Thursday, September 13, 2012

Welcome Back!

Welcome Back Artists!

Welcome back to another year in the South School Art Studio.  We are off to a great start already!  Artists have been busy drawing, painting and making collages.  Be sure to check back periodically for details and examples of student artwork.

Parents, if you haven't already done so, please send in a smock for your child.  This will be kept in their classroom and worn when they come to art.

I am looking forward to an exciting year!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bext Kindergarten Project Ever

Kindergarten artists have been working on the best project, in my opinion (and theirs), thus far--cardboard scrap people. Students have been learning about creating a figure with a head, arms, torso and legs. We have been talking about how the arms come from the top of the torso, etc. Once they create their little figure out of six cardboard rectangles, they head on over to the art buffet to gather materials to give it a personality. Students have had so much fun with their work, that I had to let them take their figure home right away. I am going to let the pictures speak for themselves on this one.

art buffet

And here are some finished pieces:


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fourth Grade Abstract Paintings

For this project, fourth grade artists experimented with stamping and painting. We looked at the work of Piet Mondrian and noticed how his work became increasingly abstract throughout his career. Students noticed that although his later paintings are not representational, he created interesting compositions using shape, line and color. Students worked from this idea when creating their own abstract compositions. Beginning with line, they used small pieces of cardboard to stamp short lines on a large sheet of paper. They were encouraged to create shapes and patterns as they worked, but were told to play with the material and see what happened.

The following class, we discussed color schemes. We looked at some abstract paintings where the artist selected a color scheme to use. We explored primary color schemes, complementary color schemes and analogous color schemes. Students were not required to choose one specific color scheme, but we discussed how being selective about the colors you choose can work better than just using every single color available. Here are two paintings by Sarah Morris that we looked at. Here, she used a complementary color scheme on the left and an analogous one on the right.

Fourth graders used tempera cakes to add color to their work. They came out so beautifully. Here are a few examples, but click here for many more.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Third Grade Coil Pots

Third graders are also creating coil pots. They have been exploring how you can use coils to create a unique design for their pottery. We learned about the importance of securely attaching each coil to the previous one. To do this. you "slip and score." Slip is very wet clay. It is almost used as a glue to fuse pieces together. Scoring is another word for making small scratches into the clay. When rough clay is attached to rough clay, it is much stronger than a smooth on smooth connection. Each pot came out great! They are all so different. I will post the finished pieces once they are glazed and fired.

First Grade Ceramics

First grade artists have been exploring ceramics. In social studies, first graders are learning about North America. They will soon be learning about native peoples, specifically the Pueblo. The Pueblo people are native to the southwest. To connect to their social studies unit, we learned about the importance of clay in Pueblo life. Students learned where clay comes from and many of its uses. Pueblo artists are famous for making coil pots.

Students learned about how coil pots are created by adding snakes of clay on top of one another to create the sides. Each first grade artist has created a coil pot. These will soon be fired in the kiln, glazed and then fired again. Check back in a month or so for completed coil pots!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

First Grade Jungles

First grade artists have been studying painting. For this project, we learned about warm and cool colors. Students were introduced to the artist Henri Rousseau. We learned that he was a Parisian artist who would paint imaginary jungle scenes inspired by visits to the Paris botanical gardens.

To begin this project, students were asked to imagine that they were in the jungle. We brainstormed ideas for how it would look and feel to be in the jungle. Next, students used cool colors and neutrals to create their jungle scene. With the cool colors, we only added plants and trees.

The following class, students added warm colors. They used these to add flowers and animals to their jungle scene.

Expressive Self Portraits

Third grade artists have been studying portraiture. We explored how artists create expressive drawings of people by using certain colors and facial expressions. To begin this project, students created three self portraits. In each one, they were asked to convey a different emotion. We used ebony pencils for these studies and created value by smudging and shading. Students used mirrors and drew from observation, noticing how the lines and features of their face changed with each new expression.

Next, we talked about how artists use color to express emotion. We discussed how different colors show feeling. Students were asked to choose one color and one emotion and to create a monochromatic self portrait.

What emotions do you think these students are expressing?

For more of this work, check out the Digication page! (click here)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Kindergarten Catch Up!

Kindergarten artists have been working on a number of projects recently. Since I'm behind on blogging, I'll include two projects in this one post.

Pinch Pots!
Kindergarten artists learned about clay. We also learned how to create pinch pots. Here are some action photos. The work is air drying before we put it in the kiln. Expect finished pieces shortly after break.

Kindergarten artists learned about 3D (or three dimensional) artwork. They explored how they could take a familiar material (paper) that is usually used for 2D work and make it pop out. Students created hanging sculptures and sculptures on a base.

Kindergarten artists are now creating 2D and 3D collages using paper, glue and scissors. More on that later...

Fourth Grade Relief Sculpture

Get ready for a long post! Fourth graders have been BUSY in the art studio! We have been working on cardboard relief sculpture for a few weeks. We started out by simply experimenting with the material. I wrote about the experience as a guest blogger for From Studio to Classroom. You can check out that post here.
I gave the students one full period to play with cardboard. We discussed relief sculpture and how height can be built up by layering one piece on top of another. Students were challenged to create a piece of their choice (either representational or abstract). They came up with some really interesting ideas. More importantly, though, they figured out how to make the cardboard work for building. They explored different ways to cut, add texture and attach. All of these skills would be very important in the next part of the unit.

The next time we met, I shared one of my favorite contemporary artists, AJ Fosik. (We learned that a contemporary artist is a living artist who is making work now.) AJ Fosik makes amazing relief sculptures out of wood. Many show animals and fantastic creatures. Here are a couple of examples:

The fourth graders loved his work! They noticed how he includes interesting details (see missing tooth above) and bright colors to make his work stand out. Once we discussed his work, students were asked to create their own animal head relief sculpture out of cardboard. Students first built their relief by cutting cardboard and layering to create height. Next they painted their work with one color. This color is their base coat. Finally, they added details and texture using a small brush. Some classes are finished and some are still working, so here are some images of the process:

Here are two completed pieces. I will let you know when more go up on Digication. The students have been really successful with this project and it has been a lot of fun.