Tuesday, November 23, 2010

VIP: Very Important Painting - Van Gogh's Starry Night

Teaching the story of Vincent Van Gogh and the creation of Starry Night is, to me, one of the greatest moments of the year.  The book Visiting Vincent Van Gogh is a great introduction for younger students.  It discusses his town, his house, his friends, as well as an age appropriate description of his illness.
First graders created their own interpretations of the Starry Night, including many of the artistic elements found in the original - a sense of space, created by overlapping, and a feeling of movement made by swirling brushstrokes.  Our landscapes were created with crayon resist - the details of the picture were colored with wax crayon and the papers were covered in midnight purple tempera and wiped down.  The paper absorbs the pigment where there is no wax, and the result is glowing.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Monet's Method: 5th grade painting

Claude Monet, known as the Father of Impressionism, made a quick painting early one morning.  It was an image of a foggy river with a vague silhouette of a boat, and a bright orange sun rising in the background and reflecting off the water.  This painting was called Impression: Sunrise, and it gave Monet and his fellow group of painters their name - Impressionists.  Although this art movement was criticized and ridiculed at first, it has become one of the most popular styles of art in history.  Monet spent many years painting outdoors, capturing light an dshadow of a brief moment in time.  His most well-known images - haystacks, gardens, architecture - were painted over and over, at different times of day, and in different seasons. 
We enjoyed our take on the "Monet Method" - hope you do too.

After we finished painting, we finished coloring our thumbnail sketches with pastel and mounted them to make "Mini Monets"... these are very small, but very colorful!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Grant Wood style farm landscape

Kindergarteners learned some tricks to create the illusion of depth of space in their landscape.  Artists place objects low on the page when they are near, and higher on the page when they are far.  Artists also change the size of an object to show where it is in space.  Our pumpkin farm landscapes have the feeling of rich, rolling hills like those in Grant Wood's paintings.

getting started

Monday, November 15, 2010

the beginnings of a collagraph print...

Third graders are building excitement as we layer on the textures for our collagraph printing plates.  Here's a sneak peek at the assembly of a plate:
woven and ridged textures

fuzzy and foamy shapes

rhythm and movement


Friday, November 12, 2010

project updates

Here are a few outstanding examples of some of the projects seen earlier in this blog in the beginning stages, now complete:

Rousseau inspired jungle landscapes

Matisse inspired window views

Nonobjective color studies

Davis inspired abstract compositions