Wednesday, May 27, 2015

OZ Run 2015

Me in my cyclone costume
I tackled another race this weekend.  This one was at Chippewa Falls, WI.  I ran this race last year with my sister-n-law because it is a Wizard of Oz themed race and she is a huge fan.  Some of you who follow my blog may recall that I was the Tin woMAN and made my costume out of duct tape last year. Oz Run 2014 As a group we won first place for our costumes.

The pressure was on to come up with a better idea so we could take home first again this year.  After some brainstorming we came up with the idea of being the Cyclone, Dorthy, Glinda, and the Bad Witch. Since I suggested the Cyclone it became my costume project.
Group Shot
After a few failed attempts with clear packing tape and saran wrap, I stumbled across the idea of using pool noodles and tulle from the fabric store.  Once my frame was built the madness began of duct taping, hot gluing and wrapping yards and yards of fabric.
Another shot of the Cyclone masterpiece.
Our costumes were once again a huge hit.  I imagine this is the closes we will ever get to knowing what it might be like to walk the red carpet.  People were coming up to us left and right to take our picture and ask about our costumes.  It was a pretty cool and a very surreal feeling.

We all ran this 5K race as a group and finished it together with a time of 42 minutes.  It was fantastic day filled with lots of laughter and pride.

We did win first place for our costumes which makes us already start thinking, "How can we possibly top this year?"  Ideas and suggestions are welcome!

A few more fun photos I just wanted to share:

Me taking down the Bad Witch.

A fun shot of me chasing Dorthy.

Our Witch stretching before the race.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tinga Tinga Masks

Fourth Grade Art Lesson
7 Class Periods

Ting Tinga Masks, Fourth Grade Art Lesson

History of Masks:
A mask is an object normally worn on the face for protection, disguise, performance and entertainment.  Masks have been around for a very long time, the oldest dates to 7000 BC. Masks have been created by many cultures (Egyptian, Greek, African, Native American, Asian, etc.) and have been used for many purposes.  Masks can be made from numerous materials such as wood, clay, metal, and paper.

Tinga Tinga Tales are African folk tales that discuss the origins of animals.

Day 1:
  • Students viewed a short video on a Tinga Tinga Tale to help better explain the concept of creating a story that would go along with their mask creation.

  • Students used the rest of the hour to brainstorm ideas for their masks. Students had to know by the end of the class period what kind of animal they were going to create and to think of a Tinga Tinga Tale that may relate to their animal.
Brainstorming worksheet.

Day 2:
  • Students were given a demonstration on how to use rigid wrap and how to cover the plastic face molds depending on if they were doing a half or full masks.  (This project can actually be done on the face of the student by working with partners, but due to fact I only see students once a week, I found this to be a faster way that everyone can work at the same time.  Saves one whole day!)
Rigid wrapping the mask.
  • Students needed to have three layers of rigid wrap placed on their plastic molds. Time management is important for this lesson. Ten minutes are needed for rigid wrap to harden so it can be removed from the mold.
  • At the end of the hour students remove the mask from the mold and label the inside with their name using a pencil.
Day 3:
  • Features are discussed on this day.  Are their pieces that pop off the mask?  Does it have ears or horns? 
  • Students learn tricks on how to add features using cardboard and newspaper.
  • Features were constructed and taped to masks.
  • Students used extra class time to continue working on writing their Tinga Tinga Tale for their mask.
Day 4:
  • Students place rigid wrap over all the features added the class period before. 
  • It was stressed that no cardboard, newspaper or tape show on the finished mask.
Day 5:
  • Students painted their mask a base color.  This color is the main color of the mask, it also tends to be the lightest color if having to choose between two or three colors that seemed to be used in the same amount.
  • Masks were set aside to dry.
Day 6:
  • Student used this class period to paint the details and additional colors needed for their mask.
  • A class supply list was created to see what materials were needed for the last class period (glitter, feathers, beads, ribbons, etc.)

Day 7:
  • Student used this class period to add the materials they requested for hot gluing (feathers, beads, etc.)
Hot gluing materials.
  • Students also took the time to rewrite their stories on final composition paper.
Writing story on final paper.

Examples of student work:
(under some of the examples is the Tinga Tinga Tale the student wrote about their mask)
How the Horse Got a Muzzle by Sydney
Once upon a time there was a horse named Star.  She wondered what her friends in her new school would think of her.  So she went on a walk one day.  Star was running and running and suddenly ran into a tree.  From that point on every horse in the world had a muzzle or to star a bruise.

How the Zebra Got It's Stripes by Gretta
Once there was a zebra and she was the only zebra with no stripes.  Her skin was all black and she was sad.
One day on a hot summer day she went swimming for the very first time.  After swimming she had her stripes!  She was so happy.  Now everyone wanted to play with her.

Why Owl Has Big Eyes by Leah
One day owl was flying by the forest when she saw a worm in an old hollow tree.
It was night so owl didn't see the lion cub in the tree.  Not knowing the owl went into the tree to get the worm.  When she got there owl got stuck in the tree!  Lion cub scratched her eyes so much that they were huge!  When owl got out of the tree she could see everything!  That is why owl have big eyes.
How the Monkey Got His Dots by Maya
One day while the monkey was painting a picture, he heard a boom from outside.  It scared the monkey and the paint went all over the monkey.  He tried to wash it off and it didn't work.  He went over to his friend, the dog and he said "The paint will not get off."  The dog said, "Well I think it looks cool you should leave it on."  So that is how the monkey got his dots.

How Tiger Got His Stripes by Dillon
One day tiger was out for a walk.  A bird was flying over head.  The bird had a can of black paint and spilled it all over the tiger giving him stripes.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Inspirational Collage

Our last Middle School Art Club meeting took place May 14th. Our project was an inspiration collage. It has been an amazing year. Thank you to all that attended and created in our monthly meetings.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Watercolor Dragons

Fifth Grade Art
6 to 7
Class Periods

Day 1
This is one of my favorite lessons that I do with my middle school students.  On day one of this lesson we go over a small booklet that I made for the students on the different types of dragons. Students are fascinated to learn about all the different types of dragons.

Dragon Types
Western Dragons: The Western Dragon has a thick, long body.  It has scaly skin, four strong legs and two bat-like wings.  It has a very long neck and a wedge shaped head.  There tails can be spiked or have a spade on the tip of it.  This type of dragon is fire breathing.  Some of these types of dragons have been known to change shapes or have the power to change their color to match their environment like a chameleon.  
Eastern Dragons:  Eastern Dragons are known as being good, kind and intelligent.  They have a snake-like body, four legs and do not breath fire or have wings.  Most of the time, they are shown to have a lion-type mane around its neck, on its chin and on each elbow.  They have two antler type horns on top of their head and two long "feeler" whiskers spreading out from their snout.  Eastern Dragons can be blue, black, white, red or yellow.  They are usually drawn with a pearl in their mouth, under their chin or in their claws.  The pearl is the dragon's power source.
Faerie Dragons:  Faerie Dragons are very small, can be any color with large eyes and large butterfly wings.  These dragons are vegetarians are the rarest of all dragons.  In legend they are known to carry faeries from city to city.
Hydra:  A Hydra is a dragon that has multiple neck and heads (usually 6 to 9).  They may or may not have wings or legs.
Sea Serpent:  The Sea Serpent is a dragon that lives in fresh or salt water.  The most famous sea serpent is "Nessie" the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland.

Day 2
Students are given a piece of 12 x 18 inch piece of watercolor paper.  Using a ruler, students created a border around their composition.

Next, I provided students tips with how to begin their dragon drawing.  I recommended for students to being with a lightly drawn "S" shape.  As students began to draw, I informed them that part of their dragon or an object that is drawn in their background must go into the border of the composition.

Day 3
Students continue to work on drawing their dragon and background details.  We discuss implied textures on this day and through demonstration give students ideas on how to draw texture in their composition.  I require that each student draw at least one implied texture to their drawing.  Some examples that I share with the students are scales on the dragon, brickwork on a castle, or patterns within the border.  When all the pencil drawing is in place, we outline with a sharpie marker.

Day 4
During this class period, I teach students several watercolor techniques.  I demonstrate the following resist methods: saran wrap, rice, salt and crayon.  I also demonstrate how to create an opaque or transparent look with the watercolor paint.  The final technique I teach students is the blot method. As I demonstrate each method, I give students ideas on how they can use the method in their painting.  Blot technique can be used to create clouds or smoke from the dragon's nostrils.  Crayon resist is wonderful for keeping toe nails, teeth and eyes white.  Saran wrap makes a beautiful water effect.  The list goes on and on.  The rest of the class period is used for practicing the techniques.

Day 5, 6 & 7
The last days of the lesson are used for painting.  Students are taught to work from the background to the foreground.  Tips are given on how to watch out for colors bleeding together.  Proper brush size is addressed.  Students are required to use at least three watercolor techniques in their painting.  Once the painting is completed and the paint is dry, students go over any areas with sharpie marker that may have gotten lost in the painting process.
Painting the dragon.
Examples of Student Work

Friday, May 8, 2015

Laurel Burch Cats

Third Grade Art
4 Class Periods

*  This is a new spin on an old lesson.  To see the older lesson click here: Burch Cats
Laurel Burch Cats, Third Grade Art Lesson

About the Artist:
Laurel Burch was born December 31, 1945 in San Fernando Valley, CA.  She supported herself by being a nanny. During her free time she would visit the junk yards and take any scrap metal she could find.  She created necklaces and earrings from the metal that she found.  It was her jewelry creations that gave her start in the art world. 

Soon she found herself painting flowers, mythical animals and cats (which she is most famous for) as well as creating jewelry.

By the 1990's she licensed her designs to dozens of companies worldwide.  Today you can find her jewelry and art prints everywhere!  Her designs are printed on sweatshirts, pillows, bags, notebooks, wrapping paper and so much more!  Just keep your eyes open. You never know where you might find a Laurel Burch creation.

The artist died September 13, 2007 due to a complication from a painful bone disease (ostepetrosis) she struggled with her whole life.  Although she had many hardships with the disease she spent most of her life upbeat, positive and overall thankful that she had greatest job in the whole wide world, being an artist.  She was only 61 years old when she passed. 

Day 1:
1.  As a class we discussed the life and artwork of Laurel Burch.
2.  Together, students drew a Laurel Burch cat through follow along demonstration.  As students drew we discussed the characteristics of a Laurel Burch cat:  eyebrow/nose swoop (continuous line), patterns and designs, bold bright colors and gold paint details.

Day 2:
1.  Students used this class period to place a design/pattern with each cat in the composition.  
2.  Pieces were then outlined with a sharpie marker.

Day 3:
1.  Using tempera paint and a sponge, students sponge painted the background of the composition.
Sponge painting the background.

2.  Watercolor pencils were used to color the cats.  
Coloring with watercolor pencils.
Day 4:
1.  Students that needed to finish coloring their cats with watercolor pencils did so.
2.  Water was then painted over the pencil to create the watercolor appearance.
3.  Students were given a choice of highlighting areas of the composition with gold or silver paint.
Using paint to add gold details.

Student Examples: