Art 2016-2017

Clay Fish (Continued)

Back in April the English Class fifth and sixth graders participated in a workshop where they made clay fish. The following series of photo collages show the fifth and sixth graders painting their fish and how the fish turned out before getting a neutral buffed finish.

Pointallism Sailboats

English Class third graders used a technique called pointallism to create colourful sailboats. This impressionist painting technique was invented by invented by painters George Seurat and Paul Signac. They used only small dots of pure color to compose entire paintings.

Below is a a gallery of their work set to music.

Dancing Chickens and Tumbling Eggs

Can’t you just hear The Chicken Dance music in your head when you look at these flapping fowl that the English Class third and fourth graders made one day just before Easter break? They appear to be flapping in a fantastical fun frenzy! It makes you want to join them!


Graphic Line Easter Bunnies

English Class fourth graders created personable bunnies using short graphic lines. First they sketched in their bunnies. Then they used felt pens to create fur with short black lines.

Some bunnies ears were perked straight up, some ears drooped and some ears did both. When the bunny was covered with fur, a colourful detail or two was added to perk up the picture. The overall results are adorable!

Daffodils in Oil Pastels

English Class third graders practiced many skills when they drew a grouping of daffodils growing in a flower bed. First they closely examined the trumpet and petals of daffodil blossoms.  Then they turned their attention to the long slender leaves. They noted that daffodils faced in different directions when growing. First the third graders sketched basic shapes like ovals and triangles. To these sketches they added more details, such as the crimped edge of the daffodil trumpet. Finally, using oil pastel crayons, they coloured the flowers and their leaves and stems. Blending and adding shadows were the final touches on the drawings.

Paper Mosiac Fruit

English Class fourth graders created bold pictures of pieces of fruit using paper to create a mosaic. Here are examples os some of the first completed fruit.

Rainbow Trees with Swirls

The English Class fifth graders, under the guidance of their teacher, Mr. Gregg, created tree silhouettes and then coloured them in using black permanent felt markers.

Rainbow backgrounds were created using oil pastels and a bit of smudging technique.

Swirly spirals were added to complete the stunning compositions.

Inspired by Burton Morris

English Class sixth graders learned about pop art and the bold graphic work of Burton Morris. The collage above shows some of their adaptations of Burton’s style.

Snowy Owl Collages

English Class first graders made adorable snowy owl collages using all sorts of materials including torn bits of newspaper, shredded tissues, tissue paper and polyester fiber filling. They used caramel papers for the eyes, a couple of white feathers for wings and construction paper for details like eyes and beaks. Then the children twisted brown paper for the owls to perch on. Watch the video below to see their charming birds.


English Class sixth graders played with the concepts of opposites using oil pastels. They created day and night compositions using warm colours and cool colours, straight lines and wavy lines. The results were pleasing to the eye.

Hands à la Michelangelo


Sistine Chapel Art

English Class fifth graders experienced a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel online. Together they spoke about the paintings, and how they represent some of the stories told in the Bible. They also discussed how difficult it would have been for Michelangelo to create such wonders all those years ago. Then the class was challenged to try to recreate the famous ‘Adam and God” hands by sticking sheets of paper to the undersides of their desks. Pupils then had to lie down under their own desk and reach up to draw on their sheet of paper.


It was a really fun lesson, but it was much MUCH more difficult than anyone had imagined. Not only were arms and hands aching, but pens  dropped on faces, and eraser rubbings got in their eyes…


Just imagine how Michelangelo felt doing this over 500 years ago! The exercise certainly increased respect for the difficulty and challenge of the project!


Monsters Inspired by the Work of Stefan Bucher


Taking their inspiration from the daily work of Stefan Bucher, the fifth grade English Class really enjoyed their double art lesson. Stefan Bucher creates a new monster every day using ink, which he blows randomly with a straw. Then he adds extra details to create completely unique monsters. His work can be viewed at


Fifth graders used the same technique, but substituted a viscous paint mix for the ink. They made a completely random shape using an old toothbrush, then blew some of the excess paint randomly around the paper. The biggest challenge was then to decide what kind of creation  to make. Pupils used pencils, pens and paint to add details to their ‘paint blobs’ to create something completely unique – with some amazing results. It was a very satisfying feeling for the whole class to see how something could be created from virtually nothing. Check out the video below to see some of what they accomplished.

Fireworks by Second Graders


English Class second graders worked long and hard at creating explosions of colour in oil pastels to represent fireworks. The concentric circles overlap beautifully giving the impression that the sky was a sea of fireworks.

fireworks fireworks2 fireworks4

Snowmen in a Huddle


English Class third graders drew snowmen huddling together in one of their art lessons. The perspective was a worm’s eye view. Children made sure to use tonal graduation in the sky background by blending the oil pastels they used to colour the pictures.. The overall resulting pictures look spectacular.


Portraits à la Sandra Silberzweig


English Class sixth graders had a wonderful time creating colourful abstract portraits in the style of artist Sandra Silberzweig. They outlined their penciled portrait drawings with glue and then left them to dry. 6en-art2

After the glue had dried, pupils used pastel chalk in analgous colours to fill in sections of their portaits.


The final touches before spraying fixative on the works were patterned lines and dots in certain places on the portraits. The final results were pleasing to all, but particularly to some boys who felt that they had “finally” succeeded in art!

Patchwork Pumpkins


English Class second graders, under the guidance of their teacher, Ms. Kati, made luscious patchwork pumpkins using an assortment of different textured orange paper. These were hung on a line and draped in front of two windows in their classroom which made for a nice splash of colour on a gloomy day.

Entry Level Leaf Prints


The English Class kindergarten and first graders worked together to create colourful prints from autumn leaves. Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Eevaliisa is explaining the process to the children in the photo collage above.


First the pupils applied a matte gel medium to the back of a leaf using one finger. Next they applied the leaf, medium side down, to a piece of black paper and then removed the leaf. Following that the children spooned on the powder of bright chalk pastels to the areas of the medium, shaking off the excess. The final step after the leaf prints had dried was to use oil pastel crayons to draw the leaf outlines and their veins.


Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles


Under the direction of their teacher, Mr. Gregg, English Class fifth graders made a collective art project. Black paper was taped together to form a continuous long sheet, seven papers long and two papers deep. Pupils drew around circular objects and used compasses to draw circles that overlapped onto neighbouring papers, as well as circles on their own papers. They used oil pastels to create outlines for the bubbles. They they used more pastels to add some colour to the bubbles. White reflections were added to give the bubbles dimension. Watch the video below to better see the details of their bubbles.

Baskets of Printed Apples


After hearing three stories about apples and learning an apple poem, English Class first graders made heaps of apples by printing. They printed the apples by dipping real apple halves in red, green and yellow paint.


Then the first graders carefully wove baskets with strips of paper, remembering the “over, under, over” mantra of weaving. The result was a personable collection of apple baskets that can be seen in the video below.

Water Colour Dots and Spots in the Spirit of Kandinsky


English Class first graders listened to the story called, The Dot, by Peter Reynolds that tells about a girl named Vashi who excels at painting dots. Then we looked at paintings of dots by Wassily Kandinsky. One sharp-eyed first grader noticed that Aliisa happened to be wearing a tee shirt of colourful dots that day!


We laid out wonderful thick water colour paper on each big table, taped it along the edges and then started to paint, beginning with a dot. We used quality brushes and water colours to add circles to these dots.


Little by little the circles and colourful rings began to grow all over the paper. After a ring was painted, each first grader moved on to a new circle.


The first graders were so focused on their work that a few were annoyed about needing to go outside for some fresh air during recess. They were really feeling the flow.


The final paintings done by the first graders are lovely beyond words.



Monochromatic Value and Negative Space


English Class third graders practiced tonal graduation using two different blues. Then they traced the famous Magritte Son of Man  man in a bowler hat to create positive and negative space portraits. They look very handsome hanging in the corridor.

Half Portraits in Pencil and Charcoal


The English Class fifth grade  had some fun with their ‘half portraits’. After getting over the excitement of having close up photos of our faces taken, we began by trying to get the overall shape of our heads perfectly symmetrical, and then by looking at the details on our faces, concentrating on the eyes, mouth and nose.


We worked first with pencil, making sure we had a clear outline of the head and features. We used the central line of symmetry to try to get our features in the right place and we used relative distances to ensure everything had the correct proportions. Once we were happy with the outline we began shading to emphasise the main features. Once our pencil portrait was complete we then did a second portrait in charcoal. This proved more challenging than pencil as we were not able to easily correct our mistakes!


This was not only an artistic exercise, but an opportunity to realize that our faces are not perfectly symmetrical, and this is what gives us our individuality and beauty. Pupils were quick to point out the features of their faces that they did not like, but soon everyone came to the realization that our faces are our own, and there is nothing we can do to change them. The best course of action is to accept who we are, and to make the most of the things we love about ourselves.


Fields of Golden Grain

English Class second graders used oil pastel crayons to draw fields of ripe grain in the foreground. They used a water colour wash to fill in the background sky. Watch the video to see what splendid work they did.

Root Vegetables in Soft Chalk

Carrots and turnips drawn by English CLass second graders using soft chalk pastels

Learning Water Colour Techniques

water colours 6EN_2English Class sixth graders were spellbound by all the ways that water colours could be used. They tried the wet medium on dry artist quality paper first using artist quality brushes. Then they painted wet on wet. They experimented with masking fluid or drawing gum.

water colours 6EN_3The sixth graders blended and created graded or variegated washes. They painted wet on wet. They added salt to create effects. They also practiced stippling techniques.

water colours 6EN The pupils experimented with crayon resist and candle resist, too. In their next art class the pupils will put  these new techniques to use when they paint trees and woodlands with water colours.

Sunflowers by First Graders


The first art project that the English Class first graders did this year was a great success. They painted sunflowers with premixed poster paint. The project started with a good look at the sunflower in the front of the classroom. The children learned the parts of the flower: petals, seed center, stem and leaves. They looked for familiar shapes in the flower. The children found a circle in the center, leaves shaped like hearts and petals that resembled triangles. They drew big flowers on their papers and then painted the background with blue paint mixed with some white.


After painting the background (negative space) the children painted a stem, some leaves and two rows of



The first graders dipped their fingers in yellow, brown and green paint and dabbed seeds on the center of their flowers. The charming results of all their work can be seen in the video below.