Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Boxtrolls

Have  you heard of the Boxtrolls?  It is a new movie coming out in September.  I stumbled onto a really fun site today that goes along with the movie.  You can discover the fun here.  I made my own Boxtroll.  What do you think?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Working with the paper roll...have you done it yet????

So, have you made anything from your paper roll, yet?  I sat down with one today and came up with a animal.  Here are step by step photos of the process:

First, slightly flatten the tube and draw the contour line of what  you would like to make.  Can you tell that I am planning an elephant?  He will be a standing 3D sculpture when completed.

Next, with it still flat, cut off the negative spaces leaving the positives.

Finally, round out the tube again to take back the original shape of the tube.  Then fold and bend the various sections of your tube to give it a little personality.  I pulled up on the trunk and tusk and also folded the ears forward.

Here it is from another view to show off the tail a little better.  Okay,  what are you going to come up with?  I would want to add some color to this guy as well as the detail.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ninja Turtles

With the release of the new Ninja Turtles movie, I thought you might like a step by step for drawing the turtles.  This would work for any of the four, you just change the color of their mask once you decide to color your finished drawing.  So, here we go, step by step.....

1. Draw an oval.  Remember to make it light, you can darken the lines you want to keep once you are      finished.  When you add color over light lines, they will disappear.

2. Pump out the cheek area on each side of the oval by adding a curve on each side.

3. Near the top of the cheek curves, add an upside down curve in the middle for the nose.  Connect the curve to the cheeks with a horizontal line.

4.  Add some goofy cartoon eyes above the nose by making two half ovals with a half oval inside of each one for the iris and a dot inside of the iris.  Where you place the dots will matter; they show the direction your turtle is looking.  Mine is cross eyed!!!  Add curves above the eyes like eyebrows.

5. Connect the curved eyebrows with a short horizontal line and extend those lines to the outside of the turtles head.  This happen just above the bottom of the nose area as well.  Connect the horizontal lines with two curves to make the outside edges of the mask.

6.   In the area outside of the head and next to the mask, add a small "c" and "s" curves to create the tie of the mask.  Look closely at my illustration and copy what you see.  Lastly, add a big upwards curve for the mouth.  Create a smaller curve under the first one and add an upside down curve between the two to create the look of an open mouth with a tongue.  Don't forget the small curves on the outside areas of the mouth.

Finally......Color your Ninja Turtle in the colors of  your choice.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What can you make with that????

I've been thinking about toilet paper tubes a lot in the last couple of days.  I seem to throw a lot of them away, those and paper towel tubes.  There are a lot of projects on the Internet that suggest different ways to use them in art.  So, this post is a challenge for you.  Save your TP tubes and paper towel tubes and create something.  Let me see what your creativity can bring. You can cut them, paint them, glue them or a combination of things, just create!  Send me a photo of your finished work or bring it in to school and share it with everyone.  I can't wait to see what you will come up with!!!  I'll be making something as well to share with all of you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Organic Sculptures

A found sculpture
 During my recent trip to Maine, we discovered an out of the way area at the top of a very high mountain where you could see for 360 degrees around you.  It was a gorgeous view.  One of the interesting things about the site was all these little rock sculptures that people had assembled in the low ground cover along the parking area as well as in some of the clearings.  I wish I had taken more photos to share with you but here are a few.  Everywhere you looked were these small flat geometric rocks that could easily stack into towers.  We gathered a handful with little effort.
My sculpture

Our group sculpture

Wonder what you might find on your summer adventures that  you might could use to build a natural sculpture?  Check next time you are at the beach or hiking along the trails or even out in your backyard!!  Build you own sculpture and if you can, take a picture of it OR draw it.  I'd love for you to share what you make with me!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lets talk native species...

posing for the photo
Hello wonderful students.  We are about half way through our summer break.  I hope you have been doing a lot of interesting things and are enjoying your summer break.  I just returned from several days vacationing in Western Maine in the area of Rangeley, Maine.  It was beautiful with its tall mountains and evergreens  I had two quest for my vacation, I wanted to see a Loon and a Moose.  Both are native to that area of the Northeast and I was hoping my chances would be good to succeed in seeing them.  We saw our first moose enroute to the cabin in Maine.  We were driving along Hwy 17 in New Hampshire when one stepped out into the road in front of us.  I spotted it ahead and stopped the car in time to avoid hitting it but we were disappointed because it was too late in the evening and dark to get any pictures.  Later we learned that the multiple cars we'd seen pulled off on the shoulders of the roadway with flashlights shining into the trees should have been an indicator that moose were in the area.

 On the second day we were there, we decided we wanted to have lunch by the ocean.  We were on the western side of the state so this meant driving several hours to get to the coast.  We lunched on a peninsula north of Freeport Maine and enjoyed wonderful fresh seafood and views of the Atlantic.  While shopping in Freeport later in the day, we came across a small shop selling moose antlers.  They were not cheap but I immediately envision their use in the Art room and wanted one.  Due to the price, I did not buy them but in regretted that decision as I drove back the several hours to the cabin in Rangeley.  The antlers and photographing a moose remained on my mind.  `

Loon at sunset taken with iPhone
Meanwhile, we spent our time cruising on Rangeley Lake where we spotted two pair of Loons.  These are beautiful birds that are very unique in their markings.  One pair was quite mischievous and dove into the water every time the boat was close enough for us to snap a photo.  We later encounter one of the male Loon who agreed to be photographed.  Unfortunately, my camera battery had gone dead and the photos I took with my iPhone do not show you the magnificence of these birds.
You can learn more about the loon at this page from National Geographic.  You will also be able to view a picture of a loon up close on the page.
We also were able to view a bald eagle with binoculars while out on the lake.  It was magnificent.  We saw the male but there was also a female and babies in the area.
Near our cabin were a number of deer which we enjoyed watching with their babies in the early morning.   One morning I counted three female with five small babies.  We also observed wild turkey with their new flock of little ones.

Our trip was winding down and soon it was time to return home.  We were disappointed that we still had not spotted a moose although we were pleased with all our other sightings.  I also continued to regret that I had not purchased to moose antler to bring into art class.  As we headed down the highway leaving town, I spotted a crudely lettered sign, antlers for sale and quickly turned into the driveway.  I was thrilled to be able to purchased this wonderful moose antler that I will be sharing with you when we return to school.  Maybe you might try adding a drawing of it to your sketchbook this summer.  A simple contour drawing would be fine.  Remember, the contour is a continuous line that shows the outline of an object.  You could also try to add some shading to show value or some texture.  Study the photo closely to examine the texture of the antler.  There a scrapes and groves where he has been in battle with another moose or may have scraped the bark off of a tree.  These antlers are shed as the moose grow in size and the moose are not harmed to take the antlers.
Moose on the side of the road in New Hampshire.
Back in the car we continued on our way home resolving to the fact, we had not seen a moose.  Upon entering Hwy 17 in New Hampshire, I was stuck behind a very old and smelly diesel bus and determined to pass it.  As I picked up speed to pass the bus, I watched another truck ahead of me slow and pull to the side of the road.  It was a moose!!!  We finally had our moose sighting.  I slowed down, pulled to the side of the road and this moose cordially allowed us to photograph him multiple times.  He was within six feet of the open window of the car as he continued to munch grass and allow us our photo shoot.  This was the highlight of our trip home.  To learn more about native Moose, click the link to National Geographic.

So what have you done this summer?  What have you seen?  Pay attention and don't let the world around you slip by unnoticed.  I'm wishing you many exciting sightings!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Build and Draw

This weeks challenge for you is to have some fun with you Legos or other type blocks and create something truly interesting, creative, and original.  Done that?  Now pull out some paper and a pencil and draw what you've made.  Try drawing it from different side and different views.  For those of you who learned perspective toward the end of the year, think about really concentrating on the perspective.  Everyone else, remember, Lego and other type blocks are shapes!!!  We can all create shapes so draw the shape, add other shapes and before you know it you will have completed your Lego creation.  Think about the drawing in the same way as when you built it....block by block.  And YES, I definitely want to see it.  Save it and share it with me when schools starts back up.  Use your sketchbook for the drawing if you'd like. I'm off for my first vacation in about 6 years beginning tomorrow.  Hope you are having a great summer, too!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Check this out!!!

Elmers, the glue people, just published a craft guide for the summer.  Lots of fun ideas to do at home with your family.  Click this link to download your own copy.  This is just one of the many projects you will find on the site.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Let's make some art - Art Class Opportunities

I went down the the Berkshire Arts Festival today and discovered the Renaissance Arts Center in Great Barrington.  It is physically located in the Jenifer House Shops on Stockbridge Road.  They run a year round arts institute for all ages.    Week five of their summer institute begins tomorrow with classes in collage for ages 5-7, Digital Photography for ages 11-14 as well as 13-15, a class called "Turn Styles" for ages 8 -10 described as exploration into Pop Art, Impressionism, Abstract, and Graffiti Art.  This place offers wonderful opportunities for you to explore new forms of art expression.  If you are looking for something new for the summer, click the link above and check them out.  This is another option for art making in the Berkshires.  Don't forget to follow opportunities at the Berkshire Museum, MASS MOCA Kidspace, and IS183 as well.  Happy summer, happy art making!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Making Art with the Sun

Finally, a gorgeous sun shiny day after yesterdays downpours.  I am thinking about the sun.  Today might not be the best day for this type of project but tomorrow is suppose to be less windy and should be perfect.  I usually try to do this project in the Spring with 2nd grade classes but this year, it just didn't happen. Summer is a perfect time to create your own sun prints and this is a fun family activity.  Adult assistance important with younger students.

Here is all you will need:
1 pkg of sun print  of nature paper (find at the museum, science stores, or          online)
1 piece of plexi glass (optional)
1 piece of recycled cardboard
1 bucket or dishpan of water (anything similar will work)
newspaper or other moisture absorbing paper

Collect the items you want to print.  Anything from nature is great but you can also use found objects from around the house.  If it will fit on the paper, you can make a print.  Assemble your print outside of the direct sun.  Make a cardboard, print paper, print object(s), plexi sandwich.  Head to the sun and let the magic happen.  This is really a science project linked with art making. The sun causes a chemical reaction to occur with the coating on the paper.  Read about what is happening scientifically here.  The print time will vary depending on the amount of sun exposure.   If it's a bright sunny day, your print will be ready for the water in less than 5 minutes.  The longer it is immersed in the water the brighter your whites and the darker the blue of the print.  If it is overcast, expose to the sun for up to 20 minutes.  You will know it is ready for the water when the unexposed parts of the paper turn white.  I stated the plexi was optional because the edges won't be as sharp without the plexi to weigh things down and light will seep under the edges of your object.  You will understand this better when you look at the images in this post.  Check out this Sun Printing site for project activity ideas after your prints have dried.  After you take the prints out of the water, lay them out to dry on the newspaper or other absorbent paper.  This will draw any excess water from the paper and will avoid water marks on your print.
Lights and darks made by applying elements
at different times.  Lighter elements on paper longer
fuzzy edges, lengthy time in water
Water marks left during drying time 

layering at different times and fuzzy edges
due to not using plexi

Sunday, June 29, 2014

New Drawings from Rich Davis

Here is the Link!  Damien, I'm thinking you will love these!!!!

Feeling Calm

With less than a week since we officially started summer vacation, I can't say I've accomplished anything monumental.  I really have been keeping calm and just enjoying vacation.  As I chilled on the deck yesterday with a terrific book in the cool breeze, I occasionally found myself assessing the beauty of nature in my backyard.  A lot of people might not appreciate the way I manage my yard, it's a bit natural, but I think it is a bit of heaven.  There is one spot that I always especially love gazing over at.  The ground is covered in native ferns with a decaying fallen tree through the middle.  To me, it speak the splendor of nature.  My goal for the summer is to recreate that scene in some sort of artistic medium before we head back to school in a few weeks.  It might be a realistic watercolor painting or something totally abstract.  So, my challenge to you, my fabulous artistic students, find that space in your summer world that you especially love and find a way to recreate it, too.  We can all share what we have created when we come back to school in the fall.  Deal?  

I created my picture for the challenge...have you?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day, time for our first post (even though we have a month left of school)

I don't believe in rewriting something that already has everything covered SO...I'm just directing you to this terrific link on upcycling bottle caps to make refrigerator magnets.    Fun, fun, fun summer activity.  Someone make one for me and I promise to put it up when we return to school in August!  Here is the link.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Summer begins June 24th

Start watching here for special summer post to 
keep you active in the Arts 
this summer!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Step by step drawing with Rich Davis

I have been helping out a fellow blogger by introducing some drawing pages to my students through our daily 6 minute draw.   Many of you will be familiar with Rich Davis and especially his "Pick and Draw" game.  I've used the game with my classes, too and even with a clay unit.  Talk about fun!  Rich's step by steps have gotten so popular with some of my students that I promised to post the link to his website here so they can check it out during February Break.  So here it is Allendale students.  Just click here and you will go right to Rich's page.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Shout out to all my talented students!!!!

It's Doodle for Google contest time!!!  Follow the link for more information.  This is open to all students and results in college scholarships or grants for your school.  It would be amazing to see one of my Art Students win!!!!  This will not be an in the classroom project but instead an independent project.  You do need your parent's permission to participate.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Kidcartoonists Blog

Hey Everyone,

I was just contacted by this Blogger, Bob Webber, Jr. about his cartooning blog.  I thought you might find it to be a fun diversion.  Here is information from his blog.
Bob Weber, Jr. is the award-winning creator of Slylock Fox and Comics For Kids, one of the world’s most popular children’s activity comic strips. Distributed by King Features Syndicate to nearly 400 print and online newspapers, Slylock Fox and Comics For Kids entertains young readers worldwide with mystery puzzles, visual games, how-to-draw lessons, and informative fun facts. Bob visits schools and libraries, teaching and inspiring kids to create their own comics. Now Bob offers, a wonderful online gallery of cartoons drawn by kids from around the world!  He offers several step by step cartoon tutorials.  Have fun and draw a few!  I have a link on Art on my Hands that will take you straight to the blog.