Friday, November 22, 2013

'Twas the Week Before Thanksgiving

The halls lately have been filled with the sound of gobble-gobbles. Much of the conversation in the art room has turned from its usual television or music to where students will be traveling and what they will be eating. I cannot wait! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, not only because it is a chance I get to spend with family, but also because it is the week of my birthday!

Before we all get out for the break, I do have an update to share...

K4: Most students finished their Pete the Cat collages this week. When we return from Thanksgiving break, we will begin to explore oil pastels.

K5: This week, students completed their very first critique. I was proud how thoroughly students reflected on their artwork, especially at such a young age! Great job K5! With the completion of this project, we are now ready to start an artwork exploring the world of still life.

1st: After practicing for the last few weeks on self-portraits, students this week were ready to begin their final self-portraits. As I explained several weeks ago, students will be creating four portraits in all, each displaying a different emotion.

2nd: This week, the 2nd grade began working on their Rococo inspired still life paintings. After a short demonstration, students worked on creating their vase using tints and shades to make areas with highlights and shadows.

3rd: Most students finished the decoupage process this week. Students are now on to the detail phase of their project. It was extremely interesting to watch students create their details. Their ideas were marvelous, but this phase also presented quiet a challenge. Students had to draw their images much smaller than what they are accustomed to. Although the challenge was there, students exceed their own expectations! I am so excited about what they will do during their next art class!

4th: This week, students are creating the base of their project. After creating a symmetrical vase using card stock, students colored the entire surface using blue and white oil pastels.

 5th: After creating some fantastic sketches last week, students enlarged and finalized their drawing on 12x18" construction paper this week.

6th: Like the K5, the 6th grade, too, completed their critiques. I appreciate all of the wonderful answers that students shared with me. I really learned a lot by reading their responses!

Art Club: In addition to working on our photos, students also worked on their mixed media cities. Here are some samples of what we have created so far...

As you can probably imagine, I will not be posting next week due to Thanksgiving break. However, as soon as we return in December, I will be sure to update you on all the pre-Christmas happenings!

4th Hieroglyphics and 6th Greek Vases

Saturday, November 16, 2013

K5 Warm and Cool Dogs

Art Smells Like Carrots

I'll start out this week by discussing what the 3rd grade did, which will explain the title of this post...

The 3rd grade this week started the decoupage process. The students were very excited about it, especially using a paintbrush to apply pieces of their da Vinci biography to their horse. After I demonstrated how to decoupage, as well as discussing a few tips and tricks, I began passing out supplies. This was the first time that I have used Mod Podge with this class. As I poured a small amount of Mod Podge into each table's bowl, I began hearing sniffs. Then one student yelled, "it smells like carrots". After a few moments, another student (who had been clearly thinking about the situation) exclaimed, "Oh no! Our art will smell like carrots!" I assured them that the smell would go away, and they merrily worked the remainder of class on decoupaging.

Anyway, to the rest of the updates...

K4: The K4 continued to work on the Pete the Cat collages. This week, we colored our Pete the Cats and glued them to our collages.

K5: Students finished their Blue Dog artworks. We will be completing our critiques next week and will be starting new artworks soon!

1st: As the 1st grade students arrived in Art on Tuesday, I demonstrated how to draw a portrait. A couple of weeks ago, I asked students to draw a self-portrait. They were very simplistic with many of the students forgetting to add details like noses or ears. After I demonstrated how to draw a portrait with students, they recreated their self-portrait. The results were amazing! So much detail! I am so proud!!! Below, I have included a before and after picture for two of my students.

2nd: The 2nd grade was introduced to the art of the Rococo period. They learned that art of this period was ornate, often asymmetrical in design, full of creamy, pastel-colors, and often included elements of gold. The most common type of artwork of the time was portraits, however landscapes were also popular, often depicting the leisure activities of the aristocrats. For our artworks (which we will start next week), we will be creating still life paintings.

4th: The 4th grade was introduced to the world of ceramics and Ming dynasty vases. We will be creating our own Ming style vases in the next few weeks using oil pastels and tempera paint.

5th: After reviewing our rose window project with students, this week, they worked on a small sketch of the front of their church. Students referenced the fronts of actual churches, as well as designed some of their own elements. I cannot wait to see these on the larger paper!!!

6th: Most of the 6th grade students finished their Greek vases this week. As soon as everyone finishes, I will post their completed projects! They are looking great!

Art Club: Students are working on two different projects this month. The first is a photograph inspired by the works of Christopher Boffoli and Slinkachu. Both artists use model train characters to create interesting photographs of how their characters interact with common everyday objects (Boffoli = food and Slinkachu = elements of the city). Our second project is going to be a mixed media artwork inspired by the works of Red Grooms. His work is inspired by his life in the city. Ours will also reflect this. However, we will be using craft foam and oil pastels for our artworks. This week, students created sketches of their ideas. Hopefully, I will have a lot of images to share next week!

On a side note, those of you wanting to see our Romero Britto paintings....the wait is almost over. Everyone has finished their artwork and I will be hanging the last few on Tuesday. I will make sure to take my camera with me. Look for pics next week!!!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Week of Aha's and Tada's

Sorry my post is coming later than normal today. Mr. Chance and I attended the Korean Festival today to see one of our friends perform. I really enjoyed the event, especially some of the traditional dances that were performed.

So...without further adieu, onward to the updates!

K4: The K4 has been practicing using their cutting skills this week while creating a collage inspired by the book "Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes". If you haven't read the book...go get it! In the book, Pete starts out with white shoes and as the book progresses along he steps in numerous things to turn his shoes different colors. Using that as inspiration, I asked students this week to choose a color. After students had chosen their color, I asked them to look through magazines and try to find foods of their color choice. After their food was located in the magazine, students cut it out and glued it to what will be the "ground/grass" of their collage.

K5: K5 students finished coloring their dog inspired by George Rodrigue's Blue Dog. After all students had finished, we discussed the warm and cool colors. Students then colored their background opposite of what color family they had colored their dog (i.e. dog = warm colors, background = cool colors). I have a few students that missed class this week, but as soon as they finish their background, I will post pictures of all of our finished dogs!

1st: 1st graders this week were introduced to the works of Anthony van Dyck. We discussed portraits in length, in addition to discussing what would have to be drawn if students created a self portrait. I showed students my favorite van Dyck painting (as it happened to be our inspiration for this project), "Triple Portrait of King Charles I", 1635-36. We compared this portrait to photo booth images (especially the images that were still intact as a strip). Students for this project will be creating four self-portraits, each depicting a different emotion, which will be displayed in the style of a photo booth strip.

2nd: The 2nd grade completed their self-critiques. With the conclusion of our critiques, we are now ready for our second project! We will be studying the art of the Rococo period and will be creating still lives that are inspired by some of the techniques and styles of the period. More details coming next week!

3rd: The 3rd grade finished up their biographies of Leonardo da Vinci. As they finished, each student got a turn at tracing a horse template. A word on templates....I normally do not like students to use templates to copy an image. I had much rather them draw it on their own, not only for practice, but because I love to see all the different characteristics of each student's work. However, this time I did not want them worrying about drawing a horse "perfectly". This project is not really about drawing. Their challenge is the design that they will incorporate starting next week. So, students finished up tracing their horse and are ready for the fun stuff. We will be starting the decoupage process next week!

4th: Along with the 2nd grade, 4th grade too finished up their critiques. We will be starting Ming Vase mixed media artworks next week!

5th: The 5th grade was introduced to Rose Windows on Tuesday. We discussed not only how they are created, but also the different types, their purpose, and the symbolism often included in the windows. Hopefully next week, we will be taking a tiny field trip to look at some rose windows first hand!

6th: I am extremely happy to announce that our Greek Vases finally worked out! Students were so excited when they started etching their vase! It was a huge relief for both myself and students to not see peeling paint :)

Art Club: Our Britto paintings are on display! They look awesome!

I also decided to try something that I am incredibly excited about in Art Club. Since all of the artists that we are learning about this year are living, we will be writing letters to them after we finish our projects! Students are so excited thinking that Romero Britto might read their letters! I will be writing a letter, as well, explaining what I discussed with students and how we did our project. Hopefully he will write back to us :)

Lastly this week, I received an awesome surprise from some of my students! They created a huge wave for me using chalk pastels! Super Cool!!!

Finished Stained Glass

Love how these turned out! Great Job 2nd!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Are We Doing That Too?

My response to the question above...yes. Many of my Art classes this week did a lot of very similar things.

The biggest reason this question was asked was the excitement over creating our annual Christmas Card designs, especially since I decided to change it from a drawing to a collage. The 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 6th all came in for an extra Art class this week to create their artworks. I really like the design this year. Each class is represented by a different color which is depicted as a small weaving in the background.The subject matter shows the Christmas Story of the birth of Jesus. The 1st and 2nd grade cards will show a shepherd and a sheep, the 3rd and 4th is a wise man, and the 5th and 6th are Mary, Jesus, and Joseph. Students have done a fantastic job with this, especially considering they only had one hour to create their entire artwork. I have my examples to show you today and hopefully next week I will have pictures of the 6 artworks chosen for our cards to share.

I believe in having very set routines in my room. Students know what is expected and what to expect. I feel that creating this routine for students helps them to really feel comfortable in my room. Well, as per our routine, after we finish a project we always fill out an art reflection or art self-critique. Students knew that a critique was coming and asked several days in advance if "they were doing that too". This week the 1st and 5th worked on their critiques. The 2nd and 4th will be doing their critique next week. I have changed several things around with my critiques this year. I really want students to deeply reflect on the choices they made when creating their artwork, instead of just thinking about the things the like and dislike. After reading a few of them in the past several days, I believe this new and improved critique is really helping both students and myself reflect and then prepare for our next project.

As promised last week, the 3rd grade has really jumped into working on their Leonardo da Vinci inspired horses. When I decided that I wanted to do a da Vinci project with students, I was not happy with the thought of teaching about the Mona Lisa. I wanted to stay away from his paintings...all my students already know about those. I wanted to branch out and have them explore things that they did not know about him and his work. I shared with students that da Vinci had many different interests including mathematics, botany, music, writing, and engineering. I shared with them several different images of his notes and sketches. I also shared with them his large horse sculpture that was not actually created and completed until the 1990's (Leonardo had created a large horse sculpture from clay, but it was destroyed before it could be cast in bronze.) Students loved seeing all of his horse sketches and were surprised at how large the horse sculpture actually is (24 feet high).

For our project, students are choosing from one of three different templates of varying horse poses. After choosing a pose, students will be decoupaging hand written notes of da Vinci's biography. Lastly, they will be adding details that reflect one or two of da Vinci's interests. This week we started creating da Vinci's biography in order to prepare for the decoupage process next week.

The K4 and K5 continue to work on their own this week. The K4 practiced using scissors and cutting with the correct technique. The K5 chose one color to color the Blue Dog inspired drawing. Next week they will be coloring the background.

Next week holds some exciting things. First, the 1st and 5th will be starting new projects. Second, the 2nd and 4th will be finishing their artworks (look for pics!!!) Additionally, I will be hanging our Romero Britto inspired artworks up for display! Can't wait to see them all together!

Finished Cave Art

The 1st grade finished their first project this week! Cave Art! We did several different processes with this project including outlining, tea staining, spray/splatter painting, and crumbling our artworks. Congrats 1st grade on a fantastic job!