Monday, May 30, 2016

Flower Inchies

This spring I have done this flower inchie series with both Grade 3 and Grade 5, (different schools).

Amazing results.  As always each inchie represents a stand alone art project that you can do in larger form.


- wc paper, I used a 140lb cut into 3"x3" squares
- disk tempera
- acrylic paint
- white glue
- oil pastels
- a few buttons
- black beads
- black paper for mounting


First up is the close crop.

1) Draw in pencil a close cropped view of a flower. Reference photos are always helpful.
2) With oil pastels do a bit of outlining.
3) Paint flower and background with disk tempera paint.

Painted Paper Collage

1) Paint a wc square a nice background colour with disk tempera.
2) Out of painted paper scraps cut flower petals. I have a stash of painted paper.  Whenever we paint we use up excess paint or paint extra to add to the stash.
3) Glue onto background and add a center.  Glue on a few beads as well to the center.

Black Glue Sunflower
1) Draw a sunflower on wc paper with pencil.
2) Go over lines with black glue.  I have a class set of black glue.  You can make it yourself by adding a few squirts of black acrylic paint into a white glue bottle. Shake and you are ready to go. I use the same set and just refill as needed.
Set aside to dry overnight, make sure it is lying flat.
3) Paint in with disk tempera.

Abstract Bouquet

1) Using acrylic paint I painted an orange splotch and blue background.
2) I added some dark purple parts to the splotch and then used it to show shadow side of vase.
3) I added a little green into splotch. I then took a little white paint and mixed a lighter version of both the orange and blue. I added the lighter blue into the background further defining the vase. I added the lighter orange into the splotch.

Drywall Flower 
1) Draw a flower shape onto cardboard and cut out.  Make sure it fits on wc square.
2) Cover with a little bit of drywall filler.
3) Set aside to dry overnight.

4) Paint background square. I used turquoise and green disk tempera.
5) Lay on a crumpled piece of wax paper. I then turn it over keeping the wax paper in place and put a magazine or something on top, (not too heavy). Leave to dry.

Next day:

6) Paint drywall flower with acrylic paint.
7) Glue on background.  Add some buttons in the center.

This is one of my favourite painting projects to do with kids in the large form.  Do a practice drawing with the kids first.
1) Draw the stamen. It's like a horn or banana shape with dots or grapes at the point.

2) Next draw a petal, a ruffly rounded triangle shape.
3) A hibiscus needs 5 petals.

4) Do drawing on a wc square.
5) Add some oil pastel (white and yellow) to stamen.
6) Paint the background. I used blue and purple disk tempera.

7) Add a touch of red and pink disk tempera above the stamen.
8) Use a clean brush and wet it in some clean water. Just touch the edge of the center and pull out into the petal. You just want a subtle colour here. Repeat for all 5 petals.

That's it.

A great spring or summer art project.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Tipi Tri-rama

I have been making quite a few of these lately.  Now the tipi is an old project of mine but I realized I hadn't posted how to make the background.

This tri-rama has many uses or as a teacher told me this week, "This is a game changer".

Here are student examples from this week.


- tipi, use this post of mine to guide you
- file folder letter sized
- ruler and scissors
- oil pastels
- disk tempera paint
- white glue
- some moss and pebbles
- modelling clay in yellow. orange, and red


I like to use file folders for these tri-ramas but you could also use manila tag or pasteboard.

Using a ruler draw a line down the tab on the right side when the folder is open.

Cut along the line cutting the tab off.

Inside the folder there is a box, using the bottom of this box draw a line.

Essentially we are making a square so if your folder does not have a box just measure until you a square.

Fold 1 corner across to another corner.

Do the same with the opposite corners so it looks like this.

Choose one corner, (only 1) and cut to the centre.

This enables the bottom sections to overlap and form your tri-rama.

But before we put it together we want to complete our background.

The students drew their backgrounds first in pencil and then went over those pencil lines with oil pastels.

On one of the bottom flaps we made marks to look like grass.

We then painted with disk tempera.

This is mine fully painted.  You only need to do one section on the bottom.

Before I glue I re do those folds so my sides will stand up nice and straight.

Spread some glue on the unpainted flap.

Fold the painted flap over top the one with the glue and press down to seal them together.

We glued in some moss.

Glued a ring of pebbles for a fire pit,

and a bit of modelling clay for the fire.

Add your tipi and you have a great little tri-rama.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

S is for Starfish

This is a recent project I did with 2 kindergarten classes to go with their Ocean unit.

They even made it into the display case.

Sorry for the quality of these photos but the lighting in the display case is challenging.


- substrate (base), we used 9"x12" primed canvas from Michaels
- acrylic paint in turquoise, white, red, orange, yellow, and brown.  You could use liquid tempera but we sealed ours with Mod Podge and we needed it to be permanent.
- paper 
- sand
- a few shells
- glue
- printed text from computer "S is for Starfish".  You could also use stamps.
- unsharpened pencil
- little cup, cork, cut up pool noodle
- sponge
- painter's tape


I taped off each canvas where I wanted the shoreline to be.  The tape gives the kinder a visual stopping point.

Using turquoise acrylic paint we painted the top portion blue to be our ocean.  We took care to paint the top edge and sides of the canvas down to the tape.

Set aside to dry.

I gave each student a piece of paper (8"x8").

They had a choice of red, orange or yellow paint.  They painted the entire paper one colour.

I then gave them little cups, a cut piece of pool noodle and a cork.  Using the 2 colours they did not choose they stamped on some patterns.  Set aside to dry.

 Back to the canvas.  When the paint had dried I pulled the tape off and then re positioned it to sit on the blue, right on the line.

I added some white paint to the brown paint to make a tan colour.  The students then painted in the sand taking care to paint the bottom edge and sides.

When the sand paint was dry we removed the tape.

I gave each student a small piece of damp sponge and we sponged on some white paint along the line to be our foam.

We glues some real sand onto our painted sand as well as a few shells.

I made up some templates of starfish for the kids to trace.  Normally I don't use templates but with kinders you need to give them that guideline.

We traced on the back of our painted papers and cut our starfish out.

I printed off "s is for starfish" and painted some red, some orange, and some yellow.

I used disk tempera.

We glued the starfish on our canvas. Using some white acrylic paint and an unsharpened pencil we made a dot outline on the starfish.

We then cut out the words and glued them to our canvas.

When the paint is dry you can add a coat of Mod Podge to seal.

That's it.  They look great in the display case and I suspect a lot of them will get hung up in bathrooms when they go home with the kids.