Sunday, October 25, 2015

131-Portrait Busts Lesson Plan

This could be a self-portrait lesson or the students could make portraits of heroes or other people they admire.

Grades: 3 and Up

Time Frame: 2-3 art periods

Materials and Tools:
Session One: Self-hardening clay, water, clay tools (plastic cutlery, old pencils, sticks, etc.)
Session Two: Acrylic paint, water can, paper towels/sponges, brushes

Images of famous portrait busts of Roman emperors, Presidents, etc.

Talk about how these sculptures were used to glorify and celebrate the various people depicted.

portrait, self-portrait, bust, sculpture, three-dimensional, texture

NYS Standards:

Session One: After showing students images of portrait busts and discussing them, demonstrate how to make a simple knob on top of a ball shape and bang down on table to flatten bottom. Create a chin. Poke in two holes for eye sockets and pinch out a nose and lips. Draw eyes and eyebrows. Use tip of pencil to make nostrils. Sculpt/Draw hair or add on, depending on hairstyle. Add clothing and jewelry, etc.

Session Two: Demonstrate painting techniques--especially how to mix skin color. Emphasize details--hair can be more than one color (highlights); clothes can have logos or patterns, etc.

Closure/Reflection: Share the work. Make sure the students talk about and/or write about the finished products and display.

Follow-Up: Have students do a project of their friends, or people they admire, etc.

Special Needs: Gifted--Have students make a second portrait bust of them when they are older and in a career.
Learning Disabled--Break the project down into steps--form clay, make eye sockets, draw features.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

130--Lesson Plans for Clay

Ages 5 and Up

Aims: To explore clay and realize its possibilities
To learn basic construction techniques
To learn how to teach clay to children

Vocabulary: three-dimensional
for older students: vessel

Day One Materials: self-hardening clay (no kiln necessary)
clay tools (plastic cutlery, sticks, pencils, etc.)
World's best art tools (hands!)
Day Two: Paint (acrylic or tempera)
water can
optional for tempera (acrylic varnish)

Procedure: Show your students how to make basic shapes (balls, pancakes & snakes).
Next, demonstrate how to make a PINCH POT. The clay should be moist but not gooey. Make a ball and put it on your thumb. Then put the other four fingers together to make a paddle and show them how to "Press and turn and press and turn and press and...etc." The opening gets bigger because the clay has nowhere else to go. When the pot reaches the shape they want lightly bang it on the table to flatten the bottom. The decoration can take many forms from patterns made with a fingernail to drawing to pressing many textures into the moist clay. Let dry. In the next class, students paint the clay. Sometimes it is best to paint a coat of white on first. When finished, a layer of varnish seals the surface and looks great. No eating or drinking out of these pots, by the way!

Another clay project is making a COIL POT. Students make snakes, also called coils (as above) and form vessels by coiling one level on top of another. To secure the coil, it is best to scratch, wet and stick both pieces they are attaching. I tell students to think of velcro. Clay will shrink when it dries, which is why attachments don't hold if they aren't done well. The surface of the coils may be smoothed out if students wish. Again, paint and varnish the pots.

Another construction technique is what I call PULLING OUT A FIGURE. This could be an animal or human. This method keeps the main shape intact so it doesn't fall apart. Students make a potato shape and simply coax out a head and four legs from it. A tail can also be pulled out. The figure can then be made to stand or not, as the case may be. They can cut open a mouth, pull out ears, scales, etc. Legs, by the way, should be a bit chunky, since otherwise it's hard to hold up the body. When dry, paint and varnish.

There are many other construction techniques such as SLAB construction (rolling out sheets and cutting into them to make tiles or thin slabs which can be used for boxes or cylinders).

Reflection: As always, share the work and talk about it in a positive way. Displaying sculpture in a case is a wonderful idea, if you have one in your school. Be sure to write a description of the assignment to accompany the exhibit.

Friday, October 23, 2015

131 Transfer Print Lesson Plan

Transfer Prints—Grades 3 to Adult
This printmaking process is suitable for many ages from elementary to adult. Obviously, if working with younger students, you will have to control the set up and clean up differently than with older students.
• To explore the transfer process
• To look at examples of work done in this process by artists such as Paul Klee
• To create individual works that express personal meaning or are a response to a given theme such as consumerism, family, night, etc.
Materials/Tools: Plexiglas plate, water soluble black ink, soft brayer, white paper, magazine illustrations, sketches, picture library pictures, old phone book or newspaper for clean printing
Vocabulary: print, backwards print, brayer, monoprint/monotype
Procedure: After showing students examples of transfer prints and discussing how this is a backwards process, demonstrate how to make them. Put out a line of ink on the plate and work it to make a smooth inked surface. Do not put out too much ink or you’ll get a black, blobby print. (Be prepared to have to make a few of these before you get the hang of them.) You may want to blot with a phone book page first.
Method One: Free draw—Lay paper down on inked plate and use a pencil to draw image on back of paper. Be careful not to lay the side of your hand on the paper, unless you want those dark areas to appear.
Method Two: Wipe—After rolling on the layer of ink, wipe areas off, using a soft rag, paper towels, Q-tips, scrapers, etc. Lay the paper down and rub to print.
Method Three—After inking the plate, lay down your paper and put a photo or image on top. Trace the image, being careful not to move the image. You will get a very interesting line drawing of your image.
Reink the plate (lightly), and make more.
Reflection/Follow-up: Share the work. Perhaps you can make a class quilt with one work by each student being put together in rows.
Variations: You can have students tear unsuccessful prints and create collages. Try printing on cloth. Try printing on other prints or combining processes. Try using color.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

271-Styrofoam Printmaking Lesson Plan

This is easier than you might think. Kids love making prints.

Aims: To make a multiple
To learn the process of styrofoam printing

Materials & Tools:
styrofoam meat trays (Sometimes you may get them for free at the grocery store if you ask nicely but they’re also available in art catalogs)
water soluble printmaking ink
xerox paper or fadeless
inking tray

As in other lessons, choose your theme. This could be a group project if you wish.
Let’s assume you’re doing a project on “Women in History.” Each student would research a woman and draw a practice line drawing of her. Next the student will draw the image again on the styrofoam plate with a pencil. This is a backwards process, so avoid words or numbers.
Tell the students that they are going to try to “trick the ink” so they have to make the lines deep enough. Be sure to trim the edges carefully so the raised edges won’t print funny.
When ready to print, have the ink set up on a table with plenty of newspaper or a phone book to keep things clean. Put some ink on a try, toothpaste-style, Use the brayer to make an square going back and forth creating “kissing” sounds. If it looks like icing and is slippery, you have too much ink on your tray.
I show students how to print and then let them line up to use the color they want. Usually I’ll have 3-4 printing tables, each with a different color. Student put their names on the paper first before getting on line. (They should try several different colors of paper for variety.) Ink color should not be changed until the plate is completely dry, or you’ll get a blurry, messy print.
Ink the plate smoothly and evenly, being sure to get the corners of the plate. Change the paper underneath after inking, so print will be clean. Lay the paper on the plate and rub with the flat of your hand. Do not scratch, as that will print. Lift up and pull off. If you rub too long the plate will start to dry and it will be hard to remove the paper, so work quickly.
Put print on rack or hang to dry and repeat the process. When done with all the prints you can trim the edges and glue onto larger paper. Decorate the border, if you wish.

Variations: You can have each student make enough prints for everyone and then make a portfolio or book for each member of your class. Another idea is to make a paper quilt and glue into a large piece. Another idea is to cut your plate into a shape--say a fish--to make a group project on a large piece of paper. (For this you have to put your plate on top of the paper, so it’s harder to rub.)

Share with your students and display.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


130--Use the time you have to make as many of the figures and objects you are going to have pop-out or slide ahead of time. Don't forget the Homework, either.. (two pages with a cut-out of some sort in your Sketchbook/Journal.

131--Homework is to use the envelope I provided to create a page in your Sketchbook/Journal. Glue/Collage/Rip apart, etc. You can seal something inside or not. What kind of project could you come up with for your students that would use an envelope (and maybe also employ literacy)?

Monday, October 5, 2015

130--Pop-Up Books (Grades 4 & Up; younger with help)

This is a wonderful project that bridges art and writing. It could also have an integrative aspect (science, math, social studies, etc.)

Several sheets Oak tag or Bristol board to be folded in half & used for figures
2 pieces of heavy chipboard, a little bigger than your book
Drawing paper to make covers with
Pencil, eraser
Practice paper
Elmer’s Glue
Sharpie Markers
Watercolor Brush
Water Can
Colored Pencils
Note: Do not use pastels or craypas, as they will smear.

Begin by planning your book. Decide how many pages you want it to have and how many moveable characters you will need. Most likely, your book will be horizontal in format, so plan accordingly.
Your story can be worked out on scratch paper. Students may use word processing and cut out their printed copy and glue it to the bottom of their books after the illustrations are done.
The top half of the book will be background for an outside scene or the wall for an inside one. The bottom half will be for the story and is the ground or floor. Your pop-ups will come out of folded area.
Once you have your story, fold your oak tag in half and draw your scene lightly in pencil. Outline in sharpie and watercolor in. Colored pencils can be used later, if you wish. Mixed media can add a rich look to your art work.
On separate oak tag, make your characters. When dry, cut out.
Book Assembly: Pop-ups are based on the idea that everything will fold flat along scored lines when the page is closed.
First draw an “11” on the outside of the fold. Make sure your pop-up will not extend outside of your book by visually measuring first. The “11” can’t be too thin or too thick, too long or too short. As you do this, you will get the hang of what size to make your “11”. Fold back and forth to score and put back into position. Open the fold and push out your “11” which now becomes a stair step. Your pop-up will get glued onto the front of the stair step—not the top!
For a slider, make the “11” and then cut a long strip twice the length of the slider you want. Slide it through your “11” and then glue it to itself at one end. Then glue the character or thing on the outside of the strip.
You also may use z-strips—small strips folded like zees that pop out things like clouds, birds, etc.
Advanced pop-up techniques include angled folds and pop-ups attached to pop-ups. There are many books to refer to if you want to get more sophisticated.
Glue your pages together, being mindful not to slop glue too near the open holes formed by the “11’s”.
Cover: The cover uses the “envelope” technique I showed you for your accordion books. You need to create a spine for your book which will vary depending on how many pages you have. Lay your cardboards our on your cover paper with a space between them that will become the spine. It may be as close as a quarter of an inch or as far apart as three-quarters of an inch. Trace the cardboard and remove. The cardboards, remember, are a bit bigger than the book pages (Maybe ¼” or so on each side). Draw envelope flaps from the exact corners. Angle in, not out! The spine area is just made straight. The lines are only drawn on an angle from the corners. Put the cardboard back on the tracing and fold the flaps tightly over the cardboard and tape down. Do this all eight times.
Draw your cover, sharpie and watercolor. Put your title on the cover and your name, too. It should have a compelling illustration to make us want to open it.
The last step is gluing the end book pages to the cover. Glue around the edges, and your book is finished.

Share the books as usual. Books may be displayed in the library or classroom.
Follow-up or Variations:
Students can make pop-up cards using this technique. Simple one page pop-up pictures can be done by kindergartners. If you want to display on a bulletin board, tie a piece of yarn or string on the oak tag to hold the fold open.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

131-Oil Pastel Still Life Collage Lesson Plan

Vegetable Still Life Lesson Plan-272
This is a great way to begin teaching observational drawing to elementary children.

Grades: 4 & up

Time Period: 2 art periods

To teach observational drawing
To explore the use of oil pastels and blending
To use collage to create a “real-looking” composition

Examples of still lives from art history, the vegetables

Materials & Tools:
Real vegetables from supermarket (pumpkins, gourds, onions, heads of cabbage (with leaves folded over), artichokes, eggplant, carrots (with leaves on), etc.
Oil pastels
Construction paper—2-3 sheets per student
Elmer’s glue (not School Glue)

Still life, overlapping, collage, edge, foreground, background

1 & 2 (3 & 4, if you choose to add historical piece and talking piece)

You may want to start the lesson by showing examples of painted and drawn still lives. Dutch still lives might be especially appropriate. Use the vocabulary above, if possible. Ask students to tell you about what they see in the images.

Explain that you are going to have them use oil pastels in a painterly way and show them how you can blend layers of the oil pastels to create rich colors. I give them colored construction paper and admonish the students to cover all the paper with pigment. Using “magic white” can make the colors “pop.” Oil pastels will get dirty-looking after kicking around in containers for awhile, but they can be rehabilitated easily by peeling and exposing the clean insides. Encourage recycling and using the small pieces until they disappear.

Explain that they are going to observe the vegetables, one at a time and draw them on the paper, close to one another. They should try to make them look real, but they don’t have to worry about the composition, since they will cut out only the ones they like. This is a great way to give students confidence and if they do make a mistake, they can just move on.

Once the students have drawn at least four or five objects, have them make a background. I encourage having them make a table line and a background wall. They sometimes will want to make a large plate on the table. I also encourage the use of pattern as tablecloths and wallpaper. Again, the colored paper must be covered with the oil pastels.

The objects are then cut out and arranged on the background. Have the students try various combinations. They may find they want to draw a couple more objects or eliminate a couple.

Using Elmer’s glue (not School Glue, which is too weak) and a glue brush, use the phonebook/magazine method to liberally glue around the edges of each shape. Because the surface will be waxy, you need to use a lot of glue.

As always, you want to share and talk about the work when the project is finished.

You may want to substitute fruit or else other objects for your students to draw.