Friday, December 15, 2017

Reduction prints inspired by Snowflake Bentley

Snowflake Bentley was a photographer who published the first photos of an individual snowflake, proving that each was unique and six-sided. He spent his entire life studying snow. We admired his photographs and read about his life from the beautifully illustrated book that bears his name.

We sketched some designs using radial symmetry, and selected our best one to transfer to printing foam. We printed the first layer with white ink on colored paper.

We rinsed our foam after printing a set of three papers, drew some small background flakes into the foam around the center flake, and finally, very carefully cut the large flake from the center, so that all that was left of our printing plate was the background. The following week, we printed a second layer over the first using black ink this time, trying to create the look of Snowflake Bentley's antique photographs that focus on a single flake.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Kindergarten winter landscapes

Kindergarten students created beautiful winter landscapes with oil pastel on dark paper, topped off with a collaged house and evergreens in the foreground. Using a variety of materials , filling the page, and using space correctly are things we practice in art class, as well as celebrating the change of seasons!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

#petpARTners - Fall 2017

We are continuing our community service project #petpARTners this year, which is a way for students to participate in raising awareness of the homeless pets in our community by sharing their artwork online and in local businesses. We are looking at the website of our local shelter, FurKids Atlanta, and choosing current dogs and cats as the subjects of our art. Students of different grades are trying out different techniques and media as we work on these portraits - as you scroll down, you will see the kindergarten drawings made by combining basic shapes and adding details, first graders added fingerprint stamped "paw prints" to their frames, and third graders made pet fantasy homes using collage techniques. Fourth grade used a more abstract style, using bold patterns and colors while fifth grade focused on observation skills to creat very realistic portraits.
The students take great pride in these works and they love choosing the pet photo from the website that they will draw. Lots of students have shared that they have visited the shelter with their families or scouting troops to help out, offer donations, or even adopt a pet! It is wonderful to see their engagement and I love the fact that they can help in their own way that doesn’t require asking for money. Of course money is needed for the shelter too, so parents who purchase art through Artsonia this year or buy a frame from our Artome show will be contributing to our donation to FurKids at the end of the school year.
If you would like to know more about this project and how to start a similar program at your school, I have put together a how-to packet in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Winter Landscapes in 1st grade

First graders are learning about space and size changes in a landscape. This lesson took two 45 minute sessions. We started out with a white paper and penciled in two snow hills. We painted the area above the hills with a blend of black and white tempera, double-loading the brush, to create a wintry sky, and dotted the sky with the back of our brush for snowflakes. We also used a smaller brush and painted some tree trunks on the background hill and topped them with snow.

The following week, we used Roylco Terrific Trees papers to make the larger tree trunks in the foreground - this paper tears very smoothly and easily, and has bark printed on one side and grain on the other - they are really cool.
We discussed the fact that the texture of the closer trees is much more visible than the trees in the background. We finished it off with some bright red cardinals made with geometric shapes.
Next week as I upload them to Artsonia, I will have the students create a title that describes the scene. Lovely work!


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Still Life in third and fifth grades

Frida Kahlo's still lifes have been inspiring all of my students this fall. We learned a bit about her life and how many of her life experiences are shown symbolically in her art.
Third graders drew a full-size still life, mostly from observation of real objects, but they were also encouraged to include objects that represent something about themselves.

Fifth graders made two smaller still lifes on index cards. The first was completely from observation of real objects with realistic color, while the second was designed completely from memory using personal symbolic objects and expressive color. both grades used a planning sheet to help them think of ideas that represent them, both found in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop.