FALL 2014

Mono Printing/Finger Painting

all pictures 3.21 008On August 19th, 2014 a new art year started for my students and myself!  I thought the best thing to start with would be a lesson in mono printing.  We discussed  the word/prefix, “mono” meaning one and we talked about the process of printing one at a time, hence the word “monoprinting”

The students will remember it as finger painting.  I should have taken a picture of the clean room with freshly painted table tops, ’cause they won’t look this nice the rest of the year.   It’s a fun first day project.  They have to listen to me, cooperate with each other, and they all like smearing paint around.

all pictures 3.21 013You start out by smearing some paint around on a piece of plexiglass. You can see one student using a brush to smear the paint around and one student starting to scribble with one finger.  I tell the students to use one finger so it’s easier to clean up.

all pictures 3.21 014Once the design is scribbled into the paint, a piece of paper is set down on the paint.  You can see a student here lightly pushing the paper down in to the paint to get the paint to adhere to the paper.

all pictures 3.21 015Her you can see a student pulling the print. I stick to light orange and yellow colors usually to make cleanup easier.


Below are just some general classroom shots of doing the mono-printing/finger painting.  I wish I would have thought to take some picture of the K and 1st graders, they were all pretty excited!

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Paper Folding/Origami


Origami is a great project to re enforce and encourage following directions, orderly thought processes, math terms such as fractions, symmetry, triangle, rectangle,  etc., and is great for just basic manual skills.  Plus it’s material requirements are simple, you need only paper. You can stretch the assignment easily with glue, scissors, additional drawing/color and all the related concepts and vocabulary.

I usually start with making a simple cup from a square then go on to making hats, boats,  and puppets.

DSCN3230 Above is one of the puppet shapes that starts as a hat then turns into a boat then turns into one of two puppets.

DSCN3137Another puppet, with a bit of decoration.  Once I point out the possibility  of gluing and pasting yarn and additional paper, the students really take off.

DSCN2838It might be hard to see exactly what has transpired here.  A cup was made and decorated it was then glued onto a body form/puppet figure.  I like to see students go on a adapt and change the original idea if time permits.  Obviously, this student likes it.

DSCN3009Another decorated puppet.  Yarn, glue, scissors, and paper, it’s certainly a winning combination from a motor skills  and a student satisfaction standpoint.

DSCN3026Here’s Miss Ayumi with a crane she has folded from a larger than usual piece of paper.

DSCN3029A quick folded hat.  This or the folded cup is usually a place I start to teach origami


DSCN3032 A couple of students took big pieces of rectangular paper, taped them together to make one big piece of rectangular paper, then folded it into a larger than necessary hat.  It came out great and it was fun to see them work it out on their own.

DSCN3035Her is Miss Trinity assisting with one of the first grades.  It’s always nice to have help with the younger grades.  The class was working on folding hats.  It’s fun and instructive project for the younger grades. Just folding in half and following directions are a challenge at this age.

DSCN3089This student found some large paper at home and brought in a large version of the hat-puppet.  Although it’s nice to see the large version, it’s even greater, as a teacher, to see the students take the ideas home and repeat and alter them.

DSCN2974If you fold four of the hat-boats, you can stick them together to make a box.

DSCN2859This student does not understand the word, “enough” .  Apparently glue, tape, and yarn were a powerful lure.

DSCN2867Here’s another example of the hat-boat being made into boxes.

DSCN3228Here’s another big puppet folded using paper from the bulletin board roll.



Alec Draws a Dog



This is how it started.  Alec had a dog he loved die and he wanted to draw  a picture of  the dog to give to the owner.  I explained the process, and how long it would take. He possessed the desire, seemed committed to the process, and was willing to do the work .  So I agreed to give him a hand.  We worked on it during lunch recess for about 3 weeks or so.  He’s probably got 15+ hours in it.


Alec’s Story About Jesse

DSCN3302This is the starting point.  He had a photo he wanted to copy from and we did various color and black and white sketches along with enlarging, tracing, and generally composing the drawing.

DSCN3303An early black and white sketch.

DSCN3305A small sketch and color study, before the big one was attempted.



DSCN3111In the above shots you can see Alec just staring to lightly color in the final pencil sketch.



DSCN3184In these 3 shots above you can see the drawing starting to come together.  Alec was lightly filling in color.



DSCN3293In these shots Alec is going over the drawing making all the colors a bit darker and more vivid.

DSCN3300Here is the final piece.  It was great fun for me to see Alec work through the process of drawing such a nice finished drawing.  If there is anything I would want him, or any other student to realize, is sometimes making art is nothing more than committing to the required work, following through, and not giving up until you reach your desired goal.

I think we both had a great time.


Alec’s Story About Jesse

    Hi, my name is Alec P.  I had a dog named Jesse. He was a really good dog to me.  He was in my heart all the time.  When he passed away I thought I was going to be sick.  Jess was a championship dog.  Why I said that is because he was show dog.  He won lots of shows he went into.  Tim S. was the owner of Jess.  My dad lived next to him for a lot of years.  I went to Tim’s house about every weekend to play and practice with Jesse because we had shows to do.  Now I think you can tell that I loved Jesse my dog.