Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Studio Art: Painting Unit, Watercolor

For our first project in our painting unit, I wanted to start out with something simple and fun, so we created abstract expressionism watercolor paintings.  The students had a blast with these paintings, and I think it shows!

We started off by using Kandinsky as our bell ringer artist to talk about abstract expressionism and emotion in an artwork.

Then, we took two days in our sketchbooks to learn 12 different watercolor techniques.  Students masked off 12 squares in the textbook and I walked them through the techniques one at a time.  Students then carefully peeled off their masking tape and labeled each square with the technique, writing a brief description as to how to do the technique as well.

The techniques we covered were:
Wet on wet wash
Wet on dry way
Graded wash
Lifting Off
Rubbing Alcohol
Tissue paper
Color/Water Dropping
Plastic wrap
Wax resist
Dry Brush

Here are some of their finished products.  The requirements of the project were that students had to use color, line and shape to create an emotion or feeling.  They had to use at least five of the different watercolor techniques in their paintings, and they could not paint something representational. Students painted three different paintings and then choose the one they felt showed the most emotion to mat and hand in.

These two are mine.

Studio Art: Candy Bar Triptych

Whew!  I'm finally starting to get things caught up on Artsonia, in my grade book, and on my blog!  It's been a New Year's resolution to keep on top of my grading this year, and so far so good!  These triptych drawings were the last thing students finished up right before our Christmas break.  It was also the final project in the drawing unit.

For this project, students had to bring in a candy bar (or similar type of food item) from home.  At this point, we had practiced with different drawing media in our sketchbooks, so students were allowed to draw with any medium they wanted.  The only stipulation was that one drawing had to be full (true) color, one had to be black and white, and the last could be done however they wanted.

On a side note, while we did these drawings, I used pop artist Wayne Thiebaud as their bell ringer artist in their sketchbooks, since the subject matter students were using was similar to his.

Most students stuck with drawing pencil, ebony pencil and colored pencil, but a few ventured into oil pastels as well.  We haven't actually framed these with mat board yet (I cheated and just photographed them on top of the mat board), but right before the art show, we are going to have a big mating day to frame artwork for the art show.  Students have mated two projects themselves so far, so they should be pros by the end of the year!

Monday, January 12, 2015

1st Grade: Winter Landscapes with Depth

My 1st graders finished up these awesome winter landscapes right before we left for the winter break.  I really like introducing the concept of depth to 1st grade because I think they can actually understand it and work with it in simpler forms.  In the past, I've done pumpkin landscapes with depth and a Northern Lights landscape, so I decided to combine the two for this year's depth landscape!

This project took two days and about 10 minutes in a third class to complete.  On the first day, I showed students a video about how the Northern Lights are created (of which this fits really well into their Common Core Listening & Learning strand about Astronomy!).  We then got down to work drawing our landscape out.

Students used black oil pastel on black paper.  I first asked them to draw a big snowman, just the body, towards the bottom edge of their paper, and then a horizon line behind it.  I posed the question, "If you wanted to draw a snowman in the background, how would you do it?"  Most of them understood that it had to be drawn smaller, but I showed them how to draw it smaller and farther up on their paper.  Again, I had them draw a horizon line behind that snowman.  Then, I asked, "What if you wanted to draw a snowman in between those two snowmen? In the middle-ground?" It was like a light-bulk turned on above their heads! 

We added the mountains next, and then used three colors to create the Northern lights in the sky.  This all happened on day 1.

On day 2, we talked about how we were going to color all the snow.  If snowmen are white, and the snow on the ground is white, I explained that they would have to do something a little different to the snow so they wouldn't blend together.  Luckily, there was snow on the ground outside the windows so we could look at how the shadows from the building look blue in the snow!

After the snow was colored, the mountains and the details on the snowmen were the last things left!