Wise Eyes Watching

These beautiful owls are now perched up high on our our bulletin boards – wise eyes watching us:

 Wise Eyes Watching There's a Book for That

Inspired by this wonderful post on the art blog A Glimmer of Light, we created these gorgeous owls. Here is our process.

First, we drew with oil pastel directly onto black construction paper (no pencil marks first!) – thinking about the shapes of the body, eyes, wings, talons and added a fancy crown. Students then began colouring in the owls with oil pastels, creating patterns and textures.

 Wise Eyes Watching There's a Book for That

After about 20 minutes of work time, most children were at this stage: shapes drawn and quite a bit of colouring and design complete.

 Wise Eyes Watching There's a Book for That

On Day 2, we just had another short amount of work time so our goal was to finish adding colour to our owls and to outline important lines.

 Wise Eyes Watching There's a Book for That

On Day 3, we broke out the chalk pastels and added bright and beautiful backgrounds with swirls and stripes. Students were encouraged to not use more than 4 different colours.

 Wise Eyes Watching There's a Book for That

Many students helped with background colouring so that we could all complete our masterpieces to have them ready to post up in the room.

 Wise Eyes Watching There's a Book for That

Final step was to outline any lines that had blurred at the edges of the owls into the chalk pastel background and these stunning owls were ready!

 Wise Eyes Watching There's a Book for That

Some students even wrote a little bit to share about their process or about who their owl might be . . . . Check out our classroom blog Curiosity Racers to read about what was shared and to see some more images!

Stunning Cities

We were inspired by the colourful images in Robert Neubecker‘s Wow! City! and this blog post on the blog Splish Splash Splatter to create some gorgeous cityscapes – with a focus on form, colour and wonder.

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That!

What we loved about the book Wow! City! was the sense of height in the buildings and that with some quite simple lines, many details could be highlighted.

wow city

After we read the book, we talked about building shapes and the shapes and lines found in roof tops, windows, doors and building details. Students then drew a layered city scape using white crayon on black paper.

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

We then painted white glue over all of our white lines – a definite exercise in patience! We didn’t have enough glue containers of the right size to have students just squeeze glue onto the page so we used brushes and cups of white glue. Also some of our little creative artists get a little too creative when given a whole glue bottle . . . .

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

When some people finished adding glue to all of their lines, they happily helped others and we had cooperative glue stations going all over the room! Lovely thick glue lines created perfect borders for colours to stand out.

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

Adding colour was the fun part. Students chose vibrant chalk pastel combinations and happily filled in their buildings. In this photo, it is easy to see the dried glue lines.

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

I love the oranges and yellows – we had these colours in buildings and in sky lines!

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

Many students worked together in different areas of the room, inspired by each other’s work. Look at the gorgeous yellow sky!

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

These two little artists realized they could create some amazing effects by blending their pastels right on the page.

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

Some final versions:

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

Red skies at night . . .

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

Beautiful blending . . .

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

Oh that gorgeous yellow sky!

 Stunning Cities - There's a Book for That

Gorgeous Pumpkin Patch

I love Halloween art but I don’t love that it looks outdated November 1st. When I saw these starlit pumpkins on the blog Deep Space Sparkle, I knew I had found the perfect art activity for the short lived Halloween season that could extend as a beautiful fall display.

This was a fun two day project. The highlights? The mixing of paint right on the page and the smudging of chalk pastel. The muckier one gets one’s hands, the better it seems to be!

I give full credit to the step by step instructions on Deep Space Sparkle for allowing my class to have such fun and such success with this project! Here are our step by step instructions with photographs.

Step 1: Draw pumpkins and leaves (using black oil pastel) on a large construction weight light coloured paper. Hint: draw an oval first and lines that extend from that. We had a “live” pumpkin in the room to examine for interesting stem shapes and textures and to feel the ridges.

Step 2: Students received brushes and paint colours (yellow, orange, blue) and created orange pumpkins and green leaves by mixing colours wet on wet while painting. Well, you can imagine how exciting it was to have yellow and red turn to orange and blue topped with yellow to transform into green. This was magic in the making!

Add some yellow paint . . .

Top it with red and blend into . . . orange!

Blue and yellow really do make green! And everyone got different shades 🙂

Step 3: On Day 2, cut out pumpkins and leaves and then glue to black paper.

Step 4: We handed each child a brown, green and white piece of chalk pastel. They started by colouring in the stems and adding white highlights to the pumpkin. Using the green, students drew vines and added highlights to their leaves.

Step 5: Draw a full moon and stars with the white chalk. Smudge your moon to give a hazy effect (fun part!)

Then admire your work! And show it off! (Even if it is bigger than you!)

These were lovely calm projects to do on Halloween afternoon before spooky stories and Halloween centres!

Happy Halloween! (And for November – art that can still stay up on the walls!)