Tuesday, December 18, 2012

1st Grade Warm Suns & Cool Moons

Okay, these have been finished for a while already. As in... this may in fact have been one of the first projects we did this school year... but they finally made it into the bulletin board rotation about a month ago and I snapped some photos as I took the display down.

I thought that the first graders were especially expressive this year with the faces drawn on celestial bodies! After discussing the difference between warm and cold colors, students chose to portray either warm (sun) or cold (moon). We discussed facial expressions and different kinds of lines that could make our drawings interesting. Pencil drawings were traced in permanent marker then colored with crayon and resist-painted with tempera pucks. The product was well-worth a chuckle of endearment or two; more than one "cyclops moon" was spotted!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Patterned Personality Portraits

If I could tell you what led me to flip through that particular issue of School Arts from November 2008, I would... but I'm glad I did because it has led to one of our most successful middle school projects so far this year! The high school studio lesson written by teacher Michelle Flandera Surrena of Ohio, of the same title as this posting, seemed suited to the dynamics of my second hour class of 7th and 8th grade students. I assumed correctly that the lesson would be adaptable to the younger age level. If you can find a copy of this issue, the article is well-written and more comprehensive than I will outline in this post!

Goals for my students included the following:
1. Observe facial proportions to draw accurate self portrait contours.
2. Create and utilize a color palette that will promote unity, contrast, and emotional use of color (check out the artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser... the colors!!).
3. Incorporate creatively written "character sketches" into your work to personalize the meaning and add texture.
4. Create and add patterns to open spaces with colored pencil (see the work of Gustav Klimt).

Art history resource for color: selected works of Friedensreich Hundertwasser
Art history resource for pattern: selected works of Gustav Klimt

The How-To (condensed version):
1. Create contour line drawing of face on 16"x20" Bristol board or tag board. Outline with sharpie.
2. Use glue-water (equal parts Elmers to H2O) to decoupage cut or torn pieces of tissue paper to the surface.
3. Re-trace contours with Sharpie, and then use the marker to "fracture the space"-- some outlined by color, some followed natural facial lines.
4. Outline created shapes & spaces with handwritten text fragments.
5. Use colored pencil & fine point pen to create patterns within shapes.

The students worked on these for a very long time, and I was impressed and proud to see them become so engrossed by their work. Adding the text, in my opinion, made an enormous difference. Students were excited to write about what makes them unique... song lyrics, favorite jokes, and memories came pouring out. From a viewer's standpoint, I find that the words add textural interest to the work as well as emotional depth. Although I would never expect a viewer to read all the words on a single portrait, the little phrases captured even in the quickest of views provide a snapshot of the artist's vision and personality.

The first finisher-- I forgot my camera today!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

3rd Grade-- I and the Village

In 3rd grade Art, we pretend to travel around the world to "visit" different artists in their home countries, filling out our "passports" as we go.

Our latest imaginary journey took us to a small village in Russia to visit the childhood home of Marc Chagall. We looked at a number of his fantastic paintings, focusing on I and the Village.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

2nd Grade Stamping

2nd graders just finished these beautiful textural stamping projects. The lesson itself serves as an introduction to terms and concepts key to upcoming projects:
1. The underlayer of tissue paper leads into our study of vertical and horizontal lines.
2. the stamped overlayer introduces us to our upcoming printmaking unit. Students practice getting the right amount of ink on stamps, registering the location, and lifting the print without smudging.

-sturdy paper or tag board base
-tissue paper of many colors, cut into strips 1" wide. I cut a mixture of 9" and 12" strips to fit the base paper.
-cups of glue/water mixture
-paint brushes
-stamps: I had my 6th grade students use linoleum carving tools on the ends of erasers to create a classroom set of stamps.
-flat trays of liquid tempera paint or ink

Day One:

Students use glue-water mixture to brush down strips of tissue paper in vertical and horizontal stripes.

Day Two:
Students stamp black tempera paint to their plaid underlayer, aiming for the squares where the vertical and horizontal lines intersect.