Saturday, October 29, 2016

Laurel Burch Line Pattern Cats

Mrs. Vasco, a Title I teacher in our building, is a stylish lady! She often wears earrings that catch my attention. Sometimes they're cats, sometimes they're horses or dragonflies, sometimes they're flowers, but her earrings are almost always the work of popular 80's designer Laurel Burch. Her work reminds me a lot of Gustav Klimt- lots of patterns, gold accents, bright and colorful. Google it!


Kids love looking at Mrs. Vasco's earrings as much as I do and it may be because they love animals so much. What a great basis for an art project! I was inspired!

We looked at several paintings by Laurel Burch. We talked about the patterns we saw, focusing on tiny details. Some cats had tiny dotted line patterns around their eyes, others had zig-zag patterns. Some cats had flowers on their cheeks! We talked about what lines and shapes we could use to make patterns of our own. After drawing our Laurel Burch cats, students went to work adding fancy line patterns of their own. 

Many kind folks donate things to the art room that they think we might be able to use. Mini Pringles cans make great containers for oil pastels! 

Students shared oil pastels with their elbow partners (the person sitting next to them). They worked to carefully trace around shapes and lines, knowing this would become a waxy barrier for our watercolor paints later. 

Laurel Burch often used bright colors, so we avoided using brown and black when tracing our line and shape patterns. 

Check out those details! That bright color! 

After washing our hands from those greasy oil pastels, we painted over our patterns with watercolors! It creates a resist so the paint doesn't cover or stick to the patterns we drew. 

To add a little more Laurel Burch flare I introduced the kids to acrylic paint. It's one of those super cool art supplies that can destroy clothes by leaving permanent stains. We wear art shirts to protect ourselves, but it's best to save your favorite outfits for non-art days. Seriously, don't wear things you love to art class. We make messes while we're making art. Sometimes the messes are big. And permanent. Like acrylic paint. This paint was GOLD. It shimmered and shined, and the kids LOVED IT! We carefully traced details we wanted folks to notice. We added dots and lines to our designs. 

When students were finished we put them on drying racks to dry! The next morning my art helpers cut them out (they were pretty large and difficult to hold for cutting). Then they were ready for the walls!

Each cat has a personality all it's own! The kids did a fabulous job embellishing their Laurel Burch cats with patterns, colors, and GOLD! They've really fancied up the arts hallway. Kids of all ages love to stop to look at them, and the adults do too!

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