Friday, July 18, 2014

Seashells, Sand, and Water: Composition in Collage

If you are looking for a tried and true art project to make at home, camp, or with your kids this school year, check out this favorite summer art camp project: seashells on a beach background. This multi-step project begins with making contour line drawings of seashells and then painting them with watercolors. Next, we splatter-paint to create a sandy background and make salt paintings for our ocean water.

There are no wrong compositions. What is your favorite arrangement?
The beauty in this project is in how one composes all the collage pieces. We play a game taking turns arranging my shells on my background. Each student places a shell until they are all arranged, and then they take turns moving, turning, and changing the placement of shells until they are satisfied. This exercise pushes students to be thoughtful about the composition of their finished artwork.

I hate to see kids rush through the finishing steps of projects when they put such loving attention into the earlier details. Luckily, my 2nd - 6th graders did not rush and were very proud of their finished projects they made today and it shows: they made wonderfully detailed shell drawings and thoughtfully arranged collages.

What are some of your favorite summer art projects? 

What summer art projects should I try with my kids?

This student did a great job spreading out the warm yellows, reds, and pinks.

Simple but beautiful.

I love when young students appreciate non-rainbow colors!

This student drew the same shell from two different views to create a clam!

We found the perfect pearl  to hot glue inside--a glass bead.