Showing posts with label art project ideas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art project ideas. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Literature Activity for kids-and what we did

So with all the books we read for our studies (we are mostly CM in style, literature based kinda homeschooling folks) the boy and I can get rather bored with just a narration or some kind of book report.  It's fun to add in a project that takes the student deeper into planning and executing an idea based around one moment in the story.

Now many may know this as a diorama if it is 3D-ish, but since we were pressed for time-we chose to do a 1D-ish flatorama.  LOL

Here is the low down for creating one:
I know this is pretty basic, but ya know-
some folks may have forgotten about this sorta activity-
I know I totally did.

**The child will need to read or have a book read to them.
**They will then ponder what moment in the book really captured their attention.
**They will then draw, find/print, or collect toys/figurines/animals [with these they would be creating a 3D version] that could represent the characters in the story.
**Once those goodies are gathered, they will need to paint, draw or (as in our case) use paper to cover the background on the poster board or foam board. FYI: we used a variety of scrapbook and construction paper to create the background, the images we found via the internet.
**After that is set, adding in the details (of their choosing) will finish off the main project.

The second part is where they will need to print up a quick (this is not to be a book in of itself!) ditty on what is happening and why they chose it.

We added a book cover picture at the beginning of his description, to help pull this together. The two go side by side or with the story description below the picture.  And there you go-a nice way to shake up and stir away the boredom while engaging the student. Plus, with the 1D version, less space is taken up with the project.

My boy's story board:

 Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard

Now, mind you-my son is all manly-man and chose what may be kind of shocking to a few of you [esp. if you are blessed with princesses and not princes] but it was totally not a surprise to me.  In fact, I thought he was going to chose the moment Old Majesty pounced the three dogs. Seriously. Being a chick-I probably would have chosen a moment like when Danny was at the dog show or when the dad thought Danny was having a girl come to stay with them-which was a funny scene. But no. The animal vs animal throw down was his choice.  When reading this part, I did get all teary and totally angry at that mean ole bear when he wiped Asa out.  I was fond of that dolt of a mule. Anyway, I love when a book can provoke emotions. Which is why we seek out and prefer "living books" for our literature choices.

This moment (bear vs mule) was actually a turning point in the story so I was impressed that he chose it. We worked as a team here and there. Since he is my only student, I wanted him to have the collaboration experience as a part of this project.

To add in some artist interest and to make the grass scrapbook paper not look so darn huge-we chose to go the Eric Carle-esc way [OK so he used paint and such but same type of look] and tear and paste to create a collage look.  I am pretty pleased with the results.  He had fun and now we have this moment from Big Red plastered on our classroom wall.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Monet Art Projects: Birch Tree Watercolor and Lily Pond Painting

I chose two different methods to emulate Monet-like art projects for my son. I scoured Pinterest and just Googled "Monet art projects for kids" first, then thumbed through the Monet and the Impressionists for Kids book (linked to my Amazon Affiliate program) I borrowed from our library. My son decided on these two activities:

  Project 1:
(instructions link)

Large sheet of good paper (I chose to use the glossy
 paper I had on hand), brushes, watercolors, 
water/cup, masking tape, salt
 and directions found on Deep Space Sparkle's website. 
Click link above.

My son's final art piece.  He worked very hard to create a curved trunk on the right tree.  Getting the shadow was a bit tricky but I think it came out pretty nice.  He chose to not add a lot of detail except the river at the bottom [other examples show fences/more trees].
BTW: it's definitely more vibrant in person, the pic doesn't do it justice.

Project 2:
The instructor moves very quickly.  We just stopped 
when needed to allow for my son to catch up 
before moving along.

Go to the YouTube video and watch it first.  
It is short enough to view a
 few times before starting the project.
Then get prepped and paint away!

This is my Michaels haul score!  I got the canvases for 70% off!  
Big time savings!
We'll use those for other projects-just had to share!  
I used coupons for the paint and the brushes.  I got those for 40% off.

Anyhoo-we needed the acrylic paint set since most in the kit were old and dried up.

I had purchased this art case, many moons ago, for my daughter.
It was available during the holiday season.  I am not sure if you can
still find it but if you do-it's worth the $ (use a coupon).  You could
certainly just buy a small canvas and easel to do this.
The little stand is such a cute way to showcase artwork!

Computer, [access to] YouTube, canvas, 
acrylic paints, brushes, paint palette, newspapers,
water, and paper towel to wipe off paint-if need be.

I had my son put newspaper down to protect our table. 
I forgot with the first project and spent a lot of time removing
paint-even though it was just watercolors!

Our boy's final masterpiece!
A little funny for ya:  I sent a text of this pic to my hubby to show him what the boy had done (he was out of town); so he thought it was a fairly large canvas. Nope-it's actually 5 3/4" X 8".  So when he came home the next day, he was shocked and had a good laugh when he saw how small it really was. It's all about perception!  Well that, and not having jet lag to skew things.  LOL

Oh and Cleo just had to take a look see and
critique things whilst my son was painting.  
This is her "What is all this about?" look!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Artist Study: Charlotte Mason Style

If you are unsure of how to do an artist study or just need some other ideas to add to your repertoire,  hopefully this post can help you out.

I really love how Charlotte Mason incorporated the study of famous artists into the children's education.  The nice thing is that one does not have to go into some super, in depth investigation in order to learn about them.  Basically, you give it about 6 weeks of coverage.  That is all.  Folks have different ideas of how to go about it, but following the basic CM way-you do a brief intro to the artist (life/style/time frame), then have the student choose 6 pictures to study.  They will then narrate to you what they remember about the painting, along with stating it's title and when it was made.  Not too difficult.

How we study an artist:

I get a boat load of books via the library and pull what I have from my shelves/supplies. After reading a few of the more informative books on the life of the artist, I then have the student fill out a notebook page noting general life info, what their favorite media/techniques were and then have them add 3 little pics of different pieces to the page. When completes, we file that into our Artist study notebook.

During that time, the student will have already selected 6 prints to focus on.  Their task is to really look at it.  Study it and note any details they find. Also, they have to learn it's title and when it was made. Each week, they do one print. Of course, if they want to do more, they can. They will simply come to me at the end of the week and tell me everything they can recall about the painting (I will have the print in front of me to confirm the existence of said details) then place the print on a wall somewhere in our classroom. 
We also try to do an art project that reflects one of their well-known or more commonly recognized styles. Thankfully, I won (via a blog giveaway) a whole set of art projects from See the Light that we are currently using.  I also have the Spears Art Studio CD series with several different art project ideas that we can do as well. Usually I can find a craft/art project book (check your library first) that pertains to the artist  which I can pull an idea from, if the project sets do not have something that will work.  And for heaven's sake what would I do without Pinterest? Yes, I get oodles of ideas from there too.  If the project is small enough to fit the page protector pocket, that too will go into the Artist Ntbk when the study is over-otherwise, we proudly display it until we move to our next artist. 

So where do I find the pictures for the study? I mainly use the library because they usually have some big artist books to choose from. Helpful tip here: be sure to go thru it first and see how much nudity is in it. Some are more child friendly than others. I also go to sites like Amazon to find stickers, coloring books, and calendars highlighting the artist of study.  There are also some nice online sites too. Usually I go to Olga's gallery to print the wee little pics we place on our notebook pages, and Wikipedia for a pic of the artist.

In a perfect world, I would do two artists a semester.  But life happens.  So usually I do two per year. Which for us is actually perfect.  I try to choose folks that coincide with the era of history we are studying but that doesn't always work out.  Since I have that DVD set, we are simply going to study the artists she focuses on. I have done quite a few of these studies-so I can pull together a unit fairly quickly without much effort-even without having a base to start with, like the DVDs. There are plenty of dudes and dudettes out there to ponder so finding one or two to match what history we are covering isn't too difficult. Of course, as you go further back in time-it's a bit more challenging to find artists/material, but I know I do not have to have them correspond to do this. The kids (OK so I am down to one 'kid now) will eventually come to that time and place in their/his studies and it will just be one of those, "Oh yeah!  I remember him/her." moments of recollection. Studying even just a few here and there [some years we simply didn't do so swell covering artists] has proven to be beneficial.  I cannot even count the amount of times we will see a pic or ad that is from one the artists we explored, and my children will go, "Hey that's a ...." One of those 'ah yes' smiles will cross my face then. It's all good really, it truly is.

Anyhoo-for detailed posts on a particular artist, go to the artist tab at the top and click it.  I have a run down of the ones we have covered so far. It highlights what we used for the study, including supplies books and ideas.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Australian Art Project: Aboriginal Painting

To wrap up our study of Australia-we decided to do an Aboriginal painting using the dot technique.
This can easily be done on paper too, but I had a canvas frame sitting on the shelf and decided to use it.  I also bought marker paint pens thinking it would be easy and create a nice look. After seeing the inconsistency of it-I would have my student use a Q-tip or pencil end to create the dots instead.  It worked OK but I think the other tools would have helped him retain a more unilateral look. I helped with the painting of the non-dot areas (per his request) by simply putting some of the paint from the pen into a tray then applied it with a paint brush.

Regardless of the different ways to achieve it, he had fun and that was the overall goal.

Aboriginal Art Project: 

 Items Used:
*Canvas (purchased at Michaels using coupon)
*Marker Paint Pens (purchased at Wal-Mart)
*Pencil for tracing image
*Paint brush/tray (not pictured) 
*Picture (from Bisbane Kids site)

Basically, he chose what image he wanted. I traced the outline in pencil on the back side of the picture, then flipped it over and re-traced the image onto the canvas.  It worked enough so that I was able to see the basic layout. I took the black paint and outlined it for him.  I almost used a Sharpie but he wanted the paint which was a bit sloppy but it worked.  The goal here was to have fun-not create a masterpiece. He painted some areas, then set it aside to dry overnight (between applications) to keep it from smearing.  I painted the sections he wanted a solid color. We are allowing it to fully dry before we proudly display it in our classroom.  

Again-this could be done on paper as well.  There are a few videos online you can watch for technique and guidance too.  Don't forget to search Pintrest for ideas and different art projects using the Aboriginal dot paint style...there are lots of them!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Nature Study notebooking helps and examples

Providing a good nature study foundation for your student, is one of the most rewarding aspects of Charlotte Mason.

How to go about it:

You can start out simply enough by just focusing on reading books about a certain subject. That will provide a nice springboard to stir up some interest. Slowly add in an afternoon stroll around your yard, neighborhood, or a local park-of course this depends on the season.  Take note of the type of birds, trees, animals and plants you see.  Even if that is simply mental notes or a couple pictures.  Then when you get home, look up the finds (via the internet, books) and discuss them.

After a few times of this, it can easily grow into a more organized, detailed study.  Use the resources available to you. Remember, you do not need to reinvent the wheel to do this! There are plenty of creative and handy folks who have pulled together studies, books and all sorts of ideas to get you on your nature study path.

Now when those moments arise when you simply are befuddled about what something is or what it does, be sure to admit to your students.  You do not need to be a walking encyclopedia on all things nature like.  AND you don't have to be artistically inclined to do nature studies or the notebooking aspect. The true object to refine your observation skills, to truly see the Glory of our Heavenly Father. It is not about how well you can sketch.  If you feel you and your students need some art instruction, by all means-add it.  There are plenty of "how to" books available.  Try your library first, go through their collection and only purchase the ones that best fit your family.  It takes time, but the results are life changing.

Some examples of NS books

Copywork and art project from Spears Art Studio-High School Curriculum

Sketches by teen-still life and pine cone study/leaf study

The boy's sketches using Barb's
Nature Study with the Outdoor Hour Challenges pages

Additional Helps:

One can add many different forms to their 3-Ring Binder, using a variety of sources, notebook pages and ideas.  I find this method works great because a child can add, shift around projects as they build their collection,  and even categorize their works. I use the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock a lot.  Barb's studies tie directly into this book, and are easy to implement. I find quotes from the Bible various other sources.

Having a good supply of paper, colored/drawing pencils, erasers, crayons, watercolor paints, scissors (for snipping specimens), and any other medium you can use to sketch, or capture your NS moments is a great way to stay "ready".  We keep our goodies in plastic, snapped totes so we can take them with us while we travel, do specific studies, and so forth.  Don't forget tweezers, variety of magnifying glasses, bug catchers, and a butterfly net to help you corral your findings, so you can sketch them too.

Helpful Links:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Odds and Ends

We wrapped up another unit in the HOD Creation to Christ study.  So far, so good-the boy seems to like it.

We have done a few projects covering poetry (which I am sadly not real keen on-I dunno why poetry is not my thing but it isn't).  Thankfully, HOD's C to C covers Robert Frost who is one of my favorite poets (well just about only poet I truly like) so I am glad we're covering him. We have done a couple copywork lessons from some of his poems, to which my son is required to paint a page to paste it one.  The boy has done this without complaint and that makes me happy b/cuz he is not really my artsy child. Now personally, I would like to see some variance on the techniques and mediums used for these projects (but seeing how we've only done 2 of these I can guess I have to wait and see if other ones change up a bit) because too many similar styles will lead to boredom and I don't want that for my I will get back to you on that...but here are the two we did...

The glare from the flash makes it hard to read...but the goal was accomplished.  Those are suppose to be sticks in a stream (blue one) b/cuz the poem talks about cleaning one out.
Maybe we should have glued a bunch of sticks on it instead to give it a more realistic feel...maybe we will still do that. :)

In the history section, we have had a project involving salt dough.  Now thankfully, this recipe didn't require baking it (you can read my salt dough fiasco post here) so that was good. What we failed to do is read ahead and clarify the directions because we messed up a bit.  But hey-that is what makes it truly our project!  LOL...

So we were suppose to make a cylinder shaped thing that had our names on it in Cuneiform. What we misread/misunderstood was that it was suppose to be in reverse relief. That means that whatever we wanted to have impress images onto something else, we had to cut away from to make those images stand out-we did the opposite instead. Our cylinders are marked into and cannot leave an impression. 

these are kind of blurry but I tried to get close so you can see the Cuneiform writing on them.
Son's on left, mine on right.   

The Cuneiform cylinders on left, building on right

We also had extra dough (yes, there is a story for this too). Now I should have read ahead to see what we'd be doing with it, but the boy was enamored with brick building parts of the stories we were reading and begged to make his own. So we did.  We got quite a few and then once they were dry, he created a small foundation of a building (like we'd find in an area of ruins)...we glued them together with flour/water paste and he happily built an old house.  What we were suppose to make was a clay tablet with writing and then use our cylinders to impress our name stamp on (like they would have done back then). So again-we proved ourselves to be rebels.  

View from the side, you can see the "mortar" that was used to hold these together. It is kind of fragile but I have a picture of it now, so if it collapses or ends up in the trash [which it will], I still have a photographic record of it. Helpful tip: taking pictures of all those projects your kids make is easier to store and keep than actually holding on to every single thing they create. Save the best ones and take a pic of the rest.

That said [that we're rebels], it also is my point. We took something and made it more personal to us (my son had much more fun and learned more by creating his project than if he had done the one assigned)...and since the brick making/building went hand in hand with what we had been reading about (tower of Babel, jobs of some people, etc.) I let him do it. That is the beauty of homeschooling-the project fit him, not the other way around. Years ago I would not have dared to overstep the guide's assignment. I am so over that now because life has taught me to adjust, personalize and focus on the child's learning style/interest, not what any particular lesson/program says they should/must complete. We learned, we laughed and we didn't burn any projects. Life is good.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cross post from my CM blog-Our little art section

So I took down the poster above the white board and taped up these 5 pics the kids have done.  These are my favorites ones from their projects so far.  I will hopefully find some white frames to really draw attention to them and also, as ya know-we have to be matching with the room decor-LOL...

Oh, the writing on the board is for my teen's study of Emma.  We have so many characters and crazy love triangles that we figured it best to plot out the story characters and some interesting facts on the board to make sense of it. :)

Left to right:  the two Renoir mixed media paintings (DD decided not to add lettering to the can), the Pointillism project my DD did a couple years ago and the two 6 step paintings the kids did with our CM co-op. 

I love how the kids art makes our room so cozy and personalized.  I love being able to look back at what they have done too.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Art project-Renoir inspired

To go along with our Renoir study, we did a Mixed Media Still-Life art project found on page 45 in the book: Discovering Great Artists.

For those of you who do not have access to this book, I will give you the directions for completing it. :)

Gather your materials:
for each artist you will need-

*cardboard or matte board 
(size up to you-I used the cardboard backings from some
yellow note pad pages-those were pretty good-altho, having something
 slightly thicker would have been best-
but look at those cardboard backings under
your paper pads-good way to recycle them!)

*white tempera paint (I found white poster paint and it worked)

*painters tape 
(get FROGTAPE by Shurtape (green), if you can-it works better than
the blue painters tape-I found mine at Home Depot which seemed
to be the cheapest I could find. It was about $4 which is the same price
 as the blue tape. THIS IS THE BEST tape for painting-
it does not leave those little boo-boos like 
the blue will-let me tell ya...
and yes, we have used both-will not use blue again)

*pencil/eraser (altho try to not erase if possible)

*paint brushes, water container 

*water colors

*real or fake flowers/twigs/etc. for your still life 
(be creative-look around your home for fun things to use)

*type of vase
(again be creative-I used a tea pot and a container for coffee)


1.  Tape the cardboard to something-painter's board, drawing board, etc. I used two pieces of white board. I had extra from when we cut down the large piece we bought/used for the classroom. Maybe even a clipboard will work-anything to secure it to so the cardboard doesn't slip.  Yes, you can just place on protective cover/paper, paint it and then just do this, but I find that you'll get a better result when the paper/board is secured to something larger and hopefully, waterproof or not so absorbent as the paper. 

2. I like to create about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch trim-depending on how big your project is.  Will this show when I frame it? Probably not on this one because it is an ugly brown cardboard, so I will try to cover it with a matte...but with a white board/paper it looks very pretty when you have an edging.

3.  Paint the cardboard white (tempera/poster paint).  I did this twice to be sure the cardboard was covered nicely.  The poster paint may not have given us the result the lesson wanted (for it to bleed with the watercolors) but I wasn't about to drive to the mall area to just buy one bottle of we used what the local Meijer store had and it was just fine.  Let dry before you begin the drawing/watercolor part.

4.  Set up your arrangement, and have student lightly sketch the image.
The boy was more focused on creating a background, and I think that jetting out image on the right side is a window sill, I think. :)  This just goes to show how everyone sees/does things a bit differently. :)

5.  Use a light color to wash color into the background coming close to the image.

6. Use watercolors and paint-try to let it bleed/blend together.

7.  When dry, have the artist sign their name and frame it.  

The teen still needs to put the writing on, but we had to let it dry first and then she had to leave to babysit, so once I have these framed, I will post them (and obviously, there will be their signatures and the writing on the can in this picture).

And there you have a Renoir inspired art project-and hey-you don't need to be studying him to do this.  It is just a great, fairly easy project to do with your kids.