We began this lesson by looking at the artwork of artist Ted Harrison. Harrison created vibrant, colorful landscapes. We discussed mostly color and the horizon line. Harrison uses different color blocks to break up space and gives it a sort of whimsical or mysterious quality.
This was a 3-day project. The first day was spent looking at and discussing Harrison's work as well as drawing the lines on their paper with pencil. Students started with the horizon line and added more lines to separate the space. Students had to decide if they wanted to draw a forest, a desert, ocean, etc. One class did this project on white paper, the other on black.
The second and third classes were spent using chalk pastels to really fill in the space with vivid color. They were urged to push hard with the pastel and take their time getting the color nice and bright. Most students enjoyed the pastels and got very messy. Others (like myself) really disliked the feeling of the chalk pastels on their skin. I allowed those students to use oil pastels instead.
This was a pretty quick project that overall the students enjoyed. It was definitely the most messy project we've done so far this year!
GERM MONSTERS AHHHHHHHH!!!
As the 4th grade students study germs in science class, I thought this would be the perfect way to integrate that learning with a fun hand-sewing project!
Students used images of different sorts of germs as inspiration to draw their own germ monster. The drawings were used as a reference point to create their large, stuffed "animal" germ monsters!
Students dug through scraps of fabric and felt to select colors for their germ monsters. This gave students the opportunity to use different materials and techniques than we usually use in art class. Students cut crazy germ shapes and layered on patterns and goggly eyes and all sorts of fun germ-like characteristics. They had to create two matching sides for their germ.
Once both sides were done, students learned how to hand-sew around the edges of both and filled their germ monster with stuffing. Students loudly dreamt of snuggling with their germ monster at night, hiding their germ monster to scare people, and taking their germ monster on long walks on the beach.
Students seemed to really love this project and many have already asked if they can do more hand-sewing projects in the future. What a joy as an art teacher to see students so excited about their work!
WHO AM I???
5th grade students looked at and discussed many images of self-portraits by other artists. As we went through the images, I really pushed students to think about how this represents WHO the artist is. I asked them to try to look past the obvious such as hair color and gender, but rather to question what the different elements of the portrait might symbolize.
Students talked about colors used, background, symbolism of jewelry, painting style, facial expression and more. Their ideas were insightful and complex. This discussion about self-portraits made me very proud of the 5th grade students.
After this discussion, students made lists about themselves to prepare for creation of their own self-portrait. They wrote things like favorite colors, meaningful places or experiences, hobbies, and such.
Using this list for inspiration, students did at least three thumbnail sketches (small sketches) to come up with multiple ideas.
Next students had to create their final self-portrait showing WHO they are. They did this on large poster board paper beginning with a pencil drawing, moving onto acrylic paint and then finally adding details with oil pastels.
The results are super fun, very creative and expressive!
Some of the finished products:
3rd grade students did two fish projects using totally different materials.
The first were clay slab fish. To make these, each student started with a slab of clay and they had to cut the clay into different shapes and layer to make a fish. Adding texture using different materials and techniques was the focus during this process. Students used texture plates, knives, forks, stamps, marker tops, etc to do this. After the fish were fired in the kiln, we used an oil pastel resist method to add color to the fish. They started by using oil pastels to cover the fish in bright colors. After the fish was nice and colorful, we used watered down acrylic paint to completely cover the fish. When rinsed under water, the oil pastels show through and the paint covers the areas that were not colored. These turned out AMAZING.
For the second fish project, 3rd graders selected a photo of a fish that they liked. They tried their best to use observation skills and create a life-like fish drawing. They began by drawing the outline with pencil and moved on to use oil pastels. Rather than covering the whole fish with the pastels like they did on the clay, they just drew the outlines and textures such as scales, stripes, etc. After the oil pastel, students used watercolor paints-plain and neon-the create the most realistic fish possible. Students had to focus on showing highlights and shadows seen in their fish image and tried to really capture the different colors seen in the photograph. After these were all done, I spent time cutting them all out and hanging them in the hallway to create a fun underwater scene. These turned out really amazing as well. Definitely a project that I will continue in future years.
I FINALLY have the Pre-K students in art class! Hooray! The Pre-K students began art class half way through the year and what a joy it is to have these adorable, funny, sweet, creative students in my classroom.
For our first art project of Pre-K, we did a lot of experimentation. On the first day of class, students moved around to different stations to explore different art mediums. The stations were oil pastels, crayons, colored pencils. At each station, the students drew patterns and designs to fill their paper and had to come up with words to say how each materials felt and looked. For example, oil pastels are waxy, wet, slippery, bright. Crayons are hard, colorful, light. Colored pencils are hard, thin, dark.
At the next class, students explored different techniques of using watercolor paints to fill their paper up with different colors. Some students took a strategic route of creating specific shapes/colors or filling in their drawn images, while others just had fun getting colors on the paper.
For the third and forth classes of this project, the students were shocked as I told them to cut their artwork into different shapes and to glue them onto a big piece of black paper to create a new design. A few were reluctant at first, but once started, really enjoyed themselves. Again, some used strategy while others just cut and glued. I love the outcome of this project because every single students artwork looks totally different from the person next to them.
So proud of these hardworking Pre-K friends!
Students looked at and discussed abstract art by a variety of abstract artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Gregory Christeas and Teresa Young. As we began our project, we focused on three things: Line, Shape, Color.
Students started with a scrap of cardboard and with crayons, markers, and watercolor paints. They used lines, shapes and colors to create unique, colorful abstract art. The students said that this was the first time in school that they had the opportunity to just make totally abstract art. Some seemed reluctant at the beginning (which I can totally relate to) because it is sometimes difficult to embrace the idea of making art that is not representing a cat, or a tree, or a house, etc. Once the students were fully immersed in their art, they seemed to really enjoy themselves.
Next they used a variety of colors and different sized papers to create paper rolls. They made the rolls by wrapping paper strips around pencils, then dipping the end in glue, and attaching it to their painting.
The individual pieces of art look pretty cool alone but when displayed all together, it creates a powerful, exciting work of art. I hear people in the hallway adoring the work almost every single day. Staff, parents, and students of all ages seem to really appreciate this piece.
The first graders really enjoyed creating abstract art. Some referred to the finished projects as looking like big cityscapes.