Sunday, December 3, 2017
During their extra enrichment period with me this year, K through 2nd students continue to build drawing confidence by focusing on using the best lines and shapes to create their subject. I've relied heavily on the books of Ed Emberly and the videos of Rob Jensen and his Art for Kids Channel on YouTube. Thanks very much to both of them!!!
I've taught this lesson for more than five years, as it's rich in art concepts, not to mention a great way to introduce 2nd graders to Vincent Van Gogh. Students learn about making forms out of shapes simply by adding the curved lines to their pumpkins. I also ask them to make their own orange (secondary color) paint by mixing red and yellow (primaries). The principle of space is touched on by using the simple concept of overlapping. Finally, they see how certain kinds of lines ("swirly" ones in this case) lend a feeling of movement to their skies - just like Van Gogh's in The Starry Night.
Saturday, November 4, 2017
This is always one of the students' favorite units of the year. They love getting outside to create, and I purposely plan the lesson for the fall when the weather is (mostly) cooperative, and the changing leaves provide more opportunities for the students to incorporate color into their artworks.
As usual, we began the unit by reviewing some ancient examples of land art that was likely created for religious reasons (Great Serpent Mound in Ohio and the Nazca Lines of Peru, for example) long before the medium was used to create art for art's sake (or to raise awareness of environmental problems). Then we reviewed the work of our biggest inspiration, famous land artist Andy Goldsworthy. Students focused on how Goldsworthy often uses only one material and emphasizes only one or two primary elements or principles of art (for example, line, form, or contrast). Students were challenged to emulate this method and encouraged to create on a small scale so that their works could be completed in just one class period. Given the short amount of time and the relatively limited materials afforded by our small Nature Trail area, students responded with very strong artworks!
First graders have been learning how forms can be created from basic shapes combined with a few strategically placed lines. They've spent some time practicing making cubes from squares, pyramids from triangles, and so on. In this lesson, they looked at Henri Matisse's painting, The Goldfish, to see how Matisse created a cylindrical goldfish bowl by combining three ovals and two vertical lines. By adding color in the form of oil pastels for details and watercolors for their water and background, the first graders created both a form and a painting with real depth to it!
As our Kindergartners move from some first quarter line and shape lessons, we began learning about color with these seasonally-appropriate, mixed media pumpkins. During one session, the students mixed primary colors to make their own orange and green paint, and then used it to make paper to use in their collages. In a second session, they cut out pumpkins, stems, leaves and grass from their colored paper and made eyes, mouths, and teeth with black and white construction paper. Their results are completely unique and awfully cute!