Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fall Compositions With Elmer's & Pastels

Fall is my favorite season and I have been LOVING driving my hour-an-a-half drive up to my Grad School twice (sometimes three times) a week...I pop in a book on tape and enjoy the beautiful fall folliage that New Hampshire has to offer! Ahhhh!

The focus of my after school art class for my 1st-4th graders is "Fall Into Art"--fall-themed art activities...last week, we drew apple still lifes inspired by Cezanne, and this week we took advantage of the nice weather and beautiful fall displays outside the school that had been donated by the Amherst Garden Center in Amherst, NH. The Garden Center had flanked the entrance of the school with pumpkins and gourds, hay bales, scarecrows, and beautiful mums! I couldn't ignore all of the visual stimuli out there ready to draw!

We spent some time looking and touching the displays, then we sketched them. We moved inside and selected one the things from our sketches to "draw" on black paper with Elmer's glue. The students were VERY skeptical when I told them we'd be drawing with Elmer's and you should have seen the surprised looks when I did my demo and piped glue along the lines of my drawing!

I had seen this Elmer's glue/pastel combination online before but had never tried it. I think it would be great for winter snowmen as well...

Anyway, we let the Elmer's glue dry (they rode around for a week in the back of my minivan--the mobile art studio.

The next week, I showed the students how to color in the non-Elmer's areas--the negative space--with the chalk pastels, encouraging them to add highlights and shadows to make their pictures really "pop" and look more realistic. I suggested using my "use at least three colors in each section" rule...

The students were VERY pleased with this new "technique" and, at the end of class, we discussed some other compositions they could use this technique on. The fourth-graders were very specific with their questions about materials: where I purchased the materials, what they are called, how much they cost. They want to make sure the next time they go to Michael's Crafts Store they purchase the proper things so they can do this technique again--THAT (to me) is a sign of a successful art lesson--my students wanted to take something they learned in class and go with it.


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