Is it possible to create a mixed media work of art digitally?  It is when you are using a wonderful collage based app combined with a drawing/painting app! 

Pretty soon, my students will be creating mixed media portraits using our art room iPads!  In the past, we've created artwork using the app Faces iMake, however, we were always so pressed for time being that we only had a few iPads.  In the interest of trying to give everyone a few minutes to create a collage portrait, students often felt rushed.  

Now that we are fortunate enough to have a class set of iPads in our art room, students will be able to work on projects from week to week using their very own iPads. 

They will start out using the Faces iMake app
and will select, size and arrange various objects to make a face.  

Then, they will save their work and import the image into the Brushes app 

Using our styluses, students will outline and paint new details over their collages. Be sure to visit our Artsonia Gallery to see these works of art when they are finished! 

I received an email from a mother/son app developing team based in Bulgaria yesterday.  Marina and Hrisoto Staykov released the app Amaziograph and thought I might find it to be a useful app in the art room.  They generously gifted their app to me to explore, and let's just say I was hooked immediately!  

This app takes me back to the days when I taught my students how to create tessellations using paper and markers.  The discovery of the Amaziograph app is inspiring me to want to teach how to create 21st century tessellations using iPads.  This video is a demo of how to use some of the functions within the app.  There are a number of grids and possible lessons that can be taught using this app.  I am looking forward to teaching traditional as well as digital tessellation- making in the art room.  

View the "How To" demo video I created below to see how I created my tessellations. 

The mirror  and kaleidoscope grids are also wonderful.  I recall teaching a lesson in which students wrote their names in script on a folded paper, superimposed the continuous line in their names and then designed an insect out of the letters.  With this app, students can turn the iPad sideways, write their name on the line and print their names in mirror image format.  Then, they can use traditional tools to design their insects, aliens, etc (see below).

 (First Name Written in Script)

(First Name Printed and Flipped Vertically: Ready to Transform into Insect/Alien/etc.)

The kaleidoscope function can be used to draw snowflakes, flowers, mandalas, etc.   

There are plenty of ways for us art teachers to design rich and engaging lessons that can incorporate traditional and traditional tools using this app.


2nd graders in Ms. Castrantas' class (above) and in Mrs. Babler's class (below) decided that they wanted to work on a level 0 voice level today, which means they decided that they should not talk at all while they were working.  Because of this choice, they were working independently and it gave me the opportunity to take a step back and film them as they worked.  They loved the snow effect in the Video Star app and enjoyed hearing the music, "Snow Day" by Toby Lightman as I filmed with an iPad. The camera on the iPad 2 is not the best, which is why this video is not as clear as the ones that I normally shoot with my iPhone, but it was fun to mix it up a bit.

They are so proud of the progress they are making with their winter rabbits!  Stay tuned and you will be able to see them in our Artsonia Gallery.

 Digital Snowflake by Tyrell112  

See More Snowflakes Created by B.A. Artists in our Artsonia Gallery


Students have been creating digital snowflakes using the free app My Flake on our iPads.

  My Flake:   https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-flake/id407824729?mt=8

Today, a student in Mrs. Hoens class asked if I could take a video of students as they moved their iPads around like falling snow. We gave it a go, but the iPad screens just glowed white. So, we did the next best thing to make it snow. We took a still photo and then later, added the animated snow. Now it looks like the art room is a snow globe and we are inside!

Song: Snow Globe, by Matt Wertz


Click "Fullscreen" for the best viewing experience of Jason's book.
Jason is in the 3rd grade.  He stops by the art room in the mornings before he heads off to his class.  Sometimes he just wants to say hello, while other times he likes to share his artwork and original stories.  

A couple of months ago, Jason expressed an interest in writing about adventures of superheroes.  He carried in his notebook filled with interesting story lines.  Jason's interest in writing and art reminded me of a special art and digital storytelling project I did with a few 4th and 5th graders last year.  Jason enjoyed hearing about how these students used the app Story Patch on our iPads to write and illustrate their stories.  He flipped through the printed versions of the student created books and asked if there was any chance he could write and illustrate a book too.

Jason decided to forego his recess time on several days and worked on his digital story until it was finally finished today.  He would have liked to work on it longer, but the iPads are being wiped tomorrow.  The pressure was on, but he was happy with his finished product.  

We hope you enjoy Jason's first digital story, "The Fantastic Three"! 

Learn more about the Story Patch app here:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/story-patch/id388613157?mt=8See more digital stories by B.A. student artists on our Vimeo Video Channel:   


4th graders are bringing inanimate objects to life (an approach used by artists in different careers). To inspire students, I created a Keynote presentation featuring how this strategy is used by commercial artists, authors and illustrators, photographers and sculptors.  We saw video footage of M&M commercials like this one:  
We also viewed other commercials in which objects have been brought to life.  You may have seen the Geico money with eyes, the Swiffer mop, the adorable Mini Wheat cereal characters? 

We saw a snippet of "Marcel the Shell with Shoes On", the story of a tiny shell living in a large world.  

We also saw a few sculptures by Terry Border.  One in particular was an apple lifting a barbel, which conveyed the message of health and fitness.  

We viewed illustrations from the book, "How are you Peeling".

Finally, we learned about a popular street art form called, "Eye Bombing".   There are various Flickr galleries online that feature images of objects in public spaces that were photographed with googly eyes.  
Students then worked in teams, discussing what objects they may want to give human characteristics and what message or story the object might convey.  
The images in our Artsonia gallery   http://www.artsonia.com/museum/gallery.asp?exhibit=528734     feature their characters.  Currently, they are in the process of creating mini videos, adding video of their mouths to their objects.  See our videos here 

B.A. artists have been finding my username on DrawSomething and have created games with me! It's been a blast drawing pics and guessing what their drawings are too!  When this app was first released, users had to take screenshots if they wanted to save the images, however, the latest update allows users to save their drawings to the camera roll on their devices.

I've been saving my drawings to a website that I created using the free app, Zapd.  Instead of uploading the doodles as is, I started to add filters first.  In doing so, I discovered that I was able to tell a new digital story with each filter I applied.  See my latest DrawSomething doodles here
I created this speaking Mona spoof using the Funny Movie Maker Pro app. 

Sometimes, when it is time to clean up, I say, "Mona" and students then reply by saying, "Lisa". I learned this attention grabbing strategy from a few fellow art teachers on Pinterest. The idea is that students should reply by saying, "Lisa", while posing like this famous portrait. They should have their arms folded, mouths closed, and eyes on the speaker. 

Instead of saying Mona, I shared this video with my students. They thought it was a fun twist to see Mona come to life and assist us with preparing to clean up.

Have you discovered the Draw Something app yet?  It's an app you can download for free on iTunes that allows you to draw and guess what others are drawing too.  It's super fun and engaging and can even improve your ability to create quick sketches and drawings.  I just started to save some of my doodles on a Zapd website that I created.  See my DrawSomething doodles here  http://drawsomething.zapd.net/

Download the Draw Something app on your iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/draw-something-by-omgpop/id488627858?mt=8 
Over the break I am developing a lesson that will require my students to give their artwork a voice.  The app, "Funny Movie Maker Pro" will be another option aside from FaceJack, Blabberize, and Sonic Pics.  I like that students will be able to video their own mouths moving with this app.  Somehow, the end results seem even sillier.  I just tested the app using a screenshot that I took of a 1st grader's artwork and am already laughing. I am pretty confident that my students will have fun learning how to incorporate art and video too.

Funny Movie Maker Pro app costs $.99 in the iTunes Store.