Saturday, March 21, 2015

E3/4/5: Artist Studio Dioramas

My older elementary students are constructing miniature studios for specific artists. Can you guess the artist above?

Can you see the resemblance to Keith Haring's studio? This was made by a third grader! 

A fifth grader's interpretation of Georgia O'Keeffe's peaceful and minimalist studio below.

A work-in-progress of Van Gogh's bedroom based on his painting.

Monday, March 16, 2015

E3- Vases in Charcoal

The students in my drawing class are learning about value and shadows. I set up a super simple still life of a white vase with a lamp shining on it so students could see the range of values. I also showed them how to use the eraser to bring out the highlights. Lots of black fingers and charcoal-smeared cheeks later, they had lovely still life drawings.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

E3/4/5: Printmaking

So, I took a big risk and had my students begin this lesson by using actual linoleum cutters and cut actual linoleum. I shouldn't have taken that risk (shaking head). The linoleum I had ordered ended up being too hard and not as soft as I had expected.  The students were so excited though and had done several preliminary sketches so I let them try it out. Of course I demonstrated how to carve correctly so they wouldn't cut their other hand, but not surprisingly, within two minutes of starting I heard "Ow!" followed by another "Ow!".  We immediately switched to styrofoam sheets and, although it wasn't as satisfying a process as carving linoleum, it was still really cool to see the end result. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

E2 Channels Calder





Second graders sculpted animals out of wire after looking at Alexander Calder's work and process. We also looked at Picasso's "One Liners", which are a collection of his continuous contour drawings, because it helped students make the connection between drawing with a pencil and drawing with wire.  After they were comfortable drawing an animal in one continuous line, they took a piece of wire and basically traced around their drawing, using tape to hold it in place. When they ran out of wire, I demonstrated how to twist two pieces of wire together in a neat, tight coil instead of a messy braid-like twist. The trick is to make a "+" sign with the two wires and wrap vertically, as opposed to making an "x".

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Second Grade's Starry Night


Second graders painted a master study of Van Gogh's Starry Night. We first analyzed his thick use of paint and expressive brushstrokes that seem to swirl and dance around the picture. They looked carefully at his painting and tried to replicate his vibrant blues and yellows and greens.  We listened to Don McLean's Starry Starry Night while painting and Josh Groban's rendition. I'm such a sap! Above is my Van Gogh bulletin board along with first grade's Sunflowers that you can see here.  What a beautiful mind Van Gogh had to paint this scene, and to think he considered it a failure! 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Third/Fourth/Fifth grade: Doodle Paintings

I've been a long time admirer of Courtney Autumn Martin's dreamy Doodle Paintings ever since I saw her drawing them during class. I thought this would be a perfect lesson for my students on encouraging them to let go of their control and "see where your pen takes you" as one of my students commented. They first painted their paper with liquid watercolor and once dried, started with a circle and went from there. This lesson was not guided and the only suggestion I made to students was to create contrast with the circles so they would pop. I love how unique each doodle is and the element of surprise from beginning to finish.  Check out Courtney Martin's Doodle Paintings here  and also check out her children's book illustrations!

First Grade: Sunflowers Inspired by Van Gogh

First graders learned about Post Impressionist Vincent van Gogh and drew sunflowers inspired by his painting, making sure to layer their oil pastels to get a thick, rich color that characterizes van Gogh's work. I set up vases with sunflowers at each table so students could have a real reference.