Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Collaborative Mixed Media Family Portrait

We have been working for a few weeks on this large mixed media portrait of our family. It's made with 6 canvases and some photographs taken by the children in a previous lesson.

There was quite a bit of preparation needed before the children could begin. I printed out some of the pictures onto A3 paper. 2 of them are unchanged so I did those in colour. The others which got collaged and painted over I did in black and white. I used Photoshop to make them the right size. The pictures were then glued to the canvas ensuring that some of the faces crossed over more than one canvas panel.

Now it was time for the children to begin adding collage. We glued on book pages, sheet music , tissue paper and scrapbook papers.

Next we covered over the black and white faces with watered down gesso. We wanted a good surface for painting on without totally obscuring the picture below.

Next we used a pencil to outline the main facial features. We also outlined where hair, hats and shoulders would be.

Next we used water soluble crayons (Neocolor II) to add colour to only the background. We thought carefully about how the colours would flow from one canvas to the next.

Here's how the picture looked after this stage.

We used some stamps to further decorate the background. Next we mixed 3 flesh colours, light, medium and dark tones. We used the pictures as a guide for placing the paint on the canvas. The children weren't keen on the blending part of the process as you can see!

Next we blocked in the hair colour along with the hats and L's top.

Just the finishing touches to go. We coloured in the eyes and mouths and outlined everything with a soft (4B) pencil. Dads sunnies were collaged in black paper and baking foil and L's jewels were made from sequins.

Now I just have to find a space on the wall for their fabulous creation.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

House Map

This week in our maps project we worked together to make this map of the ground floor of the house. It's all to scale (to the nearest 20cm). The children had to work together to measure the walls and then used their maths and fine motor skills to plot the measurements onto squared paper using the scale 1m in real life = 1cm on the paper.

Fired Robots

We finally got our fired clay robots back from the arts centre. See previous post. They came out really well as you can see below.

By L

4 emotions robot by R - happy and surprised

4 emotions robot by R - sad and angry

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Term 3 Planning

It's that time again to plan the next few weeks work.

As I got a little carried away for term 2 (and we had lots and lots of organised excursions especially in May) we still have projects that are not completed which means less planning for me!

In term 3 we will continue working on our astronomy, maps and family tree projects. For English we will be working on library skills, recounts, opinions, poetry and speaking to an audience. In art I hope to get the children working to build up their sketch books and turn their observational drawings into designs for art works.

We'll be visiting some other parts of NSW along with trips to the Powerhouse space gallery, Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the Australian museum, the Science Centre and Planetarium, Sydney Moderns at the Art Gallery of NSW and Operation Art at the Armoury Gallery. We'll be rock climbing, hiking and geocaching and probably lots of other things I don't even know about yet!

William Cox Historical Festival

Today we went along to the Arms of Australia Inn Museum for the William Cox Historical Festival. The children got to see re-enactments from the early days of the Australian colony, along with meeting modern day emergency services personnel, listening to live music and visiting the farm.

Writing on slates

Learning about different types of leather  made from skins such as crocodile, emu and ray. 

Trying out Morse code

Saturday, 20 July 2013

First Adventures In Geocaching

Today we had our first try at geocaching. This is a treasure hunt type of game played globally using GPS technology. To play you'll need to register with You'll need a GPS device which can be found on your smartphone. It's also a good idea to download a free geocaching app like this one. You can use either the website or the app to find caches nearby. Then use the GPS to locate their exact position. Once in the right place it's a matter of searching around to find a cache which is like a small box. Inside you will find a log sheet and perhaps some treasure in the form of small toys etc. If you take a piece of treasure leave something in its place. There may also be a trackable object which you can take and move into another cache somewhere else. The trackable objects usually have a mission; for example, to reach a certain country. For more on how to play go to this section of the geocaching website.

Our first hunt today was at a nearby cemetery where we located our first geocache which was well laden with treasure. It was very exciting for the children and we were pleased that we had been successful on our first attempt. We had a look around at the graves whilst we were there and calculated how long ago some of the people had died.

Our first find, L clapping!

Opening up to find the treasure and log book

We tried for 7 geocaches in all and successfully found 5 of them. They were disguised in lots of different ways and were located in the town centre, housing estates, local parks and scrub land.

Can you see the cache? It's right in front of you, disguised as a bush

The terrain here was a little tricky

We found this one in a hollowed out tree stump

At one location the cache was located very close to a disused bees nest - this was just amazing but we were glad the bees weren't at home.

There are thousands of geocaches all over the world so we plan to seek them out when we go away. However, there are around 50 caches within our own neighbour hood to find first.

Summer Of Colour Week 6

This week's Summer of Colour challenge was sage and sepia. My first thought was, eurghhh what disgusting colours! As I thought about it old sepia photographs came to mind. We have plenty of old style photographs from our Blue Mountains bicentenary crossing events and excursions; see May on the side bar. So we decided to use them to make scrapbook pages. Here are our results.

By R

By L

By Mum

Saturday, 13 July 2013

WOW Festival

Today we attended the fabulous and free WOW - Way Out West Children's Festival at Casula Powerhouse arts centre.

The children did several art workshops and saw a great theatre production Purse of the Mummy. However the highlight of the day was working on building a huge sculpture from milk crates - the Termite City.


Here are their art works:

We also had a look around the exhibition space where the interactive hanging rail and computer game was very popular.

We loved these crazy machine designs on show in the exhibition.

There was also an little animal farm which L enjoyed.