Showing posts with label cassie stephens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cassie stephens. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

DIY: Picket Fence to Color Gradation

 Hi. My name is Cassie Stephens and I cannot stop painting all thing things. Hide your kids, hide your wife, stash your cats and dogs. Me and my paint brushes are comin' for ya.
Y'all might remember some time ago, I created this Tints and Shade sign for my art room. Despite the fact that it looks kinda small in size, this picket fence thingie is actually about 3' across. Asha wanted to interrupt this blog post to share her adorable adorableness with you and provide a bit of scale: 
 If you've been hanging around this blog for a pinch, you know that I'm currently on a paint-all-the-wooden-thingies-found-at-the-craft-store bender. Just to give you an idea, I've painted letters...
A cabinet covered in paint stir sticks painted to look like pencils
And, probably the thing that started it all, the color wheel brushes:
And that's just the wooden stuff I've painted...I've also been on a redecorating bender and I can't seem to stop! I'm currently too lazy to link all of those posts...but just a quick scroll through my blog and you'll find some stuff. Lots of stuff. 
 Last night, I wasn't ready to go to bed...I'm on a week long Thanksgiving break, after all! It's party time! And, by "party time" I mean PAINT party time. I love late nights of watching movies and painting. Last night I watched Midnight in Paris (how is it that I had not seen that?! So good!) and started working on this bad boy.
I have Roy G. Biv decor coming out the WAH-FREAKIN'-ZOO in my art room (case in point here, here and here) so, as I painted this sign, I knew I didn't want another Roy G. Biv moment. We talk a lot about analogous colors and gradation so I thought that this sign would be perfect. I did toy with the idea of making a monochromatic sign...but that's pretty much what the tints and shade sign is. 
 This photo is simply here for you to admire this face. 
 The question I get every time I share something I plan to hang in my room is this: HOW DO YOU GET IT TO STAY ON THE WALL?! Yes, the age old art teacherin' question. Here's my trick: Command Velcro Strips. Get the ones that hold up to 16 lbs. This sign is heavy...and those strips work. I've been using them on everything and I've not had anything fall yet. 
 I am so enjoying redoing my art room. Having been in the same space for so many years, I just felt like it needed a fresh look. And it's making me happy and excited to work on it. The kids have fun coming in and noticing something new and different. Stay tuned for a BIG reveal on Friday...I'm so stoked about that one!
 This will hang in my art room near my tints and shade sign. I'll have to share a photo when it's up!
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Monday, November 20, 2017

In the Art Room: Britto-Style Selfies!

I have fur realz been slackin' on this bloggin' thing, y'all! My apologies...I've just become COMPLETELY OBSESSED with flipping my art room around. I know you've seen pics if you follow me here where I have been shamelessly oversharing. However, I'll be posing a pretty big reveal right here on Friday so be sure and wake yourself outta your turkey-day coma and pop back by.
I've also not shared new lessons here lately because I've actually been doing some "reruns" of projects from last year! I don't often do projects more than once (and usually not consecutively) but these selfies are for our Artome art show. They were such a hit last year when my fourth graders did them that I decided to bring it back. And I'm so glad I did, they turned out amazing...even if there were some whining about color-pencil-hand-fatigue! 
Here's the lesson video I created and we used:
The reason I decided to have every kiddo in the school create a self portrait is because I know that's what I would want if I were a parent: a kid created selfie! They are so sweet and fun. You can see what my first graders created here and my third graders made here. I'll be sure to post what kinder and second are working on as they finish them. 

 The kids were super proud of these...I love that with this lesson, the background serves as a way for them to show their interests. I'd also like to add just how much I'm noticing rainbows popping up in my students art work...I take full responsibility
Swoon!
 Now, I will say this: colored pencils...NOT.MY.FAVE. Ugh, y'all. The constant pencil sharpening buzz is enough to make me wanna stab my ears. Please tell me I'm not alone in this. 
 For that reason, I also give my students art sticks to add color. If you are not familiar, art sticks are colored pencils without the wood (heehee). Crayola makes them...but my FAVORITE are by Prisma Color. Of course, they cost one million trillion dollars but they are worth it and they last. We are down to the nubs in my room...hence the Artome fundraiser!
 Eyebrows on fleek, y'all. AND, yes, the S...she managed to get that Sharpied before I could convince her otherwise. Such a beautiful drawing of a beautiful girl. I love seeing the kids write JES...we have such a strong school pride!
 AND can I just point out that this sweet girl made the end of her hair into a paint brush that is painting her shirt?! LOVE! 
 But, back to colored pencils...for the longest time, when I would sharpen colored pencils (btw, do you say "color pencils" or "colored pencils"?) they'd break. Over and over until I was down to a tiny pencil. I used to think it was because the colored pencils were cheap (and that might very well be the case) but now I have a different theory. I blame...THE PENCIL SHARPENER. 
 If you join my FB LIVE chats (you can find them archived here...I go live every Wednesday at 8pm CST), then you've heard my theory on this. A couple of years ago, I splurged and purchased a $50 Exacto electric sharpener. And it's a loud pencil eater. When my mom came to visit recently, she brought me my old Panasonic faux wood, 5 lbs workhorse of a sharpener. Y'all, this thing is BANANAS. It will sharpen anything without breaking it and leaves the pencils FRIGHTENINGLY sharp. Like, I had to establish a rule: Y'all don't have to come up to me and show me how sharp your pencil is every time you sharpen it. I know. It's sharp.
 When I found another Panasonic faux wood sharpener at the thrift store the other day, y'all better believe I scooped it up. So, long story short: if you are tired of your colored pencils breaking in your sharpener, don't blame the pencil...get you a vintage Panasonic sharpener. I just did a quick search on ebay and here she is: 
That being said, do you have a fave colored pencil brand? A long time ago, Ticonderoga made a colored pencil and they were AMAZING. They never broke, the colors were bonkers and creamy. I found them on a clearance aisle at on office store years ago and they were my everything. Sadly, they no longer make them...and I've just been using what I've got since.
 And I kinda made a promise to myself to never EVER order any more. I have 8 tables in my art room with two large trays of colored pencils at each table. I recently had a former student volunteer and she organized all of my EXTRA colored pencils by color...the idea being that my students can go there and get whatever colors that their table tray might not have. Here's what my EXTRA colored pencils look like: 
 Yeah, I'm pretty much set for life. Unless I have either a beaver or a termite infestation, I'll be sittin' pretty with these bad boys for quite some time before I need to reorder.
However, if there is one brand that you think would be worth ordering...despite my clear over abundance, I'd love to hear!
 But, back to the lesson. My kiddos worked on these for about 2-3 one hour sessions. We drew with the video one day, added patterns and designs and traced with Sharpie the next and then spent the rest of time coloring. And coloring. And coloring.
 Oh look, rainbows!
 And more rainbows....ahem. 
 I cannot wait to see these framed at the Artome art show...I'll share with you when the show rolls around!

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

In the Art Room: Sandra Silberzweig Chalk Selfies!

This is my second year to do this lesson with my third grade students and, even still, I'm amazed by the stunning results. And the kids are so super proud!
I created this lesson last year inspired by the artist Sandra Silberzweig. I LOVE her work and I know you will too. Here's the lesson video I created and used once again this year.
I'm not gonna lie: the devil is in the chalk brand details. The reason these colors are so vibrant is because I SWEAR by Faber-Castell's chalk. I stayed far away from chalk for many years because the colors were so stinkin' dull. But not these, they go on vibrant and stay that way. I cannot recommend them enough!
Also having that color wheel on hand helps tremendously. I found mine online after a quick google of "color wheels" and laminated one for each two kiddos. Our key word is analogous. They can't pronounce it but, by golly, they know what it means!
To seal, I'll hit these with a mist of hair spray. I like the dollar store variety...but do be careful. Sometimes it comes out in speckles and can leave that look on the kids' work. Nothing another thin layer of chalk wouldn't hide. 
We created these on 9" X 12" sheets of paper as that's the size of the frame for the Artome art show. I don't think I'd do this project much bigger...making black glue is not my favorite thing in the world. By the way, this year, I made mine with India ink instead of tempera paint. It seemed to work just as well and came out of the nozzle a lot easier.
I will say, I do believe my Rainbow Tree is starting to influence my artists! 
We most def won't be forgetting rainbow order any time soon!
And now for a ridiculous amount of colorful portraits! Sorry, I love each and every one, they are so stunning.
One thing I liked about this project is that even if the kids "mess up" during the black glue stage, it doesn't matter. I told them to keep going. If they finished one and were still unhappy with the glue, I allowed to do another. Then, on chalk days, they just picked their favorite and used the extra one as their back up paper.
We all have those perfectionists...I get it. But I'm not a fan of starting over 23 times...so I always require them to finish it out before starting again.

So looking forward to our art show! I'll keep you posted!
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Sunday, November 12, 2017

In the Art Room: Early Finishers, Part 1

Well, hello, strangers! I normally aim to post on this here blog about three times a week but, over the last two weeks, I've hardly shared here. It feels weird not chatting with y'all but I've been super duper distracted with creating a new and exciting space for my early finisher friends! If you follow me on Insta, then you've seen me (over)share what I'm working on. Usually, on this blog, I post projects when they are complete. But I really have so many projects in the works right now (that are all in various stages of completion/do-overs/rethinking-my-life-choices) that I thought I'd give you a peek behind the mess that is my thinking process. Creating and thinking are always messy, amirite? 
 My art room is large because, once upon a time, it was the school library. So I'm spoiled rotten and y'all better believe I know it's true. In fact, the art room is what sold me on changing schools...I literally stalked the previous art teacher for two years (she was set to retire at that time) to get my foot in the door. However, with a big space, comes more room to make big messes...which is what I'm (unfortunately) super good at. This year, after nearly 15 years in this space, I'm making LOTS of changes. I've shared them with you mostly in the form of switching up my wall decor but now I'm ready to tackle the big things on my to do...namely, what to do with my Early Finisher Friends. 

We've all got 'em. Sometimes they've got 5 minutes, sometimes they've got 10...for me, it's my doubled up classes (where I have about 35 kids for an hour) where my artists finish their work at different paces. In the past, the space above was where they could go to build with blocks or draw using my drawing books...but I just have always had this nagging feeling that I wasn't offering them enough. I really want to allow time for more individual creative choice. So I'm thinking that my early finishers area could be just the thing. 

My plan is to allow kids time to BUILD, DRAW, DESIGN and/or READ. So, in the photo above, you'll see the bins on the right...those contain a variety of building blocks. On the top of the shelf, you'll see mannequins that I spray painted (I saw an art teacher who did this and LOVED the idea!), dinosaurs, flowers in pots and forms. That will be my draw area. Also included in this area will be these drawing prompt sticks:
 I got this idea from my buddy Kaitlyn and had to add it to my drawing area. I'll be sure to share more about this soon...but if you hop over to Kaitlyn's IG, you'll see a ton of ideas for drawing prompts!
 My biggest issue with friends who finish early is their concept of time. They have none. If they see there are only 3 minutes left on the timer, they STILL gonna go get a brand new sheet of paper or dump out 456 blocks. Then I'm all, "ain't nobody got time for that!" So that the kids do know what's available for them during the time they have, I've been creating these using Canva:
Each of these will be added to the front of my bins or in a draw, read, design area. They will show how much time the kids will need for each activity, what it is, how many clips their table must have (this a new behavioral management plan I'm trying...more details in a future blog post), where they can do the activity and how many kids can work together. These are simply prototypes...still kicking these around in my head. 
 The reason I'm sharing all of this with you today is because I'd LOVE your advice. What do you do with your early finisher friends? Or, if you have a more choice-based art room, how does it look? How do you organize the space for your artists?
 Side note: you might have noticed a rainbow theme...inspired by my gift from Treetopia, a rainbow tree and wreath! I've been tasked with decorating it...but I'm gonna put the wee artists on the job. Stay tuned!
I love my specials team, by the way. Thank you, Ali, for helping me get this beauty up!
 Another view of my space. It's going to be a great area...I've just got a lot to do before I can call it complete. My goal is to have it open for my kids after Thanksgiving break. 

But, again, I'd LOVE to hear from y'all! Please share your fave activities for those early birds. 
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