Friday Two Cents: The Language Of Art

This past week I had completed my Additional Qualification course (AQ) on Visual Arts Part 2.  During this entire course I had the opportunity to learn new and exciting things to bring into the classroom for the students.  Some included techniques in areas that people would consider traditional art forms like painting, drawing, sculpting.  Other practices would be considered in new areas of art such as photography, Photoshop, digital art and word art. 

The one area I liked and was intrigued about was the language we would use to help the students express them selves in art.  In other words, it’s the language used in the art class.  Many classrooms have word walls for the students to help them understand, write and spell the words mostly used for literacy. Yet for other subjects, like math, there are other word walls that help the students understand the words or concepts within the subject.  To use math as an example …

Sum– the total amount resulting from the addition of two or more numbers.  

This helps the students use the language most used in the subject.  During this course I found some words that works with the Art curriculum.  I made a chart that can help students and other educators.  For just as Hippocrates once said …

‘The chief virtue that language can have is clearness, and nothing detracts from it so much as the use of unfamiliar words.’ Hippocrates

Art Word Chart Page 1

Hopefully these words can help others understand and create wonderful and meaningful pieces of art.  


Friday Two Cents: Art Is Everywhere

‘The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.’ Pablo Picasso

For the past week I have been fortunate to be taking an Additional Qualification course (AQ) on Visual Arts.  I have already taken Part 1 and now I am continuing my art education with Part 2.  

In the course we are learning new techniques and art mediums to bring the world of art to the students.  I’m not talking about crafts like making Mother’s day gifts, but well thought out art that the students did.  Yes we are learning the traditional art techniques but we need to help the students think more on why they create the art.  I have had many discussions with people that we should be looking at the process of art with the students and not the final product.  This course centres on that governing principle. 

We had wonderful experiences with art this week and we have one more week to go but we were also fortunate to go on a field trip to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinberg.  They have wonderful art pieces that are all created my Canadian artists.  They also have a large collection of First Nations art on display as well.  We were able to have a wonderful tour that helped us explore works from the Group of Seven, First Nations art and other pieces including works from a Nova Scotia artist Maud Lewis.  

After had a workshop were we would be able to create our own Art pieces in the same style of Maud Lewis.  We had about 30 minutes but I think my creation was pretty close.   Her work is considered by many as folk-art and to some it may seem simplistic.  Yet exposing her pieces to the students could encourage them to think; if she can paint these works them maybe I could too.  In the end isn’t that what art is supposed to do?  Encourage conversation and inspire others.  

I have always thought so.  

Art Inspiration: Graffiti Art Signs For Sick Kids



Last week at the school I am working in, they were having a fundraiser to raise money to help support Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. Every group would be responsible for one of the three days to help raise funds.  Tuesday was popcorn day, Wednesday was ice cream and Popsicle day and Thursday we had baked goods. The students also participated in the fundraiser by helping to sell the goods and my grade 3, 4 and 5s’ also helped to make the baked goods.

I am not very good at baking, correction not good at baking with kids (too messy for my liking, actually the clean up part). Therefore I volunteered to help create awareness by creating posters with the students. I did not want to create the traditional posters the students and teachers make with large paper and tempera paints. I learned a new way and I wanted to share it with the students. So we created Graffiti Art posters.
We needed to create four posters, one for each day and a central one with Sick Kids on it. This was perfect because I had four groups. Below you can see the images of the different stages of the process and the best part was that I had the students do all the work.


Stage 1 – The students’ chose which poster they wanted to create and they got busy creating the letters for the sign. I gave them card stoke paper and told them that they can create the letters in any way they wanted. They didn’t have to be the same and they could cut out the letter and have them either a negative or positive cut out (the letter itself or a page with the letter cut out in the centre).

They then would tape the letter onto a large piece of butcher paper. I told them that they would be spray painting the letter with black paint and whatever is taped down would be the colour of the paper and exposed sheet would have the paint.


Stage 2 – once the letters were taped down, we took the large sheet outside and spray painted the letters and sheet. I let the students spray paint their own letter after a bit of instruction on how to do it. You need to spray paint outside because of the smell, and I used flat Black paint so it would not look too shiny and it would be easier for the next stage.


Stage 3 – after the paint was dry and the smell has gone (usually it takes a day), I had the students colour in the poster using oil pastels. I told them to remove the paper stencil they created and then just look at the poster and their letter before they coloured. I told them to take a moment and see what they could do with their letter, to use their imagination.

What they created was imaginative and inspiring.  

Art Inspiration: Greek Vases


Several weeks ago I did a weeklong exploration/inquiry on mythology, specifically Greek/Roman or Classic Mythology.   The students truly enjoyed the week with me reciting the tail of the Greek gods and other classical myths. Yet one art project we did inspired many to create some wonderful artwork.

Below you can see the Greek vase art project we did. You can follow each step on how we created them.


Step 1. First we drew a vase and then we choose warm or cool colour oil pastels and totally coated or coloured in the entire vase, pressing hard. If you don’t, the black paint will stick and absorb to those areas and won’t easily be scratched away.


Step 1: Colour the vase with oil pastels

Step 2. After we fully colored and coated the entire vase with the oil pastels, the students use black acrylic paint to paint over wherever they colored in oil pastel. We let the creation dry fully over night.


Step 2: paint the vase with acrylic paint.

Step 3.   The next day the students used wooden toothpicks and skewers to scratch away gently into the vases and just remove the black paint exposing the colored oil pastel underneath.


Step 3: using a toothpick or a skewer, scrap away the black paint to create your image.


I told them that many Greek vases depicted tails from mythology or some impart scene from the life of the time the vase was created. My example shows a scene from the tail of Prometheus being visited by the eagle. I told them that they could do a story or some thing important to themselves. A couple of students enjoy playing baseball and you can see their creations. Below you can enjoy the students hard work and amazing finished vases.

Art Inspiration: Shaving Cream Easter Eggs



During my practicum I had the opportunity to do the art lessons with the students. They are the younger primary but I wanted to do something that was different and challenging with them. I wanted to do an art activity that had to do with a different medium, something other than paints, crayons or drawing. This was a simple art activity that would be utilized during Easter and incorporate spring colours or pastel colours. So I decided to incorporate a sensory aspect to the art activity. Therefore I decided on using a shaving cream activity I used many years ago.

Because it was my first few days back from the university strike I did not create a lesson plan but I did it off the top of my head. I not the Learning goals or success criteria but I did write down the steps and create a rubric for marking after.



Craft Supplies – a tray or I used construction paper sheets, shaving cream, white construction paper or art paper, acrylic paints, a squeegee, I used a straw or you can use a paintbrush or Popsicle stick

(Warning this activity is messy, use a sheet to cover the table.)

Action: Step-by-Step

  1. Draw egg shapes on the white construction paper and have the students cut them out. Make sure they print their names on the back of the egg.
  2. Squirt enough shaving cream on the tray or sheet to be able to cover the surface.
  3. Have the students spread it around to make the surface relatively even, it won’t be smooth. (Essential questions ‘How does it feel on you hands? What does it smell like?’)
  4. Once you have your shaving cream evenly spread on the tray or sheet, squirt some acrylic paint vertically onto it. (Ask the students which colours they want to use. Limit to two – three colours.)
  5. Then using a straw or paintbrush or what every you used, zigzag gently though the paint to give it a marbled effect. Do not over mix the colours you just want the colours to start mixing not completely turn into another colour. You want a marble look of the colours.
  6. Place the egg shapes on the shaving cream/paint mix.
  7. Have the students press their paper into the shaving cream/paint and let it sit for a few seconds.
  8. Remove the paper by lifting it straight up. Let the paint/shaving cream sit on the paper for a couple of minutes before squeegeeing it off the paper.
  9. Gently and smoothly squeegee the shaving cream off the paper. It will remove the shaving cream, but not the paint.
  10. Once dried you have a wonderful decoration for Easter and you can use this technique on any other art project.


I hope you enjoy the examples below.

Art Inspiration: Mondrian Art Lesson


During my practicum I had the opportunity to do the art lessons with the students. They are the younger primary but I wanted to do something that was different and challenging with them. I got a suggestion to do a Mondrian inspired art lesson so I came up with one. I decided to incorporate a lesson on primary colours and connect it to the geometric shapes lesson we are doing in math. Below are the learning goal, what I want them to learn and the steps to be taken for the lesson.

 Learning Goal: We are learning about the primary colours and introduce how the colours are seen as warm or cool colours and how do they make us feel. As well the use of geometric shapes and what do they represent in the image.

 (Student perspective) I am successful when I can …

“see what are the primary colours and which ones are called warm and cool colours.” “create geometric shapes using the ruler like squares and rectangles.”


Craft Supplies – paper, paints, brushes, cups with water, pencils, rulers, black markers/pencil crayons

iPad – to show examples of Mondrian art

 Essential Questions:

Why are they warm and cool colours? What makes them so? What examples can you think of as warm and cool colours? What do think about the artists work? How does this colour (ask for all the colours) make you feel?

 Minds On: How will I engage the learner?

Use the iPad to show different images of warm and cool colours and ask them how do they make them feel. (Cool – blue; warm – red) also geometric shaped art and ask them what do they think about them.

 Action: Step-by-Step

 Step 1 – Use a ruler and a pencil to divide your paper into shapes. (Only use vertical and horizontal lines… no diagonal lines)

Step 2 – Use a black marker to trace over the lines to make them thinker.

Step 3 – Use primary colours and black paint to fill the shapes. Paint only three (3) of the shapes for each colour.  3 red, 3 blue, 3 yellow and 3 black


I hope you enjoy the examples below.

Art Inspiration: Three Wheeled Colour Wheels


  During my practicum I had the opportunity to do the art lessons with the students. They are older and I wanted to do something that was different and challenging with them. Earlier in the year we created colour wheels but I wanted something they can use in their lives when it came to colouring and/or art. Therefore I created a template for a Three Wheeled Colour Wheel. It is the same as a normal colour wheel with the primary, secondary and tertiary colours, however they would also have two inner wheels that they can rotate and colour coordinate with other colours for their art projects.

Below is a presentation I used to help them create the colour wheels.

First we discussed the primary colours …    

                 – red, blue, yellow

Second the secondary colours …

                 – orange, violet, green

Lastly the tertiary colours …

                 – red-orange, red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green, yellow-green, yellow-orange


  We discussed the colours placement on the wheel and I showed them the template for the back, middle and inner wheels. We also discussed how to create each of the primary, secondary and tertiary colours

The primary colours are 100% of those colours and the others are a mixture of them.

Red is 100% red. Primary

Orange is 50% yellow, 50% red. Secondary

Red-orange is 50% red, 50% orange. Tertiary


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We then went through how the three wheels would look like and then I allowed them to go ahead and paint the wheels. Once they were dry and cut out, we over lapped the wheels and we poked a hole in the centre. We then placed a butterfly clip or round head fasteners in the centre to allow the wheels to rotate, and there you have it.

 Surprisingly the biggest problem was finishing the project on time. I gave them two art lessons to finish and only 2/3s of the class finished the project on time. I did use a rubric to grade the project and I have it below.


Below are a few examples of the wheels from the students and the presentation I used. One of the images is the finished colour wheel with three wheels rotated to align the blue, red and yellow colours to see if they would work well together. The students said they did but they did not know where they would see this combination. Then I showed them, the logo of Superman. Lets just say they got the message about coordinating colours to make your image really standout. Enjoy.

Ailish Sinclair

Stories and photos from Scotland

doug --- off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

The Trombonist's Mouthpiece

Music, education, and philosophy

Paul Gauchi

My innermost thoughts I wish to share. These things Inspire me, maybe they will inspire you.

Lucia Lorenzi

the body politic: musings and meanderings

Luciana Cavallaro

Award-Winning Author

The Art Studio by Mark Moore

Where Imagination Becomes Realality

Daniel is funny

Monsters, Jokes, Analogies

A Step onto the Road

The journeying of a literary hopeful


Thinking deeply about education

The Baggage Handler

I made the impossible easy in both worlds!

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

Belief Blog

Spreading the Power of Belief

The First Gates

Stories, Dreams, Imagination, Soul

Unbound Boxes Limping Gods

The writer gives life to a story, the reader keeps it alive.