Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Second Grade Pattern Alphabets

In this project, second graders took inspiration from Jasper Johns and created work using familiar characters. If you look closely at this painting, you can see Johns used numbers. In their own work, second grade artists explored creating a painting with the alphabet.

Second grade artists have been experimenting with watercolor resist, as you saw in their monster portraits. Students began by folding their paper into 32 boxes. Next, they used oil pastel to add one letter to each box. They were encouraged to experiment with the size of their letter and the style they wrote it in. Next, the artists used a different color to create a pattern behind each letter. We remembered that a pattern is made when a color, line or shape is repeated again and again.

After they had completed all of their boxes, including the six "bonus boxes" at the end, students added watercolor over their drawings. We discussed how certain colors contrast and make others stand out. Students noticed that this was especially true when they used a very dark paint over light drawing.

The result is really interesting. In some pieces, the alphabet is very clear. In others, it takes a minute to recognize the letters. Either way, they came out great!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Organic Shape Collage

Third grade students have been studying shape and color. For this project, we were inspired by the work of Elizabeth Murray. To begin, we learned about organic and geometric shapes. Artists noticed that organic shapes often have curved and irregular sides and geometric shapes are shapes that we recognize (square, triangle, rectangle, etc.). Next, we learned about complementary colors. Complementary colors are across from each other on the colorwheel. When you put two complementary colors next to each other, they become vivid and stand out. Students were asked to create organic shapes out of construction paper. Once they had their shape, they used the complementary color to create patterns on top with collage. Students made a number of shapes using the same pair of complementary colors.

Next, we looked at the work of Elizabeth Murray. Students noticed how she put many shapes together into one composition. We also noticed that new shapes were created in the space between the colored shapes. This is called negative space. Students took all of their shapes and played with their own composition. They experimented until they made a piece that had interesting positive and negative space. Once they were finished, they glued their shapes to large pieces of paper.

Check Digication for more finished pieces in the coming week.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

From Studio to Classroom

Breaking News! I am the guest blogger for the month of November on From Studio to Classroom, an excellent blog about contemporary ideas in art education. Check it out!

Later this week--kindergarten ceramics, first grade jungles, second grade alphabet drawings, third grade collages and fourth grade cardboard relief explorations.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mixing Secondary Colors

First grade artists have been learning about secondary colors. For this seasonally appropriate project, first graders made paintings of pumpkins. They used the primary colors to create secondary colors. They made orange pumpkins, a purple sky and green grass. We talked about how there are many different kinds of greens, purples and oranges depending on how much of each primary color you use.

The following class, we discussed outline and pattern. Students used black paint to outline their pumpkins and to go over the horizon line. We then learned that you can make patterns in art when lines and shapes are repeated. Students added interesting patterns to their grass and sky to complete their paintings.

This project was a good start to our painting unit because the students had a clear idea of what they were being asked to do and of the steps that they should follow to complete the project. Now that we are familiar with the painting routines and procedures, we will continue to create paintings and the artists will be asked to make more independent choices for their imagery. As always, check out more completed work on Digication.

Food Collage

Food collages up on Digication! Click here.