Monday, February 25, 2013

Mixed media elephants and Hot Air Balloons - grade 5/6

 Probably every three months, I decide on a new "favorite ever" art project. This one is definitely my favorite ever as of right now!

I came up with this project based on the art of Juri Romanov, a fantastic artist I came across on Etsy. A lot of the art I do with my students is very happy and colorful, and this time, I wanted to try something different. We looked at some of Romanov's art on my iPad, and talked about how these kinds of colors evoke different emotions - sadness, loneliness, solitude. Very different than the kind of emotions we normally go for!

On watercolor paper, students began by drawing their design using pencil. Some of them stuck close to Romanov's inspiration, and others strayed and went their own way. Next, they carefully traced the basic outlines using Sharpie. Students then used a paintbrush and watered down brown or grey paint to stipple their backgrounds. The stippling gave a milky, cloudy look to the paper, which worked perfectly for this kind of design.

Once the paper had dried (maybe ten or so minutes later) students began to color in their detail using pencil crayon. I had originally tried marker for my example, but it didn't get into the grooves of the watercolor paper well enough, so pencil crayon it was!

Students then added in their newsprint details. They used old dictionaries to draw elephants, mountain peaks, and clouds. Once they had glued them in, they went back to their drawing with a fine Sharpie and added any final details - lines on their balloon, swirls in their clouds, or anything else that was missing.

These projects are beautiful. Like, I am lusting after many of them for my living room walls. They are so me, which luckily ended up being something my students loved as well. There was a lot of pride flowing around the classroom after this project, and it was truly one of those days where I felt so, so lucky to get to teach art, even if it's just for part of my days. I went home feeling very inspired.

 The one below reminded me of Iceland - it's just those perfect, grey colors, and I love the single house. So desolate!

 The one below had me laughing - I love the fallen elephant. Such amazing attention to detail!


  1. I love these! I will definitely be doing this with my classes, many thanks for a fabulous idea :) Elizabeth

  2. These are so unique, surreal and Wonderful! I love the pale grey and brown stipple effect against the bright balloons. Great mixed media project!

  3. These are BEAUTIFUL. I know with kids it's supposed to be all about the process and all, but I'm lusting after these as well. Very cool.

  4. Please more shares for this article.


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