Thursday, November 19, 2009

First and Second Grade Painting Unit.

This month, grades one and two finished up their clay work and started a five week painting unit.

We learned about painting and color. We looked at the color wheel and learned that the color wheel is a tool artists use to help them see color families and color relationships. We learned that one important color family are the primary colors. The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. They're important because we can use these three colors to mix all the other colors in the rainbow.

We are learning that it's important to manage our materials in a way that doesn't create a huge wet and colorful mess. We are learning to manage our paints, our water, our brushes, our paper towel, and to use the drying rack. We practice painting carefully each time we paint.

In our first lesson we tried mixing colors right on our paper and made lots of new colors.

We learned that artists sometimes mix paints on a palette and we tried that, too. Palette means plate. We mixed our colors on a paper plate palette. We mixed primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) to create secondary colors (green, violet, and orange). I meant to take a photo of the kids' plate palettes, but what can I say, we got busy and I forgot. To help them set up their colors I placed the primaries in a triangle (just like on the color wheel) and drew circles between each color for mixing secondary colors. The circles were especially helpful for the youngest artists.

We used our paper plate palettes to paint these beautiful gardens. Good work first grade. Good work second grade. Look for these on the entry way bulletin board at Currier Memorial School.

Kindergarten Makes Beaded Butterflies

This is the final project of our five week construction and assemblage unit for kindergarten. We built paper sculptures, paper hats, cardboard constructions, and lastly, these little guys. Little hands had plenty of practice cutting, snipping, gluing and attaching. Could look cute on a holiday tree.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gyotaku the Japanese Art of Fish Printing

Gyotaku is the second project in the third and forth grade printmaking unit.
In Japanese, "Gyo" means fish and "Taku" means rubbing. Put it together and you get fish print. Fish printing was invented by Japanese fisherman before the invention of cameras. Fisherman wanted a way to keep an especially large or interesting catch, and yet still be able to take the fish to market to sell. They found that by painting the fish with ink and pressing it against paper they could take a print of their fish, then rinse off the ink and sell the fish at market. Fish prints were brought back and displayed in homes of fisherman either on the walls or in journals.
Fish printing later developed into an art form when artists began adding artistic elements and created prints for their beauty. This fish print was created by a fourth grade art student.

Instead of using live fish (for obvious reasons) we used a set of rubber fish stamps. I set up 4-6 printmaking stations in the room and students circulated through choosing the fish the wanted to print. Their goal was to get four good, clear practice prints. We set our prints on the drying rack to dry.

In our second class students added elements of color to their practice prints with crayon, paying special attention to the eye. The highlights of color especially around the eye really brought our fish to life. We cut these out and strung them up so that they looked like the catch of the day.

The very last step of our project was to create a print on a water colored background. To do this students used the wet-into-wet watercolor technique. They sprinkled their paper with salt for a bubbly texture. We brushed away the salt when dry and printed our final fish. With a little experience under their belts this print was a piece of cake.

We matted our final version on blue paper and hung our papers alternately with our "catch of the day". Don't they make an eye catching display?