting results.

Step 1
Lightly draw a rough outline for the potion bottle. It is important to push very gently and to use short strokes rather than just one continuous line.
Step 2
Pupils were then told to draw a small arrow in the top-left corner of the page. This shows where the light is going to come from. They then had to go over their outline much more firmly where the light would not be able to reach.
Step 3
Next, children carried on shading, though not as dark, along the outlines that aren't in the light. The shading should be going towards the middle of the bottle.
Step 4
We had previously discussed about the use of smudging and how to do it carefully and purposefully. They could then carry on smudging their pencil towards the centre of the bottle again. I told the class that I didn't want to be able to clearly see pencil-marks where they had been shading in step 3.
Step 5
Students could finally shade in a light shadow on the surface and add any extra final details/shading until they were satisfied with their work.
As I said, sketching/drawing isn't my strength at all (and some of the children put me to shame!) but I was still quite pleased with this basic work and feel that the steps can be used with good success. Here are some examples:

Many of these children had previously struggled with light sketching and taking their time and would never have thought they could produce such realistic-looking sketches. They listened very carefully and I feel they all achieved something in this lesson.


Class Art- Roman God and Goddess Statues

Next project! This was another activity planned in for our Roman Day which went incredibly well. Children were previously set a homework to design and sketch their own Roman God or Goddess and had to give them a personality.

Their task was to use clay to then create their god. Each child had a few basic tools, a big clump of clay and about 45 minutes to crease/smooth/roll their creation.

I've not used clay a huge amount in my teaching experience but I thoroughly enjoyed it and luckily our class TA knew a lot more about the techniques than I did.

Once the clay was completely dry, the children could coat their statue in a metallic paint of their choice. They were then permitted to use a sponge to dab a second metallic colour on to make it look more like an ancient statue.

Here are the impressive results:

 I was really impressed with their patience and hard work. Well done!


Class Art- Hot and Cold Boudicca

I'm attempting to power on through and catch up with posting these Roman activities before moving onto this half-term's topic which is POTIONS.

We discussed Boudicca and talked about who she was in our topic lessons so already had a good picture of what she might have looked like in our heads. I then showed the children a presentation all about looking at things in different ways and we discussed the use of warm and cool colours. We looked at pictures that used cool subjects and warm backgrounds and then swapped them around to see how the perspective changed.

The class agreed that if the subject uses warm colours it suggests that they are the strong and dominant force. However, if the subject used cool colours and was surrounded by warm colours, the subject appears to be overpowered.

I tried showing the class the difference as shown below:
Children could choose to sketch and colour in their Boudicca in either style depending on how they wanted to depict her.

Here are some examples of the results:

Unfortunately, most went for the cool background and warm foreground so we didn't get to see much of a comparison, but they were still very well done. Next year, I might split the class in half so we get to see the difference!


Bringing some extra colour to the classroom

Having spent so many hours on Pinterest over the holidays searching for fun art activities, I couldn't help coming across lots of melted crayon art. There are so many different takes on it with so many beautiful outcomes so I thought it would make a lovely addition to the classroom. Many of the resources I used were purchased through the very kind collective end-of-year present from many mums in 3B (thank you very much again!)

I used:
- Roughly 3 packs of crayons
- Glue gun
- Canvas
- Hairdryer
- Acrylic paint and paintbrush
- Stencil

Step 1
Choose the colours you wish to use and glue-gun them to the canvas where you wish. I went for the standard rainbow colours but glued them in a bit of a zig-zag to make it a bit more interesting.

Step 2
Cover your work-space (and yourself!) to ensure minimal mess. Tilt the canvas so that the melted wax goes where you want and then just keep going until you're happy. I probably ended up hairdrying for about 30-40 minutes in total but it flew by. Some colours take longer than others to start melting (why is that?) but they all worked after just a few minutes. I slowly went along the whole row of colours, let the wax dry and then carried on to get a few different layers.

I just realised that I missed out a step. The very first thing that I did was paint on 'IDEAS' in black paint down my canvas using a stencil. I chose this word because obviously in a classroom it's important to have a space where people can not only have these brilliant ideas but also feel safe sharing them. Ideas can be colourful, sometimes they mix into one another and make something fantastic. Hopefully this message has been conveyed in the work below! It's currently resting on a table in the classroom next to one of my pupil's 'Art of the Week' but I'm trying to sort out a proper hook so it can hang above the door.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Class Art- Mosaics

This was an amazing art project that I came across at the excellent Mini Matisse (which has loads of other great ideas, too!)

I thought this could be used as part of our Roman Day as we had previously looked a bit at the use of mosaics in Roman times. It took quite a bit of organisation and prep but I think a lot of the results proved that it was worth it. Everyone who followed instructions ended up producing a beautiful mosaic that they could take home. 

- Empty CD case
- Variety of beans/lentils
- Glue

Step 1
We made planning pages for the children to use as shown below. They used the top grid to help them plan and construct a symmetrical pattern and then placed their CD over the 2nd grid once they were ready to transfer it to the real thing.
Step 2
When I was making my own for the model I didn't have the grid but you get the idea. First, you plan onto the paper to make sure everything works and you're happy with it. I started from the centre and built outwards.
Step 3
Once you're happy with your design, you can get your CD case ready. Glue a small section at a time and slowly transfer your plan onto the CD case. Don't worry about using too much PVA as it should dry clear.

Step 4
Slowly keep on transferring your plan over a section at a time. Try your best not to leave too many gaps between the lentils/beans! My model wasn't perfect because I was rushing through after school but if you take your time it will come out really well.

I was so impressed by how focused the class was during this activity. They worked very well and were almost hypnotised by the task! They were very pleased with their results and here's why:

Well done, everyone!


Class Art- Roman Shields

As I have previously mentioned, our unit last half-term was "I Am Warrior" which looked closely at the Romans (and the Celts to a lesser degree).

We took it upon ourselves to design and create our own scutum (shield). In an effort to have some uniformity, we ended up limiting the children to using primary colours (red, blue and yellow) but they could also use some metallic paint at the very end to add extra detail.

Strong scissors
Red, blue and yellow paint
Glue gun to glue on shield handle
Metallic paint

Step 1
Having designed their shields in their sketchbooks, the children used cardboard they had brought in to create their basic shape. They cut out the outline for their shield and then cut out and glued shapes on top of this to create more of a 3D shape and emphasise certain parts of their shield as shown below:
We showed the children how to use the smaller shape they had cut out as a stencil. They could then keep gluing the same shape on top of eachother to dramatically raise the level and make it even more 3D.

Step 2
Each table had a large bowl of a 50% water/50% pva glue solution. Children then had to dip thin strips of scrap paper into this solution and stick it smoothly across the entire shield until it was covered. This is a papier-mache technique that I find isn't quite as messy as some alternative methods. When it's dry it's nice and solid!

Step 3
When it is completely dry, you can use the primary colours to paint your shield. Start off with the base layer and then paint on top when it is dry for the best results. At the very end, you can add extra details using metallic paint.

We were very pleased with the results and the great colours and designs. Next time, we'll probably try and push for more variety in their shapes but it was a fantastic first effort.

At the end of the unit we had our Roman Day and the shields had a good outing being used for marching and battle reenactments.

Well done, 4B!


Long Absence!

It's been quite a few weeks since my last post about all of the changes that I was making to my classroom over the Summer as I was moving up to year 4. I've had very little time to update this blog with new art activities being done in my classroom but the plan is to try and get back up to date over the next week or so.

We just finished our unit "I Am Warrior" which lasted all of half-term and was mainly focused on the Romans. We created our own shields, Roman coins, mosaics, clay Roman god/goddess statues and pictures of Boudicca. These will hopefully be made available to you in the very near future.

Due to the massive overhaul of the curriculum, I unfortunately currently do not have the time to run my weekly art club. The plan is to continue with this either next term or during the Summer when things have hopefully quietened down a tad.

This blog is almost nearing 1,000 views which is incredible. There have been visitors from Australia, Denmark, Israel, Russia, Ukraine and even Saudi Arabia. I'm so pleased that the hard work of children in my 'home class' and art club has attracted so many people to come and browse. Thank you anyone and everyone who has visited Bricks and Wood and followed my Pinterest which also has hundreds of art activities and ideas.