Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Kindergarten Expressionist Animals

Kindergarteners observed and discussed two paintings of cows. One was realistic and one was Expressionist. We discussed how, a long time ago, people expected art to look realistic- but then artists started to take big risks and to change shapes and colors in their work.  Some of these artists called themselves Expressionists, because they used color as one way of expressing their feelings through their art. 

I demonstrated how to use different shapes to draw an animal, and they drew with pencil, then outlined in black paint. Finally, they used bright colors to create their Expressionist animals.

 Children and a Cow, Albert Cuyp, 1640

Yellow Cow, Franz Marc, 1911

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Seventh Grade Explores the Element of Value

Seventh graders were introduced to value, or the use of light and darkness in art. Value can be used to show dimensionality, emphasis, and perspective. To practice their shading skills, they used 2B pencils and/or colored pencils to create shapes that contained a full range of dark to light values.

Next, we will be shading circles to create the illusion of three-dimensional spheres. Their skills are honed and ready!

First Grade Explores Color Theory

First graders have been learning about color in art class. They learned about primary colors (red, yellow, and blue), and through projects based in experiential learning, they discovered how to mix and blend primary colors to create secondary colors (orange, green, and purple). Each project builds upon the next, as the color theory gets more complex. 

For the first activity, I used a lesson with a game format. I told them that they needed to create a collage using primary colors, but that I'd be trying to "trick" them by giving them all the colors. I acted quite dramatic when a student picked up a purple piece of paper. I walked around offering them extra materials, and they had to say "yes please" to primary color materials or "no thank you" to secondary color materials. They gladly accepted blue glitter, but told me politely to put the purple ribbon back in the closet.

The next class, I introduced them to secondary colors on the color wheel. I told them that we would be making a color wheel, and that their project was to create circles with each color we had talked about- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. To their surprise, when they got to their seats, all they had was red, yellow, and blue! They had to figure out how to make their own secondary colors by mixing and blending paints. They used these colors to create rainbows. Next class, when the paints had dried, they cut and pasted to created their own color wheels:

Finally, we looked at the painting Broadway Boogie Woogie by Piet Mondrian. They noticed that he had only used primary colors. I told them they could choose "team primary" or "team secondary" for their paintings that day. They used oil pastel to create lines, and watercolor for the color. Some students even chose to mix their secondary colors even though those colors were provided. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Third Grade Illuminated Letters

Essential Question: How (and why) in history have people demonstrated that an object is important or special?   

Third graders used sharpie and pencil to create these beautiful letters. Each letter includes a winding/scrolling thing, an animal, a pattern, and a plant.

These illuminated letters are based on illuminated manuscripts, which were created as early as 1000-1500 years ago.  The artists would decorate or illuminate the first letter in an important book by adding details and by finishing it with actual gold.

Second Grade Portraits

Second graders created these portraits using pencil, glue, and soft pastels. First, we sketched on black paper with pencil. We reviewed the proportions and shapes of the face using mirrors and a diagram. Then, they went over the pencil lines with white glue. Finally, they practiced blending colors with soft pastels to create different skin tones and hair colors. They filled in the portraits with vibrant color.