Beginning symmetry with vases and flowers (art class lesson 15 & 16)

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giant coffe filters

As this first 16 week session of art classes draws to a close we ended with a multi step project that included beginning symmetry.(I will recap results of this class at the end of this post)

I had these huge coffee filters lying around that I wanted to use for a real long time. They’re not actually real coffee filters as I can’t imagine any coffee machine large enough to hold them, ūüôā but they are the same material and same configuration as coffee filters so that’s what I call them.

Since coffee filters and watercolors go together as naturally as crayons and paper I decided to incorporate them into a larger project.

We started by dripping a few different colors of watercolors onto the large filters. Liquid Watercolor Paint are the best type of paints to use for this. If you happen to have  Watercolor Paint tubes lying around, you can always mix those in water to get the same effect.

I also had some gold watercolor  paint which added to the excitement.

We used droppers to get the paint onto the filters but, since we didn’t have enough for each child we also used some paintbrushes.

dripping watercolors onto filters

I made sure to tell the children that we were just creating backgrounds to make flowers out of and they were not each creating their own coffee filters.

painted filters

When these were all done we put them aside to dry (for the next week).

I then told the children that we were going to create vases and flowers to put into the vases.

I hung up a few pictures of vases along with one real vase I had nearby.

pictures of vases

I showed them how each side in a vase is almost always the exact same shape as the other side in a mirrored fashion. (If I had more time I would have gone into mirrored activities in more detail)

They were told to draw a large vase on a black paper with a pencil.

drawing vases on black paper

You may think that you can’t see any marks on a black paper, but it really does show up.

Some of the children were making very small vases so I had to make some dots for them to at least give them the scale of what size the vases should be. All I did was put 2 dots at the top of the paper to show them the size the top of the vase should ideally be.

They chose which vase they wanted to make. With some, I had to emphasize the neck going first and one girl noted that not all the vases had necks, which was correct.

After they drew the vases they used¬†Oil Pastels. Oil ¬†pastels has become a favorite of mine especially on black paper. The colors are so rich and vivid and you don’t get that same chalky feeling as the regular pastels.

vase 1

vase 2

vase 3

vase 4

After the were done with coloring their vases they cut them out and pasted them on a large sheet of white tagboard.

They then went back to the large coffee filter that they had painted and drew flowers with a black marker.

Some of them had already made flowers the week before so they used those and/or added more.

They then had to cut out their flowers, decide if they needed stems and paste them down to fit into their vases.

Many of them used a combination of pasting and drawing and coloring their  own flowers.

finished vase 1

finished vase 2

finished vase 3

Not everyone wanted to use the coffee filters so this young lady found some mylar material I had and drew one large flower out of it for her vase.

finished vase 4

This girl got really ¬†ambitious and asked for a really large piece of paper after to put her vase and flowers on. She cut it all out and the paper I had available wasn’t stiff enough so we added some cardboard behind it.

She then drew a whole room behind her vase with, table, ceiling and windows. (not all visible here)

finished vase 5

finished vase 6

This was the last week of a 16 series art class that I ran out of my home.

Part of why I did this course was to lay the foundation for a course I am working on called “How to Teach Your Child to Draw & Do Art Even if you can’t Draw ¬†Straight Line”

This class is over and I learned a lot from  working with this group of 14 first grade girls.

  1. Little girls looooove to color and if you let them sometimes it’s all they want to do.
  2. There are so many different levels in one age group.
  3. In order to really teach basic skills, its really hard to do it in such a large group.
  4. Not all of the girls like messy art and not all of them want to do things that are a little bit hard for them.
  5. You can’t only do things like skill based work because it gets too tiring so you need to balance it with other types of art as well.

I am going to continue with a much smaller group concentrating on real learn to draw skills. I hope I can get them advanced enough to be able to use different media with the skills of drawing and planning out their artwork.

I will keep you posted. Thanks for following along. (Please share if you enjoyed this series and let me know in comments below if you have anything to add)

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