Saturday, April 16, 2016

Kindergarten Line Monsters

Using a sheet of 12x18 drawing paper, kindergartners got to practice painting various line types and then staying between those lines with their paintbrushes as they added colors to their work. Throughout this painting process, I told them their sheets would be turned into something fun, but kept that a secret until the last session when I had them add eyes (as few or as many as they wanted), horns, arms, and legs with construction paper to create these "monsters."  This is a simple lesson that reinforces some basic elements of art, combines two media (painting and collage), and provides some great fine motor skills practice with brushes and scissors.  The kinders also learn how to make two identical shapes by folding their paper before drawing and cutting.  Plus they get to make a monster! 


Sunday, April 10, 2016

5th Grade Cacti Still Lifes

Artwork by Shannon

I wanted my 5th graders to create an artwork that combined many different art elements and principles in one work, so I came up with this still life of cacti.  Unlike a true still life which would have included the subject set up in front of them for observation, I chose to let them compose their own cacti, requiring that they think about balancing their cacti in the pot.  The inspiration for their patterns (and the reason we left our pots in high contrast black and white) came from a quick study of the pottery of the Acoma Pueblo people of New Mexico.  Students paid special attention to form by using curved lines on their cacti and around their pots (some also used shading), and the subject of cacti gave them a chance to practice creating implied texture with their cactus spines and in their gravel.  Some students also specifically employed differing color values in their backgrounds.  (Art teachers, note that the cacti and pots were drawn separately and glued onto a previously painted background.)  I think the students did some beautiful work, and in our discussions they really showed a great understanding of the elements and principles they've been learning about for the past several years!

Artwork by Landon

Artwork by Megan

Artwork by Morgan

2nd Grade Mad Scientist Color Mixing

Artwork by Kate

This project gave our 2nd graders more exposure to drawing 3d forms both through the use of curved lines (on the containers and the bubbles) and with highlights (on the bubbles).  It was also another way for them to "experiment" with color mixing: each container is painted with a mixture of two different primary colors in order to create all three secondary colors.  The containers are drawn and painted on a separate sheet then cut out after they're dry.  These are glued to a sheet of black construction paper, and bubbles are added using circle tracers and oil pastels.  Students were really happy with how their bubbles came out!  I only wish I had more pictures, but I was lacking my usual camera, and most that I took with my phone were not good enough to post:(

Artwork by Brandon

4th Grade Lighthouses

Artwork by Simrin

Part of the art curriculum requires fourth graders to take some of the inspiration for their art from our own state.  For this project, we chose to take that inspiration from North Carolina's iconic lighthouses.  (This tied in well with a concurrent unit in science where students were creating their own lighthouses with working lights.)  

We had a great discussion about the importance of the lighthouses, how they've changed since they were built, and about some of the iconic black and white patterns that make some of them so recognizable.  Then students took this latter aspect and added their own twist.  I asked them to come up with a unique black and white pattern for their lighthouse.  They also had to give their paintings a feeling of space by using overlapping and paying attention to the relative size of objects in their paintings. Students are now finishing up this lesson by using a detailed critiquing format I've introduced to write a formal critique of their own work.

Artwork by Faith

Artwork by Kaden

Artwork by Rylan

3rd Grade Implied Texture Exercise

Artwork by Tayla

When it comes to the art element of texture, third graders are ready to move beyond the textures of artworks they can really feel to creating texture on a two-dimensional work that only looks like it can be felt.  In art, this is referred to as implied texture.  I found a simple exercise online that allows students to give each of their five fingers (after tracing a hand) a different implied texture. I show them examples of several textures, but they are free to try their own, too.  We also use very fine point pens to allow the detail required to make these textures successful.

Artwork by Amber

Artwork by Rose