Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Two little surprises

My 3rd graders are currently painting textural trees, using Elmer's Glue-All and playground sand, and tempera paint. Today we had two fun surprises.

First: one boy used a LOT of glue and sand. In his previous art class, he painted over the dried glue and sand, using warm colors tempera. Today we looked at it, and here's how it dried (below and at the top of this post). How cool is that?

Then: the kids are are painting without washing brushes (the water you see on the table is just for keeping brushes moist). Last time they used was warm colors, today they used cool colors. To keep the paint colors as clean as possible, I showed them how to dip their brush in to the color without stirring. One boy discovered an interesting drip had occurred in a dish of green paint. The drip had formed a lovely flower! He had to take it from table to table to show everyone!! Here's closeup photo of the drip.

You'll have to wait till next week to see the finished work. These kids have art class again on Monday and will put on the finishing touches then, touching up with both warm and cool and adding some black to the textures as desired. I will post them when they are done. But I can tell you now - they are pretty awesome!


  1. Hi Phyl, These are beautiful! Could you explain the glue, sand, and tempra technique a little more? What come first, etc. It's a really cool effect!

  2. That texture is fantastic! I love the sand idea!

  3. Thanks ladies, I wish I could say the sand idea was mine originally. I saw some magnificent paintings on a post here:

    I thought the technique would work well for VanGogh. The kids noted the texture in his paintings, and we discussed that our kind of paint doesn't have that kind of texture, so we used the sand and glue to create some texture in the paint.

    @ Beth - we started with a simple pencil drawing, then we traced the lines with glue, added glue for bark texture, added glue swirls in the sky, etc. Then we shook sand over the glue and let it dry. In the next art class we started painting. That's it!

  4. Phyl - I love seeing kids making discoveries. The texture is luscious!!

  5. Hi Phyl...came across a site that explained how to create a crackle texture using elmer's glue. I think it went like this...paint an undercoat and let dry. Paint a layer of glue and before it dries paint on a second contrasting color paint. Let dry and enjoy the crackle.
    Looks like you discovered this technique on your own! Yay for kids!