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.