Wednesday, October 16, 2013

1st Grade Impressionism Fall Trees

At the very beginning of this school year, my 1st grade students did a line study of a tree, learning how to control the brush. The thickest line in the tree was the tree trunk, which required painting over and over again to make it thick. Then, medium lines were added for branches; and finally, with the very tip of the brush, the students added tiny twigs.

Then, I shelved the project for two months, thinking we could finish them in the fall. I didn't really have a plan, but this week, I decided to try some Claude Monet-style Impressionistic painting. It went really well! I am so happy with these beautiful trees. I really had to encourage the students to make a "cloud" of leaves around all of the branches, instead of just dotting leaves right on the branches.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Artist of the Week

I posted recently that my school is doing a fundraiser called Art to Remember. All of my students spent the last few weeks creating art for A2R. I was really happy with how the program went, because I was able to teach normal, standards-based, art history-infused lessons. I just had to use their "special" paper, and when I ran out, I cut our regular art paper (a similar weight) to the same size and used that. This way, most of my students were able to create 2 works of art, and pick their best. Some classes even had a choice of over 3 works of art!

The only down-side was, once we sent the art in, every student's best piece was gone....and I had nothing to put in my display case for "Artist of the Week". Until one of my very talented 4th grade students stayed after school to finish his lighthouse, which he'd put so much detail in that he didn't get done in class. Boy was I happy to see him! Here is his piece, which didn't make it into my lighthouse post since he didn't get done until a week or two after everyone else.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Kindergarten Hand-Print Fish

At the beginning of my teaching career, I steered away from hand-print art, because I wasn't sure there was any artistic merit in it. But, what better way is there to introduce the fine art of printmaking than to start with printing a hand? Also, parents love these; their kindergarten children's hands won't stay this size for long!

If anyone has an opinion on hand-print art, please comment and tell me what you think. I'm interested in how other art teachers have used hand prints, if at all, and what art concepts you taught in the lesson.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

An Ocean Painting

Last year, I taught my 6th grade students about contrast with warm and cool colors. We created ocean paintings inspired by Drew Brophy. The students used black crayons to outline their waves before mixing various cool colors for the ocean and warm colors for the sunset. This year, I tried Sharpie markers for the black outlines. I didn't notice any overall improvement in the students' work with Sharpie as opposed to black crayon. With Sharpies, if the students paused while drawing a line, it would result in a dot on the line as the ink bled out. But with crayons, the students really had to apply pressure to make the lines dark. However, one painting really stood out to me this year. The student who created this has done an outstanding job on every art project since I began teaching at this school. I wanted to share it on my blog because I think it is beautiful!