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

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