3-D Hands

This week I have introduced 4th grade to value studies and we are learning about this with a fun 3-D hand project.  This is done in their sketchbook, so parents: you will  be able to see their process –  Wooohooo.

This project has been a major hit with my students in the past.  They can’t believe how 3-D it looks when they are done.  It took us 1 day to trace our hands, create the lines, and trace with a marker.  It’ll take us about 2 more weeks to get the coloring done as well – the coloring will make it look even more impressive.

I have my second group of Art Star kids and they are creating the same project as the previous group: the Surrealist Collages.  We have some very creative kids at this school – I must say.

Lastly, kindergarten created some cute little Tipis in honor of Thanksgiving.  We first created the plains that the Native Americans lived on and created our Tipis using the same line designs we had practiced on our Turkeys.

Thanksgiving is ALMOST here!!  I hope you all have a Lovely, lovely Thanksgiving break!


Value Studies

The last few weeks I’ve been teaching the eighth graders about Value.  If you’re not familiar with art lingo – Value is the darkness and lightness of a single color.

There are many ways to accomplish value in art.  You can do it with pencil, crayon, or colored pencil, by either applying little to very hard pressure when coloring. If you can master this technique – your illustrations are guaranteed to look all the more realistic.


Achieving value with paint can be a bit trickier because it requires some color theory knowledge and a good eye when it comes to mixing paints.

Eighth graders were asked to create a 5 layered landscape which were painted in using a value scale – from light to dark.

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I was pretty pleased with their results.

Noam Yagel 8B
Levi Kreimer 8B
Ally Meiselman 8B

I’ll post the rest when the remainder of the eighth graders are done.  🙂

This week 4th grade also began working on some value studies inside their sketchbooks – sketchbooks are definitely in use right now, so hopefully everyone has them by the next week (grades 3-7)!

Grades 5-8 are working on giant Zentangle initials.  Here is an example of what they may look like when they’re complete.


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Kindergarten had a special clay day since they were all done with their turkeys!

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They love Clay day – I mean who doesn’t??

Birdie Illustration

This week I focused a lot on illustration and coloring with the students.  k-2 finished up their turkeys: they outlined their line designs with black marker and colored.  I put a lot of emphasis on coloring Nice and Neat and I showed the little ones how to color in small portions at a time.  Little kids have a tendency to moved their whole arm while they’re coloring – creating those empty white gaps.  I had them try to color by just moving their pincher fingers.

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I gave 4A the choice of learning how to illustrate either a pumpkin or an owl and they voted on the owl.  I, of course, used my handy dandy Elmo camera and projector to guide them step-by-step on how to illustrate the owl.  I call those illustration guidance days- Demo Day.

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I asked that they colored in their owl using either a warm color scheme or a cool color scheme.  So we are definitely getting into the elements of art at this point in the school year.  Quite a few kids have been bringing in their sketch books and several have told me that their sketchbook is ordered and en route.  I’m very excited.

This week I also had the pleasure of visiting the itty bitties at the Skokie Valley nursery school.  I read the little ones the book The Busy Little Squirrel.  It’s a book about this cute little squirrel that is unable to hangout with his forest friends because he so busy collecting food to store for winter.  One of the food items he collects is an acorn.

I had large acorns pre-cut and the little ones assembled and glue the acorn pieces together on a large sheet of white paper.  Next, they used celery sticks as a stamp dipped the sticks into brown paint and stamped them onto the cap of their acorn.

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They all did a great job and I can’t wait to see them again in 2 more weeks. 🙂