Friday, December 12, 2014

Birch tree moonscapes for middle school

This was a very successful
mat board / cardboard strip black paint smearing/flicking birch tree project 
that I elevated so that it was appropriate for 6th grade and more challenging than I've done previously.

As (hopefully) all of you know, the birch tree trick project is a no-fail project that makes every student feel like a super-duper artist. The objective this time around was to
create a full landscape that demonstrated great depth and shadows. 

Before I start- I am so close to 200 followers(!) so please pass this along to friends
or colleagues so that I can hit a new milestone.
(I think it will also motivate me to do my blog design overhaul sooner rather than later.)

The lesson: 
 This was my favorite of my photo and print examples. 
It is a woodcut called "Northern Shadows" by Lisa VanMeter
who has many beautiful woodcuts and tree-themed work on her website

Project breakdown:

1. Sketch closest trees
2. Add in horizon line and hills. 
3. Sketch in the rest of trees ( I required a minimum of 6.)
4. Draw in moon and shadows. 
5. Add in extras: houses, animals, footsteps, etc.

1. Use cardboard or mat board pieces to scrap thinned black tempera for the birch.
2. Paint in sky with liquid watercolor. 
3. Paint in shadows and create a "chalky moon texture" with a very light black wash. 
4. Use watercolor pencils for tiny things like houses, pine trees, animals. 

*To expedite the process I had three sky color options pre-made
and the shadow paint pre-mixed and ready. 

For elementary teachers I have a "wicked" old version of this project and a round-up of many other winter project ideas here

Monday, December 8, 2014

quick winter printmaking project for artsonia

My middle school has joined Artsonia this year. It has been going really well. 
I felt I needed to post a winter themed project for my parents. 
I did a quick printmaking project with 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, using 5 x 7 styrofoam.
The theme was snowpeople. 

6th grade had a choice of:
-included a border 
-having a larger snowperson in the foreground and a hill or landscape background 
(see top row below)

7th grade:
I encouraged to draw one or more snowmen from a worm's perspective. For the kids that chose to follow my strong suggestion they came out really great. Some of the kids did other spins on the idea. 

8th grade: 
These guys have done styrofoam printing with me. I showed them some inspiration examples of different scenes and snowmen illustrations and they could design as they liked. 
(shown in the title image) 

Some of my parents ordered holiday cards and ornaments with the prints which was my hope! 
View the full gallery here