Zilker Elementary Art Class

Zilker Elementary Art Class

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Finished Milagros

Here's what the Fifth Graders' finished milagros look like! After bisque-firing the clay, fifth graders painted the milagros black with acrylic paint. I then added a metallic finish to each piece (the metallic finish is labeled toxic, so I put it on instead of the students). Last, I seal each piece with a clear coat of gel medium. The metallic finish really makes the clay look like metal. The black paint creates a contrast that shows off each student's texture and pattern work.

Zilker First Night Picasso Cart

Zilker Second and Third Graders created this Picasso-inspired float for Austin's Third Annual First Night celebration on December 31st. HEB donated the shopping cart. Go to First Night to see our Zilker Picasso Cart in the Grand Procession down Congress Avenue from 6 - 8 pm December 31st!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Third Grade CATS

Third graders are working on their oil pastel cat drawings, inspired by artist Laurel Burch. The bright colors really contrast with the black glue lines. Third graders are learning oil pastel techniques and "personification;" each student had to choose a human emotion and illustrate that feeling as an expression on her or his cat's face. They also worked hard on planning out their color schemes before starting their final drawing. This project is one of my personal favorites because every student creates a successful and inventive artwork.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

5th Grade Clay Milagros

Milagros are small, metal pendants that represent a wish, prayer, or request. Milagros are found all over the world, but here in Texas most people buy them imported from Mexico.
Fifth Graders are creating clay versions of milagros that will eventually be painted to resemble metal. The shape of a milagro usually represents the wish. Students first had to think of a request, wish, or prayer, then decide how they would represent that wish through the medium of clay.
We talked using symbols to represent their wishes, which neatly ties in to our second Blanton field trip on Tuesday, November 18th. As part of their museum lesson, students will be discussing how different artists use symbols in their artworks as a way to communicate their artistic ideas to their viewers.

You always see smiling faces when we are working on clay!

A student scores the back of the clay shape she is about to attach to the background of her milagro.

She then adds slip, which is clay mixed with water, to both pieces of clay. The slip helps to bond the two pieces together.

Students hard at work on their milagros. Next class we will be adding details, texture, and pattern to the clay.

Fourth Grade Clay Masks

Fourth Graders are now creating their African clay masks in class. On this day we were learning how to score, slip, and smooth, the necessary steps for joining two pieces of clay. In the following photos, students are adding their eye shapes to their mask form.

Flower Power

Second Graders are now painting their flowers. Students are busy mixing the intermediate color they chose for the larger petals. Over the next two weeks we will be adding primary or secondary colors to the small petals and stigmas, as well as details like stamens.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


What is that creature lurking outside the art room door....and now it's up on the table! Why, that is the First Graders' finished dinosaur sculpture, appropriately named "Tie-dye-asaurus." Luckily, this dino is not a meat-eater. Check it out at the Dinoland exhibit ongoing at the Zilker Botanical Gardens in Zilker Park.

Dinosaur in the Art Room?

First Graders are excited about their upcoming field trip to "Dinoland," part of the Zilker Botanical Gardens. They are even more excited because they will get to see one of their own creations there! Here are a few first graders working hard on 'zilkerizing" a dino wood cut-out that will be displayed as part of Dinoland.

First Grade Warm Color Paintings

First Graders are working hard on their Color Books. This day they were creating their warm color paintings using red, yellow, and orange.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Kinder students explore their sense of touch.

Kinder students are reaching inside socks to feel different objects using their sense of touch. Each student had to carefully turn the object around in her or his hand, trying to feel its shape, texture, and size. Peeking was not allowed! Look at those faces concentrating. I sure hope there were no cacti or jellyfish hidden inside those socks! (Disclaimer: no children were harmed during this project.)

Then, after guessing what color the object might be, we tried to draw the objects, after only using our sense of touch, not sight!

At the end of class, we took the objects out of the socks to see if we guessed correctly! What a fun art day!

5th Graders Art Central Lesson: Artist Tools

Fifth Graders are exploring all different types of artist media, or materials, in preparation for their first Blanton Art Central field trip. During this lesson, students used four different types of media - pencil, oil pastel, watercolor, and collage - on the same subject matter - a cone. Drawing the cone four different times, then using different media on each drawing allowed students to compare and contrast the materials used instead of the subject matter of their artwork. Now they are excited and ready for their field trip on Tuesday, October 21st.

Kinder students explore their FIVE SENSES

Kinder students are in the middle of making their Five Senses Books. On this day, they were using their eyes to closely examine different objects, like the seashells below. After using their eyes to see the objects carefully, students then drew the objects, paying close attention to details.

First Graders learn about COLOR

First Graders are working hard on their color books. They finished their first page where they mixed primary colors to create secondary colors on their own color wheel. They also discovered what happens when all three primary colors are mixed together. They are now discovering complementary colors, and will be creating cool and warm color paintings soon. They will put together all of their pages to create a book to take home in December.

Second Graders and Georgia O'Keeffe Flowers

Second Graders have been learning about Georgia O'Keeffe and her large flower paintings. First, we drew technical drawings where we labeled the different parts of flowers (learning some science with our art!). Then we looked at O'Keeffe's flower paintings and read a story about her life. We wrote notes about some interesting things Georgia did, including the fact that she taught art in Texas! Then we started our flower drawings, which you can see us working on. Next, we will be learning how to mix intermediate colors, and finally we will start our own flower paintings.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Spinning in Circles

Third Grade Radial Designs

Third graders have just completed their outstanding radial designs. We learned about radial balance, which is when an object has two or more lines of symmetry. Students created some amazing designs! Look for them soon in the Zilker hallway!