Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Kusama Inspired Dot Sticker Artwork

Here is a throwback lesson to last school year when I taught my elementary classes via zoom from my classroom to theirs! I introduced each grade to a modern or contemporary artist and 3rd grade learned about Yayoi Kusama. I read them a book about her but for the life of me I can't remember which one! I will share this resource from the Tate about her- because it would work really well.
I came across a big bunch of dot stickers like people use for garage sales when I was cleaning out a drawer so those became the special material for this lesson. I gave each student a sheet of orange, yellow, and green and a piece of drawing paper. Then they were allowed to use the dot stickers however they wanted with the school supplies they had in their bins! It was interesting to see the different solutions they came up with. Some students even used the stickers as masks and removed them after coloring.

Sometimes we find materials and ask each other what project could be done with it, but I'd encourage you to present them to your students and see what they think of!

Friday, December 17, 2021

Altered Digital Compositions with Textiles

I usually like to do a quick project with my graphic design kids to have them explore filters and effects within photoshop. Last year I was excited to discover artist Prince Eric Nichols ( and his work made from digital textiles. The textiles usually relate to the subject he is representing and I started to think about how students could do both the technical process of overlaying textiles with layer masks and work with the idea of choosing textiles that could represent their own cultures and interests.

Here is the handout I posted for students:
This took 2 class periods for my students but it could definitely be done in one if your students have more experience. Next time I will more strongly encourage students to bring textiles or photos of textiles from home instead of using what was in the art room, though I'm thankful we found quite a few options in the classroom that would work.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Endangered Species Prints

This was a popular lesson with my 7th graders. They learned about Andy Warhol's Endangered Species prints and researched the Endangered Species Act before choosing a species that is currently threatened or endangered to focus their artwork. 
I uploaded the lesson plan and all the resources on the smARTteacher!

We used polyfoam plates and students engraved their designs with a wood stylus. They tried out printing with markers and with relief ink.
To print with markers, color directly on the foam plate, wet your drawing paper with a damp sponge, then place the paper damp side down on top of the plate and rub the back to transfer the image.
Next, the students used relief ink. They could do one color or multiple. The students got really in to printmaking! Some that finished their first prints early and became the class experts, helping others. They wanted to do printmaking the rest of the year!

The last part of the assignment was to create a display that had a photo of and facts about their animal, an artist statement, and their best print.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Elementary Fruit and Vegetable Art

 Some big news at our elementary school last spring was getting approval to start a garden! The students had researched and made a presentation to the school board and were raising money for supplies. I gave the students the option of making art to promote the garden in the last couple weeks of school. 

I encouraged the 5th graders to think of puns for garden produce...

For 4th graders I printed off pages from a public domain gardening book and they drew or painted on top, letting the text show through...

And 3rd graders were shown examples of collage

Almost every student chose to make something "to help the garden". I'm excited about the potential for observational drawings and maybe even making some outdoor art to go around the garden in the future!