Saturday, February 28, 2009

February Virtual Sketch Date

Click on picture to see larger

Here is my submission for the February Virtual Sketch Date. It is a view of Lake Louise supplied by Debbie Later......Thanks Deb! It has special significance for me as it is in my backyard (only about 90 minutes away) and this is where my husband proposed to me 16 years ago this May.

If you get a chance you may want to check out the Flickr photo pool for this challenge here.


Thursday, February 26, 2009


This is a Printmaking project I did with Grade 6 before my vacation.
Rather than a typical monochromatic print I wanted to introduce them to a layered technique. It turned out quite well and for display we included the individual elements as well as the combined layered print..showing our progression.

Materials Required:

paper...I used a heavy sketch paper
acrylic paint
recycled foam
dull pencil
brayer, rolling pin, or even water bottle or coffee cup

At school I have been using scratch foam because we have a rather large supply of it.
It is basically thin sheets of foam similar to foam plates.
You can find it here.
However it is much more environmentally friendly to recycle some foam know the ones they usually are meat trays.....

mushroom containers..etc.

If it has some texture to it turn it over you should be able to find a smooth surface somewhere.

For this project we were doing a landscape. I had the kids determine their horizon line first and then we cut our foam sheet on this line.
I talked to them about the rule of thirds which I use repeatedly when creating art. How it is more visually appealing for the horizon to be in the bottom or top third rather than in the middle.

Using a dull pencil make your design. You want it to have simple line detail. No fussy stuff but make sure you have enough in the design to make the print interesting.

Do all your background pieces.

We are also adding some foreground elements. For this we are using scrap pieces of foam cut into shapes which also have some line details on them.
These are only about 1-2 inches tall.

Now the fun part....put some acrylic craft paint onto a palette. I am using a foam plate which I can then recycle( I let the paint dry and reuse it)
Don't dilute the paint it should be the perfect consistency straight from the bottle.

Paint completely one element. Don't scrub the paint into the design you just want to coat it completely with nice easy strokes.

Lay down into place on your paper.

Using a roller gently apply some pressure to the foam. If you press too hard you will lose the design. Make sure you cover the whole area.

Lift to see result.

For this project we did 2 prints for each element. The combined print as well as an individual print of each piece.

Take your little foam shapes and paint them.

Place on your composition. gently apply some pressure.

Lift off. They are almost like little foam stamps.

Continue until you are happy with your composition.

Here are all my pieces ready to be mounted.
I also got the kids to come up with a title for their print.

Mount on posterboard for display.
Give it a try, printmaking can become very addictive.
I have used this method on fabric as well. Because you are using acrylic paint you will have a durable print that holds up to washing.
We have made table runners, placemats, t-shirts, as well as printing on canvas for wonderful wall hangings.
see you next time

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Maui Painting


Spending my days soaking up the sun and surf. It has been a great holiday!

Here are just a few paintings that I have been doing.

Just a few pictures. Hard to tell how they look on the laptop, so hopefully not too out of focus.

I will be back on Feb 26th. I might even get a chance to do the Virtual Sketch Date for Feb.

see you soon


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How to make a Valentine Peacock

Here is a non traditional valentine idea.

I was trying to come up with something colorful....I don't know about you but I can get really frustrated coming up with Valentine projects....I think its the limited palette...oh well this is what I did with Grade 3 Valentine Peacocks, not turkeys like some of the grade 1's labelled them.

Materials Required:

paper plate
construction paper in blue, orange, yellow, black
glue stick

Here is the template, I have published on Google docs as well.

Paint your paper plate, I told the kids they could use whatever colors they wanted as long as a heart theme was evident.

Let dry.

Using the template cut out the body piece on the fold out of the blue paper.

Cut a crown feather piece out of yellow, and a beak out of orange...for the beak you cut a triangle shape (like a ramp) on the fold.

Cut a slit in the Peacock body where the beak should go and insert and glue or tape down.

Glue or tape on the crown feathers.

Add eyes.

Staple the body onto the painted plate trying to keep the 3D effect by using the fold.

That's it...pretty simple but quite effective.

I am leaving for Maui today and will be gone for 2 weeks. Hope to be back posting projects by Feb 26th. I hope everyone has a great Valentine's as well as a good Family Day (Canada) or President's Day (USA).

I plan on doing a lot of painting and I am taking the laptop so I may post a few paintings here and there.

Take care


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Valentine Pockets

Here is a simple Valentine pocket idea that I did with Kindergarten today. I wasn't crazy about my design but the kids had a blast so here we go.

Materials Required:

paper plates
paint in Valentine colors
red, purple, white, and black paper
glue stick
glitter glue, sequins etc. for embellishments

Take 2 plates, cut one in half.

Paint with Valentine colors. I made the kids choose 2 colors.

The girls seemed to prefer purple and pink while all the boys chose purple and red.

Out of red or purple paper, (depending what color you painted your 1/2 plate), cut a large heart.

I traced the hearts out ahead of time for Kindergarten on the fold.

Heart shapes from the fold is one of the basic skills I try to teach them at this age.

Next they cut out white circles and smaller black circles for the eyes.

Glue these on the heart with a glue stick.

Cut a mouth out of contrasting paper and glue on as well.

I tell the kids to cut a banana shape.

Cut 4 smaller hearts from contrasting paper for the hands and feet.

Again I traced these out ahead of time and they were cut on the fold.

Take 4 strips of white paper, 2 of them measuring 12 inches and 2 measuring 6 inches.

Accordion fold all strips.

This is another basic skill i try to teach them.

The long strips are the legs and the smaller ones the arms.

Glue a heart to the end of each strip.

Glue into place on your heart.

Now glue your heart man onto the 1/2 plate.

Staple the 1/2 plate to the full plate.

Add embellishments like glitter glue or sequins or smaller hearts.

This is where Kindergarten had a great time.

Some of these heart pockets are fully covered in glitter glue!

Punch 2 holes in the top and attach a ribbon or string for hanging.

We added name tags for our valentine exchange next week.

Well that's all for now. Tomorrow is Valentine Craft day for kindergarten. I hope to post some of the crafts we will be doing this weekend as well as that 'Valentine Peacock'...they are going up on display tomorrow so I should be able to get pictures.