Bike project done – but not finished.


Bike project

bike7 bike4 bike6The “awesome bike project” turned out a little different than I had initially imagined – that’s okay – this is art class, we go with the flow :)

After building pretty sweet bikes from cardboard rings, pipe cleaners, and candy sticks – (see post) we attached the bikes to heavy boards and painted a background.  Of course it makes sense to do the gluing AFTER the scenery is complete – but do to the logistics of this class I did the gluing ahead of time.

(plus the glue was too powerful to use in our very enclosed classroom)

It still worked out, so all is well.  bike10 bike11Little update: Today I had to take the new pup, Margo to the vet.


Margo, the new pup, at the vets. :)

While waiting I spotted this fabulous sculpture –

Now THIS is what I wanted to do with the bike sculptures – sigh – so stinking cute.

cat and dog on bike

next time, next time…..


“Watercolors are afraid of paper”

watercolors  Watercolors: lesson one – “Watercolor paints are AFRAID of paper”

While introducing my students to watercolor, I had them use

– one color per person
– small pieces of paper
– tiny paintbrushes
– and a light touch

No need to do dig their brushes into the paper… or make multiple swipes  – in fact, that is why I dramatically shared the secret that watercolor paints are in fact scared of touching paper…it is their biggest fear – so in order to make a pretty picture instead of a scary/ugly mess/all muddy brown and torn ….we need to gently introduce the timid paint to the paper.


make blobs – let dry – figure out what they are


earth balloon – lady in a bathing suit – and a snake – who knew?

Easy Snow Globes……or how to use GLITTER! with little mess

glitter1 - Copy

Three tiny containers of glitter satisfied the GLITTER!!! needs of 36 kids, and a couple visitors to my class.  (Dollar Store glitter $1 for all three)
How?  How in the world did I not have GLITTER!!! from floor to ceiling?  Me, the art teacher who loves a good mess and has little tolerance for orderly – aka micro managed  -art?

We made snow globes, easy, inexpensive, practically mess-free. (there is always that one child who smears glue on his hands and proceeds to touch his hair, face, neighbors face…..)

SNOW GLOBES: The easy way.

Draw a Christmas scene on circle paper – I found a stack of pre-cut white cardboard circles at my favorite paper supply company (Hollos in Brunswick, if you happen to be a local reader)  $.02 each
glitter5 - Copy  Encourage the kids to use the WHOLE circle to draw their picture. (part of the bottom will be hidden)

Now, walk the kids to the “GLITTER station”

I mixed regular white glue with glitter and had the kids paint directly over their pictures. glitter2 - Copy

glitter3 - Copy

HOT water gets the paintbrushes clean licky split :)

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Each piece was as unique as the child

glitter1 - Copy

One little girl insisted on cutting her circle down to make a tiny globe – turned out cute :)

The base of the snow globes are simply little cardboard cups. Before class I used a long serrated knife to cut a slit through the bottom. (approximately across the center of the cup)  (Bag of 50 cardboard cups = $2.25)

Our inexpensive circles had an “easy to color on” side and a “not easy to color on” side …. so we only used one side to draw on, but you could just as easily use both.


I did walk out of class with a piece of glitter stuck right under my eye – as many people pointed out….~pshaw, it’s festive :)  Tis the season for GLITTER!!!!

A new perspective

A silly photo on Facebook started the wheels turning for a cool drawing project. At first glance, the boys’ outstretched arms looked unnaturally short…he is actually folding his arms across his chest, but thanks to the –  A. lighting B. clothing choice and the fact no one else has their arms folded, he looked sort of like this…big head little arms 2

Entirely okay with me, since this sparked an art project. Thank you, Nick!

Perspective Drawings

  • Without revealing the project – I had the kids trace their hands and feet on a sheet of paper.
  • Hands at the top (could be overlapped, or run off the page if necessary)
  • Feet at the bottom (some chose to take their shoes off, others left them on)
  • To make the perspective clear, I had them draw “finger wrinkles” and the sole of their shoe, or “toe wrinkles”
  • Then, I asked them to draw their body – BEHIND the hands and feet. (and showed them an example)
  • Be sure the arms end at the base of the hand and the legs run into the feet.

Some kids nhands3eeded a little help visualizing this – but once they got it Ba-BAM!  they were off and running.

Here are some examples of student work hands4hands1


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Portraits made Eeea-sy

Art class SUCCESS

Easy self portraits for ages 10 and up


I wanted my art class to delve into portraits…..but did want to deal with forty + children whining about how HARD it was…so – I did something tricky.  At the end of one class, I took a picture of each child on my phone. (Like the pretty little artist above.)

Then, at home I uploaded the photos to Word and used the artistic effects tab to create black and white images like the ones below ….

Now the fun begins…after having each child “find their face”  I instructed them to “cartoon themselves”
They could finish their bodies, color in the features, turn themselves into whatever they want.


Guarantee none of the boys in my class look “quite” this tough….actually a clean cut little boy did this cartoon – awesome.



This one is missing his head ….but I didn’t catch a shot once the head was attached… darn!

I loved the cowboy look for the boy below…


They had so much fun with this project that everyone wanted to do it again the next week – so we did…

Each one was so unique and they were all engrossed in making something special. – Just the attitude I love to see in class!

April 1st starts the A to Z blog challenge – I will be blogging daily here and on my main blog Sylvie Says... everyday in April…. consider that fair warning!