Year One were working on a healthy food theme and these simple collages were made with painted paper and newspaper, inspired by Megan Coyle‘s collages made with magazines. We looked at her artwork (mainly food and still life collages) so the students could see the overlapping and slightly different shades of a colour.
I drew the shape of different fruit and vegetables onto A5 size paper (half A4) so it wasn’t too arduous for the kids to fill with overlapping paper pieces. I had a box of painted paper scraps so the students searched through for the colours they needed, (maybe finding different shades of one colour) cut them into smallish pieces and glued them inside the drawn shape.
Next lesson they used cut up newspaper (with just print so it was fairly uniform) to fill the negative space around their fruit or vegetable. I then coated them with PVA white glue which dries clear to seal and keep any flappy bits down. They were then mounted on black card for display.
Eric Carle’s children’s books and illustrations are a delight to read to children and also a wonderful inspiration so many art projects- who doesn’t love painted paper collages?
The Prep students (first year at Primary school) were working on a theme of “Growth and Change” and the story “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” fits in beautifully. This art lesson is the first part- of course there has to be the cocoon and then the butterfly!
We watched an animated version of the story on Youtube, and I also had a copy of the book to look carefully at the pictures. We discussed how they think Eric Carle made the pictures- someone did eventually proffer that he painted paper and then cut and pasted it. We talked about how he might have got the effects of texture. I then showed them a short video of Carle making making paper, and collaging a butterfly, so they could see his process.
Making painted paper:
Students were given a tray with a dark green, an ‘apple’ green, and white. They were instructed not to actually mix the colours, but to double dip to cover their entire paper and then while the paint was wet to use a texture wand or comb to dab or scrape through the wet paint. They also did a smaller piece of paper with red, yellow and purple paint in sections. These are left to dry for the next session.
We looked at Eric Carle’s caterpillar and decided that the shape needed for the body parts was an oval. So to make a template for the caterpillar’s body, each child was given a smallish piece of cardboard to fill it with an oval shape. After checking with me that it was big enough, they cut it out and used that to trace onto the back of their painted paper as many as they could. (we folded the paper in half so they would cut two out at a time) They traced a slightly bigger head on the red paper and used the yellow to cut circles for eyes, the purple for antennae.
I demonstrated how they could glue down their ovals- we talked about arranging and overlapping- once again referring to Carle’s caterpillar. Students cut out yellow eyes, purple antennae and green circles for on top of eyes and a small triangle nose. I cut the little ‘L’ shaped feet for them from scrap brown painted paper.
Our school was doing a “Discover Dairy” inquiry unit and so we were making lots of artworks of cows! The inspiration for this lesson was from “paper paintings” of cows by Elizabeth St Hilaire (Nelson)
“Paper Paintings” by Elizabeth St Hilaire
The students looked at some St Hilaire’s “paper painted” cows and inferred the techniques and materials they think she used.
We watched a couple of videos with Elizabeth St Hilaire talking about her materials and showing the techniques she uses.
The students then chose a photo of a chosen breed of cow to crop to a square to use for a reference to make a realistic drawing and get the shape and colouring right.
They drew a grid on the photo (digitally) then ruled up a larger piece of paper to enlarge each part of the drawing of the cow’s head.
Next they used the photo as a reference to mix paints to match to do an underpainting and make some painted paper.
The painted paper was used to collage over the “underpainting”
We took 4-5 one hour lessons to complete and evaluate the artworks. Full lesson plan with learning intentions, success criteria, lesson activities with process, useful video links and students self evaluation rubric, all linked to Victorian Curriculum to purchase below.