Stage 1 was very collaborative. We rolled long sheets of white butcher paper along the tables and the kids went at it with crayons, then we added a layer of water color or thinned India ink. On top of that we added tempera elements to most of them. This took the last few days before Christmas break so they could come back in January and do the assembly. We used stamping with water bottles, brushed marks, and drawn elements with oil pastels as well as a bright top layer. My favorite water colors were the metallic ones, it was like unicorn paper! When they came back from winter break we tore it all into long strips across the roll.
Next the kids used large construction paper sheets as a base layer and arranged strips of the butcher paper in a clockwise radial burst. They glued them as they went around.
Last came the animal faces. I made cutouts then someone that was helping by cleaning up threw them out, so most of my kids freehanded an eye then traced the second one from it, and freehanded their noses or beaks or what have you. They cut these from smaller pieces of construction paper. The color didn't matter since it was painted over. I instructed them to paint another radial burst with wet on wet acrylic to do the iris of the eyes, then use black and white to outline and give highlights. Lastly they were asked to give more features to their work using black tempera paint like feathers, hair, ears, etc. I even had someone make a fish (though he could have used a thinner brush!).
Now that I've done this once, I have notes for next time. I would like to have MORE mixed media paper because we went through it quickly and so some students started tearing old magazines to complete the job. I have rows of three 5 foot long tables end to end and had about 15 sheets of butcher paper cut that long. 20 would be better. I would also have them try individual papers before doing collaborative papers, it looks like the original teacher had good results with that.
It takes a lot of convincing to get them to add layers of feathers or other features. They tended to hold back on this. I might need to do a demo just on that next time. More is more here.
The original teacher of this lesson used a coat of resin over the eyes to make them shiny. I have no resin so I skipped that stage. I have no budget so I thought it ok to skip.
I had the most engagement in the process of making the mixed media paper. Might have been because they just wanted Christmas to come in a few days, maybe they were being good for Santa? I think it just got more challenging for them to think of how to layer things, but it was a great intro project for mixed media. They now understand how different paints look over each other, how to use crayons under watercolor or oil pastels on top of it all for different effects, and I hope it got them to start thinking beyond pencil, paper, and a single paint medium. I think a lot of kids see art as only being A B and C methods and don't realize there's also D-Z.