Tuesday, September 19, 2017

2nd Grade Warm and Cool Color Collage

Second graders have been expanding their familiarity and use of warm and cool colors with these collages over the past two sessions in art.  We learn to think of warm colors as "sunset" colors and cool colors as "ocean" colors, and this collage helps to reinforce not only these specific colors but the mnemonic device as well.  Not to mention, the collages are pretty cool, too!

3rd Grade "Exoplanets"

From a science standpoint, the lesson gives us a chance to expand the students' fresh understanding of solar systems to those that are now being discovered far from our own sun.  We discuss the hundreds of new planets orbiting distant stars and currently being discovered by astronomers and how scientists convey what these "exoplanets" might look like with the help of professional artists.

Returning to our own art, we look at the professional planetary renderings and conclude that the artists who drew them made the planets look spherical (gave form to shape) through the use of shadows on one side and highlights on the other (essentially, different color values).  Students then use circle tracers to make four or five planets of different sizes on white cardstock.  Then they use oil pastels to color in their planets with a "crescent moon" shape of shadow on one side.  They then drag this color (with fingers or thumb) across their planets to leave behind increasingly lighter values and then go back and re-emphasize their shadow side. 

After cutting out their planets, the artists play with various compositions on a 9x12 piece of black construction paper.  They are encouraged to consider visual balance.  Of course, the planets must also be arranged so that all their highlight sides and shadow sides face in the same direction.  Finally, with white colored pencils, the students add astronomical features such as distant stars, moons, comets, meteors, and galaxies.  I'm always pleased with how these turn out, and I think the lesson works well both to reinforce a number of important art concepts, with the bonus of being able to explore a science topic a little more deeply.

Kindergarten Drawing: Robots with Shapes

Another example of what I'm teaching the kinders during their enrichment period -- putting the right shapes together to create a realistic subject.  Love these robots!

3rd Grade Implied Texture Fingers

For a one-day lesson on implied texture, 3rd graders traced their hands and used fine point pens to give a texture to each finger.  I started them out with a few ideas of  my own, but many had more texture ideas than fingers or wanted to practice one more than once - thus the extra fingers on this example.  (Don't ask me about the holes...)

2nd Grade Warm and Cool sun Expressions

I use this lesson to teach or reinforce the concept of cool ("ocean") and warm ("sunset" or "fire") colors.  We check out and discuss some famous paintings that use warm palettes, like Van Gogh's Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun, and others with cool palettes, like Monet's Water Lilies. Then students draw and paint several "suns" with warm colors (tempura block paints).  I also use this project to teach a little about drawing different facial expressions mostly by changing mouth and eyebrow position and size, and I supply the students with several cartoon facial expression examples that they are free to copy or modify as they choose.  They add expressions to their suns and then paint their backgrounds using only cool colors.  The result is these boldly colored "Sun Expression" paintings.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Line Monsters - Kindergarten

Zigzag lines for mouths, curly lines for hair, and lots of circles for spots were how the kinders began these monsters.  Later, they painted with watercolors and got some good practice with scissors and glue when they added arms, legs, and horns.

Complementary Color Op Art - 4th Grade

For such a simple project, this one provides lots of learning opportunities: complementary colors, balance, tracing with templates, using a straight edge, and simple shadowing to make the circles "float" off the background.