Friday, January 8, 2010


I hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful start to the New Year! Once again time has flown by and it has been far to long since I last posted. Oh well....perhaps an opportunity for a New Year's resolution! :) Going back in time a bit this is probably the best loved Christmas project in my repertoire. It is a favorite of parents and students alike. The key concepts are that of focal point, repetition and variety. Skills learned are working with stencils, use of pastels, color blending and collage techniques. Students begin by creating a stencil in the shape of an evergreen tree. Then use their stencil and pastels in different shades of green to create a forest of trees. I encourage the kids to trade stencils with classmates so that all of their trees are not exactly the same shape or size. Overlapping is also encouraged. Both of these things help make the forests look more realistic. When enough trees have been stenciled a horizon line is added and the sky is colored with pastel to reflect a certain mood or time of day. Color blending is discussed at this point. When students are finished with the pastels they use the inside shape from the stencil and a variety of collage materials to create a decorated tree which is then added to the forest. The end results are quite beautiful.