Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Suminagashi (墨 流 し) or "floating ink" is the process of marbling plain paper with water and ink to transform it into something vibrant and colorful. It originated in Japan as early as the 12th century. For this project kindergartens and 1st graders created a suminagashi monoprint.  So first they cut out a shape, then they took a tray of water and grated chalk onto the surface of the water.  Once their water was covered in chalk they dropped in thier shape and place their paper on top.  The Shape blocks the color in one area creating the print.  They had a lot of fun with these but it was tough to be paitent and wait for turns at the printing stations. 

1st Grade Winter Portraits

 I love when students draw themselves.  It is always fun to se their perceptions of themselves.  In these winter Portraits students were asked to draw themselves in the snow.  So they added in their hats and scarves and snowmen into their work. If you are comming to school for a holiday party this week these portraits are on display by the Gym. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

4th Grade Lego Still Lifes

4th Grade took a day to work on Still Life this past week.  In my opinion drawing from life is one of the most important skills an artist can aquire, but it is also one of the most frustrating to learn.  Drawing objects with perspective and proportion takes a lot of practice to learn.  So this week I made small lego block towers for the 4th graders to practice their perspective on.  If they were done drawing before the end of class then they had a chance to attemet to create some values on their blocks to enhance the perspective.

3rd Grade Shaded Snowmen

3rd Grade worked on seeing values last week.  Value is the lights and darks within a color.  Using a light blue paper and cayons students created snowmen and then worked to create values on their snowmen to make them look round.  This ment that we made one side of the snomen have a light reflection and one side have a shaddow.  Once kiddos were done with the value they had a chance to add backgrounds and details.  "Snow" much fun.


This year all Grades 2-6th are learning weaving skills in art class the week before Christmas. Some of these students are making up skills that were missed and some are working at different levels so as a parent you will find students from diffrent ages weaving on different sizes and styles of looms. 

 The 2nd and 3rd Graders will be learning a Japanese Kumihimo braided weave and the older students will be learning to weave on a cardboard loom. I love to introduce weaving the week before Christmas so that students can take their weaving home for the long break and continue to work if they want to. Sometimes these can make great car ride or snowy day activities.

Kumihimo is a Japanese form of braid-making. Cords and ribbons are made by interlacing strands. Kumi himo is Japanese for "gathered threads". Ancient samurai warriors used to decorate their armor and sometimes hold it together using kumihimo cords.
See the video
Written instructions

Weaving is acknowledged as one of the oldest surviving crafts in the world. The tradition of weaving traces back to Neolithic times – approximately 12,000 years ago. Even before the actual process of weaving was discovered, the basic principle of weaving was applied to interlace branches and twigs to create fences, shelters and baskets for protection.
Weaving on a Cardboard loom
Written Instructions
See the video

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Doodle for Google

 Doodle for Goodle is a national competion this year West had several 3rd-6th grade students participate here are just a few.

If we have students in the finals I will post another messages asking for your votes.

Kindergarten Owls and Lines

For this project the Kindergarteners spent some time talking about lines.  What is a line, what makes it different from a shape and how do we create lines were all questions we thought about.  Then using oil pastel the students drew an owl using their lines to create textures and patterns on their owls.  On the Second day of this project students were able to use tempra paints to mix colors and paint their owls any way they wanted.  We also spent some time on this day talking about the word Resist and why the paint does not cover up the oil cayon.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

2nd Grade Christmas Ornaments

 2nd Graders spent some time a few weeks ago working with Clay.  We talked about how to work Additive and Subtractive when working with 3-d forms and students were asked to show examples of both Additive and Subtractive design as they created their own Clay Ornament.  When I was kiddo decoating the tree always ment looking back at all the Ornaments we made when we were little.  I hope these add fun memories for some of our kidds at west. 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

4th Grade Christmas Branches

One of our art goals for 4th graders is to practice value and shading.  So what better practice then trying to create rounded Christmas Ball Ornaments.
For this poject students began by drawing out a pine branch.  They started with a long line of green crayon or oil pastel and then added short lines for the pine needles.  When they were happy with the branch all the students added a round ornament.  Their ornament had a highlight were the light was reflecting a sid that should have been in shaddow and then they were suppose to try to blend to create a range of values in between.  Once they were done with the ornament then they could add other christmas decorations to their trees. 

3rd Grade Chalk Trees and Nothern lights.

 Students who finished their abstract trees early were able to move on to creating a fun little extra project involving pinetrees and the nothern lights.  First students cut out a pine tree shape from scrap paper and then they drew on that with chalk and pushed the chalk off the tree and into the sky of their picture.  Some left theirs very realistic others were having so much fun with the chalk they became an abstract pattern.  

3rd Grade Abstract Trees

 3rd Graders spent a few week working on these fun colorful abstract trees.  We were really looking at how the branches breakup the space in the tree tops.  This project is a mix of marker and tempra paint and was open ended giving students the freedom to finish their trees the way they wanted to.  

Thursday, December 3, 2015

1st Grade Snowflakes

 This week in art we focused on learning about symmetry.  We created snowflakes and we talked about both standard and radial symmetry and students cut and pasted to create their own snowflake designs.

These were such a fun cool project I think I could have photographed and hung them all.