Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bird collages, 3rd grade

American artist Charley Harper is one of my favorites in terms of style.  His slightly abstract nature scenes are very simple and geometric, making it easy to find emphasis in the picture, or showing what's important. Our 3rd grade collages were inspired by his geometric, sparse style. We created space in our art by overlapping, using a horizon line with high and low placement on the page, and size variation. We incorporated visual texture by using newspaper to represent the black and white texture of birch tree bark, and scrapbook paper to represent the textures of feathers and nests.
Once our collages were complete, we also looked at the realistic bird paintings of John James Audubon and compared the two styles. This is a wonderful lesson each year in that each student finds success, and each has a unique quality.

Charley Harper


  1. Beautiful. I love the contrasts of the sky & land. I will be pinning this for future inspiration!

  2. Very nice! I like the look of the newspaper for trees. Your students did a great job!

    1. One of my students asked "is this REAL newspaper?" and it made me realize how newspaper is not such a common thing to have around anymore...

  3. I understand about the newspaper. I used it recently and had to suggest to the children to cut only the black and white text out because so much of the paper is coloured photos or coloured adds now. This art lesson looks great. I will also pin it. Thank you.

  4. Very cool! I especially like the bird fourth down on the left : )

  5. These are great! Your kids did a great job. The angry bird one is awesome.

  6. Oooooh~ I love these birds! What a great project. Pinning it!

  7. Your students did a fantastic job interpreting the work of Charley Harper.
    They are beautiful and unique collages.

  8. These are very beautiful! We used to have an abundance of newspaper donations and now we have none. It's funny how things have changed.


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