December 3, 2010

Pop Art Wild Things

The 2nd Grade students used Maurice Sendak's children's book, "Where The Wild Things Are" as inspiration for this project. After reading the story and creating a list of animal characteristics they observed in the Wild Things, students began to create their own. Students sketched four different Wild Things of their own and chose their favorite for their final artwork. After learning about the printmaking technique, students transferred their drawing to a Styrofoam printing block and made four, color prints. They then created beautiful and colorful “frame” patterns using construction paper crayons. These artworks POP with color!

Ancient Egyptian Statues

The 3rd Grade students learned about the art and culture of Ancient Egyptians. They learned about different gods and goddesses from Egyptian culture and how they were often represented by animals like dogs (jackals)--Anubis, and cats--Bastet. Students created their Egyptian animal statues and enjoyed writing their names in (a loose) hieroglyphic translation as well as adding details that are characteristic of Egyptian artwork.

November 13, 2010

Perspective Cities

The 5th Grade students learned about drawing in Perspective to show depth and dimension. After practicing the technical drawing skills, students were encouraged to create their own city. Students were asked to draw at least 3 things in perspective (buildings, road, etc.). Afterwards, they traced their lines with Sharpies and used a variety of watercolor techniques to add color. Students then used colored pencils to enhance areas of their artwork and really make them stand out. I'm impressed with all of the different ideas the students came up with!


The 2nd Graders created these wonderful Scarecrow artworks just in time for the harvest season! Students learned about “Landscapes” and created their own using a farm as inspiration. In this mixed-media approach, students had an opportunity to use oil pastels, watercolors, construction paper, buttons, fabric and raffia to create their Scarecrow artworks!

Autumn Leaves

The 3rd Grade students learned about the life and work of American Artist, Georgia O’Keeffe. She was known for her paintings of nature, specifically large details of flowers. Students put a spin on that by using the changing leaves as the inspiration. Each student chose their leaf and drew it using a bottle of glue on black paper. Once the glue was dry they used chalk pastels to blend warm and cool colors into their artwork.

Geometric Robots

The 1st Graders created their very own Robot using Geometric Shapes and Secondary Colors. Students are learning about the Elements of Art and how we can use them to create artworks that express ideas. Each student came up with a different idea and “constructed” their Robot very carefully. They were cracking me up showing me all of the different things their Robots could do!

September 15, 2010

Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms or Family Crest is an iconic image that has been around since Medieval times. The 3rd Grade students have taken the idea of the Coat of Arms and put a modern twist on it for a 'beginning of the year' project. Each student chose their shield design and divided the space into different sections to illustrate aspects of their personalities and unique interests. They are all so unique and wonderfully colorful!

Self Portraits

I was asked to participate in a fundraiser for our school through "Original Works". Since we are limited in size and media, I decided that it would be a good idea to have the students create a Self Portrait! I've found that often times, when asked to draw a Self Portrait, many students forget some of their features--eyebrows, ears, etc. These are great because it helps the kids to learn about drawing from observation by using a mirror and focusing on proportions, space and details. The 4th Grade students used colored pencils and watercolors to create these artworks and they are turning out GREAT across all grade levels!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Taking inspiration from Eric Carle, the 1st Grade classes have created giant caterpillars that are climbing on the walls. I like to begin the year by introducing my 1st graders to the Elements of Art. We talked about 'Texture' first and students had an opportunity to use crayons to create texture rubbings. They painted their circle of textures with watercolors, cut it out (which helps exercise those motor skills) and added it to the caterpillar body. Thanks to Mr. Stoller at Thomas Elementary for the idea!

Adinkra Symbols of Life

This collaborative artwork was created by the 5th Grade class of 2008-2009. We learned about Adinkra symbols that are used culturally in Ghana, Africa to represent different aspects of life, love and spirit. Each student chose a symbol that they identified with and used tools to carve their stamp from an EZ-Cut linoleum block. They created their own artworks and then used their stamp to contribute this collaborative artwork on a 4'x4' piece of birch plywood. Each student also contributed to painting the border which they voted on to be the colors of the Ghana flag. This piece is proudly displayed at the end of the 5th Grade hallway for all to see.

August 23, 2010

A Fresh Start

Welcome to the new and improved Riverside Elementary Art Blog! I began this blog two school years ago and took a hiatus last year. It's a new school year, a new beginning, and I plan to keep this blog updated.

I've found a lot of great ideas and inspiration from checking out blogs made by other art teachers and I hope to pay it forward with this one.

Below are some photos of the AMAZING Bottlecap Artwork the students collaborated on with our visiting artist, Michelle Stitzlein. I installed these pieces in our beautiful courtyard so that we can see them every day walking to and fro throughout the school day...