Saturday, September 28, 2013

Another Action Packed Week!

A word of warning to everyone...this post will be another long one full of pictures and updates. I can't help myself! The kids are so into their projects and I cannot help take pictures of their progress :)

This week was a crazy one as well. The students spent every morning testing, which scrambled my schedule. Most of the classes, who usually have art in the morning, came to see me in the afternoon. It was interesting to see some of the changes. Some students were more alert and ready to go, while others were completely worn out from recess and ready to take a nap. So anyway, to keep things easy I will be sharing with you updates in grade level order.

Starting off with the K4. We finished our first project this week! I am so impressed with this one, especially since these are the little bitty people. This is a very advanced class this year! After we finished the last few details of our projects, I introduced students to, what I am calling, squish art. I placed three dots of tempera paint (red, blue, and yellow) onto a piece of aluminum foil and then placed a piece of card stock on top. After students squished and rubbed the paper thoroughly, and before they lifted their paper up, I asked them if they believed the primary colors mixed together to create the secondary colors through this method. Most of them thought that since we mixed it differently, the outcome would also be different. Well, not only were they surprised by the awesome tie-dye like results, but they were also excited to see that the primary colors, indeed, had created the secondary colors by mixing. Here are some of their squish paintings.

The K5 also had adventures in secondary colors. This week we painted our secondary ice cream scoops. It makes me so happy to see their expressions when they are mixing colors!

The 1st grade this week began their final drawing for their "updated" cave paintings. Love their animals!

Speaking of impressed...I was super pleased with the results of the 2nd grade sketches. This week, I asked students to create 5 stained glass designs using primarily shapes and lines. They far outdid what I asked of them! They were in such a creative groove that I hated to ask them to clean up! Way to go 2nd!!!!

The 3rd grade also rocked out this week! After sketching our designs last week, this week students created their Romanesque inspired medallions. Students began by wrapping a plastic disk/foam disc with aluminum foil. Students then secured the aluminum foil with painters tape (we will be covering that next week with a felt disk...color of their choice). After the medallion body was created, students drew their design into the aluminum foil using a dull pencil and added color and details using Sharpies. Next week, students have the choice of turning their medallion into a necklace or mounting it onto a piece of mat board and creating a border using metallic colored pencils.

Sadly, due to their testing schedule, I was unable to see the 4th grade class this week. :(

The 5th grade practice their Sumi-e landscapes this week. Before they began practicing, I demonstrated how to create bamboo, mountains, trees, and clouds. At first, it took them a while to adjust to using only one color of tempera paint. After a little trail and error, however, I think they did a fabulous job! Most of these students have only experimented with value through colored pencils or crayons. So for their first time with paint...not too shabby!

This week kicked off one of several "preparation" weeks for the 6th grade. The create their black-figure inspired Greek vase, students began by cutting their vase out of card stock. Afterward, students created their base layer of color using red, yellow, and orange oil pastels. To the students horror, we will be covering the whole vase, top to bottom, next week using a thick layer of black acrylic paint. Not to worry though, the results will be awesome!

Last, but not least, the Art Club began adding color to the Romero Britto inspired paintings. We have quiet a bit of work ahead of us, but all this work will definitely be worth it!


As most of you know, I typically try to post on Saturdays. Well next Saturday is a little uncertain. I may have to post next week on Sunday. Mr. Chance and I are heading to Folly Beach for a very short vacation. Truth be told, its not really going to be a vacation, but more like a treasure search. We are both really into shell hunting, so that is the goal next least one awesome shell to bring home. I'll let you know how things went, as well as update you on things that happened in the art room :)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

What are you doing?

I asked that very question to one of my first grade students this week as he worked on sketching his animal for our first project. After asking him what he was doing, I expected an answer like, you know, "drawing" or "making a horse". Nope...he replied "Disco" and began to dance right there in his seat. So random...made me smile.

For most classes this week, they were introduced to their first projects. I typically introduce projects by showing a PowerPoint of at least 10-15 images. I like bringing in a wide variety of things to show them, especially since we are studying art history this year. I want students to get a wide perspective on the topics we are studying. It is not uncommon for me to also show students videos or to bring in objects to pass around to examine individually. All classes, 1st-6th, are starting projects that focus on art styles/periods during or before the Middle Ages.

WARNING: This post will be long and full of information and pictures. :)

The 1st grade is starting off with a project about cave painting. I introduced students to a variety of cave paintings located throughout the world. I mainly shared images with them this week, however next week, I will be reading several short picture books to them as a reminder of what we talked about this week. After the introduction, students created sketches of the animals they will be drawing on their cave painting artwork.

The 2nd grade started stained glass windows. We focused mainly on the windows of the Middle Ages, but I could not resist showing them how stained glass windows have evolved from being seen solely on churches throughout the world, to being in households and businesses today. They thought the modern examples were great, especially those that show characters from cartoons. Sadly, they were unable to start working on the sketches this week, although I did hear them discussing some really awesome possibilities!

The 3rd grade started Romanesque jewelry. I don't think jewelry is covered enough in elementary art classes. The entire time I was in school, I don't remember doing a jewelry project. It was something you didn't do because the "boys might not like it". I'll admit, when I said we were doing jewelry for our first project all of the boys let out this sigh. There face said, "Really Mrs. Chance?" However, I was extremely happy to see that by the end of my presentation, the boys were totally into it. They loved the examples I showed them, especially the portraits. I asked students to try to sketch 5 designs for the medallion we will be creating and they had no problem doing that. In fact, most of the boys exceeded my suggestion.

The 4th grade started Egyptian hieroglyphics. It is funny how things work out. Little did I know, the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade went on a field trip the day after I introduced hieroglyphics to the 4th grade. They went and saw the King Tut exhibit at the State Museum. This week, students practiced writing their name using the hieroglyph handout I gave them. We will be creating these hieroglyphs next week in a cartouche that will be surrounded by ancient Egyptian symbols.

The 5th grade started Sumi-e landscapes. Sumi-e artworks are ink wash based paintings from Japan. I briefly introduced this type of artwork with students, however, for our first day we mainly focused on defining and identifying landscapes, as well as discussing composition.

The 6th grade started Greek Vases, in particular black-figure pottery. I am hoping that I will be able to take students to our local art museum to see a few of their Greek vases. It is one thing to see these objects on a screen and another to see them in real life. I explained to students that these vases primarily depicted images of Greek mythology and daily Greek life. For our projects, I assigned students to create a vase that depicts something that is personally important to them.

 Sadly, I did not get any pictures of the K4 this week. We created paintings that show the results of mixing the primary colors together. We will be finishing this project on Wednesday, so I will try to post pictures then.

The K5 students also worked with primary colors this week. Using red, blue, and yellow watercolor paints, students painted three of their ice cream scoops.

Last but not least, Art Club continued to work on their Romero Britto inspired artworks. This week, they finished laying down the tape that will create their thick black lines, and drew one pattern into the different sections that were created by placing the tape on the canvas.

Wow! We did a ton this week! I'll have even more to share with you next week, including the first finished project of the year!!!! Hooray!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

What a Week!!!

Before I share what students did this week, I have to share with you what I have been working on for the art room. I have one small window in my art room and it doesn't have much of a view. In the spring and summer, the view is of a lot of leaves from the tree outside, and in fall and winter, we can see just the side of the library across the street. A couple of years ago, I decided to make the space a little more cheerful with some bright and colorful bugs that I created on transparencies. Well needless to say, I got a little tired of the bugs and felt like the window could use a makeover. So, since we are studying art history this year, I decided to create a stained glass window. The pattern is apparently based on one from the art deco period, although I decided to use a little more is in an art room after all :)

The window was a big hit with students. They loved all the color and felt it was much better to look at instead of the dull view we usually see.

This week, the 1st-6th continued to review the Elements of Art. We finished our review this week with texture, value, and space. Since there were only three elements to discuss, students had plenty of time to work on the Chihuly collaborative project I shared with you a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully we will have that all finished and up for display in a couple of weeks.

Last week, the K4 and K5 started their first project by doing a little sketching. This week we began drawing elements for our actual artworks. As I said last week, the K4 is creating a project based on the book "Mouse Paint", so naturally the K4 drew and colored a mouse that will playing in some paint next week.

This week, the K5 created large scoops of ice cream that they will be painting next week using the primary and secondary colors.

Additionally, this week marked the beginning of Art Club!!! For our projects this year, we will be studying artists that are working presently and to kick off the year, we are beginning with Romero Britto. I love his art! It is so happy...full of pattern and color! The students are making individual paintings but they will be created in such a way that it will form one giant mural (hopefully). I started by showing students my example.

Students this week did what I called step 1 and 2...drawing three shapes (geometric or organic) and creating their wide lines using strips of painters tape.

Needless to say, it was an awesome week in the art room! On a side note, I got to do something wonderful last's a little back story first. Sometime last spring, I watched a documentary on PBS called "Beauty is Embarrassing" about the artist Wayne White. I was instantly hooked on it because he was one of the main creators of the set and puppets on the show "Peewee's Playhouse" and the animator and set designer on "Beakman's World", both of which I watched quite often growing up. I found it extremely interesting and funny and I love how he wanted to bring that sense of fun and humor into the art world. Well a couple of weeks ago, I saw an ad in the paper saying that he was going to be speaking at our local museum! Let's just say I wasted absolutely no time ordering my ticket. So, last night I got to see the documentary again (as great as the first time) and Wayne White presented after the movie was over. Not only was it awesome seeing him in person, but he also shared with us some of his current projects, like his large horse puppets that are being shown in Houston, TX right now. He also showed us some of his great word paintings in which he paints a funny, humorous, and often thoughtful phrase onto an old painting that he purchases from a thrift store. My favorite was "The Most Expensive Painting in the World".

Now, for those parents that are thinking about sharing his works or documentary with your kids...he has a lot of examples that would be totally fine to show younger kids. However, he also has several examples out there that are not that appropriate for the younger ones. Make sure that you do your research first :) All in all, it was a fantastic experience and I was so happy that I had the opportunity!!!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Old and the New

As promised now for the last couple of weeks, this post will be an explanation of the upcoming year.

Starting off with the 1st-6th grades. Students this week have been reviewing the Elements of Art. As most of you know, the Elements of Art are the building blocks of art. In other words, artists use the elements, mixing them together to compose a work of art. Knowing the elements of art helps us to not only compose a great work of art, but it also helps us to describe and analyze the work of others. Students will need to understand this information in order to fully participate in the projects we create this year because we will exploring Art History ABC's!!!

Each grade level will be creating a project, each based on four letters of the alphabet. Each of the four letters will represent a period or style from throughout time, including ancient art, art of the middle ages/renaissance, art of the 1500-1800’s and modern art. During our Art Show (typically held at the beginning of May), all work created by students will be displayed together to create the entire alphabet!

This week the 1st through 6th grades reviewed color, line, shape, and form. Next week, students will be reviewing texture, value, and space. In a couple of weeks, we will beginning our first projects. Each grade will start off by exploring ancient art!

The K4 and K5 will be exploring the Elements of Art all year. For our first project, we are exploring color, in particular primary and secondary colors.

The K4 read the book "Mouse Paint" by Ellen Stoll Walsh. After reading the book, we conducted a "color experiment" to see how the primary colors mixed to create the secondary colors. K4 students also practiced sketching mice.

The K5 students also read the book "Mouse Paint". After we read the book, which was a review for many of the students, we sketched ice cream cones. For their first project, students will be drawing and painting scoops of ice cream, using the primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) first, then mixing them to create the secondary color scoops (purple, green, and orange). After we paint all 6 scoops, students will stack their ice cream to create a giant ice cream cone. Here are some pictures of their sketches...

Next week marks the beginning of Art Club!!! This year, we will be studying contemporary artists...artist that are all working today. Art Club Littles will be on Thursdays this year and Art Club Bigs will be on Fridays. For our first project, we will be creating a large-scale painting based on the works of Romero Britto! Lots of pictures to come!