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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

1st Grade Jim Dine Multi-Media Hearts

Now that Valentines Day is approaching, I have seen a lot of Jim Dine "heart" projects popping up on art education blogs. I'm not one for seasonal/holiday projects, but if they can study an artist that has made a living and following creating hearts, WHY can't WE?

So I have a project planned for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd based on Jim Dine. His artwork is so beautiful. He has created many ( and i mean a lot) of artwork with the subjects of "hearts" and "tools". He uses all different types of materials, 2-D and 3-D.

For this 1st grade project, I wanted to use a couple different materials. Gratefully our Library aid had all these foam pads donated to her to be used for crafts,etc. She came to me and asked if we could use them. They look like mouse pads and I started brainstorming some ideas. I asked if she had enough for us (like 180 per grade) she said she had boxes and boxes, BOY was she right!

  • We started off with 8.5" x 11" white construction paper. We then drew a large heart onto the back of the foam pad ( these pads are about 7" x  6"). I showed the students how to draw a heart. They were so excited when they learned the, "draw a lower case m and then attach a v at the bottom of the m, to create the heart" and we also learned out to draw one side of the heart and attach it to another side (like  a comma). 
  • They we glued the foam pad to the middle of the white construction paper. 
  • We then used water-tempura cakes to apply a black line around the heart to have the heart "pop" off the page, like a lot of Dine's work. 
  • Then I showed how to apply the paint, and the students had free range to apply any colors (except black) to the foreground/heart and the background. 
  • Last but not least the students added splashes of black to the background. The reason I waited to let them apply the black paint because a lot of the time the black starts mixing with the other colors and it doesn't look defined. I usually don't like to "restrict" students creativity, however, that little extra time with out black paint allows the other colors to dry and set what they already created.
  • We allowed them to dry on the drying racks and cleaned up the art room.
They really enjoyed doing a one-day project and using the foam pads. They kept saying it feels so soft like a pillow or there favorite stuffed animal. 
NOw the first graders are Multi-media artists!

Last picture is to show how the foam comes off of the page or "pops" off the page. (teacher example)


  1. good use of a free item! I wonder if some $1 tree fun foam would give the same look.

  2. Love this! and I love Jim Dine! :) Great job Candice! So much better than the typical cliche elementary hearts/valentines!