The San Diego Museum of art and the Timken had a fabulous exhibition of kimonos created by artist Itchiku Kubota in 2008-2009. You can see the Kubota kimono collection at https://thekubotacollection.com
For this lesson, I first taught in 2015. I taught my students how to make a basic kimono shape and they added different elements such as flowers and patterns in black permanent marker and/or oil pastel. When they were finished, they could add watercolor on top.
I went to the educator’s open house at San Diego Museum of Art and loved the exhibition so much that I went back multiple times to see the kimonos. The museum had a collage lesson that had been created by artist Jane LaFazio. It was beautiful but far too complex with too many steps for our 45 minute lessons.
Fourth Graders looked at the landscape work of Gabrielle Munter and learned about her life. We talked about the rule of thirds, foreground, middle ground, and background as well as perspective. They used black crayon to sketch their outlines, added oil pastel for small details and tempera paint for color.
Once complete, they went over the out lines with black oil pastel.
This lesson is always a hit! Students look at pictures of owls and create a portrait of an owl of their choice. It ties in with their owl unit in science where they dissect owl pellets and learn about owls.
Grade One students at my new school did not have chalk pastels available so we did these with oil pastel. They are still lovely. I always enjoy seeing the personalities of each owl come through.
This is a project I have done many, many times over the years. It is super inexpensive as I use scrap cardboard from just about anything you can imagine. Sometimes, the cardboard is from a package insert like the one above left and already has interesting shapes pressed in. Other times it is just a flat scrap.
Typically I do this lesson when I look around the art room and see that I have been gifted copious amounts of cardboard from the librarian and others or I have just unpacked a supply order or I am at the tail end of supplies and realize I need a lesson to fill in the gaps before my order arrives.
Whatever the case, the students always enjoy this lesson as it is fun and colorful and they can make it as elaborate or as simple as they want to.
For this lesson, the students were given pre-cut rectangles of cardboard. If they wanted a different shape, I offered to cut them on the paper cutter. They also had a few trays of assorted scraps of cardboard to get them started. They could cut the cardboard pieces to their liking. Thicker cardboard is more challenging to cut so if students asked me to, I would help them cut. I always tell them to try things first before they ask for help. I have found when given that directive, they often surprise themselves with how capable they are.
They glued the shapes on with white glue and added color with pastels. They completed this lesson in 45 minutes start to finish including a quick PowerPoint about Picasso and cubism.
Just when my Third Graders needed a summery lesson for their last project of the school year, I discovered Heather Brown’s art. She is an artist who lives in Hawaii and makes the most beautiful paintings many of which have surfers and the ocean and/or scenes from Hawaii.
Students used black crayon for their images and liquid tempera to paint with. They came up with their own beach scenes. I wanted them to be able to mix different values of blue as Heather Brown does. I did encouraged them to include a surfer or two but they did not have to. Several students decided to go over the black crayon with black oil pastel when they were finished. Even if the paintings were wet, they still could use the pastel to get a stronger black line
A lesson like this on perspective with tulips has been around for eons. The students draw a line across the top of their paper, choose a spot for the vanishing point then draw a series of lines that from the vanishing point off the page.
I like to link this lesson to Vincent Van Gogh and our local flower fields. I tell the students a little about Van Gogh, we look at some of his art and then I tell them the history of the flower fields and we look at pictures of the flower fields.
Then they create their own version and try their hand at the perspective. I do this with first grade. This year, we did this with oil pastel and tempera cake. For some reason, we are just about out of blue pastel and I wanted them to be able to have a blue sky if they wanted to. I did order more blue pastels after this lesson.
The kindergarten students at one of my schools does an entire unit on Monsters.
For this lesson, I drew a bunch of monsters and then had a list of eyes, noses, face shapes, hairstyles, etc on the board.
The students could create their own monster portrait or copy one that they liked. The classroom teacher took it to a whole other level and had them write about them and do more portraits.
They did this in oil pastel.
Their classroom teacher took my white board scribbles and made her own monster parts menu and then the students drew more monsters and wrote information about them. So much fun to link art room and classroom lessons!
I have a wonderful opportunity to teach weekly art to a group of students. These ponds were done at the request of a teacher to go with their grade levels pond unit.
These students get art with me for about 30 minutes each week. I started by telling the kindergartners about Monet and his water lily paintings. They created theirs using oil pastel and water soluble markers which they painted with water.
The next week, we made the green backgrounds. We talked about texture. I gave them green, yellow, and blue paint, forks, and my infamous paint daubers (sponges clipped to a clothespin).
The week after that, they cut the ponds into a “pond shape” and glued them on the background and added cattails and dragonflies.
The last week, we added butterflies and frogs. I think they came out just stunning and will be great for their open house celebration.