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.