Monday, November 29, 2010

Continuing Patterns

This was a fun little project for Middle School students that I picked up at Conference. I did it with my third grade students. The idea is to glue a small square of pattern paper (1x1") into the middle of a larger piece of paper. The larger piece can be whatever size desired, depending on how long the project needs to last. This project was done on 6"x6" black paper as it was a one day project.

Whats the point? Well, this one takes some thought. The goal is to continue the pattern from the small square out to the edges of the big square. The trick is, the student doesn't have all of the pattern revieled in the small square so they have to figure it out OR develope a pattern that fits. Sometimes the pattern grows and evolves as it moves to the edges utilizing a lot of problem solving and decision making skills.

Weaving with Kindergarten

If you have ever tried weaving with Kindergarten students, you know that it is a slow, tedious process. Weaving is not a skill that this age child understands easily or picks up quickly. BUT, it is a skill that they need to BEGIN working on as it helps with "pattern" as well as mathmatical thinking skills. So, I decided that simple weaving would be the place to start. I precut the "worp"(the piece being woven into) and the "weft" pieces (the pieces being woven). We talk about how weaving in found in many cultures as an art form and a means for creating every day objects. I also tie it into their study of Native American cultures.

As far as the actual weaving process, the students determine the color pattern they want to use and then we weave together, one strip at a time. Finally, we glue down the ends to keep them from falling out.

Coming soon......weaving with a twist! Keep an eye out for additional projects!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

As POW WOW Approaches

Our Kindergarter students always take time, in the fall, to study various Native American tribes. Each class studies one tribe in depth, then later participate in a POW WOW with all the other classes, dressed in the clothing that represents that tribe. I like to do a little project with them that pertains to their specific tribe to expose them to Native American art. Above are three different lessons. The blue Nez Perce blanket patterns, the Iroquois legend of the The Turtles Race with Bear and the Sioux turtle, representing their 13 month year with 28 days each. More are on the way as they are completed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

First grade Portraits starting to Emerge

This is one of my favorite projects. Perhaps, that is why it is done on almost a annual basis. I really love seeing how this little guys express themselves when learning about PORTRAIT. First we discuss PORTRAIT. What is it? What does the artist want us to see? Then we learn about putting the face together, where the features go, and how big they are compared to each other - perspective. After a couple of practice drawings, we start on the final sheet. The next step is to begin filling in color with oil pastels. I usually have them layer a couple of colors, such as orange and a "skin" color, to give our faces some warmth. Then we move onto clothing, making sure to mix at least two similar colors, finally we get to the hair. We discuss that hair is not one big piece, but many different strands that are different colors. I demonstrate how we can create the look of strans by laying lines of different color, then they create hair. To top it off, we fill in a background that could deal which seasons, events, or even different artists styles. The result is some truly amazing work!

Rough Weather Ahead!!!

This class of 3rd grade students experienced rough seas as they painted seascapes depicting stormey skies and large waves. We talked about weather and how skies look when storms are approaching.
First, we took white, turquoise, and violet tempera and painted a stormy sky onto the manila paper, using white first, then, while wet, we slowly applied turquoise and violet, to create stormy clouds. I did allow them to use A LITTLE black, but only after a demonstration showing how little was really needed.
Then, we used violet, blue,turquoise, and white to work in the water. We reviewed "horizon line" and talked about how the waves would form peeks. They should paint the water using brush strokes that immulated rough waves. The last thing we did was add a small jut of land, far in the distance. Some chose to put in lighthouses and ships. Overall, we had some real weather brewing!

Beautiful Painted landscapes

These are some beautiful landscapes that were created by our 3rd grade students as they learned about deep depth. To understand how to create an illusion is not an easy task, but these students did it quite well. In this class, the students learned about landscape, then chose photographs of the landscapes as inspiration for their paintings. It was not required to copy the image exactly. In fact, it was encouraged that they combine ideas from different pictures or just use a part of the image and then "imagine" the rest. The layering technique was similar to the techniques listed in the above entry. There was a little more detail added after the sky, however.

To be honest, this was a real stretch for me as I have been more "controlling", to an extent, in my last 23 years, by doing a little more leading and not as much facilitating as I did in this project. In order to really get these students to make personal decisions and choice, I left the type of landscape up to them as well as how they would paint it with the techniques they had in their arsenals. The results were quite varied showing different skill levels. Overall, I think the lesson was successful and most of the students were happy with their work.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

5th grade works on VALUES

My 5th grade students are required to know about VALUE before they leave us and go to middle school. One great way to teach it is through pencil drawing, learning to create shadow and light, and make a two dimensional drawing pop out into a three dimentional illusion. Almost every students is amazed at what they can do when it is finished and they step back and take a look.

* Students first observed many examples of pencil drawings and discussed the value scale that was used. We discussed high and low value and all the "in betweens."
* A blank value scale was passed out and the student practiced different pressures on the pencils to achieve the different values between black and white.
* We then put the values to work practicing how to use them on "3D forms" drawn on a 2D piece of paper (see above). Here they really had to learn how to "see around" the object, determine a light source, and create the illusion of mass and volume by applying a full range of values.
* Then came the crushed paper bags (crushed soda cans work as well). Students had to carefully draw the lines they saw and then apply the value to the drawing.

This is not an easy concept, but these 5th grade students did exceptionally well. Having to visualize FORM really uses the RIGHT side of the brain!

Wallpaper Still life

This was a wonderful project done with 3rd grade students.
* First a lesson on DEPTH and how artist achieve this on a flat surface.
* We talked about CONTRAST and how they would have to think about their wallpaper choices so the viewer could make out the objects.
* The students then drew a plan of their still life objects and where they would place them in the composition.
* Then students were given a piece of cardboard and a whole lot of scraps of wall paper. They really went to town, designing their still life, using all the patterns and textures available.
* Finally, the students were able to embellish and clarify with oil pastels to enhance the final piece.

This was a fun project,definitly worth repeating! Check with local stores that carry wallpaper and ask if they would donate their old books of wallpaper samples. You can usually get more than you need.