zondag 27 maart 2011


Made by a student of grade 1
You need:
  1. drawing sheet A4 size
  2. fine black marker, waterproof
  3. watercolour paint
  4. brushes
  5. jar with water
  6. wool
  7. cutter
  8. cutting mat
  9. scissors
  10. magazine
  11. glue
Rapunzel is a German fairy tale in the collection assembled by the Brothers Grimm, and first published in 1812. The Grimm Brothers' story is an adaptation of the fairy tale Persinette by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont, originally published in 1698.
In the tale, an enchantress separates Rapunzel from her parents and puts her away in a room at the top of a tower in a remote part of a forest. The tower has no door or stairs and only a window. The enchantress would climb Rapunzel's long braid of golden hair to visit her. The enchatress would call out to Rapunzel saying: "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so that I may climb the golden stair". One day a prince hears Rapunzel's beautiful singing voice and wants to meet her. He secretly observes how the enchantress is able to visit Rapunzel in the tower. The prince climbs in the tower, meets Rapunzel and they fall in love. The wicked enchantress attempts to separate them, but eventually they reunite, and live happily ever after.
After telling the fairy tale, students start to make Rapunzel's braid of wool threads. Then they draw a tower with a top hatch, using a waterproof fine black marker. Colour it with waterpaint colour. Cut the sides of the hatch (teacher has to do this!!) and fold them. Cut a picture of a woman of girl out of a magazine and paste it on a piece of paper. Paste the braid on the head. Paste the piece of paper behind the hatch, looking carefully to get the woman's head in the middle of it and hanging the braid through the hatch.
Made by students of grade 1

zaterdag 26 maart 2011

The princess and the pea

You need:
  1. coloured construction paper
  2. fabrics
  3. a pea
  4. glue
  5. scissors
  6. scraps of construction paper, including gold and silver
  7. markers and/or colour pencils
Read the fairy tale 'The princess and the pea' of Hans Christian Andersen. Discuus after this what a princess bed would look like. The students make the bed of the princess in this story. The bed has to be made of stripes of paper. At the bottom of the bed is a real pea, of course. Cut strips of fabrics for the matrasses (use special scissors for fabrics) and make a princess on top of this whole pile. Maybe the bed has even curtains or a little golden crown?

Made by students of grade 1

dinsdag 22 maart 2011

Greek pottery

You need:
  1. brown paper bag or wrapping paper
  2. black markers (different sizes)
  3. coloured paper for background
  4. glue
  5. scissors
In ancient Greece pottery in daily life was very important. It was used to store and preserve all kinds of food, like wine, olive oil and water. The pottery was often decorated. There is red-figure pottery with red figures and the background black, and black-figured, with this just the other way. Wikipedia has more information about Greek pottery, especially on the different styles in the decoration of the vases.
View images of Greek pottery. Discuss several forms:

amphora - jug with a handle on both sides so it could be easily lifted. Amphora's were used to store liquids and solids.

crater - mixing vessel for wine and water. The Greeks always mixed their wine with water and sometimes they added spices to change the flavour.

kylix - bowl, flat or on an ornate base with two horizontal handles to pass the scale easily.
Discuss the different designs on the vases: animals, plants, people, flowers, triangles, spirals, mythical creatures etc.
The students fold a piece of brown wrapping paper in half and draw one half of a Greek vase of their choice against the fold. Cut the vase and draw figures and patterns on it using black sharpies. Paste the vase on a coloured sheet.

Made by students of grade 5

zaterdag 19 maart 2011

Fairy tale caste

Made by students of grade 4

You need:
  1. white drawing sheet A4 size
  2. indian ink
  3. dip pen
  4. watercolour paint
  5. brushes
  6. jar with water

See some pictures of castles and talk about the several parts: battlements, high thick walls, drawbridge, towers, schietgaten, portcullis etc. Talk about the location of a castle: often a high point, so oversee the area. Show that many castles were surrounded by a moat and discuss why this was.

Students draw their castle directly with indian ink on ther sheet. Add details like shutters, torches or flags. Draw the background, the surrounding of the castle. Colour the drawing with watercolour paint. The combination of indian ink and watercolour paint will give a perfect aged feeling.

dinsdag 15 maart 2011

Surrealistic collage in the style of Dalí

By Tristan, 10 years old

You need:
  1. white drawing sheet A3 size
  2. magazines
  3. scissors
  4. glue
  5. tempera paint
  6. brushes
About Dalí
Salvador Dalí (Figueres, 1904 – 1989) was a Spanish painter and versitile artist. in his younger years he was interested in painters like El Greco, Michelangelo and Diego Velázquez. He focused his attention at that time to Impressionism and Cubism. Dalí studied in Madrid from 1921 to 1924. In 1929 he moved to Paris. He met Pablo Picasso and André Breton and joined with surrealism. In 1940 he moved to the USA and lived there for 15 years. After this he went back to Spain. Dali's work can be divided in four periods.

Early period (1917-1927) - In this period Dalí made paintings of the landscape around Figueres. These works already show his kinship with Impressionism and Cubism.

Transition period (1927-1928) - This period is characterized by experimentation. He uses different textures, made with paint resins, sand, stone, cork and gravel.
Surrealistic period (1929-1940) - The Surrealists were not sufficient to logic alone. They focused on dreams and the subconscious. Dalí explored his own fears and fantasies and painted them on canvas through symbolic images in a very realistic, almost photographic style. He called his paintings 'hand painted dream photographs'.

Classical period (1941-1989) - Dali stopped in 1941 with the surrealist style. He became fascinated by religion and modern science and found his inspiration in the ancient and Renaissance art.

Back to work
Show some surrealistic works of Dali and discuss the salient features: his work looks like a photo, contains 'strange' elements - things things that can not actually. The work will surprise or a shock sometimes. Explain the difference between realism (reality painted on canvas, like a photo) and surrealism - realism with strange elements. Tell students that they have to make a surreal collage today. For this they cut pictures from magazines, arrange them on a sheet and paste them. They may, if no proper background is to be found, paint a part of this background.

When ready
Discuss the artworks: what surrealistic elements do you see? And what are the realistic elements? What do you think of the combination of both?

zondag 13 maart 2011

Baby and blanket, in the style of Gustav Klimt

Made by Debbie, 11 years old

You need:
  1. white drawing sheet A4 size
  2. pencil
  3. colour markers
  4. chalk pastel

Gustav Klimt (Austria, 1862 – 1918) was born in the neighbourhood of Vienna. In 1876 Klimt was awarded a scholarship to the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts . His work consists of paintings of mostly women, but also wallpaintings, drawings and collages. Klimt is much praised for the use of gold in his paintings.

Show some artwork of Klimt, and especially the painting 'Baby'. Discuss the distinctive features in the work: different patterns in the blanket, many colours, the blanket is more important than the baby, wavy lines verschillende patronen in de deken, veel kleuren, de deken is belangrijker dan de baby, wavy lines to express the folds of the blanket.

Students draw a baby in its bed, covered by a patchwork blanket. The blanket has to be divided into sloping surfaces. All different patterns should be coloured with markers. Drawing little black stripes at the edges of the fabrics, will make the patchwork blanket look more real. Use chalk pastel for the a wallpaper behind the bed.

zaterdag 5 maart 2011

Rainbow fish

Made by students of grade 3

You need:

  1. drawing sheet A5 size
  2. ruler
  3. pencil
  4. colour markers

The students put the sheet in the width and draw from top to bottom pencil lines 1 cm apart. Good to practice measure skills!

Draw a fish and a sea bottom line. Colour the fish with markers keeping the same sequence of colors. We chose the order of the colours as they were in the box. Fins, background and bottom should be coloured in the same order, but of course the colours here are staggered to those of the fish.

dinsdag 1 maart 2011

In the style of Gaston Chaissac

You need:

  1. drawing paper A3 size
  2. tempera paint in primary colours
  3. brushes
  4. jar with water
  5. paper towels
  6. bold black marker
  7. black construction paper
  8. glue or stapler

The French painter and writer Gaston Chaissac was born in 1910. He came from a poor family and was often ill. In 1934 Chaissac moved to Paris and worked as a shoemaker. He lived in the same house as the German artist Otto Freundlich. It was through the friendship with Freundlich that Chaissac developed the desire to become an artist. He trained himself as an autodidact, supported and promoted by Freundlich. Freundlich also introduced him to the Parisian art scene.

Chaissac exhibited his works in 1938. During his stays at a sanatorium because of his tuberculosis in 1938 and 1939, Gaston Chaissac used the time to paint and draw. After his wedding he moved to the Vendée.

The artist bridged this isolation in the countryside through lively correspondence with gallery owners, authors and artists in Paris. Although Chaissac endeavored to establish a connection with the artist community, he was only valued as an artist by a small circle of gallery owners, journalists, and friends.

As a result, he didn't receive the expected recognition during his lifetime. Chaissac worked as a tireless experimenter and used materials that he found for his works of art - newspapers, shells, peels etc. He painted on every substrate available to him, created pen and ink drawings, watercolours, oil paintings, collages and unusual three-dimensional works. The artist was sometimes classified by Jean Dubuffet with the 'Art brut'. Chaissac himself called his work rather rustic modern.

Gaston Chaissac died in 1964.

Without title, © Gaston Chaissac

View photos of the work of Chaissac and especially the work above. Discuss the salient features: bold black lines that separate colour planes, little depth, simply drawn faces, white planes. What would those white planes mean?

I chose this painter also to repeat colour mixing skills. The students draw on their sheet one head and one or more limbs. Put a pencil mark in these planes, because they have to stay white. Then divide the sheet with wavy lines into small areas. Students choose two primary colours and use them to mix several colours. Paint the different planes with these mixed colours. Start with the brightest colour and and add more and more of the darker colour.

When the work is dry, outline every colour with a black marker. Bumps will disappear. Finally draw eyes, nose and mouth in the face. Paste or staple the work on black paper.

In the style of Gaston Chaissac, by students of grade 3

maandag 28 februari 2011

Paper mache figure on a bottle

You need:

  1. wine bottle
  2. newspapers torn in strips
  3. paper tape
  4. wallpaper paste
  5. tempera paint
  6. brushes
  7. varnish
  8. fabrics
  9. wool, cotton, feathers etc.

Students make a ball of newspaper and tape it on the bottle with paper tape. Tear newspapers in strips and paste them with wallpaper paste on the ball far over the bottle so that the tape is not visible anymore. Be sure to use a lot of wallpaper paste. If the ball on the bottle is smooth, students make eyes, nose, ears and paste them on the head. Fix them with paper strips and paste. Let dry for at least 24 hours.

After drying the figures can be painted. Start with the brightest colour. Paint several times to be sure the ink of the newspaper is not visible anymore. Varnish the dolls to make them shine.

After drying the doll has to be dressed and beautified. Use fabrics, wool, cotton, feathers, beads, lace etc. Paste them on the bottle and head with strong glue.

All artworks are made by students of grade 3

Thanks to Ruth Megens

zondag 27 februari 2011

Making masks

You need:
  1. white cardboard
  2. rectangular aluminum containers
  3. paint
  4. brushes
  5. scissors
  6. glue
  7. cutting knife
  8. oil pastels

We look at masks from Venice, masks from Africa and the culture of the Incas, Mayans and Aztecs through photos on the internet. We discuss the form of the masks and look for the differences between the African, Venetian and those of the Incas. We look at the position of the eyes, nose and mouth.

Let students choose the style and material they want to use. The aluminium containers are meant for students who want to make an Inca mask, since Incas often used silver or gold. Draw with pencil the shape of the mask and cut it out. Mark the spot where the eyes should be (at half or slightly above or below the half) and cut them out. Draw a nose and cut it partly in order to create some relief. Colour the mask with oil pastels. For an Inca mask: cut the aluminum container, cut the eyes, cut a nose and paste it on, cut a mouth. Paint the mask with tempera, making sure there will be some shiny material to be seen.

Look at each others masks at the end of this lesson and discuss what style or influence you recognize.

Artworks made by students of grade 3

Thanks to Ann de Naegel (Belgium) and her students

zaterdag 26 februari 2011

Longing for spring: printing flowers!

You need:

  1. piece of linoleum of 12 by 12 cm
  2. several sorts of paper
  3. lino knives
  4. block printing ink
  5. flat piece of glass
  6. linoleum roller
  7. lino press
  8. coloured cardboard 34 by 12 cm
  9. scissors
  10. glue or stapler

Students draw one or more flowers on their piece of linoleum and cut it out. Then the flower has to be printed on three different sorts of paper. In this lesson I choose for coloured construction paper, a brown paper bag and white white woven towels from the dispenser. Cut the prints with 1 cm around. Paste or staple them on coloured cardboard. Spring can come!

Both artworks are made by students of grade 4

dinsdag 22 februari 2011

Weaving a pencil box

Pencil boxes, made by students of grade 3

You need:
  1. coffee cups
  2. pencil
  3. ruler
  4. scissors
  5. yarn
  6. weaving needle or stir stick with a whole

Begin by cutting a cup from top to bottom in an uneven amount of vertical strips. We used paper cups, because these won't tear so fast. Place the other cup inside of the cup with the cuts to hold its shape. This will allow the cup to hold its shape. Tie a piece of yarn around one of the vertical cup pieces. This will hold the yarn in place. Then begin weaving, by placing the yarn over one piece of cup and under the next. Continue weaving all the way up the cup. Use your fingers to push the yarn down. When you get to the end, tie the yarn around the final piece of cup.

Woven key chain

You need:

  1. piece of cardboard 8 by 12 cm
  2. key chain
  3. pencil
  4. ruler
  5. scissors
  6. cotton
  7. wool
  8. needle or stir stick with a hole in it
  9. coloured beads

Weaving is fun and should be learned, but what to do with all those little patches? Our students made a nice key chain of them! The local grocery store delivered us 50 key chains for free! Unfortunately my students already took their key chains home before I could photograph them. So, I had to take the one above!

Mark the middle of the two small sides of the cardboard. Draw 5 little stripes on both sides of the middle, every half centimeter. Cut into the cardboard at each mark. Wrap cotton thread around the cardboard tabs and make sure it runs right. Take a weaving needle or a stir stick (see picture) and weave threads through the cotton. Use one or several colours. Weave until 2/3 part of the cardboard is covered.

When the weaving is done, thread the tails onto a needle and pass it under the block of weaving. Then cut the end close to the block.

Remove the weaving from the loom by bending the cardboard tabs and pulling off the loops. Pull the loops through the ring of the keychain. Cut the threads below and thread some beads on them.

woensdag 16 februari 2011

Winter trees glimpse

Made by a student of grade 6

You need:
  1. cardboard in three colours, 15 by 20 cm
  2. ruler
  3. pencil
  4. cutter
  5. cutting mat
  6. double sided foamtape
  7. hook

Draw a rectangle on each sheet of cardboard 2 cm from the edges. Draw wintertrees in these rectangles. The trunk must be on the bottom, the branches must reach the left, right or upper edge. Make sure the three trunks slightly stagger. Cut the parts between the branches/trunk and the frame using a cutter. Use double sided foam tape to paste the three windows together. The lightest colour in the front, the darkest colour on the back.

Attach a hook to the window to hang it.

dinsdag 15 februari 2011

Wild flowers

You need:

  1. black construction paper 20 by 8 cm
  2. colour pencils
  3. tempera paint
  4. q-tips
  5. saucer
A short lesson with great results! Draw a lot of flower stems on the black paper with several colours green. Stamp the petals above and between the stems, using tempera and q-tips.

zondag 13 februari 2011

Patterned landscape

You need:

  1. white drawing sheet A5 size
  2. black fine marker or Indian ink
  3. coloured paper for background

Children sketch a simple mountain landscape with grey pencil. Use different patterns to colour the mountains: spheres, lines, triangles, squares, leaves - as different as possible. Patterns can by filled negatively of positively: fill a moutain with circles and colour the space between them with black, so the white circles will remain. Paste the drawing on a coloured background.

Made by students of grade 3

dinsdag 8 februari 2011

Connected hearts

You need:
  1. white drawing sheet A5 size
  2. piece of cardboard
  3. scissors
  4. oil pastels
  5. colour pencils
  6. watercolour paint
  7. jar with water
  8. brush
  9. coloured paper
  10. glue
  11. metallic gel pen or marker
Draw a heart on a piece of cardboard and cut it out. Trace the heart several times on the drawing sheet. Hearts should overlap. Trace the heart also on the edged of the sheet. Draw smaller hearts within the traced ones; be sure there is about half cm space between the two lines. Draw and erase the the pencil lines of the overlapping hearts as if they weave together: below - above - below - above. Colour the hearts between the double lines with oil pastels. Paint the sheet with diluted watercolour paint and leave the work to dry. Trace the oil pastel harts on both sides with coloured pencils. Paste the artwork on a coloured sheet and finish the hearts on the frame, using a silver metallic gel pen or marker.

Advertising poster

New Dutch products, by students of grade 3

You need:
  1. white drawing sheet A3 size
  2. watercolour paint
  3. brushes
  4. jar with water
  5. markers
  6. set of rubber stamp letters
  7. stamp pad

We look at advertising posters and advertisements for food. Why are some advertisements more attractive than others? What products would you buy after seeing the the ad, and which not? How to attract attention to a new product? What kind of letters are used, and why these? What can you say about the use of colours in the advertisements? Students invent a new food including the name of it and make an advertising poster. Materials: water paint and markers. Because making block letters may be too difficult for young children, I gave them a set of rubber stamp letters to use.

zaterdag 5 februari 2011

Patterned hearts like Jim Dine

You need:
  1. drawing sheet A5 size
  2. crayons
  3. liquid water colour
  4. brush

Fold the sheet of paper into quarters. Cut a heart out of a piece in the hearts: Trace this heart four times with a pencil. Draw patterns in the hearts with crayons: stripes, circles, zigzag lines etc. Draw different patterns around the hearts.

Paint the whole sheet with liquid watercolour. The crayon will resist the ink.

vrijdag 4 februari 2011

Concentric circles in the style of Kandinsky

You need:
  1. drawing sheet A3 size with 12 squares of 10 by 10 cm
  2. temperea paint
  3. brushes
  4. paper towels
  5. jar with water

Wassily Kandinsky (1866 – 1944) was a Russian-French painter. His style of painting originally belonged to expressionism, and is sometimes included in symbolism. Kandinsky was one of the artists who gave shape to the abstract art in the early twentieth century.

Kandinsky was inspired by music. According to his own timbre theory, each colour has its own language and expression, and each colour has a soul. Kandinsky tried to convert musical compositions into paintings. He heard colours in music and he saw music in colours. This correlation between music and colour is the starting point of this lesson. Show students images of by Kandinsky. Tell that he listened to music while painting. Look at the painting 'Squares with concentric circles'. Which circle would belong to cheerful music? And what kind of music did Kandinsky hear while painting the dark circle?

Students are going to make a painting in the style of Kandinsky while listening to classical music. During this lesson they listened to Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Each student gets a white sheet with 12 squares of 10 by 1o cm. Tell them to work from the outside to the middle. We may see no white anymore. Try to avoid two the same colours in one circle. Hang all paintings together on a bulletin board for a great group project!

Made by students of grade 1