How To: Colorful Animal Collages

What a crazy few weeks it has been at the studio! We successfully had our first two camps and they were so much fun. The elementary students explored color through different mediums and our teens practiced their drawing and painting skills. We will be posting about different projects from camp throughout the summer, starting with one of my favorites: colorful animal collages.

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The students got so into this project and had such a fun time making these crazy, colorful collages. I love this project because it combined fun with practicing artistic skills. Keep reading to see a step-by-step overview of how to complete this project as well as see the finished results!

Step One: Have the students scribble or create some kind of design using crayons or pastels on big sheets of paper. Then, using watercolor, tempura paint or dye from a tie-dye kit, have the students paint over their design to make bold and colorful paper. Make sure they know that everyone is sharing their paper creations.

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Step Two: Let the students brainstorm about what kind of animal they want to create. We let the campers choose from birds, cats and dogs but a few students got creative and did wolves, bunnies and hamsters.

Step Three: Assemble the base of the collage once paper has dried. Have the students tear or cut up the colorful paper and post it on stiff cardboard or paper using Elmer’s glue.

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Step Four: Using black acrylic paint, trace the outline of the animal’s eyes, noses and mouth on multimedia paper. The shape of these features changes based on the animal so the students were shown demonstrations and samples but also used reference photos. See examples of the different animals at the end of this post.

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Step Five: Fill in the eyes using different shades of oil pastels. Trace the outline of the eye with the darkest shade and slowly blend to lighter colors to make the eye pop. Allow the students to color in the mouth and nose with pastels or acrylic paint as well.

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Step Six: Paste the facial features on the collage using glue then have the students add finishing touches with acrylic paint such as whiskers, fur or ears. Fan brushes are great for this step.

Step Seven: Admire your work!

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Dog Collage:

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Cat Collages (this was a popular choice):

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Owl Collage:

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Bunny Collage:

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Hamster Collage:

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Hope everyone is having a great summer!

Ceramic Sea Turtles

To get in the spirit of summer, our elementary students crafted sea turtles out of clay and painted them and they turned out so cute. The elementary students always love clay, it is one of their favorite art projects.

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This project was spread out over a few weeks and I was so excited to see the results. Every turtle turned out different and the students put their own, unique spins on the project. See some of their work below!

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Georgia O’Keeffe Inspired Flowers

This past week the elementary art students have been finishing up their Georgia O’Keeffe Flower paintings. I was feeling inspired by all of the greenery and flowers around the studio and wanted to use this inspiration in the art project for the week.

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When the students arrived for class we learned a little bit about O’Keeffe’s life then the students went out into the yard and chose the flowers they wanted to paint and draw. The students practiced drawing their flowers with pencil, then traced their drawings with bright oil pastel colors before adding watercolor to finish them off.

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The students were extremely creative and I loved the results! We encouraged them to draw their flowers from the perspective of a bee or butterfly up close to the flower.

I hope these “May flowers” bring you joy, happy Sunday!

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Elementary Silk Paintings

The Elementary Art Class has been working on silk paintings and I am so impressed by the art that my youngest students, some of them only seven years old, create.

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Silk painting involves a lot of patience and flexibility as the paint does not always go where you want, but as you can tell, students excelled and created beautiful paintings anyways.

 

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I was very inspired by the use of color and creativity that the students displayed in their paintings, and hope these images brighten up your day.

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Slab Built Ceramic Heart Boxes

February’s theme was hearts and clay at PFA Studio.  The Wednesday Elementary Art class made slab built ceramic heart boxes.

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IMG_1311First we learned about clay and using the slab roller.  We used my Shimpo Slab Roller that I absolutely love!

Then everyone rolled out their own slabs.

Cut the top and bottoms of the ceramics boxes with heart-shaped cookie cutters.

Built walls.

Attached it all together – not as easy as it may seem.

 

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After they were fired, the students painted them with three coats of ceramic paint.

Then they were fired again.

You can see the results!  I just love them.

And one photo of my super cute Pottery Barn.  Yes, I literally have a Pottery Barn!

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Olympic Tributes

The youngest elementary art students completed some mixed media tributes to the 2018 Olympics.

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The figures were designed after the Olympic Pictograms.

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They were harder to assemble than you might think – requiring measuring and placement of body parts.

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We also learned a little about the Olympics.

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And as always, had V05A3774a lot of fun.

Acrylic Ice Cream Cone Paintings

I think my students are picking up on my love of colors.

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I may have said this once, or a hundred times, but most importantly I want my students to have fun and positive experiences while they explore art.

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But, I used to be a lawyer, and that Type A side of me is always trying to teach basic art concepts.

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With this lesson we got an introduction to painting standing up at an easel with acrylic paint.

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And a lesson on color theory and value.

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Hope these brighten your day.

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XO, Jamie

Elementary Abstract Landscape Watercolors

All age groups have been studying perspective and learning about watercolor this month.  The youngest elementary art students applied their new knowledge and skills to complete Abstract Landscape Watercolors.

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We started by looking at the work of Ted Harrison.  He is a Canadian artist who created beautiful colorful abstract landscape of the Yukon Territory.  Follow the link above to see some of his work.

We talked about one point perspective, foreground, middle ground and background.

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Then we completed our own landscapes.  I encouraged them to use expressive colors in the style of Ted Harrison.

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I love how they turned out.  Hope they brighten your homes during this gloomy Seattle winter. IMG_1160

Elementary Art Watercolor Landscapes

The Advanced Elementary Art class created winter watercolor landscapes.

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First, they were introduced to how to use watercolor.

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We practiced some basic watercolor strokes and learned how to set up our work area.

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We also had a lesson one-point perspective.

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And we incorporated what we have learned about value.

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We put this all together to create watercolor landscapes.

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They did such a great job!

 

 

Glass Fused Mirrors

The older elementary art students made Glass Fused Mirrors as their last project of the year.

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Working with glass is always fun and a bit challenging.  We started by going over the basic of how glass fusion works and some safety rules:

Glass Cutting

  • Cut on smooth side.
  • First cut is a score line – cut from one edge to the next.
  • Hold it straight up and down to make contact with glass.
  • Use running pliers to break the glass – To adjust the pliers, screw it on then back off a bit. Works best when equal amounts on both sides of the pliers. For multiple lines, start in the middle and break into halves.
  • If it doesn’t break, flip over and try on same line from the backside.

Layer glass pieces smooth side up to avoid bubbles.

Glue: Super glue burns off at 400 degrees. Glue on edges not center so it has a way to escape.

Sharpie: Black Sharpie burns off. Colors do not.

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Glass Frames

We then made our glass frames. We did this by constructing two layers and tack fusing them together and adding embellishments.  As a final touch, I glued mirrors to the back of the frames.

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As you can see, they turned out beautiful.

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