Sunday, March 16, 2014

Kindergarten Kandinsky's in the 300 Building

I had to add a shot of the Kindergarteners' Kandinsky circle paintings (see earlier post) displayed together in the 300 building hallway.  This piece represents twenty four of the kinders' paintings and is six feet by six feet.  Suitable for display in an art gallery, if you ask me!

HES 5th Graders at the National Gallery

I was happy to hear that many of our students and chaperones braved the wind and cold on Thursday in Washington to walk up the Mall to the West Building of the National Gallery of Art.  Assuming they followed the brief tour I outlined for them (and didn't get too distracted by all the other magnificent art around them), they were able to glimpse works by Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh, and several others.  Many of the works and artists have been specifically studied in the HES Art Room this year or in past grades, so I hope the tour had some special significance for the students.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Kindergarten Fingerprint Birds

Artwork by Cale K.
This is a good lesson for introducing the concept of printmaking to our youngest students, simply by using the easiest printing plate we have -- our finger.  I show the students how to turn a fingerprint into a bird by adding a simple beak, eye, wings, tail, and feet, then we all start by drawing a couple telephone poles with wires strung between them.  I have to tell the kinders to start with just ten birds; otherwise, they tend to want to just put fingerprints all over their paper, without any time left for turning them into birds.  I also encourage them to see if they can finish their artwork and only have one finger with ink on it.  Good luck with that!  I'm sure some of you parents saw the results of these efforts on your kindergarteners fingers (both hands, including thumbs) last week!  I especially love the details the students choose to add to their scene!
Artist unknown ("No Name - No Fame"), but it was too cute not to include.
Detail -- love the water fountain, worm, and bee! 

Artwork by Megan G. 

Artwork by Abigail B.

2nd Grade Spring Flower Still Lifes

Artwork by Grace A.
I use this lesson as an introduction to still lifes, but also as a follow-up to our recent lessons about values, tints, and shades, and a way to reinforce the difference between shape and form.  We study some still life paintings from the Dutch Renaissance and discuss what the objects in the paintings might be saying about the person for whom the painting was created.  Then we look at some remarkable contemporary still lifes in order for the students to see how these types of paintings are largely a challenge in creating realistic forms through light and shadow.  The rest of our first day is spent creating our vase shape from folded construction paper and then shading it with different values using a colored pencil to turn it into a 3d form.  On the second day, the students draw branches to fill in the space on their paper and stamp on flowers with the ends of small pieces of sponge and tempura paint. 

Artwork by Nate W.

Artwork by Maggie S.

Artwork by Payton B.