Wednesday, October 5, 2011

First Six Weeks, drip paintings and more

For one of our first projects I decided to do drip paintings. Second through Forth grade studied and learned about the works of Jackson Pollack, an Abstract Expressionist artist.  We used the marble technique to roll different layers of colors onto the paper.  These were a lot of fun and the kids were excited about doing this.  

Fifth Graders enjoyed their sculptural drip paintings modeled after the works of Holton Rower.
This was a fun line study, where students could see the lines in motion.  Once they finished this project they were asked to write a paragraph on the process or their opinion of the artwork.  This is a new procedure I am currently asking 5th grade to do after each project.  Soon 4th and 3rd will be asked to make their artist statements for their artwork as well.                      
I introduced radial balance to 2nd and 3rd graders for this project. This is a watercolor project with black sharpie on top. Students were asked to use the six basic lines and some simple shapes to create their balanced piece.  I think for an introduction they did really well.

Kinder and 1st graders really enjoyed listening to classical selections and drawing the lines that evoked emotion. We talked about lines in artwork, just like music, can make you feel happy, scared, excited, relaxed, etc.  So as the music played they were able to illustrate those feelings through line and color.
As a kinder and 1st project we read the book The Dot.  A cute story about a little girl who discovers art  through a simple series of dot paintings.  The students were able to paint their own dot, or not-a-dot, with watercolors.  This was a nice simple opportunity for students to use paints and learn the expectations for using watercolors.  Ask them why brushes don't like bad hair days!  
This is also a Kinder and 1st grade project, and I'll be honest, I skipped a little ahead of myself.   After days and days and days of 100+ degree weather, part of me wanted to feel like fall was on its way.  So we did a little one day project talking about warm colors.  We discussed  the difference between evergreen trees and deciduous trees.  And,  we also talked about the reasons these trees lose their leaves, which is to conserve water and better survive the winter months.  Sort of a tree hibernation period.  The kids loved getting messy and doing the layers of paint.

Forth and Fifth graders have spent the last 3 weeks and we just started the 4th week of working on their horse portraits.  These are some of the first ones to be almost done!  They have worked really hard on these and while you can't see the size, these are 18 by 24".  I used this as a line study piece.  We started on small pieces of paper to decide which horse to draw, then once that was decided we practiced and practiced getting larger and filling space.  We also really worked on drawing those light lines that can be easily erased, that doesn't sound hard, but may have been the hardest part of drawing these portraits.  Once they finish the final size they use charcoal to add value and chalk pastel for that pop of color.  They are coming along really nicely!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Back to School! Peace Project

For the past four years KES has participated in the "whirled peace project", Pinwheels for Peace.  While I love seeing all the pinwheels displayed together, I usually end up putting together around 400-500 of the pinwheels myself.  This would be worth it if we could display them the way they are intended, which is "planted" outside the school to display and show our support for the program.  This has shown to be very difficult EVERY year.  Texas is so hot and dry, it is impossible to get the pencils in the ground with out breaking every pinwheel.  I've tried other display ideas and it just never seems to do it for me.  While I love this idea of doing artwork to promote peace, I just needed another art project.  It is great for talking about not only peace around the world, but for elementary students it really helps to talk about peace a little closer to home.  We discuss bully behavior at school, peace in the community and at home, they can relate to that a little more. So, this year we did a dove theme, the universal symbol of peace and all 30 classes created one bird for the class collaboratively.  Each class had to use a line, shape or symbol that hadn't been used to fill the stencil.  Then they chose a peaceful word to add to the bottom of their picture. I think they turned out really great.