Tuesday, June 11, 2013

4th Grade Pointillism Still Life Paintings

As you may or may not remember, my local assessment for APPR is happening within the 4th grade classroom.  At the beginning of the year, I set up a white still life and asked the kids to draw it as best they could, adding value where they saw it.  I gave very little instruction to get a baseline on what they already knew how to do.  We did talk a little bit about composition and what value was, as well as went over the rubric before they started.

Throughout the year, we did various art projects that dealt with value and drawing from real life in order to gear up and get ready for the post-assessment portion (nothing like teaching to the test, huh?).  Check out my 4th Grade Art Lessons page to check out these projects from the year.

I wanted to do a pointillism unit with the students because this particular group really liked the dot painting project we did last year, so I decided to do a pointillism still life painting with 3 bottles. I love the pointillism technique (and I think the kids do too) because it's very forgiving and very easy to blend color with the paint this way! The purpose of this project was to:
        1.  Teach students how to draw realistic bottles using ellipses.
        2.  Blend and create value using paint.
        3.  Review shadows and high lights in an artwork.

The students really enjoyed this project.  Normally I would have the students use q-tips for a pointillism project, but I knew it would take forever so we simply used paint brushes and acrylic paint (primary colors, black and white).  Students had to have at least one bottle that was a secondary color in their still life.

I did not set up a still life for this, but the students did draw their still life bottles from real bottles.  They had to have two real bottles in the painting and then they could opt to make up a bottle for the third one if they wanted.

Currently, the 4th graders are spending their last art classes doing their final still life artworks.  Since so many of the liked painting, I gave them the option of painting their still life or shading with drawing pencil, whichever they felt they were better at.  I can't wait to share and compare their results from the beginning to end of the year!  They're turning out great!  (Check out some of the post-assessment still life drawings here!)

I did want to share, also, that this particular project is a big revamp on a version I did my first year of teaching.  It was the FIRST project I did that year with 4th grade, and as I look back at it now, I'm SO HAPPY with the changes I've made!  I'm really finding it interesting to look back at my old Artsonia galleries from that first year because I can see my growth in how I approach teaching various subjects to the students!

The first year, I had students trace two vases, overlapping, on a piece of tag board.  We talked about how warm colors come forward and cool colors recede (which I did not talk about in this years project...I just told students that their ground had to be black and the sky/wall had to be blue).  You can totally see how drawing from a real life still life benefited the students this year!  Their artwork looks much more mature and advanced compared to the first year!

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