Saturday, August 16, 2014

3rd and 4th Grade Drawing Club: Pencil Portraits

Portrait Artist Kayleigh M.

I offered a drawing club on Fridays this nine weeks for both 3rd and 4th graders.  For the past two weeks, I had my daughter Sarah, an accomplished portrait artist, teach a lesson in basic portraiture to the students in these clubs.  The kids seem to get a kick out of learning from a high school-aged artist (especially one who is more than willing to point out when Mr. O. is doing something all wrong), and I think the simple portraits the 3rd and 4th graders produced show a lot of learning and some real talent.  I think we even inspired some to keep developing their own portraiture skills! 

Sarah's work, by the way, can be viewed at

Portrait Artist Zach D.

Portrait Artist Caden T.

Portrait Artist Kailyn L.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

We "Heart" HES!

Every student in the school, from our brand new kindergarteners to our veteran fifth graders contributed a 4" by 6" heart, drawn and colored any way they they wanted, to our "We 'Heart' HES" mosaic that now hangs - for a limited time only! - in the HES cafe.  The mosaic is over 25 feet long! (It was a relief to have my own two high school students to help with gluing down the over 450 individual hearts!)  HES students have had a lot of fun finding their own heart in this giant mosaic as they line up to leave the cafe.  Check it out if you're passing through. (The kindergarten hearts on the far left side of the banner are especially cute!)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

3rd Grade Oil Pastel Eyes

Artwork by Samiya B.

As our artists transition into the upper grades, I put a bit more emphasis on attention to detail.  I also keep encouraging the students to think of their art not in terms of the final product, but as a process that begins with thinking about their subject as its most basic art elements: lines and shapes.  Drawing and coloring a human eye allows them to practice both.

We spend some time looking at close-up photos of eyes and even talk a little eye vocabulary (pupil, iris, sclera) and science (most students are fascinated to realize their pupil is a hole for letting in light, not just a black "dot").  We then focus on the basic curved lines that create a "footbal" shape for our eye and add some other curves for lashes and lids.  Coloring with oil pastels (and looking closely at the multiple colors in the the irises of their neighbors) allows the artists to use and blend more than one color to make some pretty realistic and colorful eyes.

Artwork by Isabella C.

Artwork by Cooper J.

Artwork by Maggie S.

Artwork by Caden Tatro

Artwork by Grace A.