Golden Gourds

This project originally comes from Deep Space Sparkle. This is our version and my interpretation on how I taught it to my classes. These were done with 3rd grade, although they could certainly be done with any grade level, with a little adjusting (use of stencils, perhaps?)

* white tag in 3 sizes (I set forth a requirement of a minimum of 1 pumpkin, 2 gourds, and 3 leaves) 9" X 12" for pumpkin, 9" X 6" for gourds, and 6" X 4.5" for leaves
* a variety of fall tempera paint colors (I mix and keep them in frosting cups with lids)
* chubby paint brushes
* variety of texture tools (some of the ones we use can be found here)
* tablecloths & paintshirts
* scissors
* pencils
* leaf & gourd examples or photos
* glue
* 12" X 18" black paper for backgrounds (we use Molly's Midnight Black paper)
* metallic tempera paints ( we use Sargent metallic tempera)
* smaller brushes for painting details

Encounter: (We only have 40 minute classes, so this is our timeframe. Adjust as necessary)

Day 1: Making the Textured Paper

Place a variety of tempera paint for students to use in various fall colors. We have found that chunky brushes work the best for this stage, as they cover the paper quickly and allow more work time before the paint dries.

I have them view various gourds and pumpkins so that they see the textures, "warts", and colors that they will be replicating. Using the large and medium cards, they will paint and add textures. (note: the smallest cards will be saved to make leaves on day 2)

I instruct them to cover the entire card with one base color and then add stripes of other colors, as shown below:

Then, the fun begins! Using various tools, some purchased, and some found objects, textures are added to the paint.

The "Wart Roller" was the favorite tool:

Students ended up with some very interesting and beautiful papers. I don't know how this student got this result, but I am glad he did!

Warning: Clean up is a bear! This project is very messy, but the kids LOVE it! Allow at least 5-10 minutes for clean-up and have tons of soapy sponges and towels ready.

Day 2: Making the Leaf Papers

Using their smallest cards, the students will add paint to create cards for their leaves. This time, I had the kids "hop" their brushes up and down to give the effect of the changing leaves. They were instructed to cover their cards and no texture tools were used.

At the end of day 2, the students had a variety of textured papers from which to create their collages.
Day 3: Cutting the Shapes
I handed out packets to each table which had various photos of gourds, pumpkins, and leaves so that the students would have a reference to work from. They used their largest card to create a pumpkin, the medium shapes to create gourds, and the smallest to create leaves. At the end of day 2, they had a nice variety of shapes to use in their collage. These were paper clipped together and saved for the next class.

Day 4: Composition
We discussed composition and placement of shapes on their paper. I had the students arrange and rearrange their shapes on their papers before gluing anything down. I emphasized not leaving any large empty spaces. Also, they were told that they did NOT have to use every shape they cut out. If it didn't work in their collage, they could leave it out.

Day 5: Adding the Sparkle
The final touches were added using metallic tempera paint.

I did walk them through adding the lines to their pumpkins, as that can be a bit challenging (I may add a step by step diagram here). Lines were also added to their gourds to replicate the grooves in them. Stems and curly vines added more interest to their paintings. Then they changed colors and added veins to their leaves.

The first class just finished on Friday and I can't wait to hang these for all to see!

An added bonus- have the kids keep all of the scraps for your scrap box. Think of the possibilities!

Again, THANK YOU Patty at Deep Space Sparkle for the awesome art lesson!


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