Thursday, December 15, 2011

What's New?

Lots to post today!  Here is a taste of what we've been working on this month.
Fourth grade is working on drawing drawing cylinders.  We've also been looking at the artwork of Vincent Van Gogh.  Fourth graders put the two together by creating a floral still life using chalk pastels.  This week I'm loving Cassidy's bold choices in color and composition.
Third Grade has been working on self-portraits.  We did some pencil sketches using a mirror, drawing one feature at a time, talked about proportions of the face and then started a painted portrait.  This week I'm loving Michael's self-portrait.  It's pretty good at this stage but looks even better now.  During our last class he added the nose, eyebrows and the final outlining.  This work is 12X 18 and also very bold.

Here are two photos that show how the work evolved.  We began with a chalk drawing on construction paper.  Kids painted in the shape of their face, neck and shoulders. Then the background.  Then added hair and their clothes.  This project is based on the portrait project on Art from Small Hands where the steps are explained wonderful detail.  We took our time mixing colors to get each child's hair color and skin tone correct which opened the door to color conversations and shared knowledge.
Here is a cute first grade example of the same project, again started on brown paper.
And look at these Rectangle Robots!  This is a Deep Space Sparkle Lesson that is a lot of fun for the littlest artists.  We used oil pastels on the background and the printed using things we found around the room (corks, spools, and tubes).  We have been talking about shape as an element of art and identifying and naming geometric shapes.  Two of our favorite books about shapes are "Shapes, Shapes, Shapes" by Tana Hoban, and "The Shape of Things, by Dayle Ann Dodds.  We used shapes to create a simple figure.  We practiced gluing the "kindergarten way"  (neatly).  We embellished our robot with doo dads from the scrap bin.

Fourth and fifth graders have been looking at the life and work of Pablo Picasso this month.  We completed several observational drawings of guitars in our sketchbooks.  We learned that guitars were featured heavily  in Picasso's early work.  We completed a larger (11 X17) continuous line drawing of a guitar, talked about realism and abstraction, and looked at examples of cubism, an art movement that Picasso pioneered with George Braque.  Finally, we completed one last drawing using brush and black tempera.  Students explored abstracting their design by showing several points of view in their picture and strove to create an interesting composition using the lines and shapes the observed in the guitar.
We added color with chalk pastel.
These are really big works (18 X 24) and they looked great on stage at the Holiday Musical.

That's all for now!  Hope you enjoy the art.

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