Thursday, January 29, 2015

Monet's Cap d'Antibes

Landscapes are always a favorite of my students. I know they enjoy the process of applying paints in vivid colors and I enjoy the end result. So if you are interested in a beautiful landscape using bold colors and vivid brushstrokes this is just the project. 

A little history first….

Starting in early spring 1888, Monet spent several months painting in Antibes in the south of France. He struggled with ever-changing weather conditions and worked hard to convey the transitory effects of light and wind.
Here Monet captured the intensity of Mediterranean light and colour by using strongly contrasting colors. 

He wrote: ‘What I bring back from here will be sweetness itself, white, pink and blue, all enveloped in this magical air.’

After looking at various prints of Antibes, students jumped right in and started painting. 

First, students folded the paper in half the long way. This creates a horizon line for your landscape. They then started painting the clouds and sky. We discussed the movement shown in brushstrokes in Monet's and the Impressionists paintings.  

They really enjoyed looking at the twisting, overlapping brushstrokes. 

Next, students added the sea water with tempera paint. Various shades of blues and greens were provided for visual interest. 

Students then were directed to add the mountains in the background, making sure to paint on the fold/horizon line to express the background of the landscape.

Lastly, the tree was painted with black or brown to represent the shadow and a thin brushstroke of white for the highlight. The tree was topped off with delicate marks of tempera paint to represent the tree top.

Since the tree is in the foreground it should be much larger than the other items. 

Once the tree is complete, add some land and rocks to complete your landscape.


12 x 18 construction paper
various shades of tempera paint
large and small brushes
placemats to keep tables clean

Grab a paint brush and enjoy painting with your kiddos!

Laura :)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Let's Celebrate Creating Art

I was totally surprised and speechless 
when I was contacted by 
Amanda from the Art of Education
to say that I was voted 

sponsored by

 As I said before,
 I am so excited to be selected amongst these awesome bloggers!! When I started out a few years ago  
I was so happy to see there were other Art teachers across the country and world who were creating fun projects and sharing them online.

So let's take the time to look at all the great blogs
and celebrate creating Art with our kiddos!

Keep creating!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Irises by Monet

Irises were among Monet's favorite flowers. They lined the pathways leading up to the house and Japanese bridge on the artist's property at Giverny. 

Monet applied thick purples, blues and green paint using bold strokes. The effect was possibly induced by his poor vision.

If you need a one day project, this is a masterpiece!
1st grade students created these charming paintings with oil pastels and tempera paints. After viewing images of his home and garden, students selected a piece of construction paper, then dragged and rubbed 2-3 oil pastels across their paper. 

Next, students "tapped" their brushes into various shades of green paint and painted the iris stems. We chose to paint 5-7 stems.

Lastly, students painted the flower blooms with shades of purples and used just a bit of yellow to represent the center part of the flower.

Tempera Paint
Oil pastels

Keep on creating! 

Laura :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Monet's Fields of Poppies

Argenteuil, a region just outside of Paris, was where Monet lived for 7 years. It was a wonderful place for Monet to find inspiration for his Plein-Air art style. 

He loved venturing out to the fields to explore and would enjoy painting poppies which he was quiet fond of. 

My creative, delightful, 2nd graders delighted in looking at the visuals of Monet's paintings.

The explosion of color on the paper and the arrays of greens was so uplifting and enjoyable to see while outside our art room window was a bleak January landscape.

After examining the various poppy paintings, 
students grabbed a piece of 12 x 18 construction paper and their placemats and started creating. I also commented on how Claude would show movement with his brushstrokes. The clouds show so much beauty so we started there first. 

After they started painting,
we quickly looked at how the color green would change with the depth 
of the landscape. The lighter colors were found in the foreground and the darker in the background. We also discussed how the trees were located in the painting and how they had various heights.

Next, we used our paint brushes to demonstrate movement and texture by "hopping" around on the paper. We also "tapped" the brush in the paint so as to not overload the little guy.

Some classes added their poppies after the fields were completed. 

Others, used oil pastels to give more layering and texture, then applied their poppies to the landscape. 

I adore these beautiful creations and I hope you have a colorful day wherever you are planted.

Laura :)

12 x 18 construction paper
tempera paint
oil pastels

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Art of Education Blog of the Year Finalist.


What an honor to be selected as a finalist 
 in the Elementary Art Category!

I have to admit I am so excited to be selected amongst these awesome bloggers. When I started out a few years ago,  
I was so happy to see there were other Art teachers across the country who were creating fun projects.
 Patty, from
was such an inspiration to me and to this day the queen of the online art education world!

Phyl from
is a gem of knowledge. 

And then there is  
who is always modeling a new outfit and along with her humor has us laughing out loud, rolling on the floor. Yes, I am so jealous of her wild sewing creations. (Umm I'm still trying to figure out the bobbin in my sewing machine but that is another blog post. :) Sorry off topic.)

We would comment on each others blog and borrow lesson ideas. We'd put a spin on the project, making it our own to teach to our students. 

We would stumble through the crazy blogging process, asking questions about procedures and projects.  
The blogging world has exploded into a wonderful place to meet and gather ideas. 

So to all who have jumped into the blogging world:

 "Thanks for sharing and providing lessons for the little artists, 
because they are the biggest winners!"

If you have a chance please go check out these fabulous 
art education blogs over at

You can place your vote by going here

I am not only thrilled and humbled to be nominated among these bloggers, moreover I am more excited that I have developed wonderful friendships with these 
Artfully Awesome Art Educators 
 that is the greatest gift of all!

Laura :)

Friday, January 16, 2015

and the Thematic Winner is…..

If you remember from my past post this school year, 
our school wide theme is

 "Make a Splash" 

Just an FYI, March is Youth Art Month and Music in our Schools Month. The music teachers and art teachers have a fun time planning for our big district wide Fine Arts Festival.  
My elementary students in 2nd grade will be performing a play about Swamp Animals. To tie it all together I am incorporating Claude Monet, his life, his famous paintings and all his wonderful paintings that focus on water. I love creating Thematic Units for all my classes. (If you have been following my blog for awhile you know I am all about the Theme.) lol

Drum roll please………….

so here is our theme for the 2015 Fine Arts Festival ……

  So stay tuned. I will be posting some pretty fun projects! 
Of course, if you follow me on 

you will see daily updates and 
see the projects as they are being created! 
Live Action
How cool is that!

Laura :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hot Cocoa and Snow Day Students

Living in Ohio we see all different types of weather. I know my students love snow days why, who wouldn't?  A free day off of school, playing in the snow, drinking hot cocoa! 

Here are a couple of projects my students created 
to welcome the winter season.

Snow Day Students

Day 1. 3rd grade students created an argyle pattern on construction paper with pencil, criss crossing the lines, then painting white dots with tempera paint to create a stitching look. 

Day 2. Students chose a piece of plaid painted paper for their shirt, and a large fabric strip for a scarf and glued them down. 

Next, students chose a color of construction paper for their face and made a big u on the 6 x 6 face paper, cut it out, glued it down and then added facial features and painted paper hair.

Day 3.
Lastly, students used white tempera paint to add dots to represent snow. These look so fun when displayed together! 

Hot Cocoa and Pattern Mittens

Day 1. First graders kept the snow theme flying! They created symmetrical mittens with lots of fun patterns. They used oil pastels on previously painted paper to make the designs. 

Day 2. Students added fun patterns to construction paper mugs. Don't forget a strip of hot chocolate paper and some marshmallows! Finish off with some white tempera paint steam and you are set!

Hope you can have a snow day wherever you are!

Laura :)