Thursday, July 28, 2011

First Day of School 2011

First of all, I can't believe it's 2011 already. I thought 2000 when we had Mikelle was still just a couple of years ago. Now we have a SIXTH grader. Here she is on her first day of school yesterday. She wanted to wear her "French" Fry shirt. She's also wearing the necklace her Papa and Grandma Georgia sent her from South Africa. She's worn it every day since she received it.

And Christian is a second grader. That blows me away too. If I post these kinds of pictures for AleXander I know I'll cry. It's just not fair how fast time flies.
Christian loves his Mario Brothers shirt so much he tried to wear it again today! To celebrate the end of summer vacation (but certainly not the end of summer. It is only the end of July here in hell), the day before we picked up Mikelle's good friend Katie and went to the Mesquite Junior High aquatic center in Gilbert.
And here is one showing more of Mikelle's personality.
Here is Christian and AleXander in the water.

Here is Mikelle (being goofy again) with Katie and AleXander.

And here's one I tried to get of Christian and Mikelle with AleXander.

Of course there are plenty shots like these.

Another Brothers shot. A little hard to see, due to the shadows. I tried to tweak it a bit.

Friday, July 22, 2011

7 Months Old Today!

There's no point in going on and on about how fast time flies. I've already mentioned that in other milestone posts. If only time can slow down for the pleasant things and speed up for the not-so-pleasant things.

Sweet Big Sister pics! AleXander was cranky and tired. Mikelle helped him relax with a bottle.

I tried to post two videos of AleXander on here, but they wouldn't upload. They said they were uploading, but they never did. Therefore, those videos can be found on my Facebook page. One is of him crawling, and the other is another cute one where he is practically hypnotized from watching Baby Einstein.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Final Two Summer Classes - Ice Cream and Watercolor Pencils!

(I wanted to have an entry for each session, but I soon fell behind on updating. Therefore, this will be a longer entry including the third lesson of Session III and the fourth lesson of Session III.)

Lesson 3, Session 3:
I really wanted to bring out different paints then the watercolors, but it was so hot outside (where some of it would be completed), that we just stuck with watercolors indoors.

First of all, most of the bookmarks were finished. Each student completed 3 or 4 bookmarks using watercolor, the salt technique, stamps and even ink pens. I had them laminated at Staples and punched a hole in the top, and then the students strung the ribbon through. They made the bookmarks for themselves or as gifts for others. Their choice.

We began the second part of the palm tree silhouettes, since their backgrounds were dry from last week:
We then began "The World's Tallest Ice Cream Cone" This project also helps students with size and building on their paper. I gave the students a long tall piece of watercolor paper and they drew out their cone and scoops. I encourages them to use the salt techniques and other watercolor techniques on different scoops to add variety. Eventually adding a background color was also essential.

This is where that lesson ended, about mid-way through the ice cream project! We also used intermission times with drying to practice a fun seran wrap technique. The only problem with the seran wrap technique is it requires a lot of time to dry to get the best effect and it needs a heavy book placed on the project while it dries.

You get some fun effects once it's completely dry and you pull off the plastic. I love this technique!

Unfortunately, it requires more patience than other techniques. Still, if you put the heavy book on the plastic and place it outside on the hot porch here int he summer, it certainly dries quicker. Just make sure you don't forget about it on the porch in the event of summer dust storms and thunderstorms. Ack!

I used the technique on the top scoop of my ice cream cone:

Lesson 4, Session 3:

Last session of the summer! Time to finish those ice cream cones!

The last of the bookmarks were also completed:
I then introduced them to Watercolor Pencils. They're like regular colored pencils, except they're made with Watercolor Paints. Therefore, after you draw the design, you wet the drawing with a tiny brush and water to "activate" the watercolor look.

We did a "complete the picture" project with their first try at watercolor pencils. The students went through a magazine and cut out a face or another picture. They glued it down and then used watercolor pencils to "complete it". Here is Mikelle's that she did previously:

And I demonstrated to the students with this one:

The choice of what picture to cut out and complete certainly wasn't limited to "people".

The blue and green areas on this camping one still need to be activated with water:
With the time remaining, students were able to use the watercolor pencils and see what else they could come up with the effects. One student certainly enjoyed it and completed one picture after another! And all the food stuff certainly made me hungry!

So that was the 2011 Art Lessons! Thanks for a Creative Summer!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Last Session, Lesson 2: Watercolor Salt Effects and Silhouettes!

We covered quite a bit on this day. We continued with the salt effects and added a few exercises. Then we turned the salt project into making Bookmarks! (more on that later).

First, my student that wasn't feeling well on Monday was able to finish his Concentric Circle Watercolor inspired from Wassily Kandinsky:
Then we tried a different formula with the Watercolor salt project, making it more simplistic then how we began on Monday.

The way the salt technique works is the salt is sprinkled on to semi-wet paint (not too wet) and the paint is drawn to the salt as it dries and leaves crystal shapes dotted throughout the wash of color. It adds fun textural elements as well as other visual interest to the painting.Because watercolor involves some patience associated with drying and then removing (brushing off) the salt, we simultaneously began our Palm Tree Silhouette project. Using these examples here, we discussed what a Silhouette was and how we were going to use it in our next Watercolor painting, using the palm tree as our theme. We only got through the first portion (background) of that painting, so awesome results to come next time!

Meanwhile, in between stages of drying, we began making Bookmarks! Before class, as I was trying to find something fun to do in incorporating the watercolor salt technique, I found an awesome project on this blog. I knew it was perfect project for my group!

A lot like the Watercolor Discovery project, the kids added the watercolor onto the paper without anything specific in mind. They just used the color to create fun mixtures and patterns. Then they sprinkled the salt on the paper as we did with the other salt paintings.

Then after that sheet was dry and the salt brushed off, we cut up the sheet to 3-4 bookmark sizes. I then used my corner rounder and brought out my stamps and black ink pad. The students added the stamps to their bookmarks. Some made designs, some spelled out their names or names of their friends that they wanted to give a bookmark to. If I had the stamp available, it could be used. The black Sharpies even came out in some cases.
I'll then take the bookmarks to Staples to get laminated. Then we'll punch a hole on the top and string a ribbon through. Voila! Bookmark! Some examples of finished bookmarks can be seen on the link I added above, as my group isn't quite there yet. Some awesome results from the Bookmark project and Palm Tree Silhouette will be revealed Monday!!