Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Reclaim the Coloring Book

We all remember the days (perhaps not that long ago) where we would color for hours in our coloring book. We'd make one for each of our family members to hang on the fridge and it would be a badge of honor to see our hard work displayed. If you're like me, this could still be a favorite activity to unwind with, but for most of us we left our coloring days long ago. 

Well I'm here to reclaim the coloring book and I am not alone. Adult coloring books are all the rage right now. I definitely picked one up and so should you! 

I've also been reclaiming the coloring book page in the classroom for many years. I've found it's a really great alternative to value scales and the traditional cone/sphere/cube shading exercises. I've used coloring pages with all grades and even some adults. My students always ask for more and even bring in their own coloring book pages FULLY SHADED! I'm tellin' you, it's like I'm tricking them into learning they have so much fun. 

I alway pick a theme and right now (so close to October) we are shading Halloween/Monster pages. Each one is a half sheet. 

These are the unaltered coloring pages. I simply found them with a Google search and made sure they were for free use. There are TONS out there! I talk about light source, overlapping/cast shadows, gentle transitions between values, rounded surfaces, the whole gamete that makes up the intricacy of shading and then it's dive in and practice! Here are some completed examples:

Right now my classes are pretty focused on colored pencil but I've used coloring pages for pen, pencil, oil pastel, paint mixing, texture and so many other artsy fun techniques. The possibilities are endless. Have the students fill them in with Zentangles or paper collage on top! Whatever it is I promise students will A. learn and B. have a blast. 

Thanks for stopping in!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Collectively Creative

If you have a principal like mine, two days into the new school year they're already asking, "so when are we getting some art up in the hallways?". Although I enjoy that art is wanted and encouraged in the hallway, I get a little WAHHHHHH with the idea of having something up almost immediately.

So this year I took on the challenge and I did it! I got art in the hallway four days into school and it was great! The hallways are so colorful and now we can take our time getting new projects ready for the next display.

Now I have to admit I stole the idea from another blog (check it out here) but let's be honest, some of our best ideas are stollen and adapted. So, here's what we did. Each student (roughly 320) was given 1/4 of a circle. They could get as creative as possible and use a bunch of different supplies. Only one challenge, they had ONE forty minute class to accomplish their masterpiece.

 Here is the stack starting to pile high. As you can see from the top one, there were definitely some students who didn't really DIVE in to the exercise. This left me with some extras for students to help me finish when they finished early.

Here's what I did:
     -Draw a large circle on 18x18 paper
     -Cut each sheet into 9x9 squares
     -Set out whatever 2D materials you don't               mind the students using (I wouldn't
      recommend paint) I had markers, crayons             and oil pastels.

That's it! How easy is that! This was perfect for getting students use to class routines and getting the creative juices flowing.

I went a little overboard with my 3D students. I felt a bad having them not do 3D but also wanted them to participate, so left over scraps of "junk" came in handy! Check out the creativity!

Really loving this student group's use of repetition :)

The students really had a fun time with this and I was able to stop them to correct routiney (making words up) behaviors without spending too much time away from the project. That's what I call a win-win. Check out the final display, along with some of my favorite combinations. 

The display spans three walls! SO MUCH ART :) !

Hope you enjoyed and thanks for stopping in!