Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dia De Los Muertos

Happy Dia De Los Muertos!  The 2nd grade students studied about the customs and traditions practiced during this holiday.  The 2nd graders used their pencils to form the shape of a skull, and then added details to decorate them in a festive way.  The last step was to apply color using oil pastel.  The students gave their images lots of personality!  These are on display in the school lobby.


The 4th grade students went on a field trip to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in September to view the Richard Diebenkorn exhibit.  While we were there, we also got to do a wonderful project with a piece made by Marsden Hartley.  The piece was created in 1914 and is called Berlin Abstraction.  When we returned to school, the fourth grade students made their own Diebenkorn inspired images using chalk pastel.  We discussed the geometric shapes that Diebenkorn used were much more free form compared to Piet Mondrian, who we studied late last year.  The results were wonderful and they are on display in the lobby of the school!

More Monarch Butterflies!

The third graders recently completed their study of the migration patterns of the Monarch Butterflies!  We learned that each year in the fall, the Monarch Butterflies migrate to high altitude areas of central Mexico.  Their journey is about 3000 miles long and they can not fly if their body temperature is less than 86 degrees.  They feed almost exclusively on milkweed.  After the 3rd grade students examined images of the Monarchs, they began to draw their own.  They took great care to include all of the details and veining in the wings.  The next step was to draw a habitat around the butterfly, and then to apply color.  We used oil pastel for the butterflies, and water color paint for the rest of the image.  This project is on display in the lobby of the school!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kindergarten One-Line Abstract Drawings!

The Kindergarten students began the school year by learning all about line types.  They have completed many projects on the subject of line including these one-line abstract drawings.  Each student was asked to create a picture using one very, very long line.  They discovered that when they looped their lines around the page they could create shapes that could then be colored!  We discussed the difference between realistic and abstract art.  All of them are unique and interesting!

First Grade Self Portraits!

The first graders started off the school year by creating self-portraits.  They examined their faces in the mirror and learned techniques to help them get the proportions corrects when drawing a portrait.  So many of them look like the students themselves and they are all very expressive!  The last step was the color application, and each child was able to choose between crayon and oil pastel.  These images are located in the school near the entrance to the kindergarten pod.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Earth Day!

I am so exited about our Earth Day project!  The Environmental Club created this mosaic out off recycled bottle caps to show at the Community Earth Day celebration.  We could not have created this piece without all of your generous bottle cap donations, and I really appreciate you sending them in for us to use!  We have many left over that I am excited to use for future art projects.  Next week this mosaic can be viewed in the school lobby.

Abstract Images!

The fifth grade students completed these abstract images that were inspired by a pair of scissors.  They began the project by creating random overlapping shapes using their scissors.  The next step was to use a view finder to frame a section of their random shapes.  Using enlarging techniques, the students transferred their framed section to a larger piece of paper.  The fifth graders were required to use an analogous color scheme that included five different hues.  This project was such a success and they can be viewed in the school lobby!

One Point Perspective!

The fourth grade students just completed their one point perspective drawings.  Each child created an exterior landscape that they drew using a horizon line, vanishing point and construction lines.  While this was a difficult skill to learn, the students really forged through their fears and frustrations to create these amazing perspective drawings.  Color was added using oil pastel and watercolor paint.  These can be viewed in the school lobby.

Monarch Butterflies!

I was so impressed by these Monarch butterflies that were created by the third graders!  We studied the migration habits of the Monarchs and chose to draw them in their habitats.  Each child applied color to their images by first using oil pastel for the butterfly and then they painted the background.  This allowed the butterflies to really stand out against the background.  The students took great care to add detail to make their images look realistic!

Georgia O'keefe!

The second grade students ushered in spring by creating their Georgia O'keefe inspired abstract flowers.
We began by discussing composition.  Each student chose a flower and viewed it through a view finder. The view finder allowed the students to "zoom in" and "zoom out" to find a composition that was pleasing to them.  After the flowers were drawn, the second graders were to choose a complimentary color to use for the background.  These beautiful images are hanging in the lobby of the school.


The Kindergarten students did such a wonderful job creating their Kandinsky inspired concentric circles!  Each student created one 9 x 9 concentric circle that was later combined to create the entire piece.  We used oil pastel and the students were able to choose their color scheme.  You can view these at school in the hall just outside the kindergarten pod.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

President's Day Portraits!

Last week many different grade levels got ready for President's Day by creating portraits of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.  The students used step-by-step drawing instructions to guide them through the process.  After the line drawings were completed, the next step was to outline the portraits in marker.  The last step was to apply color to the background using watercolor paint.  The students were able to chose the color scheme for their background.  Some chose to use a solid color, while others chose to do a multi-colored background.  They all have so much personality!  These images will be on display next week in the school lobby.

Stain Glass Hearts!

The Kindergarten students created a special Valentine's Day project.  We started by practicing how to draw a heart and discussing the difference between symmetry and asymmetry.  Next, each students drew six lines through the heart from one side of the paper to the other.  The next step was to apply color to each section to create the look of stain glass.  They worked very hard to use lots of pressure when applying color so that none of the construction paper would show.  I was very impressed with their work!

POP ART! Andy Warhol

The 3rd grade students studied the life and work of Artist Andy Warhol.  We began by discussing the Pop Art Movement and Andy Warhol’s contribution. The students noticed that he often created images in a series, and that each image in the series was the same with exception of color. We chose to focus on Andy Warhol’s iconic soup can for this project. The students viewed a picture of an actual Campbell’s soup can and took note of all the details. The next step was to draw the can in perspective. Then, the students were able to add text and other design details. The students applied color with oil pastel, and then painted the background with watercolor paint. They had the choice to create a color scheme that matched the original can, or they could change the color scheme. Each one is unique and very reflective of the Pop Art Movement!  These are on display in the school lobby.  

Jacob Lawrence

This month the fifth grade students celebrated African American History Month by studying the life and work of Jacob Lawrence.  Jacob Lawrence was an extraordinary person and artist who is best known for his series titled Migration.  This series is a group of 60 paintings documenting the movement to the northern states by many southern African Americans who were trying to escape the Jim Crow laws.  As a social realist, Lawrence's work documents the accomplishments and history of African Americans, as well as showing the images of everyday life in the African American community.
Although his series was meant to be exhibited together as one work, Lawrence agreed to allow the Museum of Modern Art to purchase half of the series, and The Phillip's Collection to purchase the other half.  The 5th grade students participated in a field trip to The Phillip's Collection to view half of the series and learn more about his work.  When we returned back to school the students began recreating The Migration Series with oil pastel and collage paper.  The fifth graders noticed Jacob Lawrence's painting style, particularly the way in which he leaves our the facial details of the people in his paintings.  We concluded that he was trying to convey the masses of people that took part in the migration, and that including facial details would detract from the overall story that he was telling with the series.  The last step was to engage in a Tableau to act out the different scenes from the series to really solidify and bring to life all that the students learned during this unit.  These images are on display at the top of the stairs on the second floor of the school.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Shoe Sketch

The third grade students created a sketch of their shoes in art class.  As a class, we discussed the small details of the shoe such as the stitching and texture of the material.  We decided that the shoes would look more realistic based on how much detail was added.  The third graders started out creating the shape of the shoe which was one of the most challenging parts of the assignment.  The next step was to add detail, and the light, medium and dark values.  Their work was very impressive!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ceramic Fall Leaves....... Better late than never!

These beautiful fall leaves were made by the second grade students before Thanksgiving, but they never made it to the blog!  Even though there are almost no leaves in sight, I couldn't help posting this image.  The students started the project with a leaf template.  The template was used to cut and shape the clay into the Maple leaf shape.  The 2nd graders used clay tools to carve the veins of the leaves.  For the glaze application we used a type of glaze that I hadn't tried before called color burst glaze.  It has little particles in the liquid glaze that pop open during the firing process.  Some of the color glaze worked and some of it did not.  I will have to do more research to find out why this happened.  They all turned out wonderful even though the color burst glaze didn't work in some cases!

The Mitten

The Kindergarten students started out the week listening to The Mitten, which is a Ukrainian folktale.  
We studied the location and climate of the Ukraine, as well as the patterns and designs used in the creation of actual Ukrainian mittens.  Each student was given a construction paper mitten to create their own design.  Their prior study of line type and shape really came together for this project!  I was amazed by their integrate designs and the detail that the students were able to achieve!  These are on display in the school auditorium.    

Portraits... Focus on Facial Expressions

The Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade students created portraits that depicted a certain emotion.  We began the lesson by letting the children view photos of a person showing various facial expressions (angry, surprised, scared, etc).  We discussed each photo, and the elements of each face that lead them to know which photo showed a scared person verses a surprised or angry person.  The next step was for the students to make their own portraits that displayed the emotions that we discussed.  The last step was color application, which was created with oil pastel and crayon.  They are all so expressive!

Kindergarten Pinch Pots!

The kindergarten students completed their pinch pots this week.  They used their thumbs to create the center and then manipulated the edges to shape and form their clay into a pot.  Next they used the clay tools to carve designs onto the surface of the clay.  The last step was to apply the glaze, each student had a choice of six colors.  The kindergarten students were very excited to see what the pots looked like after they were fired in the kiln!