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.