Monday, January 7, 2019

Paper sculpture

The last few days before Christmas break, my students worked on these gorgeous paper sculptures.  Each grade level did something different, but all were required to create a three dimensional sculpture with paper.  As much as I'd like to give my students a little more freedom, I honestly end up with not much of anything, simply because they just don't know what to create! So we save that for free draw time when they are finished with projects.  In the meantime, I teach them step by step for most of our projects, and when they finish, they're often inspired to create a variation of something they've learned.  For example, my 6th grades created these amazing cone paper sculptures in all white, and a few students that finished early made a smaller sculpture in different shapes and/or colors.  

My 7th graders got a little taste of quilling with these paper snowflakes. 

These looked so pretty stacked up as I was on my way to the display case!

My 8th graders worked on an origami style sculpture, I'll put those in my next post!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Christmas trees in the snow - 7th grade

This project was a little tricky, as simple as it seems!  We painted the entire background first, leaving the shape of our tree white.  Next we painted the tree solid black, and students learned how we are layering the colors to create shadows and build up the depth from the inside out.  While the black was still wet, we added green, which gave us the perfect spruce green color.  Once dry, we added the snow with a little yellow for the glow of the lights. Last they added snowflake dots in the sky if they chose to do so, and ornaments among the boughs of the tree.  Although I am pleased with the results, I think I'll go into more detail about adding the snow next time, as some students went a little crazy with the snow!  I do love a good snow, however, so I think they look fantastic!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


These are some of the Santa portraits my 8th graders finished back in December.  We've studied portraits previously, so this project was a great way to use those skills.  We used tempera paint and practiced shading in color to get the rich red hues. I love how they each have their own personality.  I have some seriously talented 8th graders!

This one is crazy realistic, he looks so distinguished!

 I love the shading in the hat on this one.  It's as if you could touch the soft velvet!  

This one's eyes are so striking!  I love how all of them turned out!

Monday, December 3, 2018

6th Nutcracker painting

'Tis the season!  For Nutcrackers!  Nutcracker dolls originated from late seventeenth century Germany.  One origin story attributes the creation of the first nutcracker doll to a craftsman from Seiffen. They were often given as gifts, and at some point they became associated with Christmas season.

In 1872 Wilhelm Fuchtner, known as the father of the nutcracker, made the first commercial production of nutcrackers using the lathe to create many of the same design.  The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum shows an 1880 miner of Wilhelm Fuchtner along with a miner presently made in the Fuchtner family workshops." (

We kept our Nutcracker drawings pretty traditional, as little wooden soldiers, but they chose different combinations of colors for the backgrounds and uniform.  I love how these turned out!