Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sub Lesson

So I really hate being gone from my classroom.  Partly because it's a lot more work being gone, and partly because I really want students to have a quality lesson, not just a "filler" sub lesson.  I had to be gone for one morning to a collaboration and I found this awesome lesson HERE  at Mrs. Knights Smartest Artists on symmetrical monoprinting.  We used the alpha biggie tempera blocks and folded our papers in half to create these.  I took it a step further and when I returned, we added black marker for contrast.  Students from K-5 did this lesson and they were all successful and beautiful!  Some students chose to do abstract and some chose realistic images.  All in all, a work they were proud of!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


First graders were featuring David Shannon in their reading this month, so I pulled out "Alice the Fairy" and read it to them.  I asked them to pay particular attention to all the illustrations, as they were going to paint themselves as a fairy in this lesson.  We began with the alpha biggie paints and painted an oval in either a peach or brown depending on their skin color.  They added clothing, dresses, wands, hair, wings, crowns, tiaras and any other details they wished.  We used a simple idea in the background.  Some painted swirls, some lines, some fairy dust.  Each was unique.  The classroom teachers loved these and are using them as inspiration for a writing piece.... If I had 3 wishes, I would wish for......

Here are some paintings in progress.

They were all precious, but here are some of my finished favorites.....

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monochromatic Paintings

Students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades created monochromatic paintings using tempera paint.  They soon realized how difficult painting details can be.  Each grade level had a different theme.  Using a black marker when the painting was done to add details and provide a cleaner edge to the painting was essential to the final look.

Grade 3:  Choice of subject matter
Grade 4:  Guitars
Grade 5:  Portraits

We learned how to mix different values of one color by using the neutrals of white, black and gray, ALWAYS adding the darker color to the lighter color when mixing.

Tints:  Add the color to white one drop at a time.
Shades:  Add black to the color one drop at a time.
Tones:  Add the color to different grays one drop at a time.

Here are some of the paintings in progress.....

Here are some of our finished fifth grade portraits.

Here are some of our finished third grade choice projects.

I was really pleased with the 4th grade guitars.  We used tempera on the guitars and watercolors for the backgrounds.

And here is one close to my heart....I was born and raised in Nebraska!  GO BIG RED!!!!

Friday, February 20, 2015

All Things Yummy

So here is the rest of our series of all things yummy!  Students loved the work of Wayne Thiebaud and in these paintings we used the Alpha Biggie tempera blocks along with oil pastels to create the rich layers of goodness!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Creating Makes Me Feel Better!

Yup... it's Valentine's Day!  And yup.... it's also my birthday!  Yes, it is worse than a kid having his/her birthday on Christmas, but I have learned to "get over it"!  Had big plans today but instead am staying in working on some small pieces of art because I am sick.  My students sometimes get a little too close when I'm demonstrating and I think I ran myself down this week, so I am paying for it now.

The good thing is...I'm not too sick to create.  These are two 5" x 7" pieces I finished today.  Liquid watercolors with black sharpie.  I really like the contrast between the bright colors and the black!  I like to make these cards to give away in unsuspecting places to unsuspecting people.   Not sure where I will drop these yet.

BTW... I have been going back and forth about which name to use on my artwork.  As an art teacher, I am professionally known as Ms. Welling.  But I did get married in November and I think I am going back to the name I was born with.....   Linda Limbach
It has a nice ring to it!  Now off to get some chicken noodle soup!

Friday, February 13, 2015

3-D Cups

Second graders learned how to use an ellipse to create the opening of a container such as a cup.  We sketched our cups in pencil first and painted them with the Alpha-Biggie tempera cakes.  Next time we used oil pastels to add another layer of color.  Beginning by outlining with black and building our patterns and designs using many colors of oil pastels.   Here is where I saw the idea for the Cups.  (This art teacher teaches in Italy)...oh how I wish!!!   We used different media, but the idea was awesome!  We are going to look at Wayne Thiebaud's yummy paintings next and create a series using the same medium.  Watch for our donuts and cupcakes to come.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Clay Hearts

Students created these beautiful clay bowls in one 40 minute class period.  Here's how....

1.  Press a clay slab to about 1/4" on a paper towel, making sure to flip the clay often so it does not stick to the paper towel.
2.  Use one stamp to impress a design in the slab.
3.  Draw a large heart onto the clay with pencil and cut it out using the pencil.  You can use the pencil to also create an interesting texture for the edge of the heart.
4.  Flip heart over and attach 3 feet by welding (smoothing the clay onto itself).  Write name on the back of the clay heart with pencil.
5.  Roll up a ball of newspaper and slump or drape the slab heart over it.  You could also use a paper bowl.  Let dry to bone dry stage.  This takes a few days.
6.  I used a Dick Blick glaze to give the bowl 2 good coats on the greenware before firing once.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Paper Picasso Portraits

Second graders giggled and laughed when I showed them several of Picasso's portraits.  After explaining to them that he used multiple viewpoints in his paintings (front views, side views, 3/4 views) they went to town painting their own portraits using colored construction paper.  Here are the basic steps.

1. Have each student choose 3 different colors of 6" x 9" construction paper.  Have them draw a large oval (making sure the oval touches all four sides) on one color and a hill shape on another (making sure the hill shape touches the corners).  Cut out the oval by stacking it on top of the third color so that you have two ovals.

2.  On one of the ovals draw a profile or side view of a face.

3.  Cut the profile out and glue it to the oval.  Use the scrap piece for the neck.  I usually tell students to cut that long piece in half for the neck.

4.  This is the basic portrait face with two viewpoints (front and side view)

5.  Use the scraps at everyone's table to start adding eyes, mouths, hair, and other details.  I use Elmer's glue the first class session, and glue stick the second class session because we outline with black markers and I don't want them ruined with white glue.  After the first 40 minutes students will  have a good start on the details.

Here are the Picasso Portraits in progress.

Then students begin outlining and adding more details with the black marker.

I got some pretty interesting results!

Art at Home

My sweet Emma made this for me over the weekend. She even got the pink streak in my hair.   I have a JOY file that I keep all the work my students create just for me.  It's awesome that parents allow their children to create art outside of art class.  This one was done in soft pastels.  One tip:  ask, or challenge students to create work at home or to look up an artist you are studying.  They will surprise you!