Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Moroccan tile printmaking.

Fifth grade discussed the notion of functional artwork when we studied Moroccan tile.  We studied the patterns and colors and viewed many examples, and then came up with some thumbnail sketch snazzy designs (yes, snazzy) of our own.  We talked about different ways to print the pattern so that many tiny prints could work together collectively.  We discussed rotating, brick, half-drop, and block patterns, and many students chose rotation. 

Once the design was complete, we used cubical rubber erasers to create a printing plate.  We made sure any lettering would be carved backwards, and sketched our design in pencil and then Sharpie on the eraser surface.  Then we got to work with printmaking tools (students mostly employed the "V"), and carved our printing blocks.  Color was added with regular Crayola markers, and I stressed to students to re-ink with each printing.  Final designs were printed on 1" grid paper. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

St. Basil's patterned cathedrals.

After reading "Rechenka's Eggs", by Patricia Polacco, third graders discussed the history and characteristics of the architecture of St. Basil's Cathedral.  They loved hearing that it is rumored that Ivan the Terrible had his architect blinded so he could never create anything so beautiful again!

Students followed a simple step-by-step set of instructions to create the structure for their own buildings, and then got to work on exciting and unique patterns.  Pencil lines were outlined with Sharpie, and then colored with colored pencil.  

For a final step, students could add a bit of glitter in one or two spots.  *I set up a "glitter station" that I can monitor so that they don't turn the artwork into a glittery mess.  I let students apply the glue and choose a color and I do the glitter shaking. 

The BEST artist!

Kindergarten students listened to the story "I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean", by Kevin Sherry.  We then looked at photographs of giant squid, and then students created these colorful versions using a step-by-step method. They traced their pencil lines with oil pastels, and added some fun sea creatures in the background using colored oil pastels.  Then students painted with tempera cakes.  *They went a little nuts with this step, but I let it roll and they turned out amazingly!

Modigliani self portraits.

Modigliani is one of my favorite artists, so I get really excited each year to complete this project with fourth graders.  I teach the students about Amedeo Modigliani first, and stress that it was his unhealthy lifestyle choices that lead to him having such a short life.  They feel pretty grown up about the matter when I tell them that I wouldn't introduce this topic with younger students for that reason. 

I found this lesson originally on Art Projects for Kids, which suggests that you fold the paper into quarters.  This really helps the students map out the page, and it is easy for them to align the facial features and streeeetch the necks out.  

I used gray paper to give a darkish undertone to the portraits.  
1. Folded the paper into quarters and then unfolded. 
2. Colored heavily in oil pastel. 
3. Used yellow or white oil pastel to give a highlight "halo" around the head. 
4. Heavily outlined EVERYTHING in black, and smear with one finger. 
5. Signed last name in corner in black oil pastel ---- Modigliani style.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

More Pop art cows...

Here are a few more of the happiest on the planet from my past post! (At least they make me quite happy).

Blazing Banyan Tree.

I found this phenomenal project in Dynamic Art Projects for Children, which someone got me as a gift when I was in grad school.  It is an extremely successful lesson!

I love how excited the fourth grade students get to learn about the The Great Banyan Tree in India.  We discuss why the Banyan tree might be the national tree there, and how it symbolizes unity to them because they gather under the shade it provides.  I also played them this video that basically blew their minds when they considered that what they were seeing was ALL ONE TREE!

Clay monsters.

Fifth grade LOVED this project from the fall.  It was 2 days for construction, 1 FULL day for glazing.  I highlight full because there are so many details that we really needed the entire 50 minutes (and some students might have needed some lunch glazing, but they all got finished!). 

Abstract fall landscapes.

This is a very simple lesson that I found at Art Projects for Kids.  I have done it a few years in a row and I find it a great lesson for early in the year.  It only takes one class session, and the students love it and are generally very successful at it!

As long as your umbrella is pretty....

A controlled mess is a good mess.  At least that philosophy worked when I had first grade students create early spring rain umbrellas out of painted paper like the lesson I found at Use Your Coloured Pencils.

On day 1 students painted one 9" x 12" paper in cool colors and one in warm colors, and the students went nuts experimenting with various tools for texture and pattern (plastic cutlery, clay tools, an assortment of paintbrushes, etc).

On day 2 students cut their umbrellas and raindrops and collaged them onto gray paper, and added a big ol' "J" of a handle with black paper.  These could brighten up any rainy day!

Matisse Matisse, we love you!

Second graders absolutely rocked a bunch of principles with these masterpieces inspired by Henri Matisse's "The Goldfish".  First students discussed patterns found when you look at objects, both natural and man made, reeeaaaally close up. We then used these patterns as inspiration to make four of our own. Student employed one color of oil pastel in each section on a 12" x 18" paper, but they could use any shade of that color. (They mostly got that idea).

In week 2 we talked again about complementary colors (I describe it as how you might compliment a friend who has a trait that is very different.  "Ava I love how your red hair is so different from my brown hair, and I am complimenting you about it").  Students then used complementary colors to paint the sections on their papers.

In week 3 we talked a bit more about Matisse, and looked closely at his painting. We talked about how even though he was painting pretty realistically, the way he painted the four corners kind of look like our pieces.  We then drew cylinders, based on a short intro to 3D shapes, and filled them with water and fish and put them on tables.  These were cut and glued in session 4, but we also moved on to a different project that day, because these almost third graders can do that part in a flash!

I know a lot of people do something similar, but I got my inspiration from the fab Kristin Kimmell, one of the best art teachers I know!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Castle and Sun!

First grade students loved revisiting Paul Klee by studying the polygons (they are learning about those in the classrooms) that Klee used to build his castle in "Castle and Sun".  Now I did base this lesson on something similar that I found online earlier this year, but I can't find it again, so please let me know if it is your brainchild.

First we used brown tempera paint on 12" x 18" 80 lb paper to build the outlines of larger shapes with sturdy rectangles of cardboard (I'd say I gave each student a 2" x 4" piece).  Students gently stamped the edges of their cardboard so they didn't damage it.  They then went into the larger shapes to divide into many smaller shapes.  The finishing step this day was to add one circle (toilet paper tube) for a sun.

On day 2 (this took 2 50 minute class sessions) students used chalk pastel to color in their castles, suns, and skies.


Hearts for all Seasons!

Okay, okay, I did do these with Kindergarten students around Valentine's Day.  But it got busy there for awhile and I am trying to play catch-up with some posts!

These are just good, old-fashioned toilet paper tube printmaking hearts on 12" x 18" paper.  They loved it! I did experiment with a multi-media kinda thing with another class by having students, in class session 2, collage symmetrical heart onto this.  For that they used newspaper, old sheet music, and assorted scraps of paper.  Totally forgot to take photos, though!