Sunday, June 5, 2016


junk mail, gesso, watercolor, sharpies, & charcoal


This is such a great assignment for the kids.
It involves recycling, critical thinking, working in a new technique,
and oftentimes they get to bring in a sense of whimsy.

Basically the students pick out several pieces of junk mail that I've saved for them.
Some of it has been ripped open which adds to the textural interest.
They loosely gesso over each piece (front & back sides),
watercolor over the dried gesso, and put the pieces into a book form.
They are required to draw to a theme,
 and drawn images are layered over several pages.
That's where the critical thinking comes in.
You will see what I'm talking about as you see the books.
They sharpie over their drawn lines and add a touch of charcoal for value.
These books are so cool.

We begin with senior Risha Bhakta.
She worked to an underwater theme,
and this is her front cover.
Notice that as the pages are tuned
the design on the previous page morphs into something else on the next page.
Also notice that Risha is limiting her color choices so that the book flows visually.
Sometimes you have to look closely to see the small changes that occur like here.
Above the right piece of mail is fully opened up,
but below that right hand flap is closed.
Look how seamlessly Risha has blended the pages. 

Kind of a scary ending Risha.

Next we have senior Kyla Balquin's book.
Her theme obviously Spiderman.
The kids were required to bring in a bit of text...
and to add some textural details.

Loved Kyla's back cover.

Next we have senior Hazel Cruz.
Her book took on a religious theme.

Several of the kids made some extra pages
 that they wanted to work on at a later date.
I believe these (above and below) were a couple of Hazels. 

And her back page.

Senior Katherine Ku shared her heart and the love of her life (A.K.) in her book.
I really like the peek-a-boo plastic envelop parts that she made use of.
She also had several extra pages as you can see below
that she will add to at a later date
as her relationship grows.
But even though their story is still ongoing,
her pages undone,
we really loved her book.
She gave us such honesty.

Our last book was done by senior Bernice Lin.
She also made many extra pages but was able to finish them up.
Can you find the subtle nuance between the page above and the one below?
If you didn't,
it was the bottom piece that moved.
Now look again,
she has done another tiny flip of the middle section above.
Now we are seeing a real difference as we travel the world with her.
I thought this a very clever book,
and would be a wonderful children's story...
as these two little ones explore the world...
as well as their love.
Adorable Bernice.


  1. Your kids (and you) never cease to amaze me! Junk mail into such marvelous little books!

  2. These are pretty sophisticated whimsies