Tuesday, January 31, 2012

KDG Stamp Print Architecture 2012

It's time again for our kindergarten art unit on architecture - so fun!  This post is similar to last year's, with a few additions.  We started our unit with the book Where We Live, and we looked at examples of architecture in our own city of Atlanta.  We saw the modern white forms of the High museum, designed by architect Richard Meier, and drew our own plan for an art museum using combined shapes.  This was a great warm-up for our next activity - stamp-print architecture.  We use cardboard and other gadgets like marker tops, legos, and sponge shapes to stamp white patterns onto the paper.  Usually I leave these with simple white lines on dark paper (see here), but my paper this year wasn't as dark as I like so we added some elements like wood, brick, and stone with our markers for a little more contrast.  Next up, we build some 3-D forms using paper strips!

Great book on shelters in history

High Museum in Atlanta

stamping the lines with matboard and white tempera

adding details with gadgets

Step 1: complete

adding elements with marker: bricks, stones, wood, etc.

ready to take our blueprints home - rolled up into a tube, just like architects do!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Snowman Snapshots: using point-of-view

Third graders discussed using point-of-view as an artist and how to create a composition using a viewfinder.  Photographers are artists who create visual compostions all the time, using their cameras to zoom in or out for just the right angle.

nice details

a different layout

like the one melting in the sun

creative backgrounds

check out the ice skater in the distance!

reference to Starry Night in lower left corner

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

VIP: Very Important Painting - Starry Night (2012)

Teaching the story of Vincent Van Gogh and the creation of Starry Night is, to me, one of the greatest moments of the year.  We have studied this painting in many different ways in my room.  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.  We discuss the beauty of the night sky, and how Van Gogh found it especially wonderful that night, one of his first nights outside after a long hospital stay, with twinkling stars, a swirling breeze, and a cozy little village all tucked in under a glowing moon.
Van Gogh's masterpiece

First graders created their own interpretations of the Starry Night, including many of the artistic elements found in the original landscape - a sense of space created by overlapping, and a feeling of movement made by swirling brushstrokes.  In years past, 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, as seen here. 

Last year's resist method

This year, we tried a mixed media approach similar to one I'd seen over at For the Love of Art.  Oil pastels make bright moons and stars, we painted our background and middleground, and finally collaged the cypress tree and village on to the foreground.  We enjoyed the music of Beethoven's Moonlight during our creative time.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Surreal Settings: 4th grade collage

This is a fun lesson for introducing the concepts of Surrealism.  We looked at works by Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali and found elements that both artists use: symbolism, floating objects, and real objects combined in a not-so-real way.  We started with a photocopy of a famous place, hand-colored it, and added magazine photos.  This year, one class who had a little more time than the others (due to holidays and other unavoidable interruptions) tried it three-dimensionally - we popped the shapes up to create a relief in a box lid - it was really fun!  Craftsmanship is super important here - our cutting and gluing skills need to be on point to create these illusions.