February 26

The Eyes Have It

As part of my art unit on ‘solids, liquids and gases’ we were creating works using movement, air, water etc. This was our ‘gases’ artwork. Now blowing ink through a straw is nothing new, and not really a Year 5/6 activity, so the challenge was to create the illusion of eye lashes. We were inspired by an artist we found on Deviant Art, PixieCold. It was amazing for the students to find an artist that exists today and produces work in current times. They even wanted to message the artist and ask questions about her technique. You can’t do that with Van Gogh!

Once finished, these artworks looked surreal up on our wall. Many people would come in and comment on them. My class even wanted to send the link to our blog post about them to the German artist who inspired us!


June 26

Online Art Tutorials

I love art lessons, and am forever searching for successful art lessons.  You know the ones, where the kids go “Wow!” when you show them what they are going to create, you have the materials readily available and its relatively easy for the class to complete, either using simple but effective techniques or having manageable steps to follow.

There are so many super websites available for art lessons, many that show you a finished product and provide lessons. One of my favourite sites is Artsonia Kds Art Museum, search the gallery to see actual students work.

Lately I have been teaching art lessons using online tutorials and speed videos, and it’s having an AMAZING effect on my 10-12 year olds. Youtube has plenty of these videos, as does Teachertube and ehow. I even do the artwork with the kids, which is a great way to model the trial and error nature of art.

After completing a tutorial from the Tyler’sArtShack Channel on youtube, we emailed Tyler telling him how much we like his work and sent him a link to look at our attempts. What an opportunity – appreciating artworks and communicating directly with the artist! It’s completely changing the way I will approach art teaching, gone are the days of only appreciating the masters. And let’s face it, you just can’t email Van Gogh.

Here is an artwork we used to inspire us before we did our own chalk pastel drawings of a beach.

And here is a video of an artwork that we also tried to create, exploring the technique of making tints and tones of a colour.