Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Art & Life" Self-portraits, 2nd grade

I am really excited about the final products my 2nd graders are completing this week - we are making self-portraits using a combo of coloring (Crayola twistables) and painting (Crayola pan watercolor) and lots of personal imagery. We looked at some of Frida Kahlo's art and discussed the way she and many other artists share their life experiences in their art, often using symbols. Earlier in the year we filled out an Art Starters idea sheet to refer to when we wanted to personalize our work - it is a list of topics that tell about our favorite things, ideas, and experiences, and we used many of these things to illustrate the negative space of our self-portraits. As we begin uploading these to Artsonia, we are learning more about writing an artist statement using prompt questions and reflecting on what we learned.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Fall shape still life in first grade

Frida Kahlo is our "Art & Life" artist this fall, and first graders are looking at examples of her still life paintings as we learn about this genre of art as well as organic shapes. Still life is one of the "nouns of art" - things, as in people (portraits), places (landscapes), and things. We included shapes of the season in our drawings, like acorns, leaves, and pumpkins, and many students added birds because we liked seeing them in Frida's art. 
Our focus was mostly on shape and filling the space - we did not yet touch on space and overlapping, but you will see these concepts in some upcoming posts.Thanks for checking out our still lifes!

 A few students tried cutting and gluing their fall shapes for a collage style still life.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Kindergarten Pumpkin Patch Paintings

Every year we do a version of this lesson because it is an exciting topic at this time of year and it is a fun way to teach landscape techniques. We begin our drawing with the biggest, lowest hill because it is the closest to us. We draw our pumpkins on this hill very large with lots of detail, again because they are closest to the viewer. Grant Wood's farm landscapes are great examples to show size and space changes in a landscape. We also talk about visiting a real pumpkin patch and how we enjoy our pumpkins as we draw.
Our hills above are far away, so they look smaller as well as anything found on these hills, like more pumpkins or the barn. We added a sky and then made them colorful with watercolor paints.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Donuts for Days, 4th grade

My fourth graders are learning about form, value, and space in a two-dimensional artwork, so we chose a really fun topic to explore - donuts! We have looked often at the work of Wayne Thiebaud in my classroom for various projects - his paintings of bakery treats in repetition are so inspiring for art teachers and young artists. I also shared this student example found on Pinterest by Molly Curry.

How can we show space and form in our art? Value, placement, size, and overlapping. Here's what we did.

After a quick value scale activity, we started with a small black and white study of a single donut on an index card, focusing on value. Because we were using pens, we couldn't blend like we do with pencil so we used hatching techniques instead. Then we started a larger piece with rows of donuts, larger at the bottom, and smaller as they go up the page. Overlapping helps the illusion of space. This time, instead of black and white value, we made values of colors by changing our coloring pressure or by blending with our Crayola Twistables. I just bought some of these for the first time after trying them out at my friend Mollie's art room. They have a different feel than regular crayons - we are liking them so far!
We finished these off with some cast shadows, and finally some decorations on top with colored sharpies. For our reflection time, I am planning to surprise them with some real donuts to celebrate their good work!