Tag Archive: Tempera Powder Paint

The grade 6’s started the year by revising the 7 Art Elements and doing an exercise breaking 3D objects and 2D paintings down into these elements and describing what they observed.

Here after though they began a 2D monochromatic mixed media art work.  The theme was a figure in an environment.  So we made people in water all in blues.  I allowed them to use white and grey and black and used the excuse that they were simply shades for tonal work and not colours in themselves.

Some very lovely pictures emerged and some very create ones where the person could hardly be seen.

I focused on the use of shadow on the figures body which most really struggled with.  Getting the learners to use as many different blues as possible was not quite such hard work.

We looked at how the clothes and hair would change in the watery environment – this they struggled to show as well.

We used powder paint, oil pastels, water-colour and aqua-pencil crayons and the learners own normal pencil crayons.

I am glad for the pictures which worked out well.  It was all in all a very challenging project.

grd6FigInEnvronm4 grd6FigInEnvronm3 grd6FigInEnvronm2 grd6FigInEnvronm1



grd1cupcake6The grade 1’s had a wonderful time making the most delicious cupcakes this term.  Each picture has its own story and explanation.  Every colour represents a flavour and all the sprinkles are a story of their own.  A successful project because the children enjoyed it thoroughly and learned plenty from it!


colour mixing (only had primary colours and white to use),

creating without outlines in pencil (just started painting after a demo),

small things like sprinkles should go on a previously painted area and not be painted around – let’s call that “layering”

mixing colours on the page/surface and not in the pattypans (as I need those pans for the next class) and the colours tend not to be as flat!

making mistakes and painting right over them to fix them – perseverance, self acceptance

to apply glitter pain in stripes rather than mushing it over the whole cupcake (I almost got heart failure when I saw the first child do that!)

I would most certainly do this project again.  I would ask the class teacher to make the picture the basis for a creative writing piece as the children have so much to say about their art works!


Mandela Gets a New Shirt


  • Recycled A3 glossy card, black wax, tempera paint (red, yellow, blue), printing implements & oil pastel.
  • 2 Hours / 2 lessons
  • Pictures of Mandela in various typical Mandiba shirts.

Today I told the grade 3’s we were going to pretend that Woolworths had commissioned each of them to design a new men’s shirt.  They would sell it at R375.  But there were only three parameters or conditions: It had to be in the style of Nelson Mandel’s shirts.  It had to be symmetrical and it had to be made out of print.

I discussed the look of Mandela’s shirt (with the help of the trusty old internet) – the patterns and typical colours.  We talked about Mandela’s ability to look smart for the people while his shirt is untucked and without wearing a tie.  However, he does button his shirts right to the top which gives his collar a very smart look and he does have cuffs on his sleeves. another smart factor which needs to be part of their design.  They could add a pocket on one side if they could keep the patterns symmetrical over the pocket.

We discussed the meaning of symmetry quickly.  Just to refresh as they did have prior knowledge.

They watched me draw a shirt (which covered the surface area of the page) and begin printing the shirt demonstrating the symmetrical printing.  I then explained that the area above the shirt will be finger painted with colour experimentation (mixing the given primary colours).  They were to be like scientists and see how many different colours they can get out of the three colours.

Lesson 1: Drawing the shirt in black wax and printing with found and bought objects thereafter finger painting the background.

Lesson 2: Using oil pastel to fill in the back ground of the prints and to neaten up any mistakes.  

*Next and last lesson below 🙂

In lesson 2 I demonstrated blending related colour blending with the oil pastels.

I talked about the shadow which forms when your arms rest against your body and the shadow which forms inside the neck hole of the shirt. 

Link to the youtube picture roll I made…

Its so interesting the way shading and blending comes so naturally to some children and not to others.

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