“Art Works” is a monthly column that provides bits of know-how and reminders of ways to assure the success of your art program. In the coming year, look for advice and suggestions related to learning about, responding to and making art, integrating art into the curriculum, displaying student work, reaching out to the community, and more.–B.H. ere is a checklist of basic materials for two-dimensional activities that are necessary for an elementaryschool art program, along with a few tips on how to use them. DRAWING MEDIA Pencils: There is a huge variety, starting with the basic drawing and sketching pencils in both hardness and softness. 2B, 3B, 4B and 6B and HB are the soft blackestmarking ones. The harder leads are gradated from 4H, 3H, 2H, H and make grayer marks. Colored pencils: A great number of choices here, from those with smooth, easily blended colors available in sets of 12 up to 36, and those that invite the student to transform their drawings by brushing water over them. Many kinds of markers are available, from permanent to washable, with a choice of fine, bold or chisel tips. Some have a flexible brush tip that allows for color blending, while others come in metallic tones. Great possibilities are explored when students use the changeable markers, which create a new color when the “magic” marker is drawn on top of another color. They are also available in multicultural colors, which are best used on white paper. Oil pastels are opaque and may be applied heavily to white or colored paper. They may be blended by rubbing a fingertip or a bit of cotton over them. A section of newspaper beneath the drawing paper makes it easier to apply a thick layer of color to achieve the typical velvety finish. Student-grade is the most economical. Chalk pastels are opaque media, and may be used on white or colored paper. Be sure you order the pastels that are meant to be used on paper only and NOT on a chalkboard. Two or three 18 H . with Basic Art Materials by Barbara Herberholz colors may be blended with the fingertip, using white to lighten, black to darken, a complement to dull a color. Crayons are semitransparent, and best used on white paper. Once again, a section of newspaper beneath the drawing paper makes it easier for students to bear down hard to achieve bright colors. Watercolor washes may be applied over them, creating a wax resist often called “batik.” Crayons may be soaked in warm water to remove the paper wrapper when using them to make a rubbing or for use on a warming tray. With a warming tray, white paper is placed the tray and held steady with one hand in a mitt, while the other hand moves the crayon slowly over the surface so it melts, creating a paint-like finish. Check out thrift stores for good buys on warming trays. PAINTING MEDIA Tempera is a water- flats and rounds, in a variety of sizes. Watercolors are transparent and best used on watercolor paper, or a heavy grade of white drawing paper. First choice among the many trays available is one that has several colors, including turquoise, magenta and two yellows, the latter making for truer mixing to achieve secondary colors and blends. Elementary students will need some demonstrations from the teacher on using the watercolor trays, i.e., the lid has divided areas to allow for making washes, which are water with some pigment added. Also, they should be shown how washes may be applied onto dry paper or onto wet paper since these two choices provide very different results. Watercolor paper comes in a variety of sizes and prices range from rather expensive to within school budgets. Watercolor brushes are full bodied and available in small to large sizes, both flat and pointed, and made to hold washes, while stiff-bristle brushes used with tempera don’t. Liquid watercolors in bottles are available and very easy to apply when a wash over oil pastels or crayons is needed. PAPER White drawing paper comes in two different weights; the heavier is thicker and best when a wet medium is being used. Colored construction paper in dozens of colors is purchased in several sizes, which are the same as white drawing paper: 9" x 12"; 12" x 18" and 18" x 24". Watercolor paper is usually textured and thicker in order to be used with watercolor washes. White bond paper (used for computer printers) is lighter weight and measures 8.5" x 11". This paper is available under different trade names in a number of colors, and is excellent for cut-paper activities and for printing. Colored tissue paper is available in large sheets in colors that bleed when moistened. The 5.5-inch-square tissue “Pomps” do not bleed and are excellent for collages when used with liquid starch, or white glue diluted with water as the adherent (ratio of see WORKS based medium, and its opaque quality allows one to use it on white or colored paper. It’s also possible to paint details on top of a painted surface when the surface has dried. The paper curls and buckles, but may be flattened for mounting or matting by ironing it on the reverse side once it has dried. Tempera comes in a variety of sizes of plastic containers. It is available in a great many colors, including a multicultural assortment. You may wish to order only the primary colors (turquoise, yellow and magenta), plus black and white, since this assortment allows the student to mix the paint to create the secondary colors, as well as tints, shades and dulled colors. Paper plates provide a means for distribution and for quick disposal. The washable temperas tend not to have the opaque qualities that are so desirable. Stiff-bristle brushes are the best for tempera, and are available in both on page 51 april 2010 x www.ar tsandactivities.com
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