Wednesday, January 27, 2016

6th Grade Artist Proof Prints

6th Graders started a new Printmaking unit last week.  They were given sheet of printing foam and asked to draw out a bug thinking about positive and negative space and remembering that what we color on the foam in black will be the white in the print and that the print runs backwards so we needed to avoid letters or symbols.  Then this week using stamping inks students need to create a complete artist proof.  These small proofs needed to be printed and matted all in one day.  Next week we will switch from stamping ink to printing in and see what kind of a differerence that makes in our prints.  These little prints make great bookmarks and help us to see better if changes need to be made to our foam cuts before our final prints.

First Grade Paul Klee Studies

Last week in first grade we looked at Paul Klee's 'The Castle".  We paid close attention to all the geometric shapes we could find and how they were used to create the castle.  Then we talked about geometric shapes and how we draw them.  Finally students drew out their own castles or towers using geometric shapes and sharpie marker.  The next art day we added color but we have done a lot of painting this year so we tried a new technique for the first graders we added color by cutting geometric shapes of tissue paper and using a water glue to paint these shapes onto our castels.  The great thing about tissue is that we can still see our orginal castel sharpie lines right through the color.  Students really loved the idea of painting with paper and I loved how much math we were able to incorperate into this lesson.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

6th Grade American Abstract Art

 For this project the 6th Graders were studying color theory.  So first we had a day of notes on color families and painted a practice color wheel.  Then we looked at the work of American Artist Frank Stella.  I love the way that Stella uses color to make objects in his paintings move foreward or back in visual space.

Then using rulers, protractors and compasses students designed their own abstract painting.  It was their job to use a set of Analagous Colors, 3 colors in a row on the color wheel, and the Complementary color of their center Analagous (A complement is the color accross the color wheel.)  Once they were finished with the basic colors in paint the students were given the option to go back and add details and patterns in any colors uing paint or marker to enhance their designs.  Overall I think these turned out AWESOME.  They are hung in the front of school right now, and everyone has loved this pop of bight color admist these snowy gray days.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

3rd Grade Exploration Project

I forgot to blog this project at the begining of the semester.  This was actually the first 3rd grade project we did.  Students drew out their name and then colored in shapes with a color family.  They then cut apart their work and created a new composition.  This project had a few key goals one was to talk about color families, one was to think about compostions and layout of a final piece and the most important part of this project was learning that in art it's ok to break the rules.  In this project every time I gave an instuction I asked students to break the rule, for example when we colored I asked them to use 1 color family, so they were forced to use more then one or to use one family plus a color, when they cut I asked for 10 equal rectangular pieces, so some cut more pieces or did not cut only rectangles.  We talked as a class about the fact that in math 1+1 is always 2 but that in art the rules can be bent and broken and that can make the art stronger as long as it is done with purpose and meaning.   Overall they were just a fun way to start the year.

5th Grade Standing Tall

 Art Projects are always a balance of instruction and choice.  The more instruction the teacher gives the stronger the work the students create, However... the more that the teacher influeces the art the less creative freedome the students have and the the more all the projects look the same.  So teaching art is always a struggle between these two.  For this project I asked students to draw the sole of their shoes and then create themselves standing tall.  From there the students made most all the choices, they had their pick of paint, markers, crayons, colored pencils or mixed media. They were free to design the background and the clothes they way they wanted to.  Students loved the freedom to create their own way, I love the variety in this project.

5th Grade Name Filler Project.

 I have always been quite convinced that idle hands cause troulbe will finger busy creating build masterpieces.   So in younger grades I tend to have out coloring sheets for kiddos to work on if they are fast finishers.  That however is harder for older students. So for 5th grade this year we started an extra project that was a filler they could work on anytime they were done early.  The project was simple, draw out your name in bubble letters, then draw 3-7 lines from one side of the paper to the other.  In each shape created students were to create a pattern or test a new method for using oil pastel.    A lot of these projects went home unfisnished and I am ok with that it is a sign that we moved from one thing to the next with out any wasted time.  Hopefully students had enough fun working on them they choose to finish at home.  Here are a few of my fast finishers who actually got through all of the semester projects and the filler project. 

3rd Grade Coil Pots

 Nothing beats the excitment of a clay day.  Comming from a school district that had 55min art blocks I was a little hesitant to believe that third graders could really build coil pots in 30mins, but kiddos love clay so we had to try.  Overall, I was thrilled with the kids construction, I didn't have a single one explode in the kiln and that is almost unheard of. The 3rd graders built thier clay in one class peroid, they were dried and fired and then students glazed in one class peroid.   I know kiddos went home happy with a pot they were proud of and at the end of the day that makes for a very happy art teacher.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

1st Grade Picasso

Last week 1st Graders looked at Pablo Picasso's Bouquet of Peace from 1958.  Students discussed what they thought this painting was showing, some thought it was someone giving flowers to a loved one, some thought it was a birthday or an appology.  It gave us an oppurtunity to talk about why art is made, this work was intended to show that brotherhood is a neccessary element to peace.  But what we see and what the artist intended can be two very different things.

Then we talked about what in the painting we liked and disliked and how we would change the painting to make it what we wanted.  Finally studnets were asked to paint the picture their own way.
 This student decieded she did not like the hands in the painting and so she took them out and addd a vase instead.  I also love her addition of the yellow cat in the background.
 I loved how dramatic the changes were in some of the boys paintings.  One of them replaced the flowers with a fishing pole because that was where he found peace.  This student added the spider and spider web instead of flowers.  Each one was very unique.
I love anytime students can take a few minutes and really think critically about art and artist as a part of our creative process.

2nd Grade Cocoa Cups

Second graders worked on their first version of still life or drawing from life a few weeks ago.  We looked at some coffee cups, and paid close attention to the fact that the top and the bottom of the mugs were circles but when we put them on the tables in front of us these circles got squished into ovals (ellipses).  After some careful observation students each tried to draw their cup looking like it was sitting on a table and then they were able to add patterns and details.  I love how whimsical these turned out.