Friday, February 26, 2016

1st Grade Overlapping Landscapes

Artwork by Maddie

Overlapping is usually the first way that young artists learn to explore the art element of space. Simply by overlapping elements, the student's flat, two-dimensional drawings suddenly become three-dimensional because one element is clearly in front of (or behind) another!  Suddenly, there's a foreground and background to their drawings!  This is one of those art concepts that's obvious to adults, but it can feel like an epiphany to children.  Our simple landscapes of overlapping hills, each with a tree that blocks the hill behind, is one way we've been learning about space in first grade this month.  (Note: As this was a new lesson for me, I experimented with letting some classes color with paints and others with colored pencils, thus the differences in media in these examples.)

Artwork by Bishop

Artwork by Oceana

Saturday, February 20, 2016

5th Grade Cityscape Prints on Warm and Cool Backgrounds

Artwork by Colton

We began this printmaking lesson by reviewing the differences between printmaking and other types of 2D media and by watching some examples of printmaking on video.  We also had a great discussion of the commercial advantages of printmaking over these other media.  Before painting their backgrounds (on 9x12 drawing paper), students also reviewed the concept of warm and cool colors, as the top half of the print is meant to represent the sky while the bottom half represents the water in front of their city. 
Students painted two different 9x12 backgrounds in order to have more than one chance to make a good print.  Then, using a 4 by 6 inch piece of Scratch Art foam (essentially thin Styrofoam) and a dulled pencil, the students created a cityscape printing plate complete with buildings of different heights and tops, plus lots of details to give their cityscapes lots of pattern and texture.  After creating the buildings, the students carefully cut away the sky part of the foam printing plate.
Students then rolled black printer's ink onto their printing plates and pressed the plate onto their background's sky side, careful to rub the back of their printing plate completely to transfer a full, sharp print.  Then they folded their paper and rub the back of it to create a "ghost print" on the water side of the paper.  This is meant to be the dimmer, blurrier reflection of the skyline in the water.  Because the paper is twice as long as their printing plate, they repeat the process to make a wider skyline and complete a single print   This lesson rolls a lot of skills and concepts into one project, and the results are beautiful!

Artwork by Desirae

Artwork by Drew

Artwork by Mia

1st Grade Ceramic Owls

First graders learned about real (versus implied) texture in art by constructing these owls out of clay. Each student began with a slab of clay cut to about 3/8" thick.  They cut around a compact disc with a plastic clay knife to make a circle from their slab.  Texture was added to the lower two-thirds of the slab with an unfolded paper clip, giving the impression (in more ways than one) of feathers. The wings were made by folding the slab over on both sides and adding more texture with the paper clip.  Students then used the clay knife to cut a curve from the top of the slab, giving their owl "ears." They then used a discarded marker cap to impress circles for eyes and added pupils with a pencil. Finally, a beak was pressed and smoothed on.  After a firing, students painted their owls with tempura paints.  

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Positive Negative Hands

Artwork by Sophia

Third graders have been learning about the art concept of positive and negative space and how sometimes the space around and in between an artwork's main subject becomes an important part of the work.  For an example, students created these giant-sized Valentines card by first tracing their hand and painting a colorful design on a 9x12 sheet of drawing paper. In a second session, they cut their hands from the colorful sheet, and I showed them how to fold these and cut a heart from the center of the hands.  The colored sheet was then glued to one side of a 12x18 sheet of black construction paper, with the cut out hand glued on the opposite side in the corresponding position.  Lastly, the students glued the cut out hearts in the center of their black hands.  The result is a work where the positive and negative spaces of the art are equally important to the overall effect.  Pretty cool!

Artwork by Chloe

Artwork by Jada

Artwork by Lucy