Friday, March 4, 2016

Papier-Mache "Wild Beasts"!

 My four DragonWing Arts students recently completed building goofy papier-mache "wild beasts".  Above is the creation of my oldest student in the class, a 4th grader who takes her work and her decision-making very seriously.  

The first steps were to use their sketchbooks to develop ideas for their creatures, and then to figure out what would make good armatures (or the bones and muscles) from the materials I had available.  The materials used included plastic bags stuffed with newspaper, wads of newspaper, cardboard rolls, cereal box cardboard, some armature wire, and a few other oddball recyclables that I had available. The kids learned how to cut tabs for attaching features, and then used lots of masking tape to make them hold together securely.  Here you can see what they look like from design to completion. 
 I unfortunately don't have a photo of this 3rd grade boy's project in its absolute complete state.  Some pompoms, mimicking the pink, orange, and purple of the spikes, were glued onto the black spots, and crazy antennas were added over the eyes.  Here it is just prior to those final touches. 

 My youngest student in the class is a 2nd grader.
Here's her project from design to completion. 
Below is a completed photo of the project, but unfortunately it is a sub-par photo.  In case you can't tell, the final touch on this creature was to add a row of colorful feathers going down his back, kind of like a full-body mohawk haircut! 
 This frontal pic below was taken before the row of feathers was added to the beast's back.

 The ocean beast below was designed and created by a third grade boy.  
Here it is, from design to completion. 
He is now wearing a cute collar with a dangling ornament, which unfortunately was not on the beast when I took these pictures. 

 The kids used art paste and torn newspaper strips for their layers of papier-mache, using my fool-proof method, which you  can read about HERE.  If you are going to be at the NAEA (National Art Ed Association) convention in Chicago in a couple of weeks, I'll be teaching a workshop that will cover all sorts of tips and hints to make papier-mache easy and fun.  I'd love to see you there!
 You can tell, from the photo below, just how much fun this process can be!  But why, when she has a container of goo right in front of her, does she have to reach over her brother to access a different bowl of goo??  Silliness!!

When the papier-mache was completed and dry, the beasts were painted with a layer of gesso.  Gesso is not always a necessary step, but it strengthens the papier-mache, and also provides a beautiful white surface for painting. 
 The projects were then painted with school grade acrylic paints, and embellished with feathers, pipe cleaners, pompoms, wiggle eyes, and more, to create the finished pieces I've shared above. 

 This week, the four students had a mini art show, showing off their painted wild beasts, the papier-mache beasts, and a couple of other projects too.  I'll share about two of those other projects in my next blog post.  In the meantime, here are the kids proudly sharing their creations to their families!

1 comment:

  1. I love watching kids' faces as they get all gooey with paper mache paste!!