The end of October 2018 finds me working with students in Naknek, Alaska to create two new murals for their school.  Week one is K-5, painting a crazy school of salmon swimming through the cafeteria...

First I teach the kids a little salmon anatomy.  Now they can think about the names of the fins as they draw and paint them.

The 4th and 5th grades get started by tracing salmon from my projected concept image. They know they have "artistic license" to modify the design slightly to make it their own.

A group of second and third graders gets to paint the bodies of the fish with a mixture of red, yellow and white. They learn to blend and mix to make orange, peach and, well, salmon hues.

The students add in the blue sky and green fins, tails and heads.

Next we get some water.  Can you believe how careful these kindergarteners are?

A few days later, the background more complex and students are starting the finishing patterned details.

Zentangle-style designs add a fresh final touch to the fins, tail and head.

Several highschool and middleschoolers plus a few students from neighboring communities helped add some more design details.

On to a new project with the middle school and high school
First students did some careful measuring and planning for the placement of the district seal.  They devised a compass from string, a tack and a pencil to draw the basic four circles for the logo.  For the lettering and design, I let them use a projector.

The students extended the horizon line from the logo around the whole alcove by the superintendent's door.  They then developed a color palette for an impressionist landscape painting to offset the logo.

Several coats of paint later, the seal is really starting to pop.  Meanwhile, the impressionist landscape painting exercises the meticulous patience of the older kids.  A few stretch their artistic skills and work on details of boats, bears and a lynx.  They are trying to convey a general sense of Naknek, rather than recreate an exact vista.

So much stony sand beach to paint!  A few more fun critters, people and a set net are underway.

Adding some more details.  Some of the students looked up photos on their phones or Chromebooks to reference how to draw skiffs, bears, lynx, birds, Bristol Bay fishing boats etc.  Others relied on the expertise of classmates or staff for sketches.  They traced sketches into the mural and painted freehand, trying to maintain the "impressionist" style.

All done with the alcove.

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