Christmas Collage

     happy_hollydays_collage_by_mara_branco    xmas_collage-2_by_mara_branco

It is that time of the year that we pile a lot of paper advertising all the christmas supplies that we can imagine, and more. Well, this year instead of throwing everything in the recycle bin I decided to do something out of it. I decided to make some collages and here is the result. Not bad, I think … I was surprised, since this is not something that I usually do.

First I selected the images that I liked the most from all magazines, catalogs, flyers, etc. cut them and grouped them in different categories, like colors, shapes, styles, etc. As I stared to do that ideas popped in to my mind, a piece of paper here a piece of paper there  and when I realized a composition was done. Sort of!

Once I had all my images pre-mounted in a paper with the right dimensions and in a place that satisfied me I had to make the background.

I used acrylic paint and painted the background in a different paper. With the background ready and dried I just had to transfer my composition piece by piece and glued them with glue stick on top of the background.

Happy Holidays!


Big hungry fish

I saw this project on a Spanish blog (Plastiquem) and thought it would be a good project to do with my students of 4th and 5th grade.
I did one myself as a test, to be able to show the children as an example. I’ve noticed that it is important for them to see the final product, they are always more enthusiastic and willing to work.
And so it was! They began by drawing an innocent fish, with the page folded in half. Then they opened the sheet, extended the lines and added large teeth to the fish. Some were so enthusiastic that they added small fishes in the fish mouth, victims of the evil and big hungry fish!!!


This was one of the projects for this fall. Drawing a scarecrow!
The kids where amazed when I showed them the drawing.
For this project I just used watercolors and a fine black marker to trace the drawing after dry.

I instructed the kids and remembered them of some basics that I taught them before, so they could start.
In silence they started drawing, some more focused and precise than others. After they finished the drawing it was time to use the watercolors and “give life to the nice scarecrow”.

And here are the work in progress of some students.

Optical illusion

What a wonderful class I had today!

This is an old visual illusion practice.

The kids were fascinated with this drawing and the illusion that it creates.

They really worked hard to draw their own illusion.

Simple waved lines and the dark and light areas create the idea of tridimensional forms.

It is fun to play with it.

You can see the kids’ work bellow.

Watercolor Dolphin

This month I am teaching art class, as a volunteer, to third and fourth graders!

The first project was to paint a watercolor dolphin. After a brief explanation about the watercolor basic techniques I showed them how to draw the dolphin.

The most difficult thing is to break the kids habit of bearing the pencil down the point too hard. This habit makes it difficult to erase the drawing because the pencil line will have dug into the paper. Also the watercolor will not cover the strong lines. So … the word of the day was soft lines 🙂

Since we din’t have time to wait for the colors to dry, I told them to outline the drawing with crayons (black, white or color)  to prevent the watercolors to blend.

They did a good job as you can see in the pictures bellow

Parrot drawing

ParrotParrot step by step drawingThis week I had the opportunity to give an art lesson to second graders. It was great to see their happy faces when I showed them the Parrot drawing. This was going to be the project for the art class. Fifty minutes of silence, attention and dedicated work resulted in amazing drawings.

I showed the kids how to get started step by step. First I asked them to draw two guidelines across the middle of the paper. This is a very important step to start drawing in the correct place, otherwise they will tend to start drawing in a corner or a small area of the paper. Because of this I taught them the notion of space and the relation between the lines.

Then I showed them how and where to draw the Parrots’ outlines. When the outlines were ready it was time to fill the body with the feathers’ pattern. Finally the Parrots’ drawing was ready to be traced with a black pencil and colored.

Here are the amazing works of the second grade kids!