Friday, April 17, 2015

Portrait Weaving Inspired by Chuck Close

     The fourth graders just finished these cool portraits that we have worked on FOREVER!  We started them when the weather was bad and we missed a lot of school, and then we missed some classes because the kids had rehearsals for their spring program, and we have FINALLY finished!  I am proud of the kids' dedication to these artworks that took so long to make.

    We were inspired by the amazing paintings of Chuck Close and his awesome grid work.  To start, I took photos of the kids and then made them into posters on Picasa.  The kids glued the pieces of their photos to 18" x 24" paper, we folded them in half, and then drew lines every 2 inches apart.  The kids cut on the lines to create warps to weave through.
    They then wove 2" strips of paper through their portraits, and drew the missing parts of their faces.  From here, they traced with Sharpies, colored and made patterns in the background with crayons, and finished by painting with watercolors.  In the photos you can see that I also printed a smaller copy of each kid's portrait for them to use as reference.  


Friday, March 27, 2015

Texture Painting Update

     I've posted about texture paintings before, but I did these ones a little differently this year.  I did them in conjunction with slab knee bowls.  For these ones, the 1st graders started with copy paper and texture rubbing plates and crayons.  They really just experimented with the plates and some kids colored designs or patterns, and some just did blobs of different textures and colors.  Then they made resists by painting watercolors over the crayon textures.
     We glued the paintings to bigger pieces of construction paper to make frames.  I gave each kid a chunk of Model Magic and they broke it into small pieces that they stuck to the edges of the construction paper.  Like my other texture paintings, the kids used items from their art boxes to make different textures in the Model Magic.  A few pieces fell off here and there as the Model Magic dried, and the kids just glued them back where they belonged!  When the Model Magic was dry, they painted over it with Biggie Cake temperas.  I had them paint black lines at the edges of their resists to add a little emphasis, and they were done!

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Leadership Group Coil Pots

As I've mentioned before, our school has started focusing on leadership with our students, and we have started leadership clubs this year.  The students have been divided into groups with varying grade levels based on different areas of interest.  My group is called "Clay Kids" (15 kids), and we make functional ceramic artwork.

I am SO excited about these coil pots that the kids made.  We planted marigold seeds in them, and they are growing and doing great!  I've never grown flowers from seeds, and I am definitely enjoying having them in my room!  Hopefully they will continue to do well!

The coil pots were a challenge for the younger kids, but the older ones were wonderful mentors for them, and everyone had made one by the end of our club time!  We started with small balls of clay that the kids squished and worked with their hands to create round little slabs.  I had them use slip (which I don't usually do in a full class of  elementary aged kids) to help the coils adhere.  We still had some issues with construction though, and some of the pots ended up being a little shorter than their artist intended.

I poked holes in the bottoms of the pots with a straw once they had begun to dry a little, and the kids glazed them after they were bisqued.  On the club day that we planted the seeds, the students made the little popsicle stick flowers while they were waiting for their turn to plant their seeds.  I told the kids that I have never grown flowers from seeds before, and we wanted to be sure to have at least one flower in case the seed growing didn't go so well!



Thursday, March 5, 2015

Kindergarten Starry Nights

     I needed a landscape project for kindergarten, so I came up with this van Gogh inspired lesson and am really happy with how they turned out.  The kindergartners loved learning about van Gogh and liked his thick paint strokes.  We tried to make broken lines on blue or turquoise paper with various kinds of media including oil pastels, glitter liquid watercolors, and metallic watercolors.  This lesson provided a nice opportunity to talk about horizon lines, and that objects and people need to be grounded on or below them in landscapes.  Because we drew the landscapes on separate (black) paper and then cut them out, the students were really forced to have objects touch the ground. 
     I love including photographs of the kids in their projects, and we just tossed them in because we thought it would be neat to actually BE in Starry Night and to really see a wild sky like that! 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Super LEADers with 2nd Grade

     At our school this year, we have been studying the book, The 7 Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey.  These habits help the kids to take charge of themselves, their learning, and their school, and it has been so neat to see the kids embrace these ideas and really take pride in the awesome things we do here at school.  Because the students are using these habits throughout our school, it was easy to have conversations about them in art class.  The students chose the habit they think is most important for their artwork focus, and it was easy for the kids to select one because they have become so familiar with them.

    For these artworks, the students imagined themselves as super heroes whose super powers correspond with their chosen habit.  We did some brainstorming and writing to help fully develop these ideas.

    We then practiced drawing body proportions from quick sketches, and we were off to the races!  We also looked at real super hero artwork to gain inspiration for costume design.  With the help our wonderful media specialist, Mrs. Baker, and a wonderful parent volunteer, Mrs. Lonzrick, we were able to take some dictations on these portraits to help the students really make their ideas clear.  The end results are very fun, but also very thoughtful works!