Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Marker Paint Example

I found a picture that was painted with Marker Paint.  It's taken from my Iphone so I'm not sure how well it will display.  But it should give you and idea of the vibrancy of the colors. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dried out markers aren’t dead yet!

There are probably others ideas you’ve tried and I’m sure one can find ideas from a Google search but I really like the effect of using the markers like a paint.  It’s a bit messy and takes some time to set up but I think it’s worth the time and effort.  My kids love it too and that’s important to me as well.

Nov 14 031 When I find a marker that's dried out, I put it a tub that's reserved just for dried out markers. Then several times a year I take the markers apart and create some "Marker Paint" for the kids to use. The colors are nice and bright, apply easily and it's a good way to reuse what otherwise might be thrown out.
Nov 14 032 Here are the basic tools I use.  The pliers are good for pulling out tips and the cutters grip well when removing the bottom of the marker.


Nov 14 036 First I remove all the tips on the markers of the ones I plan to use.  I do one color at a time.  By removing all the times (say of the blue colors) then I don’t have to keep switching  tools for each individual marker.  Whatever works best for you, do that! Nov 14 037


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Here I am removing the bottom of the marker.  When I use the pliers my hand tires after a while but with a good heavy duty wire cutter the caps remove easily.  BTW, if one wanted to he could simply remove this cap, add a little water and the marker would work again.  You have to add just the right amount of water but it does work.  I’ve not tried it that way much so I don’t know how long they last but I suppose one could just keep adding a little water until they are completely out of ink.


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Once the bottom cap is removed I used a thin paintbrush end to remove the inner fiber cylinder that contains the ink.

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Once it is dislodged from the tip, the fiber cylinder  comes out easily. 

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Finally I place several of the fiber cylinder and the tips in a small amount of water and let them soak.  They are ready to use in minutes.  I add the paint lids (I have the spill-proof type) and I cover them at night.  The only downside is that after a while, if the fiber cylinders are left in too long, the paints starts to smell.  So after a few days I remove them.  By that time most of the useful ink has been drained. 

Now it just occurred to me that I don’t have an example picture so I will have to start looking.  Please share your thoughts and ideas on the uses of dried out markers!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


So Halloween is over.  Well, not exactly.  There's still the aftermath.  Students are always a bit more "excited" this time of year.  Some days can be very challenging.  But for the past two week, I've managed to keep the excitement down by keeping the kiddies busy.  Here's an activity that is always fun this time of year.  I provided the kids with pumpkin cutouts to trace large orange pumpkins.  The instructions were simple:  Make a pumpkin face any way you want (as long as it's appropriate).  I provide them with plenty of things to glue on to the orange pumpkins and then I get out of the way.  I did help with the mustaches after being asked.  But I was able to demonstrate the process and some kids were able to make their own.   I've set up a link to my new Facebook page for photo albums.  Here is a link to the pumkin pictures: PUMPKINS

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ahhhhh, another year.

If you saw my room you'd wonder how I managed with my 5 long tables and all those bodies.  My room is about 1/3 less in size than a regular classroom.  It may be even 1/2 as I've never measured.  I know that it is small.  To make matters worse (different really) I've added three new tables (seriously).  I've turned three rectangle tables up against the wall and added three round tables.  It works!  Now I have 8 tables and can add some new centers.

This year I'm going to try something different when it comes to blogging.  In the past I tried to get the blog post and art gallery ready at the same time.  As a result, I put off many posts until I had the gallery made and that really slowed things down.  In some cases I didn't get the gallery made and therefore didn't share an idea.  So......

I'll be adding blog posts without galleries sometimes and then add the galleries later.  I'll announce when new galleries are posted to the website.  I'm actually far behind on things I want to post and am hoping that this idea will motivate me to "just do it!"

Have a wonderful year and I hope to have many new (and old) things to share.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Art Show 2012

Art Show 2012

Our school district's art teachers have talked about doing an art show together for some time now.  This was our year.  We set up at our local civic center using tables, display flats, and walls.  I've posted a gallery of pictures (lots of them).  The pictures range from kindergarten to 12th grade.  I don't have them separated in any way.  I'm sort of random that way.  Enjoy!  We have some fantastic artists!

Shelton 2012 Art Show

Monday, January 23, 2012

Frederick: A Kindergarten Project

The idea for this project came from the book Frederick by Leo Lionni.  He's one of my favorite children's authors.  And although I am no longer able to work with the kindergarten classes due to a change in their schedule, I stay in contact with them and help them with projects as much as I'm able.  But I do have some "unpublished" kindergarten work that I will try to share over time.   This is a project I did with kindergarten in 2010.  It would have been posted sooner but I have pictures all over the place.  Just like my messy room, my computer is a mess too!  But I think I have it organized finally.  (crosses fingers)

I taught kindergarten for 8 years and this project was one of my favorites.  

Here's my basic approach:
*We used scissors, glue, paper punches, crayons, and of course, colored construction paper.
*Cut the construction paper (ahead of time) to the proper size (squares and rectangles).  **For example, I cut the mouse bodies approximately 2x3**  --( I cut all pieces to size except for the legs and tails.  Kids are on their own there.)
*Demonstrate how a square/rectangle can be made to look round simply by snipping off the corners.
(**I also demonstrate how to round off the corners but explain that if they have difficulty with doing that, just snip off the tips**)
*Add a light color to the background paper using the  long-side of a crayon.  As you will see in the gallery, we tried dark and it's not as nice looking.
*Add color to the rocks (for texture) using the long-side of a crayon.  Using several colors gives a nice effect.
*Display  ;) 

BTW, I used as a model for the picture one of the pages of Lionni's book.  Frederick is "sharing" the things he's stored up for the winter. 

Here's a gallery of work. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

5th Grade: Hot Air Balloons

   Here's a project I've done a few times and one that the students really seem to enjoy.  The idea came from a Donna Hugh video.  I love the instructional possibilities of this lesson.  I was able to talk about composition, balance, unity, repetition, atmospheric perspective, color choices, just to name a few. 

    However, my main focus was on the coloring technique.  The middle school art teacher actually refers to this method as the "Mr. Triplett Marker Method."  I did not originate the idea and have seen other teachers use it as well.  It offers a nice effect when using markers.

I tell the kids that the marker is like a paint brush. It has a tip where the color is and like a brush, it can be "brushed" on (so to speak). The method is simple: Lines run side by side and follow the same direction. They can follow the contour of an object (and should) but in some cases should follow straight lines. The object one is coloring dictate the type of line (curved or straight) one is using. I use this method to avoid the "scribble" effect one can get with using markers. In some cases, using a marker like you would a crayon (coloring back and forth) is OK and works well. But it can also derail an otherwise great artwork. The example should give you an idea of what I mean. I'll guess that many of you have your students use this same method when using markers. I'd love to hear your feedback on this one! Here's a few finished examples and a gallery of student artwork is found HERE on my website.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Impressionism 4th grade drawings

     I've liked the looks of this project from the first time I saw it.  The idea came from one of my Donna Hugh videos (found here) and is easy to do.  After creating a border (see this link) the students draw several lines (which separate different colored fields) a house on top and tree at the right.  

Then, using thin colored markers and utilizing small choppy strokes, each field is colored using a combination of colors.  Adjacent fields should be colored with enough contrast so that there is adequate visual contrast to separate the fields. Otherwise, the full effect will be minimized or even lost.
It's important that the house colors have enough contrast against the background sky and the field immediately underneath the house so that it can stand out.

The process itself takes several art sessions but is well worth the effort.  The results are very "impressive."  You can view a small gallery of work here

Here are a couple more examples