Friday, March 29, 2013

Art Update

art on display
At the beginning of this year, I blogged about my desire to include more art projects into our homeschooling routine. I think we have met that goal. We have completed an art project nearly every week since September. Occasionally we have skipped a week when things were hectic. But even then the boys would doodle while listening to our American history stories or a science reading.

Here are just a few of the projects they completed in recent weeks. All ideas came from the website Art Projects for Kids.

winter birch trees
I really liked the way our winter birches project turned out. The boys had to use painter's tape to create a border on an 12x12 sheet of white card stock. Then they marked off the birch trees with the tape. We mixed up some dark blue watercolor paint and then thinned it out a bit to get the right color mix for our night sky. After the paint was applied, we sprinkled salt on the wet paint to give it texture. The next day, when the paint had dried, we removed the tape, brushed off the salt, and added the stars. Using medium blue, they painted lines for the bark. Finally, with a very light blue watercolor, they added the shading.

skies are painted
Another project involved using our oil pastels to create an imitation of Paul Klee's abstract work Senecio. We used a thick black Sharpie marker to draw our abstract portrait. Then the oil pastels were thickly applied, keeping one color per division in the drawing.

pastel application
 Once the portraits had been colored, we painted over the whole drawing with acrylic paint. EM chose black, JT chose a silver metallic paint. When they were dry, the boys had to scrape off the paint. This left bits of the paint and gave the portraits more texture.

EM's work
This project was a bit more complicated and required more elbow grease. Applying the pastels took a lot of pressure and time. The boys spread the coloring portion of the work out over the course of a whole day. The scraping of the paint was also more tricky than we expected. I did have to help get the last bits of paint off. One tip if you try this project, when you are scraping the paint, place the picture in a cookie sheet with an edge. That way you don't end up with tiny bits of paint all over the floor. Also, I used a Pampered Chef scraper (the ones that are used to clean the stones) to do much of the work.

JT's work
A quick and easy project we tried was Kandinsky's trees. We pulled out our supply of card stock scraps and cut out multiple circles in bright colors. We cut our tree shapes from a piece of brown card stock and then set to work arranging the circles to make an abstract tree. The hardest part of this project was cutting circles. I do own a circle cutter, but it's a bit tricky to use, so I just let the boys go for it with their scissors.

EM's space spheres
The final project I want to share is spheres in space. This project was a great opportunity to give the kids experience using chalk pastels and to learn how to add shading. We cut 12x12 black card stock down to a manageable size. Then we traced circles onto our sheet using card stock circles I had cut out with a super-sized hole puncher. After that the boys chose the colors for their planets. When the primary colors had been added, they had to determine the direction of the light source and then work in black and white chalk on the corresponding sides of each circle to turn it into a sphere. EM worked quickly and was very happy with his final piece of art. JT was taking a long time to complete the first step of the project. When I asked why it was taking him so long, he told me he was busy creating the back story for each planet. Sometimes creativity can take us on interesting tangents. The next day he still had not finished more than a few planets. I needed him to move on to composition for the day, so I scrapped my original assignment and told him to write down the back story for the planet he was working on in his mind. He told me he had a great idea on how to do that.

Later in the day he presented me with a document titled, "A Report on the Mining Operations on Planet Tetron". It turns out the Terran Mining Corporation had enslaved the inhabitants of this planet to work in their amorite refineries. The composition was written in report format from a manager of the operations on the planet to the president of the company.

Who knew art could breed such creativity!

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