January 30, 2016

Picasso Portraits for Kids

My students love learning about different artists and they had a lot of fun creating portraits in the style of Pablo Picasso. Before we began creating our own artworks, we looked at a bunch of different paintings by Picasso and talked about what made his work different from the artists who came before him. We discussed the term cubism and looked at a few works by other cubist artists like Georges Braques and Albert Gleizes.

Then we got ready to create our own Picasso masterpieces using construction paper and pastels. I got the idea for this project from this photo that I found on Pinterest...

(If anyone knows who took this photo then please let me know, so I can link back to the original source. I've seen a bunch of people pin this photo, but no one seems to know where it originally came from!)
As you can see, the photo shows pretty clear instructions on how to create your own Picasso portraits. I gave each of the kids a piece of construction paper to draw the outline of the face and neck, and then I gave them three pre-cut pieces of construction paper for the two eyes and nose. I had already drawn my own eyes and nose so they could see what they were supposed to look like, and I stuck those on the wall so they could use them as a reference. Some kids chose to draw their eyes and nose in their own way, which was totally fine, but being able to see what I had drawn helped a lot of the kids get started.

Once the students drew what they wanted on their pieces of smaller pieces of construction paper, they glued their eyes and nose onto their large piece of construction paper and then used pastels to colour in the rest of the face. They did such a great job and really seemed to understand how to give their pictures a cubist feel.

Here are some of the finished products!


These Picasso portraits are really easy to make and they look great hanging on the wall outside of our classroom!

January 28, 2016

How to Draw The Scream

I often find it difficult to find videos to use as part of my art program. Sure, there are tv shows for younger kids that teach you how to make crafts and there are documentaries for adults on the history of art and culture, but I am constantly trying to find age appropriate videos for my older students that discuss famous artists and art styles in an interesting and entertaining way.

So, you can imagine how excited I was to discover the Artrageous with Nate video series, created by art educator Nate Heck. I like to describe this guy as the "Bill Nye of the Art World," which is a huge compliment because my students LOVE Bill Nye.

I love what Nate Heck is doing with these videos. He teaches kids about art in a fun and intelligent way, and I can tell you that even the kids that don't think they like art will enjoy these episodes.

There are a variety of episodes to choose from (although not nearly enough for me...I need more!) and some focus on famous artists like Jackson Pollock, Georges Seurat, and Edvard Munch, while others focus on local artists. Nate Heck has also recently partnered with PBS and new videos are coming out every few weeks (yay!).

My class recently watched this video about Edvard's Munch's The Scream...


...and then created their own pastel drawings of the painting. I think they turned out pretty well!




This is one of only many art lessons you can do with these videos. Make sure you check them out!