Student artwork

My time as a long-term substitute teacher is coming to a close soon, and so far my students have completed a plethora of projects to grade/assess and enjoy!

Sixth-graders completed a self-portrait which I instructed them to shade using oil pastels in either natural/realistic tones, or Pop Art style via Andy Warhol. The kids seemed to like choosing different colors (“You mean we can make ourselves purple with green hair?”) insead of the same old usual colors. Their usual teacher would have had them shade using ebony pencil and a smudge tool, but I felt the sixth-graders would have had a more successful portrait if they had more freedom with color choices.

Seventh-graders created these abstract paintings. I’m not exactly quite sure what the original objective of this project was, since the students were halfway done with it when I started the trimester. If I were to teach an abstract painting lesson, I would have probably changed some of the constraints/goals, since the students seemed somewhat confused or frustrated with this project. Behold the end results:

Next up, the seventh-graders created patterned clay containers and pointillist landscape drawings. I’ll post pictures of those when they are all done!

8th grade made clay sculptures that turned out pretty amazing. Through all the problems, frustrations, hard work, and other issues, the end results of this project are something to be pretty proud of. I’m sure the kids can’t wait to take these home with them!

I thought these pieces turned out impeccably well, and will look great in the school art show. Sometimes all the tedious projects can be worth it in the end!

The 8th graders also made scratchboard animal ‘drawings,’ which was interesting because I had never even used scratchboard before. I’m not quite sure what the teacher’s objective was in using the scratchboard- maybe as an alternative to a traditional drawing? Maybe to help them learn shading skills? Some of the end results turned out pretty snazzy, though.


4th graders completed Batik masks inspired by masks used in other cultures… the kids really loved the Batik process.  Once they finished coloring the mask designs with crayons and crinkled the paper, I painted India Ink all over the masks (many of the kids thought I was ruining their work!) and then rinsed them off under water. The ink washed off the wax of the crayon but seeped into the crinkles, creating a really neat “antique” look.

Next up the 4th graders are working on clay bowls that are inspired by objects from nature. I used three aspects of nature as inspiration: air, land, and sea. The kids seemed to have pretty cool ideas (fire bowl, island paradise bowl, tree bowl, etc.)  I’m pretty excited to see how the bowls are going to turn out!

3rd graders are doing large, Georgia O’Keefe style pastel drawings of natural objects. So far, the students have only gotten sketches done, but some of them were so charming! This student’s drawings were amazing! However, he decided to do the final drawing of the eggplant because it was the “easiest.” I would have loved to see a big version of the leaf drawing!

2nd graders created some ceramic animal plaques that they glazed according to the animal they chose. It took some of them a while to master the art of glazing, but I was really pleased again at the level of achievement they were able to achieve. The details on some of these is spectacular!

Next, the 2nd graders made drawings of bugs on sandpaper using crayons, which I used to create prints. By pressing with a hot iron, the wax of the crayons melt and create an interesting texture on the sandpaper. Some of the pictures of the bugs turned out adorable…who knew bugs could be so cute? 🙂

Lastly, my 1st graders completed these construction paper action people. This project was hit or miss- 1st graders are still learning fine motor skills and so a lot of them struggled with putting paper clothes on their figure, but there were still some successes! There were gymnasts, horseback riders, dancers, and swimmers!

These art pieces are so inspriring; they make me proud to be an art teacher!

Have a fabulous week and stay inspired, everybody!


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