Timeframe: 4-45 minute sessions
Grade Level: 5th
Materials: pencils, black oil pastels, liquid watercolors, salt, paintbrushes, 12x18 white drawing paper, 9x12 white drawing paper (2 sheets per student OR fold another 12x18 in half), glue, scissors, cardboard, construction paper crayons, 12x18 black construction paper

This project was inspired by a Dick Blick lesson plan entitled, Painted Story Quilt. I was so intrigued by this lesson, it is absolutely beautiful. However, we didn't have the budget to purchase all of the materials required to do it the Dick Blick way. So, I improvised and came up with my own lesson that is similar but cheaper. I used the concept of "Dreams" as a focus. We discussed dreams in class, and the students imagined and sketched a scene from a dream. I must say they came up with some of the most creative sketches I've ever seen in the elementary art room. (I also want to point out that I am working on finding funds for my classroom that will allow us to do the full Dick Blick lesson. It is really a great lesson, and I am trying to find a way to bring it to my students!)

The first step was to draw the main image for the dream. All of the students kept the field, fence, barn idea; but drew their own images to jump over the fence. One student had two apples with faces, arms, and legs. They were really able to come up with some unique images for this project, even though they all used the same basic background. I told the students that they could be as detailed or as vague as they wanted. This particular student has the basic, "fuzzy" outline of a horse. 

They outlined everything with black oil pastels. The black oil pastels give a different, more powerful look than a black permanent marker would. It is more dreamy, and less defined. The background and the main images are painted with liquid watercolors and sprinkled with salt for texture. 

The main images are glued to a piece of cardboard and then glued to the background. This adds depth.

The border around the image was created by drawing designs on a 12x18 piece of white drawing paper with construction paper crayons; then painting over with liquid watercolors to create a resist. Then the students just cut out shapes and attached to the edges on the black construction paper with glue. Make sure the students don't try to cut out their designs. They need to cut over them. In other words, warn them not to cut on the lines they drew. This way you get shapes with more than one color and design.

Copyright 2012 Amanda Koonlaba-There's a Party in the Art Room