After viewing a selection of more "realistic" portraits, first graders were introduced to Pablo Picassoand his Cubist style of portraiture. Then, in the spirit of Halloween and with a little guidance from Mr. O via the Smartboard, they drew and painted these Cubist-styled Picasso pumpkins (and signed them with their first and Picasso's last name). When one sees how naturally the students pick up on this style, it's no wonder Picasso thought of his own Cubist art as childlike.
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Beyond the digital art clubs I offer to the students who choose them for their enrichment time on Wednesdays, I'm introducing all third graders this year to at least two digital art projects. This one, borrowed from Pathways Elementary Art Teacher extraordinaire, Dave O'Neal, introduces 3rd graders to the abstract work of Piet Mondrian. Mondrian's work, using the most basic straight lines, squares and rectangles, and simple, primary colors lends itself well to students using digital drawing and design tools for the first time. Many of the tools and tricks they are exposed to on a project like this (in this case with Google Drawings) are similar to those found on the more complex digital art and computer-aided drafting programs they're likely to encounter in 4th and 5th grade here, as well as in middle and high school.
(Not Mondrian -- a third grader!)
(I let students get a little crazier with color than Mondrian.)
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!
Though these are one of the simplest projects for the kinders to tackle, the product is one of the cutest they ever create. After learning about portraits (with a focus on the Mona Lisa) and self-portraits, students created their self-portrait with Sharpie and colored it with markers. (I have a special set of skin tone markers now, so every child can find one that the feel matches their own -- not always easy with markers.)
Before we drew these, I told the students that I'd be holding on to their self-portraits for 5 years! I do this in order to pair it with the one they'll eventually create in 5th grade. Upon graduation, they'll present the pair of portraits to their parents, which is always good for a few parent tears. The 5th graders also get a huge kick out of seeing how they (and their classmates) drew themselves as kindergartners.