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Monday, March 5, 2012

Japanese Sakura (cherry blossom) Trees

3rd graders practiced calligraphy and made these ink blown Japanese sakura (cherry trees). I showed how you first paint the trunk with the bamboo brush, then made a tiny dot or mini pool of ink on the edge of the trunk and with your other hand holding onto a straw blow the ink quickly before it dries. The ink is blown into a thin stream to make branches. I even showed the students how to make a branch of another branch by making, again, a tiny little dot and quickly blowing air through the straw to make extend the branch. Keep making branches and blowing (not sucking!) through the straw till you're satifyed with your tree. Next time we'll attach little pieces of pink tissue paper by rolling around the eraser end of a pencil, adding a dot of glue, press down on the a branch to attach the blossom, and twist to give it a blossom shape.

student with bamboo brush and
straw blowing branches

After attaching blossoms, I cut small squares from styrofoam printing plates. Using a pencil, students can 'create' a character to represent their name or choose a character that represents who they are (ex. patience), and press into it to create a relief printing plate. Then using a small brush and some red paint, paint the surface lightly (less is more!) and then press the plate onto the bottom corner area for their 'red seal'.

 This reminds me of the beautiful cherry blossom tree that blooms on University of Northern Iowa campus! I bet it's still there. In college we were given an assignment to use a textured piece of roofing paper and pastels to make a landscape drawing for a studio art class.This is mine from college, just thought I'd share.

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