Learning is....
Planting a seed in our brain... learning to water, nurture and grow it.... so we can live on the fruit of our learning and plant more seeds.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Beach Scenes

I did this activity for calendar art at the end of 2010.  It was one of those activities that you need to do over multiple days and required me to demonstrate each step and used a variety of media in the final product - and they looked bloody good when finished!!

Firstly I trawled the net for photos of gorgeous beach scenes like this one of Hot Water Beach that would create "layers" to inspire the children.  You can see in the picture below how we created layers like above.

First we used blue water colour paint.  I showed the children how less water creates a darker, bolder blue, and more water washes the blue out.  I wanted them to create that effect on the horizon when the blue is more washed out.  We painted the whole page.

We then when through magazines and found all the pages we possibly could with blue on them and ripped them out so we could cut up the blue into small pieces, about 2x2cm.  Some smaller, some larger, lots of interesting shapes.

We ruled a line halfway from top to bottom with pencil lightly.  Then we used the blue paper and pva to collage the sea.  The idea of all the different blues is the way the sun light plays across the sea... and the pva makes it nice and shiny too to help that effect play out.  We collaged all the way to the bottom of the page.

I had a whole lot of sand coloured scrapbooking paper.  I cut this into 4cm wide strips and luckily they were longer than the calender paper.  On the back I showed the children how to draw sand dunes.  Then I cut them out, glued it on the calender paper, and trimmed off the excess when dry.

Now it was time to get the acrylics out.  I got out the light and the dark greens and mixed them with each other, some white, some dark blue, to get a range of greens.  We looked at photos of pohutukawa.

Using the not sharp end of wooden skewers, we dipped the end into the paint and dotted and smeared the paint to create the illusion of pohutukawa trees peeking in from the side.  We also wanted to give a illusion of being able to look through the leaves to the sea, sky and beach.  Some were more successful than others.

Then it was back into the magazines to find green (for islands on the horizon), yellow/orange (for the sun), red (for the pohutukawa flowers) and brown (for the flax and grasses).  Our magazines were getting a bit lean, so I went through the recycling at my parents and got the glossy real estate and furniture brochures.  I showed the children how to make interesting shapes for islands on the horizon and to cut the flaxes and grasses with pointy ends.  Again the pva helped to give the islands and grasses a sheen to give the illusion of the sun playing on them.

Then we started thinking birds.  We had done a large study on NZ native birds.  We picked out some sea and shore birds, printed them out in black and white and then the students coloured them with colouring pencils and cut them out to stick on.

The final touch was the 'bunny-tails' I had at home that were collected from my beach many moons ago.  Each child got one (or two if there were some left over).  We squished them as flat as we could and used pva to glue them on.  And now they look like toe toe!!

Even though all the children used the same techniques, all their pictures are different from each other.  The parents loved them and they looked wicked in the school's calendar art display - you so noticed them when you walked in the hall!!  And they were awesome when they became calendars and cards too!!

Materials required:
  • A4 stiff paper
  • blue water colour cakes
  • magazines and/or glossy brochures - blue, brown, green, red, yellow - for collage
  • sand coloured scrapbooking paper
  • a variety of shades of green acrylic/poster paint
  • PVA
  • 'bunny-tails' from the beach
  • scissors
  • pencil, rubber and ruler

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