Monday, November 19, 2012

Landscape Pencil Drawings


4th grade artists used pencils and blending stomps to create mountain landscapes. In artwork, value is the range of one color from light to medium to dark. Our drawings are full of value, blended together with a paper blending stomp.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

First Grade Still lives

First Grade artists looked at the still life paintings of Paul Cezanne. We talked about why artists draw still lives--to practice. And we discussed how artists draw still lives--by looking, observing and finding simple shapes. Each table had an old soup can full of eight different art supplies--brushes, pencils, markers, etc. We then observed. Which object is tallest, shortest, widest, narrowest? What shapes can we find in the pencil? We talked about overlapping. We used lots triangles, rectangles and ovals to draw these.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Clay Fossils

Kindergarten and First grade artists just brought a fun new project: Clay Fossils! Before it got too cold, we walked outside and gathered a few interesting leaves. We brought them into the art room and after reading a bit about fossils, we began our clay project. We started by creating a slab of clay. A slab is a flat, even sheet of clay. We then discussed texture and using our fingertips we found the side of a leaf that had the most texture. We then imprinted this side of the leaf into the clay. The projects were fired in our kiln and then we painted them using sponges and brown tempera paint to make them appear old. They also have value. In art, value is when there are light and dark versions of one color. Lastly, we sealed them with a gloss medium to protect  the paint and make them shiny!
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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

2nd Grade Lego Self-Portraits

2nd graders are just starting a cross-curricular lego project involving Oak Park Education Foundation, the classroom teachers and of course, me, the art teacher. To get us in a lego frame-of-mind, we watched a great video on the history of legos. And then looked at the proportions of a lego mini person. We then all drew a plain lego person together. But then added lego details like clothes, hair and a background that made our lego person look like us. Of course, in typical lego fashion, we are all yellow-skinned.
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4th Grade Shoe Drawings

Fourth graders began this art project by learning about the brain. We discussed how the left side of our brain is really good at things like math, logic, analyzing and naming things. While the right half of our brain is more visual, creative, random and intuitive.  When trying to draw from life, the right side is the way to go. Before drawing our shoes we completed a drawing activity designed to shut down the left half and engage the right side of our brain. We drew a horse by looking at a picture of a horse. BUT, the reference photo was upside down and almost entirely covered by a sheet of dark paper. So we didn't draw the "horse," we looked at little squiggles and bendy lines and drew that we saw and drew those. Then we'd move our dark paper down an bit and add more to our drawing. Before we knew it, we had created beautiful, realistic drawings of a horse! But we had to use our eyes to see, not our brains to think. While our right brains were on a roll, we took off one shoe, and set it in front of us. We tried to forget that it was a shoe, and just observe it as a series of bendy lines and shapes. The results are great! Lastly, we added a rhythm and movement by creating a pattern that followed the contour of our shoe.
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