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Surrealism Project: Rene Magritte


Surrealist Art Project

Surrealism is an art topic that I was hesitant to offer to my high schooler and to our homeschool art class. I was not feeling confident that I even understood what surrealism was enough to share it with my kids. After some online research and some deep breaths, the plans came together and we had a great time exploring this topic together. You can scroll down on this webpage and find a definition of Surrealism: All About Art – Surrealism.

At the beginning of the class, we viewed the artwork of Salvador Dali, Thomas Barbey, and Rene Magritte online and we viewed an art calendars featuring Thomas Barbey’s work.

I loved seeing and hearing the reactions to each piece of artwork.

  • Weird
  • Funny
  • Crazy
  • Amazing


Surrealist montage project

Our Surrealist Project – Rene Magritte

  • After viewing the artwork, I told the students we were going to make our own surrealist art by making a sort of collage using  magazine images along with an actual photo of themselves!
  • Surrealist project image
  • I had the children choose a pose – sitting, standing, laying down – whatever they wanted. I took a photo with my digital camera with the child filling the frame as much as possible.
  • I printed the photos out on 4″ by 6″ photo paper and distributed them to each child.
  • They took scissors and cut out their image to place in the collage of magazine images. I did make a “no blood and guts and no violence rule”. I also made a rule that they had to cover the entire page (no white space).
  • They were to make a surrealist inspired collage with the magazine images and their own photo.

Surrealist Collage Project

Tips for the Surrealist Project:

  • Don’t hand out the glue until they have their collage all arranged on their paper.
  • Cut as much of the background away from the magazine images as possible.
  • If they want to add words to their image, they need to cut the letters or words from the magazines…no pens or markers.
  • Mr. B wanted me to print his image smaller and to give him several copies. I used regular paper and printed his image in thumbnail size.

 Surrealist Collage with Digital Photo

Links For More Surrealist Project Ideas:

Modern Art Plans – Work in Progress

I will be gathering all of our art ideas from our study of Modern Art into one set of plans to share. I am hoping to get it done next month and have it all ready for you to download and print for future reference. I think we have all learned a lot about this period of art and have come to appreciate how fun it can be to create our own versions.


Calder Art – Finny Fish Sculpture Project

During this last year of high school,  my aim with Mr. B has been to offer him lots of different media to work with as part of his art credit and not just the same old paints and markers. As part of our study of Alexander Calder, we are working with wire to make a sculpture much like you see in this piece called, Finny Fish (National Gallery of Art).

Source: via Barb on Pinterest


I love the free-form nature of Calder’s work, the movement of the pieces, and the colorful interpretation of the fish with its sparkling stones and other bits.

Source: via Barb on Pinterest


Calder considered his artwork to be “four dimensional drawings” which really describes the way his pieces move in the air and seem to be full of life. After viewing several pieces online, we got started.

I purchased two kinds of wire for the project:

Aluminum Sculpture Wire – 14 Gauge

Aluminum Wire – 18 Gauge


Mr. B used the idea we found online to sketch the basic shape of the fish on a piece of paper to use as a sort of template. This worked well and he had no trouble using the wire to make the outline of his fish.

Then he was ready to embellish it with some bits and pieces we had on our craft shelf. I pulled them all out and he just experimented until he found things that worked. We decided that the fish needed a stand of some sort and Mr. B created one that would allow me to set the sculpture on a shelf in our family room.

Here is what I took away from this project: Tinkering with the wire, shapes, and other bits was relaxing and very right brained. Also, it was a project that came alive as you worked on it…the wire and embellishments created problems which needed solving and in the end the piece just sort of came into being.


I love that.


Important Links:

Calder Wire Portraits

Calder Wire Sculpture – Fish

Nice Article about Calder’s Finny Fish

This entry was submitted to the Homeschool Showcase!

Sculpting Heads from Model Magic

One of our goals this year was to add in a few sculpting projects for Mr. B as part of his modern art study. I scoured the internet for ideas that I thought would inspire him to take a few chances and have fun at the same time. Sometimes I forget that high schoolers need the chance to stretch and grow when it comes to art and I get stuck planning the same old things over and over. This year I have tried to do better at allowing the opportunity for new directions.

Our first sculpting project was inspired by this Picasso Heads project I found at Do Art! I tried to find a foam head at a reasonable price and was not successful so I had the idea to use Crayola Model Magic to make the head instead. Mr. B has not worked with this product before so it was fun to watch as he got the feel of the texture. That is one thing I like about Mr. B….he is always willing to experiment and try something new.

Finished Sculpture titled, The Bad Hair Day. Love the hair!

I gave him the link to the Picasso Head project and told him that he could adapt the idea to make his own version. He started off thinking about Picasso’s style and in the end he said it sort of changed into a sculpted version of Munch’s, The Scream.

It was a fun project and now he knows what it is like to work with Model Magic. We may plan  few more projects this year to finish up our bucket of clay.

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