Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Second Grade Self-Portraits

Second graders created these incredible self-portraits with glue and chalk pastels. They blended colors to create vibrant results.  This project followed up on their spring self-portrait project last year, where they drew themselves and then created their "secret animal identity" by putting tracing paper over the portrait and drawing an animal's face over their own. I was amazed at how much of the proportions of the face they remembered from first grade.

Monday, October 20, 2014

First Grade Color Wheels

First graders have been learning about primary and secondary colors. They mixed primary color paints red, blue, and yellow to create secondary colors green, orange, and purple. Then, they painted abstract shapes in each of those six colors. After the paint dried, they created their own color wheels by cutting shapes from their paintings and decorating and labeling with Sharpie.

Whenever I'm looking at my students' art, I think a lot about how it reflects who they are as individuals. When you look closely at both the product and the process of young artists, there is so much to discover. For example, it is always so interesting to me when a student makes a gigantic mess with their supplies and tools during the process of creating, then ends up with a very precise, detailed, and neat work of art.  With art, the path from A to B is not always a straight line! In this project, some students referenced the color wheel that I provided as a display, while others had either memorized the order already, and others just winged it, using whatever order and whatever spellings they pleased.  Some of the students wanted their colors to be the exact shade they saw on the color wheel, and mixed many versions of their secondary colors to get it just right, while others painted right away and seemed more interested in the process and the visual and kinesthetic sensations of mixing the paint.

As students get older, there is such a variety in their comfort level in thinking out of the box and taking artistic risks.  First graders just seem to go for it a lot of the time, and I spend a lot of time thinking about how to maintain that fearlessness as students get older and more anxious about making mistakes.

Here are some of the lovely color wheels. I hope you will look closely and notice how each one is different and unique.

I love the rainbow detail here! Also notice that there is a tertiary color included here (yellow-green) because her first attempt at green did not turn out just right and she tried again. 

Notice that this student used the matching color to label the wheel- red is written in red, blue is written in blue, etc.

Here the student put red and blue next to violet instead of above. The solid line should intersect with the dotted line, but they problem-solved and figured out a way to still show the groups of colors by changing the path of the lines to go around the violet shape.

 This one is "Princes and Princesses." So original! So fancy!

 The expressiveness of these faces is incredible! Notice the details of the teeth and even scars.

This thorough student even included grey, which is a neutral that we have not discussed.  I love the freckle-faced green circle.

It is fascinating to me that this student adjusted the orientation of the writing according to where the colors sit on the wheel.  It's perfectly logical, really- wheels turn, and this is a color wheel, so you should turn it!  It's so interesting to see how kids think.

This student forgot to make a dotted line... so he problem-solved and put dots on his straight line! While many students cut all the same shape, as on the color wheel poster they saw, he enjoyed cutting a variety of different shapes.

The expressiveness and the exuberance of this color wheel just makes me giggle. What great energy!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Kindergarteners Draw With Scissors

Kindergarteners explored the collage "Beasts of the Sea" by Henri Matisse and learned how to create a collage using paper, scissors, and glue sticks. They also looked at self-portraits of Andy Warhol and Vincent Van Gogh, then they created their own self portraits.  We talked about cutting and gluing techniques, such as drawing the shape before cutting it out, and controlling the amount of glue by gluing only the smaller cut piece of paper.

Here are some of the wonderful results! You can see all of the portraits hanging up on the 2nd floor boards outside the art room.