Thursday, December 10, 2009

Batik with paint and ink

BATIK~a method of decorating cloth by covering part of it with wax and then dyeing the cloth, is easily simplified in the art classroom with crayons and watercolor. In this project, we used chalk, acrylic paint, and india ink.
5th graders studied the art of batik and created animal designs in chalk on paper. Then, students painted their animals and added ink to their paintings, washing away the ink after only a few minutes to reveal their animal designs. We touched up areas where color was lost with oil pastels to create high-contrast designs.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cityscape Collages

Third and Fourth grade students enjoyed looking at different photos of Tegucigalpa and comparing them to other cityscapes from around the world. We began our cityscapes by working in layers, from the top to the bottom of the paper. Students used torn paper to add sky and the distant hills that surround our city. We made sure that each of us was presenting our city and home in a "bird's eye view," so that we each had a clear horizon line in our work. We added buildings to the middle ground that we see in our community, and we added our home in the foreground.

Fall Trees

This lesson presents students with a challenge to create balance between positive and negative space in their composition. First, we cut up pieces of cardboard we had lying around. Then, students added torn strips of masking tape to create a tree-like design on their cardboard. We then sponge-painted fall colors on top of our tape and cardboard. The following class, we ripped off the tape to reveal a tree form and added white and black charcoal for highlights and shadows on our trees. Students were pleased to see how "realistic" their trees turned out.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Parque Nacional La Tigra

La Tigra is just a short bus ride up the mountain from Teguc, but it might as well be a world away. The bus would have been impossible to locate without the help of a local family who drove us to a gas station near the Guanacaste area of the city. We were sitting comfortably on our school bus when a group of 50 boys joined us on board with their scout leaders. I went from my own seat to 3 of us with one of the kids riding on my lap!
Once at the end of the road in El Hatillo, we got a ride to the park entrance up a steep hill. We hiked to the Cascades (waterfall) and across the park to San Juancito in about 5 1/2 hours with breaks. On our descent, we walked through lovely El Rosario, the first town in Central America to receive electricity during the mining boom. Now all that's booming in El Rosario is the reggeaton from one of the two pupuserias (store/cafes) on the hill. La Tigra is a breathtaking and I can't wait to return!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


It's been almost a week here in my new home of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. There is a nice quote that I have already heard that I think will take me far: "If things don't go your way, flip the tortilla the other way." If this week is any indication, I will be flipping a lot. However, I have a tentative home that I might get to move into this week, and I am reporting for my new art teacher position tomorrow. There is a great deal of inspiration for art here in the fantasy-like gardens, mountains, and amazing people that I have already come to love.

Friday, May 29, 2009

'Easy' still-life for elementary kids

Older elementary students like to get things just right when it comes to drawing from life. We talked about symmetry and practiced drawing simple objects like a bottle, but we only drew ONE side with a charcoal pencil. Then, we fold paper in half and rubbed the back of our drawing with a pencil to make a perfectly symmetrical bottle! Students felt so proud that their bottle looked 'real'. Next, we shaded one side dark, the other light for an instantly 3d effect. Once we'd drawn and shaded our objects with pastels, we arranged them in a balanced composition on 2 pieces of wall-paper taken from an old sample book. The result--a truly life-like still-life that gives students pride.