Monet Waterlilies

Organising plans for this term and realised this got lost in the Christmas madness.

Monet’s Waterlilies are among my favourite paintings so couldn’t do Monet with out them.

20150104_10This was one of the rare occasions I took an activity straight from a book.  Really like this one, was one of 3 to survive a massive cull of similar books a few years ago.


This tissue paper collage was the very pretty result.



Wednesday’s art group was inspired by Monet’s Cliff Walk at Pourville.

We looked at 3 different techniques for creating water effects.



Going left to right

Oil pastels – draw the rocks, light blue squiggles around.  Dark blue shadows under the rocks and some dark blue squiggles.  Finished off with a bit of light blue shading on the rocks.

Soap – load the brush with watercolour paint, rub on a bar of soap and paint waves.  The soap shows the brushmarks.

Wash – paint the paper with water.  Paint on a wash of pale blue watercolour paint leaving areas of white.  When dry use a thin brush to add ripples of dark blue.

All techniques come from this book which I highly recommend!


Winter Rhythms

Bit of a mixed bag last week.

In one way it was a busy one, friends round 2 days, to a friend’s another, a few hours out with Grandad on another and finished the week with the Dockyard’s Festival of Christmas.  Plus, of course, Cubs, Gang Show and first Christmas party of the season.  However, only the Festival took us outside our immediate area so by some weeks standards felt bit more relaxed.

Education wise, part of me thinks we’ve got it right; work is completed in a reasonable time, Sam’s largely enthusiastic and we’ve a nice balance between worksheet/curriculum stuff, use of computers, playing, hands on stuff and reading and discussion.  Of course the other part worries we’re not doing enough…

Colds and bugs are also starting to hit.  House is full of sneezes and wheezes.

Few photos of the week.

Skate park

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Playing with lenses for science, making microscopes and cameras.

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We also had fun with optical illusions, the rolled up paper tube making a hole in your hand trick went down well, and later in the week we had some fun exploring this site.


Art was Monet’s Bridge at Argenteuil.  We focused on the reflections.  Dividing paper in half drew scene on a bank on one side with oil pastels – Sam did bathers.  Then the paper was folded in half and rubbed the back of a spoon over the paper to leave a print on the other side.  Unfortunately skin colour didn’t work well.  A blue watercolour wash was painted over the top as the sky and a watered down wash over the bottom as the river.  Ripples were added with the darker blue.


We continued reading about WW1, focusing on trench warfare.  We also junk modelled a trench system for the Airfix WW1 British and German Infantry to fight on.


Entirely self motivated he built a trench system in Minecraft.

Festival of Christmas probably should have a post in it’s own right, but it was no where near as good as previous years and with Sam not feeling well we headed off even before the lights of the Warrior were on.  So have a photo gallery instead.


Pastels and Pottery

They’ve been the themes for our creative work this week.

Wednesday’s art group looked at Monet’s ‘The Thames below Westminster’.

Looking at the contrast between the sharp foreground and the misty background the activity was to draw a ‘soft’ background using soft pastels with a sharper foreground using oils.  The idea was to do any scene they wanted.

Sam’s is a background of space and planets with a spaceship in the foreground.

20141121_2Here is his picture study and review on last week’s subject.

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Later in the week we looked at another painting.  Georgia O’Keeffe’s Poppy.  Partly to contrast with Monet’s Wild Poppies, partly to complement our work on WW1 and remembrance, but mostly because I love it.

This is sketched with chalk on a square canvas and then coloured with soft pastels.
20141120_36Final burst of creativity was today.  Jack finished school at lunch time so we spent a relaxed family afternoon in the local pottery painting shop making Christmas presents and decorations.


Monet – Wild Poppies

First Art group of the half term brought the start of a new artist study.  This time, Claude Monet.

To tie in with last week’s trips and remembrance day we started with Wild Poppies.


The picture study element had been taking too long as a group so I got Sam to do it beforehand.  This time from memory.



This week we opened group with looking at some of Monet’s paintings and a quick introduction to the idea of Impressionism.  Followed up by reading the picture book The Magical Garden of Claude Monet


The actual art this week was a simple copy the picture job.  We started off with watercolour pencils (purely because I’d managed to confuse people with what they needed to bring) and ended up reverting back to the plan of oil pastels as pencils were taking too long.