Thinking about painting a mural? What type of paint to use?
I would recommend getting a 5 gallon drum of Sherwin-Williams Super Paint. This paint is normally used for swimming pools. The great thing about this paint is that it's so powerful that you can mix this paint with any colors you have, and now you have that color in "Super Paint". It makes sense if you think about it. If you go to a Home Depot and pick us watch off the wall and watch how they make the color paint; the machine just drops a few colors in doing a gallon of white and after shaking it the entire gallon of white becomes that color. Here you have more control. You simply pour a little bit of the "Super Paint" into a container and then mix the colors you want end of that paint. With a five gallon drum of "Super Paint" you will now have the ability to create an entire mural in any color you want with that paint as a base. My students and I have painted over a dozen permanently installed murals in the last 8 years. I am the high school art teacher at Aurora Christian High School, and before that I was a professional artist for over 20 years. Here's some links to see our work; Artist William Grahame Wilkin III
Technology in the Art classroom, getting started. Are you thinking about going digital?
"The iPad art room" If possible, house the iPads in the art room and have them loaded with creation apps so students can make drawn animations, stop motion animations, do green screen video or still effects, add text to their art for graphic designs, manipulate images, draw in layers, upload art to their online digital portfolio, write and reflect on their growth and learning, research online, assess through interactive apps, explore photography, add voice to their art, and make movies. They have completely expanded my K-5 art room as we make art physically and explore more concepts digitally. I am collecting and sharing all my 220+ lessons on my smore page here: STEAM Art Lessons We are currently working on making movement animations using green screen backdrops and mannequins that we will layer over a digital picture of their finished movement figure paintings.
Teaching Drawing in Elementary School, different points of view
Elementary students need a lot of emotional support to step out and take the risk of drawing realistically, so create activities that scaffold them towards the skills they will need. Don't expect 7-10 year olds to draw like Rembrandt, but do expect them to draw like themselves while learning some of the basic drawing and composing skills. Do show them that in contemporary Art, drawing is still a foundation skill to study, but many great artists draw far from realistically. Here's a few drawing activities to consider,
Gesture drawing: "Dance Freeze Draw" is an activity that partners kids up, one dancer, one drawer(or 2 drawers for odd numbers). Teach them a method for drawing the major limbs of the body with ovals, then play a popular dance song for about 15 seconds and pause it. The dancer pauses their movement in whatever wacky pose they end up in for one minute and the drawers try to capture the pose using the oval technique. We have also used these drawings as sketches for wire armatures as well.
Observational drawing: "Look and Draw Day" is still life stations activities. Model a top down drawing technique, start at the top and work your way down trying to include all the lines and shapes you see. I try to use toys, stuffed animals, and other objects that are more kid-centered. Bring different props from home to draw. "Build and Draw Day" includes different block and building sets that students build with for 5 minutes and then draw what they made. The fact that students built it themselves helps them stay invested in the drawing.