Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Year So Far: Fourth Grade

Fourth graders have been learning about abstraction. We looked at Several Circles by Vasily Kandinsky.

Several Circles

We learned that it is an abstract piece of work because it does not depict something we immediately recognize. Students were asked to create their own abstract composition using circles. First, they created a their composition by tracing a variety of circles. They were asked to think about placement (overlapping, touching, apart, inside) while creating their composition. Next, they added color using construction paper crayons. Some decided to used solid color while others included pattern. When we shared the work, we noticed that although we used the same shape and materials, each piece was unique.

Be sure to check out the display of this work in the lobby! This unit was inspired by one done at Briargrove Elemtary. Thanks for the inspiraton Mrs. Gonzalez!

Next, fourth grade artists created an abstract composition using pattern and line. To begin, students created their composition by tracing their hand twice. They used the same ideas for placement and composition (apart, touching, overlapping, inside) as in the circles project. Next, they made three lines crossing their hands. Once finished, they created a different pattern in each section of their composition. We discussed balance when creating a composition. Students thought about how the relationship between darker and lighter areas should be balanced and spread throughout their drawing.

Fourth graders will now be moving onto a unit exploring more representational work. Nice job!

The Year So Far: Third Grade

Third grade artists have been working on a drawing project. We have been exploring castles. Students looked at a number of examples of castles and artistic representations of them. We have been focusing on how artists create texture with line and shape. We also discussed how castles were historically built for protection, so were made out of materials like brick and stone.

Third graders have been working on creating their own castle drawings. They began with drawing the basic shapes. They used pencil first and then outlined everything in Sharpie.

Next, we explored how you can create simulated texture using line and shape. Artists went back into their drawings to add texture and detail. Each artist is including at least three types of texture in their work.

These drawings are large (18x24) so we continue to work on them. Throughout this project, we have been discussing craftsmanship. Since it is easy to quickly rush through the texture stage of their work, students have been practicing working slowly and concentrating. The work is coming out beautifully and I will post pictures of the finished drawings as soon as they are done.

The Year So Far: Second Grade

Second grade artists have been learning about foreground and background. We have also been brushing up on warm and cool colors. In our first project, students created collages of where they live. The first week, students only used cool colors (blues, purples and greens). We remembered to include the horizon line (where the ground meets the sky) and lots of details.

The following class, we discussed foreground and background. We noticed that things in the background are usually smaller and closer to the top of the paper. We also noticed that things in the foreground are bigger, lower to the bottom of the paper and often overlap objects in the background. Students then used only warm colors to create their foreground. This time, we made streets with a variety of modes of transportation. We also discovered that because of the warm and cool color contrast, the foreground stands out from the background.

These will soon be on display at South. Keep an eye out for this excellent work!

The Year So Far: First Grade

First grade artists have been exploring line and shape. To start the year, we explored line with monoprinting. This is one of my favorite activities to do with the students. We first discussed all of the different kinds of lines we could make. Students then learned about basic printmaking. They used a tray for a plate and painted on a variety of lines. To make the print, they put a piece of paper on top of the tray and burnished with their hands to transfer their image from the plate to the paper. Each student created five prints and it was a ton of fun.

The following class, we read Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Because the students were so familiar with this book, we focused on looking at the illustrations with "artist's eyes." We discussed that this means we look closely and notice all of the details that the artist included. The students noticed how Sendak created wild things with different textures (fur, scales...) using different types of lines.

from Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

We then looked back at our monoprints. We noticed how many of them looked like fur or scales, wavy hair or spots. Using these prints and additional paper for details, first grade artists created their own wild things.

We learned how artists begin a collage with the large, basic shapes before moving on to the small details.

Awesome work first graders! We will continue our exploration of shape and collage for the next few weeks.

The Year So Far: Kindergarten

Kindergarten artists have been exploring collage. We learned about how artists create collages using paper and glue. To begin our exploration, we read Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh. We then explored how we can build a picture with shapes. We also experimented with tearing paper to create our own shapes.

The following class, we explored the collages of Eric Carle. We noticed how his illustrations are made with collage. Inspired by all of his insect collages, the artists each created their own. Check out the display near South Hall!

Kindergarten artists have been learning about the routines of the art studio. One thing we are working on is sharing our work and talking about the work of others. At the end of each class, students are given the opportunity to share what they have made and to comment on and ask questions about the work of their peers. This is a very important part of art class and something that we build upon in each grade.

The Year So Far: The First Day of Art

Welcome to the South School Art Studio! Here are some photos of the studio:

This year, in South tradition, students in every grade created a self-portrait on the first day of art. They will repeat this activity on their final day of the year to see how much has changed about their drawings and themselves. Here are some examples:

See more examples on display outside of the art studio!