Saturday, September 13, 2014

5th Grade Sculptures (Inspired by Alberto Giacometti)

5th grade sculptures on display in the 100 building hallway

Fifth graders have been hard at work their last several art classes constructing these sculptures inspired by the mid-20th century work of sculptor Alberto Giacometti. Giacometti's work gave our classes a good opportunity to discuss the essential question of how art often reflects the times during which it is created.  Giacometti's sculptures, whether human or animal, were usually faceless, gaunt, and haunting, reflecting the dreary state of the world in the 1930's and 40's.  After this initial discussion and introduction to the artist, students spent the rest of the first class constructing the "bones" of their figure from wire, a folded paper towel for the head, and modeling clay for the feet.  Class two was spent putting aluminum foil "muscle" on their figures, and masking tape "skin" was added during a third class.  Finally the figures were painted.  Each class voted on a single color to use, cheerier than Giacometti's typical dark bronze tones, but still monochromatic to mimic his style and to keep the focus on the expressiveness of the poses the students chose for their figures.  Some of the poses, despite making the sculpting more challenging, really added to the sense of movement in the figures. 

Sculptures on display in the Media Center (Thanks, Ms. Shopmyer!)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

4th Grade Forests at Night

Artwork by Allison T.

This challenging lesson was all about creating different values of blue to give the illusion of a full moon lighting up the night sky, then using perspective to lend a feeling of viewing the sky up through a forest of tall trees.  

After reviewing the art element of color value and specifically making tints of a color using white, fourth graders painted their backgrounds with only blue and white tempura paints, beginning with pure white for their moons, then slowly adding small amounts of blue to their white as they worked toward the edges of their paper. This is a real challenge for fourth grade students, but they really pulled it off beautifully!  The following week, we discussed how artists use perspective to give a sense of depth or space to their scenes and how trees look very different depending on one's perspective.  The students then drew "wiggly triangles" that pointed toward their moon and added branches.  They went over their tree outlines with black marker then painted in the trunks with black tempura.  The final step was adding the stars (some students preferred to call them snowflakes - works, too!)  with a small brush (one student creatively suggested stamping with the handle end the brush, which also worked great) and white tempura.   The final result is a worm's-eye view of a moonlit night in the forest.  

Artwork by Megan M.

Artwork by Mia S.

1st Grade Desert Sunset Collages

Artwork by Ian M.

First graders created these colorful collages after studying photographs of desert sunsets, paying special attention to the horizontal lines of the clouds, the vertical shapes of cacti, and the color palette of the skies.  We even spent some time learning about the fascinating saguaro cacti featured in the photos and collages.

Artwork by Emily K.

Artwork by Emma G.

Artwork by Garrett J.