Friday, May 17, 2013

Thank You Wayne Thiebaud!

Not finished yet, but wanted to show off the amazing detail (from a KINDERGARTENER)!

My smaller school has a penny war to help raise money for a great cause. I wasn't part of the war because of the fact that I am only there some weeks for two days and only for a half of a day each of those days. Well the week of the war I was going to be there Monday, Tuesday, and Friday... so I wanted in on this war! I got a bucket and let things happen as I thought they might. I came in on Friday and went into the gym (all the student run around and play in the morning before school) and asked how many students have me for art. It was a trick question because they all have me for art. I informed them that if I win the penny war, everyone wins the penny war. Lets just say, four hours later they filled my gallon bucket with pennies. The prize... I bought ice cream, chocolate sauce, and sprinkles for all classes  in the school. Expensive but extremely worth it to see everyone involved. 
Ice cream party and a need for a new lesson... WAYNE THIEBAUD. What a great opportunity to teach all grades about an artist that paints desserts. I started out with kindergarten cakes.
My kindergarteners started out with a triangle tracer to keep scale. After they traced the triangle, we drew three lines straight down from the corners. Little did they know they were doing a form of two point perspective. We added the two layer look with the frosting line in the middle. Talked about frosting, ground (adding a plate to make it look like it is on something and not floating), and horizon line ( a line to separate the table and wall). The students painted the inside of the cake, table, and wall with watercolor. The plate and frosting was done with oil pastels. 
Can you believe these are made by kindergarteners... I was surprised and amazed!


I am a very proud teacher. It is a great feeling when you get a student that struggles, rushes through projects, or hates art (I know who could hate art) to slow down, enjoy, and thrive on a project. This is an example of one of my fifth graders weavings. I love what this student has done with this weaving. He has taken everything I have taught and pushed all parts to the limit. Dont cut the fringes too short (he did), don't put rows and rows of fringes on (he did), don't use only the twine and cotton sting to weave...add some color (he didn't). After all is said and done, He has made this amazing piece, not only creative, but visually and texturally interesting.
Awesome job!
I always tell my students to push the boundaries... if we didn't have artist that pushed, we wouldn't have art. I hate when I am wrong, but the results that come from it are amazing!. 

Two Primary Colors = A Secondary Colored Scale Fish

FISH... I love fish for color mixing purposes. You have so many opportunities to teach color with all the different sections of fish. We started out The lesson with reading the story "Rainbow Fish." The story is a favorite of mine not matter if they read it before or not. The idea of sharing is something we can all be reminded of. After the story we traced a large oval. The oval gives the student a great starting paint to help keep their fish in scale. After the oval, we talk about the parts of a fish and draw the fins, tail, and lips (trace their fingers) together. We add the face line and eye, and start to talk about scales. I have some small plastic cups  that I give each student to help make the scales. The students trace half the cup in a row fashion creating the scales. When they finished a row, they started the next row in between two scales.
The next class, we talked about the primary colors and secondary colors. The students had to pick one primary color to paint the face. After the face, the students picked a second primary color to paint the fins and tail. After they finished painting the two primary colors, they mixed the two colors together (a small about of the darker color into the lighter colored primary color) to form a secondary color. The students painted the scales with the secondary color they mixed up. For students that can be pushed, have them play with different shades of that secondary color, making each scale a different color like the fish above. If I had more time in the school year I would have added seaweed.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

OWLS and Permanent Markers

Stylized Owls by second graders. We started by drawing a basic owl body shape together as a class. The head (circle) overlaps the body (face tracers, oval), and the students traced the outside of both pieces. The students picked a picture of an owl, and added more interesting features like feathers on ears (horns), tail feathers, eye details, and chest feathers. Each student took features from their owl pictures and made a stylized version of that owl. We went over the owls with permanent markers, making a black and white version. The next class we did a watercolor wash over the top of the owl, background, and branch if they chose.

Kindergarten Abstract

"Abstract... you can't teach that to kindergarteners!" To those who doubted me... told you so! 

Now that I am done being a small child, I want to show off some of my Kindergarteners abstract paintings. I wanted to expose my kindergarteners to abstract art. I have exposed them to so many other styles this year, why not abstract. I talked to them about abstract art being something not always recognizable to the viewer, but something meaningful and pre thought out by the artist. The students started out by cutting geometric shapes out of news paper. Next, the students glued the newspaper and decorated the paper with black ink. The ink was added using cardboard to make straight lines and smeared shapes. 

Words... why not. The students were learning about action words and feeling words in class. We wrote down a board full of examples, and then the students picked three of each. The students added the words using markers. We talked about words used in art, think about size, orientation, and placement. If  we use all capital letters it seems like the artist is shouting. If you write the word in big letters it has more importance than if you wrote it small. The students wrote the words and then we added color using watercolor.

The end product is a meaningful painting to the student, and an abstract painting to the viewer.