Monday, April 21, 2014

Collagraph Fish Printing

 

A favorite project of mine, that I look forward to each year, is this fabulous collagraph fish print.

I have broken this down into a 3 day unit.

Day One is learning about printmaking and how to build a collagraph. Kids often have trouble understanding how to build up the layers so I talk very slowly. We practice sketching a fish in our Idea Books and then draw the outline of a fish on cardstock or cereal boxes. We cut it out and glue it to our “printing plate”…aka cereal box.

Day Two is all about building up details and layers. I demonstrate starting large, then adding a medium shape and finally the smallest shape. I usually get my paper edger scissors out along with hole punchers to make the day a little more exciting.

Day Three is printing day! I can print 4 people at a time and they each make two prints. While the kids are waiting to print, they create an underwater picture…I tried an underwater collage today which didn’t turn out very well…so tomorrow I’m switching it to a sharpie drawing that is colored in with crayons. We’ll see how those turn out!

 

Here’s my printing station in action….

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Photos of prints coming soon….

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Picasso Portraits by 2nd Grade

Maybe I have great 2nd grade artists, maybe they are naturally talented, maybe they have been under my instruction for 3 years…I don’t know…but it’s a glorious whirlwind of talent with this group of kiddos.

 

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Trash Trucks 2014

 

Each year, I’m proud to say, we participate in a poster contest to raise awareness for recycling, reducing and reusing. This is part of the Nashville Beautification Project in association with Red River Waste Collection trucks. I select two artists’ poster designs to submit for the contest. This year, James and Isabel’s art was chosen and they are honored to have their work seen by over 9,000 Nashvillians daily.

On Monday, we had the visit from the trucks and I request that the students wear green or blue shirts to support “going green”. This year’s theme was Earth Day Every Day…

We got some classic photos this year…

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All this chaos happened during my 3rd grade hour, and with 30 minutes left of art class, I decided to have the kids create a group poster project promoting recycling, reducing or reusing. They worked really well together and made some neat posters.

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I made them present their poster as a team for one minute.

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Overall, a successful hour of Earth Day Every Day thoughts!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Underwater Unit with 1st Grade

After reflecting on this unit, I have concluded that it is very enriching.

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There are several ways to do this project….which is something I’ve been experimenting with for the past 5 years. Since I’ve been teaching, I have always taught some kind of underwater themed project. This year with the first graders I have even been experimenting within the grade level. Some classes tried a ‘salt painting’ technique with tempera paints which was subtle but still interesting for the background. Others used tempera paints to mix cool colors…which turned out to be my favorite.

We also dabbled in GYOTAKU, the ancient Japanese art of printing fish. Gyo meaning fish and taku meaning impression or rubbing. (Keyword: rubbing…that works best.)

Day One:

Painting the background with cool colors.

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Here you see some of the salt painting in action. They used a lot of salt! It was messy.

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I prefer the plate of tempera paint for this background….I used white, green, blue and purple.

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Day Two:

Creating like Matisse…drawing with scissors to collage seaweed and coral reefs into the middleground.

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Day Two or Three:  Gyotaku

This year I finally bought those rubber fish for Gyotaku! I have really enjoyed this process and found the best way for me…

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Here’s how I set up my “Gyotaku Table”…whoever sits here just merged into other tables for the class period….luckily I had enough space to do that.

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The first day I experimented with black tempera paint (cause I was afraid of the mess..) and let the kids pick the fish up to print it onto their paper. That was really really messy.

The next class I tried this with, we used brayers with black printmaking ink. We pressed and rubbed our paper into the fish…this was much better. I realize this is the ‘correct’ way to do it, but I had to at least try the other way. Their prints still turned out okay, but the detail was way better with the ink.

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“Pirana”