Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Week 7: Henri Matisse collage


In my continuing efforts to introduce famous artists every so slightly into the curriculum, I talked to the kids about French artist Henri Matisse. He is a very famous painter, but at the end of his life, in the 1940s, became well known for his collage cutouts that he said were "painting with a brush."

I have done a bunch of drawing projects and emphasized line this fall, but this project had the goal of emphasizing several other things:
1. Abstract, graphic art
2. Color, with an emphasis on bright primary and secondary colors
3. Shape, with an emphasis on variety
4. Heirarchy, from large bold shapes to inticate small shapes
5. Layering of imagery to create dynamic compositions

To accomplish this, the kids were to pick two pieces of paper (one primary and one secondary on the color wheel) One of these was the background, the other was to be the large background shapes (Matisse often had background blocks of color). I tried to emphasize to the kids to make the large shapes alrge and bold and not too intricate. After they had done these two colors, they could choose two more colors from the scrap bin to use as medium and small shapes (Matisse had many smaller intricate shapes). I wanted the students to experiment with different shapes and not try to be literal.

Week 6: Halloween Black Cats

To celebrate Halloween without the pumpkins, ghosts and skeletons, I came across the idea to draw a black cat with bright glowing eyes. The kids had really enjoyed doing a directed drawing last year for the the Year of the Tiger, and this became a similar project.

I had them use black paper, white crayons and bright oil pastel. I wanted them to just color the eyes and amybe the background but leave the cat face black paper.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Week 5: Fall leaves watercolor

We've been doing a lot of drawing and line work this Fall, but I wanted to add in some painting-this time watercolor.

For this assignment, I had the kids view various leaf shapes and try to understand their symetry and layout. Then we drew a leaf shape (it could be very realistic or more whymsical) on a piece of white watercolor paper with a light crayon. The idea of wax resist was also part of this lesson.

Next they use watercolor in various ways to get color. Blotches, stripes, wet-on-wet, and spatter were all used.

The kids did seem to really get ino the painting part!

Week 4: Stained glass names

For the younger kids who don't write in cursive yet, I did not do the cursive insect names, but instead did some straight-line stuff. I had the first and second graders use rulers and pencil to make several boxes ona piece of paper that corresponded to the number of letters in their names. We have a short-named group, so that is nice:-)

In each box I instructed them to draw uppercase letters and use straight, bold lines in black marker. I wanted the end result to be a box with multiple "windows: with positive and negative shapes. The use of line, and positive/negative shapes is a big focus of these frist two months.

In each "cell" created I told the kids to color one color and the final result is very graphic!