Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Results

3rd graders finished up working with value on their moonlit skies and pumpkins this week. We talked about tints and shades and creating the illusion of depth by overlapping and placing smaller objects nearer to the horizon line. The media used was oil pastel and baby oil. (Original post HERE)

A parent walked by as I was putting these up in the hallway. I liked her comment. She said, "These are great! It's like Van Gogh's Starry Night Meets the Pumpkin Patch!"
I hadn't thought about using this technique for a study of Impressionists, but it is a good idea!! I showed the kids one of Georgia O'Keeffe's sunset skies as inspiration for their moons.
 The set-up for this project is below. On the white try I had my large STAONAL black crayons (I LOVE THESE CRAYONS!!), white oil pastels in a little cup, pre-cut black rectangles and small square for pumpkins and scissors. The red plate had an assortment of oil pastels with plenty of the colors I thought kids would need. (I did this so they wouldn't spend unnecessary time searching through my larger buckets.) I put a very small amount of baby oil in the portion cups with Q-tips along side of them.
If you are having your kids use baby oil, you'll find that it takes very little to get the oil pastel to mix together.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Moonlit Pumpkins

Each Fall I like to have 3rd graders make tints and shades. The sky and spheres (or cylinders) seem to be a good starting point. Last year it was trees in a moonlit sky and spheres ( here and here). This year I am combining the two and we are drawing moonlit pumpkin patches using oil pastels and baby oil.
We'll start by observing photos of moonlit landscapes and Georgia O'Keeffe's suns on the Smartboard. Then, after a review discussion of tints and shades, students will make concentric circles with oil pastels, starting with white and then progressively darker tints of blue, blending into black. They'll use oil pastels, also in a circular motion, and top with baby oil on a swab to further blend the pastels. These kids had experience last year using baby oil to make still life scenes so I am hoping they remember the technique.  I have found, surprisingly, that maintaining this circular motion is often difficult for younger students to remember, so I always demonstrate in an exaggerated manner!!
Next comes a ground cover with darks and lights.
I am asking students to make pumpkins in different sizes so that they can overlap and use size to create the illusion of depth. They'll have real pumpkins and this photo to use as models as they work.

I demonstrate starting their pumpkin with a center oval and then adding curves to left and right until the pumpkin is the size they want. We draw with pencil and outline with these great new black crayons.
I actually just draw something like this on the black paper kids will be using and demonstrate coloring in with highlights at the same time. Patty over at Deep Space Sparkle posted a cool pumpkin lesson with kindergartens using a similar idea for drawing their pumpkins (HERE).
Kids use white and yellow to make the lighter tints where the "moonlight" is hitting their pumpkins. They can go over the black lines again at the end if necessary.
I love the painterly quality that the blending gives to each pumpkin!
We only have 45 minutes of work time to create these landscapes, so I am not sure how many pumpkins the kids will be able to make -- we'll see tomorrow!! I'll post results soon!

I first saw a project like this on Donna Goldstein's Artsonia site in 2009. See here. Her 4th graders worked with paint and oil pastels to create their pumpkin patches. I love a lot of the work her students did and the site is worth checking out if you have never been there!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Movement and Texture

3rd graders made these collages a few weeks ago. They were influenced by the work of Keith Haring and Bernard Stanley Hoyes. I had them use the same process to create the people as 4th graders used for their action people -- pipe cleaners and head/body pieces to equal a height of 6 to 7 heads.

The kids used texture boards and crayons to create textural areas which they cut out and glued under their people.

Students were encouraged to turn their bodies multiple ways before making a final placement decision. The goal was to generate the maximum feeling of "motion." I love the variety of positions!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Doggies Galore!!

Quite awhile ago I was browsing the web and came across a photo of a collaged dog. I LOVED it and knew I wanted my students to try something like it. It took me almost a year to track that photo back to its source. I was surprised to find that it was not from an art teacher blog, but rather, from the website of "vintage book" collage artist, Denise Fiedler. If you haven't seen her work, click HERE. I just LOVE these dogs!! I shared this page, along with photos of real dogs with the kids. We discussed the concept of contrast and the shapes used for the parts of dogs before creating our own
breeds. Here are a few of our 4th grade results:

I wish I had taken more photos now -- quite a few got out the door and back to classrooms without me "capturing" them for you. There were a few poodles that were priceless.

However, as an addendum to last week's lesson (posted here), here is some of that work posted in our hallway:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Multi-Media Action People

California Standards ask that 4th graders use accurate proportions to create a figure drawing and to  use complementary colors to show contrast and emphasis. With that in mind students created a background using complementary colors for floors and ceilings and neutral colors for their action figures in this project. Before starting in, students viewed silhouettes of action figures and paintings by Hoyes and Haring on the Smartboard.

In the past I have used paper pieces to help children "build" their human figures. See here. This year I tried a similar process, except kids used pipe cleaners (which they bent to create elbows and knees) for arms and legs. I liked this a LOT better. In the past, some kids would neglect to use two paper pieces for arms/legs. Using the pipe cleaners took care of that problem (almost) totally!!
The project took two 45-min. sessions. Students created the backgrounds with markers (for the floor) and paint for ceilings and walls. The ceiling had to be the complementary color of the floor. Side walls were kids' choices.
On Day 2 children stapled 3 papers together (black, newspaper and white), laid out their head, body, arm and leg pieces, drew around their body using a contour line and then cut it out. Finally, they glued their action figure(s) on their background, overlapping. Some students used small pieces of foam core board under the black construction paper body to raise it from the background for added emphasis.

These ALMOST make me want to get up and turn somersaults or just dance!!