Friday, September 28, 2018

Pumpkin paintings in 5th grade

We are getting excited in our community about an upcoming art show at the High Museum in Atlanta - the Infinity Rooms show by Yayoi Kusama! My fifth graders and learning about her style, like her love of dots, her clothes that match her works, and her love of pumpkins.
We made our pumpkin paintings by first observing some natural pumpkin forms and drawing the contours. Next, we selected a color scheme of analogous or complementary colors and set to painting. Last, we cut out our pumpkins and made a background. 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Farm landscapes in first

First graders learned about landscapes by creating a fall farm scene. We looked at a variety of farm paintings to look for clues about seasons and times of day. We learned how to create space with our overlapping hills and size changes, and we learned to make a descriptive title for our art.

4th grade complementary paintings

Fourth graders have been exploring color schemes the last few weeks and our end result is a beautiful nonobjective style painting! Artists work in three basic styles: realistic (looks like real life), abstract (based on real life objects but changed artistically), and nonobjective, which uses elements of art like shape and color as the subject itself, rather than an object from real life like a house or a person. We often call this type of art "a design."

We started by selecting a pair of opposite colors from the color wheel, called complementary colors. We painted a paper with the hi and lo intensities of the pair in 4 sections - to lower the intensity, or brightness, of the color, just mix in a tiny bit of its complement! We often need lower intensity colors when we are painting from nature.

The next week, we used the same colors and created tints and shades using black and white. We used these new values to paint a variety of lines and patterns over our backgrounds. It was great practice using our brushes for thick and thin expressive line.
When the paintings were complete, we paired up with a partner and reflected on our learning using a 321-Art! sheet.


Self-portraits and Magic Carpets, kindergarten

Kindergarteners have recently completed their first two projects of the year. We started with an old favorite, magic carpets created with crayon lines and watercolor paint resist. We added some foam shapes and practiced making tiny glue dots while discussing geometric and organic shapes. We finished them off with a fringe - great cutting skills practice. 
Next, we drew two self-portraits - a head and shoulders view and a head to toe view. We always share a little something about ourselves in our portraits, like a favorite pet or activity. We used the tissue painting method to make our portraits colorful and fun. 
Kindergarteners are loving learning about art and taking care of our work and art room!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Watermelon batiks, 3rd grade

This lesson has been so fun and is packed with learning! Thank you to Instagrammer @artedallthetime for the inspirational post - I hadn’t done a paper batik in years and was excited to revisit it after seeing her students' work. My 3rd graders started with a set of thumbnail sketches, and we each selected one sketch to enlarge on to a thick white drawing paper. 
For the batik, you need a layer of wax (crayon) and a layer of dye (watery paint). We used warm color crayons for most of our picture and then crumpled the paper to crack the wax. Once the paper is flattened back out, we brushed the cool color tempera over the entire page and quickly rinsed the excess off in the sink. We were very gentle in this stage to keep from getting rips in the paper.



Once dry, we completed a 321-Art! assessment sheet and shared our reflections with our classmates. Batik is such a fun way to give your work a unique texture, especially for a simple design like these watermelon still lifes.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Sneak peek of projects in the works...

Stay tuned for more on Kindergarten magic carpets, second grade shape compositions, third grade watermelon batiks, and much more! Find us on Instagram for daily art room updates - @smartestartists. Hooray, it's Art Day!

Super Powers

Our school theme this year is Superheroes - #DolvINcredible. For our first art lesson, my 1st and 2nd graders illustrated their own special abilities using a comic style drawing with a “super signal.” We reviewed shapes and the correct way to use our drawing tools. Fill the space!

"There are always flowers..."


Our first drawing lesson in 4th and 5th grade was inspired by the famous quote by Henri Matisse - “There are always flowers for those who want to see them." We took flowers from our school garden (thanks for planting last spring, K-1 kiddos!) and brought them in to observe and draw. Observation drawing is one of the most important exercises to improve your artistic skill, in my opinion.

We used a variety of drawing tools like crayon, sharpie with thick and thin tips, and thin brush watercolor. The following week we had some choices for finishing up our drawing, like filling empty space, adding color or including the quote. We also wrote responses to Matisse's quote and discussed them and posted in the hall. Dr. Rose, our school superintendent, was visiting one morning and was able to stop in and see our creativity in action - very exciting!