Monday, December 20, 2010

Snowmen Castrophe

My challenge, teach a cartooning lesson that does not use people or animals.
 .I went through my comic book collection I have mostly people,superheroes and personified animals in there.I looked through my old examples of comic strips that I had made--all about my dog.."No,those are not  not going to work" I said.

I spent some time on several web pages  looking up cartoon tutorials. I found one on drawing a cartoon snowman..No tutorial really needed just three circles but I did like the cartoon eyes. This would work and gave me tons of great ideas.Snowmen could have facial expressions.They could have conversations and if personified they would also have problems,conflicts and issues just like other cartoon characters.

I tried this first  with the morning program kids. The students were  kindergarten, fourth and fifth grades.

They  had some great ideas of what could happen that would be bad for a snowman. I thouhght of limbs falling off mine other thins kids thought of were "They could melt". "A dog could pee on them","Someone could throw hot water on them."

I tried this again later the same day with another group of students. I showed them my examples and walked them through a few morecompostional  drawing tips then the morning crew had. This was the class I had prepred it for.The morning group I was using it as a timefiller . I talked to them about snowmen not being perfectly round and that they could be other shapes,I mentioned that they could be female instead of male. I got questions about this..  I clarified with "Keep it appropriate. I do not need to see snow people genitals. The clothing is descriptive enough."

 I was working along with another artist teacher this class and she is partial to using washable markers and brushing into them with water for a watercolor effect.  I worked very successfully for this project. It allowed you to get the bold markers colors were you wanted bold but to also get nice color washes in areas for snow or sky were you want some transparency.The students had great success with them and created snow people that wore tie dye, had huge hats being attacked by cats, triangular snow people, cubed snow people etc.

I really enjoyed these and honestly want to do a whole series with the three cartoon snow persons I created.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday gift tag making!

Tag making in my family was a recycled expedition. The old holiday cards that had been received the years previous were cut into little squares and used a gift tags. I always liked this idea!

So this year I came up with a few different tag making ideas and ran them with kids!

 With the morning program I had some small strips of white copy paper and several  large chunky foam holiday stamps so kids just stamped designs on.

At the art Gallery we had a drop in art activity on making gift tags. We used texture plates,  and white drawing paper art sticks and collage materials like colored paper scraps and cellophane. We also wanted to use stamps but had stamps that we really  more for teachers to grade kids work.  You know Ones that said Excellent! Awesome job! etc.  If you use only markers instead of stamp pads it is easy to apply color only to the places of the stamp that you want to actually have stamp. So I used the stars and symbols around the text and avoided the text.

The other teacher I was working with had the brilliant idea or using up a old materials and Styrofoam trays to make our own stamps that was ingenuity at work.We used rubber bands ans stretched them onto a foam square to make stars and

 I was talking with some teenagers and wondered what kind of gift tag would you give someone who was getting coal? I came up with this idea.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Why do I write about art shows I have attended and what is my media

 I hate labeling people but I guess you could but a bunch  of labels on me if you wanted to. I like labels on my bins of art supplies however just fine. I consider myself and art teacher and an artist. Some people would say that I am a Substitute teacher and therefore not a "real teacher" I hear that one a lot an it hurts. I write my own lesson plans I conduct art lessons even though I currently do not have my own classroom within a school. I have heard people cal me a painter, a jewelry maker but I consoder myself an artist plain and simple. I do not want to pigeone hold myself in to a specifc media. I actually fimrly belief that anyone who wants to teach art for k-5 should not specialize in  specificmedia because the best way to reach your student is to let them sample them all. Id students learn to use several materials and you as a teacher feels comfortable with several of them I think this is the best way to reach students.

I also belief strongly that  art teachers should know what is going on in there local community especially within their arts community. It keeps you from not getting trapped in a bubble of teaching, grading an lesson prep. It gets you outisde you classroom.  It gives you relevent thingsto talk to students about that are happening right in their community that they tocan be involved with. It takes learning outside of the door and makes it relevant to students in the "real world"

 I also do beleif that besides being a teacher that I am an artist to my core. This is why  I am not certified to teach another subject althought I have considered it and have taught preschool before. I love to look at art and talk  to other artists it gives me inspiration it gives me a sounding board, it gives me ideas and it gives me hope..

Everyone knows that the arts are the least appreciated field in schools and often in our communities. I think that artists need to support one another and not treat each other like competition....  I think that Good Karma is a good way to go. I give shout out to artists whose work I have enjoyed in order to help continue to promote the arts to advocate for the arts and because I hope that some "good Karma exchange will be put out there.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Puppets that use fingers for legs-steps tutorial and examples

In  morning care the other day the kids made puppets with finger for the legs.The kids all really got into it.  To do this project use card stock so that it is stiff or use white paper and glue it to cardboard with a glue stick.

This is fairly Easy to do. Draw an8x 10 inch sheet of card stock in half. cut it in half. On one of the cut cut pieces. Start with a simple form A circle for the head and egg like shape with no top and a flat bottom for the body.

Draw two circles about one inch up from the bottom of the shape for the fingers to go through

Have kids draw their own facial features, hair,arms, clothing and other details.

Draw in pencils first

When drawing is complete then color in clothing or other details with markers or crayons.

Have kids trim off the excess paper and carefully folder or pierce into paper at small circles to cut out the circles for the legs. 

If you were using paper instead of cardstock cut out your paper pattern and glue onto cardstock at this point.

Put fingers through the holes. Ta Da! your down you have a puppet ready to go!

Here some the kids made. These are made by kids in grades k-5