First grade artists learned about the upcoming Chinese New Year. We talked about the history of the Chinese New Year and how the twelve animals of the Zodiac were chosen. We talked about red being a lucky color and we talked about 2012 being the year of the dragon. We drew dragons and chinese characters on colored construction paper and turned our drawings into lanterns. The Lantern Festival or Yuanxiao Jie as a traditional Chinese festival, which is on the 15th of the first month of the Chinese New Year.
We watched two really cool video clips on youtube.
Fifth graders looked at movie posters in art class. We talked about how movie posters are created by artists and how these artworks are alittle bit like books. Most books have one main character and secondary characters that support the main character. Movie posters are the same! They usually have one part of drawing that pops out first. We call this the focal point. To make a focal point pop out artist use three things: leading lines, size and contrast. The requirements for our drawings were the same: a clear focal point with leading lines guiding our eyes to that focal point. We learned how to create depth in our drawings by overlapping. We included patterns. And we used lots of contrast (dark next to light) in and around our focal point to make in really stand out. The main difference between our drawings and movie posters is that our drawings are abstract. As we shaded these drawings using ebony pencils we made sure that our drawings had equal amounts of black, white and gray.
First grade artists read several books by Jane Yolan and Mark Teague. We focused the most on their book "How Do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms?" We looked at the patterns on the dinosaurs including stripes, polka dots and zig-zags. As a class we drew a dinosaur from a still-life looking at a toy dinosaur. We drew him (or her) by looking at the dinosaur and looking for shapes--an oval body, rectangle neck, etc. Then we added patterns and colors of our own to our dinosaurs using markers. Then on another sheet of drawing paper we drew the bedroom. We tried to make our bedrooms look 3-D as we talked about perspective in Art. We used oil pastels and paint dabbers to finish our rooms. When they were dry we glued our dinosaurs on top of our rooms to make it look like they are in the room. This was a new project that came out great!
Kindergarten artists learned about castles in art class this week. We read two non-fiction books about castles. We learned that castles were built a long time ago and that they were built as fortresses to protect people. We learned that all castles are different but most castles are built out of stones, they have moats, drawbridges, watchtowers and flags. We drew our castles in oil pastels and used a resist technique to paint our castles and backgrounds.