So, the students haven't actually made these yet - today I had them decorate cardboard that has about the same thickness as cereal boxes. The wonderful ladies in the lunch room collect the cardboard for me from boxes of fruit! I have HUGE stacks of the stuff and I always get excited when I have a way to use large quantities of it. I love that it is easy to cut, but yet holds up pretty well to copious amounts of tempra paint.
Today, I had students decorate the cardboard in an Eric Carle type style. They started with a base color, chose another color to add a design, then add another color and yet another design - then students could leave it or use a decorative comb to add designs by scraping paint around in a pattern. I told students that I would pick the colors for their tables - but not to worry they will get to pick papers from ALL the tables when it comes time to make their spheres. I explained that I pick their colors because it gives us more usable colors - if I just let them go, we would get a BUNCH of brown and blue. I generally give each table their table color in paint - so blue table got blue paint, red table got red paint (keeps down the arguing and whining). Each table got a variety of tints/shades of their color to make these stand out, for example green table got: green, bright green (green + yellow), mixed green (yellow + blue), and a thing of white (ends up being light green).
At first students were being very careful and clean about this process - which I some what appreciated, but we needed papers that were free, open, full of motion and color - students needed to be a little more - organized chaos. I told many of them they were being too nice and needed to give a little more 'umpf' to it. Soon it was a controlled whirl wind! Paint, cardboard, brushes, students were everywhere - in a good way. I was busy filling paint as it ran out while keeping the cardboard stack well supplied. It was awesome.
I had MANY students today exclaim, "This is the best day of art EVER!" There is something beautiful, freeing even of letting loose - not 'making' anything in particular. We weren't making dogs, cats, perspective drawings -- students got to just create. It was BEAUTIFUL.
It is going to take me some time to cut all these papers for students to make their spheres - but they will be amazing - I am SUPER excited.