Tuesday, January 17, 2017

1st grade Family Portraits and Still-Lifes

The nouns of art are so important and I really make an effort to focus on each one of them with all of my grade levels. This past fall, 1st graders spent time discussing the nouns of art. Having already touched on landscapes during October, we picked up with family portraits and potted plant still-lifes to round out our learning. The kids drew a portrait of their family on a sheet of fancied up copy paper (I drew a frame around the edge). I emphasized how shapes and lines are great for building people. We started with placing circles in the empty space for each family member. Then I showed how to build the neck, shoulders and upper bodies using lines. The kids soaked it all up and impressed me with their ingenuity!



On another day, the kids made still-lifes that were inspired by illustrations of potted plants (that came from a grocery store coloring book). We discussed once again using lines and shapes to build the pots first and then the plants. I encouraged my students to draw big and fill the space, plus include a background. 1st graders are so cool - they melt my heart with their work!







Friday, January 13, 2017

Penguins on Parade by Pre-K

This is a fun winter themed lesson I completed with my Pre-K students - I found the inspiration at Deep Space Sparkle, and decided to simplify it a bit. Our ingredients for the penguin project included pieces of bleeding tissue paper, watercolor paper, construction paper and fun googly eyes.
Day One:
Students began the project by making the colorful background paper. We used the tissue paper technique to dye the paper. Each student received a piece of 9x12 watercolor paper and I set out trays of chopped up bleeding tissue paper (which we named "magic paper"). We talked about making the "magic papers" melt onto the watercolor paper by using brushes and plenty of water. If students didn't add enough water during class, I added some additional water so that all of the magic seeped onto the watercolor paper.

Day Two:
Before class, I pre-cut lots of penguin feet and triangle beaks. To begin, I demonstrated the drawing, cutting and gluing steps to build the penguin. Each student drew a large letter "U" on a piece of 6x9 black paper for the penguin's body. Then they drew a large letter "U" on a smaller piece of white paper for the penguin's belly. These pieces were cut out and glued on top of the colorful watercolor paper using Elmer's glue. The finishing touches were the pre-cut beaks, feet and of course, two googly eyes!



Monday, November 28, 2016

5th grade Pumpkinscapes

Here is the last autumnal project of the year to post - created by my 5th graders over a three-week span of time. One class had some interruptions due to field trips, so instead of pumpkins, we'll create winter birch trees to glue onto the landscapes!

Day One:
Each student received a piece of 9"x 12" art paper. First, they decided the orientation for the landscape composition - from that point, they needed to set the stage - so they made a decision as to time of day by including a symbol in the sky. The ground space was broken up into 3 or 4 sections and texture rubbed all over the paper using unwrapped crayons. Students used watercolor paints to add color as desired to the landscape. 



Day Two:
Students practiced drawing pumpkins using curved lines. Once their confidence was built up, they worked on small pieces of art paper that I pre-cut to help guide size - they made a small, medium and large pumpkin - filling the space of each pre-cut paper as much as possible.


Day Three:
I showed the kids how to choose three varying shades of orange to fill in the pumpkins from dark to light to achieve form. Then we talked about how the size of objects is affected based on placement in a picture. The kids cut out their pumpkins and placed them according to this principle. Before gluing them down, they added small ovals of black paper for the cast shadow to give the ultimate 3-D effect!!




Friday, November 25, 2016

Autumnal Leaves by Kindergarten

What a beautiful and sophisticated combination of drawing, painting and collage - all achieved by my favorite people to teach - the Kindergartners!!! 

Day One:
The first step in this multi-media project was for each kinder to draw a large leaf on 11"x 14" paper - before class, I pre-drew a spine vertically down the middle of each paper to help students achieve the right size. Then I showed them how to draw two big rainbows above the spine to create the edges of the leaf. They set about adding ribs as they chose and tried to keep track of how many they drew on each side to make them symmetrical as leaves are in nature. Everything was traced in Sharpie marker and then they used unwrapped crayons to add texture to the leaf.


Day Two:
I gave the kids magenta, orange and yellow tempera cakes and allowed them to paint freely after a quick demonstration on proper brush care and painting etiquette.


Day Three:
We began working on the backgrounds for the leaves. Each student received a piece of 12"x 16" piece of art paper and we talked about creating movement in our artwork - specifically, using spirals and dashes. I referenced Vincent van Gogh's, Starry Night. The kids used autumnal colored paint sticks to make a variety of spirals and dashes. Then they cut out their leaf from the previous week and used regular white glue to affix it to their background paper. 


Day Four:
I pre-cut three different types of leaves for the kids - a combination of die cuts from the office and my own scissor work. Students were shown how to take one of each each and use a glue stick to affix them anywhere to the composition. They used black crayons on top of these three leaves to create texture and emphasis. The crowning jewel here is gold tempera paint which I passed out at the end of class - the kids went bananas over it!!!! I allowed them to use the gold to their heart's content :) 



1st grade Fall Landscape Collage

This is a great two-day lesson that features texture, line and shape, plus you can work in concepts like overlapping and depth. I found the inspiration for this project from Kathy at Art Projects for Kids blog.

Day One:
Students used unwrapped crayons to texturize a piece of 9"x 12" paper to their liking. Then we wiggled scissors across the long edge of a piece of 3.5"x 9" green paper to create the ground. I handed out small yellow squares near the end of the class for the kids to cut out circles for the sun. We used glue sticks to hold all the pieces in place. 



Day Two:
Each table received a tray that contained a various assortment of paper squares between 3" to 4" in red, orange and yellow, plus Sharpies, scissors and glue sticks. I demonstrated how to cut organic circles and ovals for tree tops and how to glue them down. We talked briefly about how things in the distance appear smaller, while things close to us would appear large. Then I showed the kids a few ideas for making tree trunks, sky/grass details and of course patterns for the trees. It was fun to see how they could expand on the few simple ideas I offered.