Dot Art: An easy and inexpensive art activity

As I returned to work after an extended leave, I found my students were working on an art project that was quite amazing.  My students were exceptionally engaged and they exhibited pride in creating their own masterpieces.  I thank Mr. Anthony Natalino (a fantastic co-worker) for implementing this activity.

Dot art entails creating a design with hole punched paper confetti.  Students are required to hole punch the paper, then apply it carefully to a sketched out design.   Student use a popsicle stick or a blunt pencil to apply the hole punched confetti onto their design.  Some students completed more than one piece of art as they enjoyed it so much.  I will definitely be utilizing Dot Art in the upcoming year!  The only material required is a variety of colored construction paper, a hole puncher, popsicle sticks or blunt pencils, a sheet of paper to sketch and apply the art to, and glue.  Super inexpensive with great results!

Find below pictures of completed projects and I am looking forward to seeing your projects as well!

IMG_20130627_113726 IMG_20130627_113655 IMG_20130627_113636

IMG_20130627_113739IMG_20130627_113752

Abstract Art

Today, with the grade 4’s, we worked on abstract art. Actually, we worked on one of the art activities that Loriana had mentioned in a previous ‘Tuesday 12’. The students really enjoyed working on this activity. What is there not to like? Paint and brushes?! There is just something about it that students really enjoy. I think I had them at abstract –  for some, I think it is a relief when they know that their final picture does not HAVE to look like something.

However, for this particular activity, although the painting part is abstract and can be done in any which way, they were to draw an natural image (ex. a tree) and include it in their painting. Here is what we did step by step.

I gave students two different options so that they can individually choose which option works best for them as we all know that students have various strengths and weaknesses.

Option one allowed students the choice to draw the image on black construction paper, cut it out and then glue it on a piece of white paper. From here, students are to then take a paint brush and water colors and begin painting. They could choose to paint section by section, with each section have a specific color or they could start with one color, leading into another and then another, creating an overall interesting effect. Some students really liked this option.

simona 244simona 242

The second option gave students the choice to paint the white sheet of paper first, keeping with the same idea as in option one; however, in this option they do not have to paint within lines of an image. Rather they are painting a blank sheet of paper in it’s entirety. Once they have painted the white sheet, they can put this aside to dry and move on to creating their image on a sheet of black construction paper. After doing so, they will complete the same steps – cut it out and then glue it in their painting (which should be dry as they are using water colors). Most of the students chose this option.

simona 237 simona 238

Regardless of the options the students chose, which again, was to help them complete this activity in a way in which they felt comfortable with, the final pieces turned out great! Although somewhat alike in many ways, each piece of artwork was different, interesting, creative and quite unique. From trees to flowers to clouds – they came out great!

simona 249    simona 246   simona 247

I have included quite a few examples just to show you how these abstract paintings turned out. You can definitely work with this activity in a number of ways. We chose to work with larger sheets of paper, but you can also work with smaller sheets. We chose to work with white and black, but you can also choose to work with different colors of construction paper; however, to create the effect as shown, go for the black construction paper. It stands out amazingly! You can work with specific colors of water paint, or allow them to use all and any. You can have them stick to creating trees, or allow them to create any image they like. Again, so many different ways to work with it!

Overall, it is a great activity to allow student’s creativity to roll! All you need is time and materials and ofcourse, prior knowledge and experience with abstract art, lines and water colors! Definitely a fun, interesting and simple activity!

 

 

 

Ink Transfer Through Gel Medium: Sharing Student Samples!

I am so thrilled to be able to share the BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING artwork created by my students using the ink transfer onto canvas using a gel medium. We have been working on this project for a couple of weeks and I am so pleased with the final result.  We’ve hung almost all of them in the hallway outside of our classroom (a couple of students are adding the finishing touches to their work) and we’ve received TONS of compliments and praise from both teachers and other students who walk by.

In case you plan to complete this amazing art project with your students, here’s a timeline of how long it took us (for a complete and detailed breakdown of the project, click here):

Lesson 1: Students chose a quote that was meaningful or inspirational to them.  They then designed, reflected, and printed their quotes using Microsoft Publisher.  This took about an hour on average, as some students didn’t have much experience with Publisher.

Lesson 2: Students prepared their canvases by painting them with acrylic paint.  This took about 30 minutes.  We then let them dry for about 30 minutes and then we covered them with the gel medium and placed our quote (ink side down) onto the gel.  The gel needed to dry overnight.

Lesson 3: Students used water to remove and scrub off the paper from the dried gel.  This was very painstaking work and caused quite a bit of frustration with my artists.  A trick we discovered is letting the canvas dry for a bit because the wet paper became transparent; by letting it dry, it turned white again and allowed students to determine where to concentrate their scrubbing efforts. This took a couple of hours and then the canvases needed to be completely dry (overnight) before we touched up the acrylic paint.

Lesson 4: We covered the remaining white paper spots with acrylic paint using a dry brush technique.  Students then wanted to touch up the text using a permanent marker when the paint was dry.  Once the paint and ink were dry, students covered the entire surface with modge podge.  This entire step took about an hour.  The modge podge dried quickly and we then attached yarn to the back for easy hanging.

The entire art project took over a week to complete the process from start to finish.  It did require quite a bit of time and effort, but the final outcome is amazing! I have such talented (and patient) students!

gel transfer canvases

 

Abstract Art : Examples

Untitled

In my previous post on Abstract Art, I mentioned I would post a few examples as they were done! Again, this is such a great, simple and interesting activity for your students! The Grade 5’s truly enjoyed doing it! We started off with making 6 straight lines across the page, leaving space in between each line. Once the lines were drawn, we began adding in circles. Most students chose to draw the same size circle a few times across their page but it would also be quite interesting if you take different size circles and draw them across your page. It would definitely add to the whole ‘abstract’ look! With two different colored pencil crayons or marker to start, begin coloring one section at a time, alternation between the two colors. The idea is to not have any two of the colors touching! It’s all about alternationg! Opposites! Take a closer look at the examples from the Grade 5’s! It looks confusing and abstract to the eye, yet so fun and simple to do!!! It definitely engages your students! Try it out :)

 

red         pink

        

Awesome Art Lesson: Ink Transfer Onto Canvas

canvas ink transfer 2We are currently in the middle of an exciting art lesson. I’ve seen several pins on Pinterest showing the transfer of photographs onto canvas using a gel medium.  I thought that I could use this same concept to transfer text onto canvas as well.

A few things:

  • I painted the canvas since I did not want a plain white background
  • This art project takes several steps and a few lessons to complete (warn your students ahead of time that patience is key!)
  • The gel medium is permanent when dry (so don’t use it on your kitchen table like I did…though I did get 99% of it off)
  • Any image you transfer will become reversed (maybe not important with pictures, but super important with text)
  • When I went to Michael’s (i.e. the place I go to almost every day), there were so many different types of gel medium.  I’m not very knowledgeable about the differences between the various types, but I used this one and it worked well:

glazing mediumSupplies:

  • white paper
  • laser printer (I don’t believe this works on ink jet printers!)
  • Modge Podge
  • acrylic paint and paintbrushes
  • gel medium
  • canvas

On to the process!

Designing and printing the text:

1. I chose a quote that I wanted to display.  I went with 1 Corinthians 2:9.  I used Microsoft Publisher to turn this bible verse into subway art (see Lisa’s post on subway art if you are unsure).  I did this by inserting a new WordArt text for each different font.  I really recommend this process as it gives you a lot of control with respect to size, font, and positioning. Keep the font black.

2. Once the subway art was created, I selected all the WordArt texts and grouped them together to created one selection:

grouping word art3. When the ink transfers onto the canvas, the image will be reversed.  To keep the text correct and legible, I then flipped the image horizontally:

flip quote4. I then printed this on my laser printer.

Painting and ink transfer:

1. I painted the canvas with the acrylic paint.  I went with yellow, pink, bronze, and red. This process was really simple and just required blending the colours together. Here’s my canvas and printout right before I applied the gel medium:

canvas and print out 2. I then used paintbrush to apply a pretty thick coat of gel to the canvas.  Don’t skimp on the gel as you really want the ink to be absorbed well.  Flip your printout ink side down onto the gel. Press firmly and smooth out any wrinkles:

transfer process

3. Step away from the canvas! Don’t be like me and start poking at it (I ended up messing up a couple of letters because I was too curious).  Just let the ink slowly seep into the gel and dry.  I let it dry for about 8 hours.

4. The gel medium is permanent and water-proof, so now you want to use water to remove the white paper from the canvas.  I kept a bowl of water nearby and completely moistened the white paper. I then used my fingers to scrub and scrape the paper completely off the canvas:

wet paper

Prettying it up:

1. I could not get 100% of the white paper off of the canvas and this was really annoying me.  I brought my sample in to show my students and many of them liked the flecks of white throughout as it made it look “old” they said.  It still bothered me.  So, I took out the same acrylic paint I used at the beginning and used a dry brush technique (i.e. very small amounts of paint on the paintbrush, so that the paintbrush stays pretty dry.  This applied pigment onto the white paper flecks, but not enough paint to cover the black text).  This worked very well!

2. Once the paint touch ups were dry, I applied a thick coat of Modge Podge to seal everything and give it a nice sheen (I used the gloss finish):

apply modge podge3. I let it dry and ta-da!

completed canvasAt school, we have created and printed our subway art and painted our canvases.  We will be completing the gel phase next.  Once they are all done, I will share pictures with you all.  I have very talented and artistic students and their work is always beautiful!