Friday, December 30, 2011

Modigliani Inspired Portraits

5th grade students studied Amedeo Clemente Modigliani, a Jewish, Italian artist who worked mainly in France.  He became known for his paintings and sculptures that were created in a very modern style.  The students noticed the elongated form of the portraits that he painted.  Many of the fifth graders commented that the eyes in some of the portraits were blank, which made them seem anonymous.  They also noticed that the portraits with complete eyes depicted the people looking directly at the viewer in a very serious way.  We discussed the style of clothing shown in the portraits and concluded that it was consistent with the time period.  The fifth graders then created their own Modigliani inspired portraits.  Each one is distinctly unique and displays lots of personality!  These images can be viewed in the school lobby.

A Value Study

The 3rd and 4th grade students created value studies and value sketches.  We began by discussing the definition of value as it applies to art.  Each person created their own value study using sketching pencils so that they could get a feel for how much pressure to use on their pencils to get light, medium and dark values.  After this concept was mastered, each student observed the styrofoam ball under a light source.  We noted the different parts of the value sketch including the object, the highlight, the reflected light, and the cast shadow.  The children sketched the ball, and added light, medium and dark values where appropriate.  When the value sketches were complete, the students broke into small groups and engaged in a freeze tag tableau that demonstrated their understanding of the parts of a value sketch.  Everyone did an impressive job on their beautiful sketches, and each one shows their understanding of value.  These are on display on the upper level at the top of the staircase.

Winter Trees!

The 2nd grade students began this project by observing the shape of winter trees.  They noticed that when the leaves are gone you can clearly see the shape and form of each branch.  We practiced drawing trees paying close attention to the organic shape of the branches.  The next step was to darken the tree with oil pastel.  We then applied color with watercolor paint.  By surrounding the branches with a light
wash of color, the tree and its branches really stand out, revealing their graceful beauty.  I was so impressed with their work!  You will find these on display in the school lobby.

All About Composition!

1st graders ended the month of December by creating snowmen that focused on the concept of composition.  We discussed how you can change the composition of an image by framing it in a different way.  The students said that they had experienced this from looking through a camera.  When creating their snowmen, some of the children "zoomed in" on them while other students chose to "zoom out."
All of the snowmen have vibrant personalities!  These are on view on the lower level of the school right as you enter the kindergarten pod.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Organic and Geometric Overlapping Shapes

This week first and second graders studied geometric and organic shapes.  We used tools to create a series of these shapes that overlapped one another.  Each student was responsible for the vocabulary (organic, geometric and overlap).  After the shapes were created, the students outlined them with oil pastel and then filled in them in with watercolor paint.  They were required to choose a different color where the shapes overlapped.  We finished off the projects by doing a CETA activity in which the students were broken into groups and asked to make geometric or organic shapes using their bodies.

Still Life Pumpkins!

The fourth graders spent the week studying the shape, form and texture of actual pumpkins.  They drew
their pumpkins onto watercolor paper and traced them with permanent marker.  Using a double loaded brush technique, each student painted their pumpkins.  Oil pastels were used to color the table.  After the color application portion of the project was complete, each student used pencil or crayon to create a cast shadow.  I was very impressed with their work!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Frida Kahlo

The third and fifth grade students just completed their Frida Kahlo Portraits!  We have been working on them for several weeks.  This project was a little more complicated because we wanted to make sure the images were as fascinating as her life.  The students were interested to learn all about her, and they were very impressed with the fact that she always lived life to the fullest in spite of the tragic things that happened to her.  They thought the paintings she created were sometimes strange, but they understood that she used art as a way deal with the pain in her life.  Frida was a work of art herself with the way that she decorated herself in colorful clothing and accessories, and these images portray her that way!

Kindergarten Line Paintings

In the Kindergarten art classes we are continuing our study of line!  Each student created many different line types including straight, curly, wavy and zig zag.  The lines were applied with oil pastel and then each child painted around the lines with various paint colors.  I was so impressed with how focused the Kindergarten classes were while doing this project!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dorothea Lange, Migrant Woman

5th graders studied the work of Dorothea Lange and her role in telling the story of those who suffered during The Great Depression.  We chose to focus on her most famous and iconic photograph called Migrant Woman.  After brainstorming about what the students thought was happening in the photo, each person was assigned a portion of the photo.  The students then used enlarging techniques as well as  sketching tools to create areas of dark, medium and light value.  These tools could also be used to add detail and areas that are smooth or textural.  It was really amazing to piece each section together and complete the puzzle.  We concluded that the finished product reminded us of Picasso!
At the end of this unit each student participated in an exercise called Freeze Tag Tableau.  We acted out Migrant Woman and the students were able to verbalize their knowledge, and ask any questions they had that were not answered from viewing or discussing the photograph.
If you would like to view their work, the display for this project is located at the top of the stairs on the second floor of the school.

Vincent Van Gogh Inspired Still Life Flowers!

1st, 2nd & 3rd graders leaned about the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh.  We focused on his particular painting style and studied his series of sunflowers.  The students noticed that his flowers were very floppy, and that he layered his paint on the canvas in a very thick manor.  We used Van Gogh's sunflowers as inspiration to create our own still life vase of flowers.  Each student learned how to draw the vase and table in perspective, and then one by one, they sketched loose and floppy flowers to complete their images.  The next step was color application!  These images were completed with oil pastel and watercolor paint.  Some students added details and patterns to create more interest.  I think Van Gogh would be proud!  You will find them displayed in the school lobby and in the auditorium.

The Last Remnant of Summer!

Early in the school year our 3rd 4th and 5th grade students took on a sketching challenge.  I brought in all the peach pits left over from my family's summer peach eating.  These fruits have disappeared from the grocery shelves, but the peach pits remain and that is what the students focused their attention on.  They examined these little seeds and took notice of their textural surface and oval shape as well as how the light impacted the cast shadow.  I was very impressed with the results!  They are hanging in the school lobby.

Kindergarten Line Collage!

Kindergarten students started off the the school year with a bang!  They have been learning about all types of line!  I was very impressed with how quickly they learned the difference between horizontal, diagonal and vertical lines.  They were even able to create wavy and zig zag horizontal, diagonal and vertical lines.  Each student used the color paper that was provided to create line collages that demonstrated what they had learned.  The really used their fine motor skills to cut and shape all of their line types.  You will find them hanging near the Kindergarten pod and in the auditorium!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Corcoran Family Worshop

You might like this! 
On Saturday June 18th from 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., The Corcoran Gallery of Art is hosting a family workshop called "Sculpt It."  The price is $8 per child for Corcoran members, and $10 per child for non-members. The children can explore a variety of materials, both traditional and non-traditional to create three-demensional art! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Art Museum Links

Summer is almost here and I wanted to share a few links that you may enjoy visiting with your children throughout summer vacation.  Some of the websites have sections that are just for kids.  Also, if you happen to be in the Boston area over the summer, there is a wonderful exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston called "Chihuly, Through The Looking Glass."  It will be there until August 7th!

Museum of Modern Art
National Gallery of Art
San Francisco Museum of Art
The Corcoran Gallery of Art
National Museum of African Art
The Guggenheim Museum
J. Paul Getty Museum
The Metropolitan Museum
Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Louve (In English)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oh Georgia!

Flowers are in bloom and second and third grade students are creating Georgia O'keefe inspired abstracted flowers!  We studied the life and work of Georgia O'keefe with a particular focus on her series of flowers.  Each student chose an actual flower to guide them in this project.  Using a view finder, they could "zoom-in" to their flowers to create a pleasing composition.  When the students decided on a composition, they sketched their flower images onto paper.  The students applied color using oil pastel, and then chose a complementary color for the background.  These are currently on display in the school lobby!

Insects, Arachnids and Arthropods Oh My!

Spring is here and third grade students focused on Insects, Arachnids and Arthropods this month!  We learned the facts about each one and examined their characteristics.  Each student chose their favorite creature and drew it with pencil.  After determining the natural habitat, the students drew the habitat around their creature.  The next step was to cover each pencil line with tinted glue to create a textural outline.  After the glue dried, third graders used chalk pastel to color their images, and then with a tissue they smudged the pastel into the paper.  No two were alike!

Abstraction With Scissors

Fifth grade students are finishing up a unit on Abstraction!  This image represents a project completed by each fifth grader.  The students created random patterns with pencil, paper and a pair of scissors.  After creating their patterns, the students used view finders to select a composition that was pleasing to them.  Using enlarging strategies, the students transfered the enlarged image to their 11 x 17 canvas paper.  An analogous color scheme using five different hues of acrylic paint was required for the color application portion of the assignment.  Each student chose a different series of hues, all were interesting and lovely!