Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Week 4: Fall Leaves

Since I haven't done anything seasonal yet, I decided to do something related to Autumn. (If you say "FALL" in Mrs. Dillon's room, all the kids fall to the floor;-) I had the kids cut out colored paper leaves that they perforated with pushpins to give them texture and to let light through when hung in a window. I hung them with rustic looking twine. I got this idea from Family Fun magazine.

I drew three different shaped leaves and photocopied them for each child. They then cut these out and used them as templates for the colored paper. Then with pushpins they made vein lines. Hung in a window they look nice.

Some of the kids even used the white templates and colored those with crayons. The older kids were very quiet and intent on their jobs during this project!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Week 3: Van Gogh sunflowers

A common theme among art projects is Van Gogh's series of paintings of sunflowers. Being the end of summer, and contining the "basics" theme for September,  I had the kids "paint" a still life of sunflowers.  Instead of paint (which honestly is hard to do with 19 kids and 30 minutes and little prep/cleanup space) I had them use oil pastel. It was also school picture day, so I wanted to do something that was a tad bit less messy for all these beautifully dressed kids. If I had honestly remembered the school pictures when I made the schedule weeks ago, I might have chosen a completely mess-free project. But the kids did good, and I hope the parents did not scream when they saw them!

I tried to emphasize cool vs. warm colors, as well as getting the kids to use their eyes and draw what they saw, not what they think a vase of sunflowers look like. As in Van Gogh's painting, I had three different looking sunflowers in the vase. One had a dark center, one was all fluffy and the other was tight and all yellow.

The kids, for the most part, did a good job of actually looking at the flowers, and many did a great job of interpreting the vase and an imaginary background!

Here are some of the 3rd-4th graders work:

Here are some of the the Kindergarten-2nd graders. What was enlightening about this young group was the difference between a 5 year-old and a 7 year-old. The young ones really don't get the concept of a still life and drawing from life: they just draw pink flowers and some squiggly lines. The second graders really look and count the flowers and use the "right" colors.  All that progression in just 2 years!


First graders:

Second graders:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Week 2: Primary color & pattern names

The first week was a representational self portrait. Week two was an abstract. My variation was to have the child write their name in black marker in a stylized fashion on the paper in big or small letters.

Then I had them add other black lines to form patterns and cells for coloring. I told them about the three primary colors and told them to fill the page with these three colors and pattern. I was amazed with the type of pattersn that they came up with. One child gripped all three colored pencils in one hand and scribled which added a very nice texture. Several took a long time making each pattern and cell very intricate, while others just went for it. Many did not finish in the 30 minutes that we have, but will finish over the week.

The fun thing was that the kids work ended up unintentionally looking like the work of Spanish painter Juan Miro. Here are some of his paintings:

Here is the work of a first grader!

Here is the work of a third grader!

Coming next week: Van Gogh Sunflower still life with an emphasis on warm and cool colors.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Week 1: Self Portraits in cut paper

I wanted to start the year off with some basics, and a self portrait is a great tool to gauge a child's art skills and interest. Plus you can compare with older and future images.  This was a pretty simple project. I just had them pick out paper, cut, rip and glue. Some drawing at the end.  I was really amazed at the ability to capture likeness in many of these.  They also did things I had not told them to do, like make their portrait in profile or use odd colors for skin etc.  A lot of them tore the paper for the hair which turned out great. Another interesting thing was that the younger kids seemed faster and much more uninhibited than the older kids who were more perfectionists.

K-2 portraits:

3rd and 4th grade portraits: