Thursday, January 29, 2015

Oil Pastel Jungle Animals

I LOVE this project!  It's definitely a staple in my room now for 5th graders to do this project.  Their classroom teachers love it (because they draw the animal they research for class) and the students love it because they tend to be so successful with the oil pastels!  I even had one of the teachers ask me if she could have a box or two of oil pastels for the students to draw with in their spare time in their classroom! :)

We did this project last year, and it didn't really change at all.  I printed off a picture of each student's animal for them to use as a resource to draw from.  I demonstrated how to blend oil pastels together and how to create different textures, such as rock, leaf, water, and fur.  We also talk about using complementary colors to create value, not just black and white.

Here are some of this year's results!  LOVE LOVE LOVE!

There were so many students who normally turn in rushed, sloppy artwork that did amazing!  I have to admit, I'm one of those bloggers who tends to only upload and share the good work...and this time around, there are student's artwork posted that often never get considered!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Studio Art: Painting Unit, Watercolor

For our first project in our painting unit, I wanted to start out with something simple and fun, so we created abstract expressionism watercolor paintings.  The students had a blast with these paintings, and I think it shows!

We started off by using Kandinsky as our bell ringer artist to talk about abstract expressionism and emotion in an artwork.

Then, we took two days in our sketchbooks to learn 12 different watercolor techniques.  Students masked off 12 squares in the textbook and I walked them through the techniques one at a time.  Students then carefully peeled off their masking tape and labeled each square with the technique, writing a brief description as to how to do the technique as well.

The techniques we covered were:
Wet on wet wash
Wet on dry way
Graded wash
Lifting Off
Rubbing Alcohol
Tissue paper
Color/Water Dropping
Plastic wrap
Wax resist
Dry Brush

Here are some of their finished products.  The requirements of the project were that students had to use color, line and shape to create an emotion or feeling.  They had to use at least five of the different watercolor techniques in their paintings, and they could not paint something representational. Students painted three different paintings and then choose the one they felt showed the most emotion to mat and hand in.

These two are mine.

Studio Art: Candy Bar Triptych

Whew!  I'm finally starting to get things caught up on Artsonia, in my grade book, and on my blog!  It's been a New Year's resolution to keep on top of my grading this year, and so far so good!  These triptych drawings were the last thing students finished up right before our Christmas break.  It was also the final project in the drawing unit.

For this project, students had to bring in a candy bar (or similar type of food item) from home.  At this point, we had practiced with different drawing media in our sketchbooks, so students were allowed to draw with any medium they wanted.  The only stipulation was that one drawing had to be full (true) color, one had to be black and white, and the last could be done however they wanted.

On a side note, while we did these drawings, I used pop artist Wayne Thiebaud as their bell ringer artist in their sketchbooks, since the subject matter students were using was similar to his.

Most students stuck with drawing pencil, ebony pencil and colored pencil, but a few ventured into oil pastels as well.  We haven't actually framed these with mat board yet (I cheated and just photographed them on top of the mat board), but right before the art show, we are going to have a big mating day to frame artwork for the art show.  Students have mated two projects themselves so far, so they should be pros by the end of the year!

Monday, January 12, 2015

1st Grade: Winter Landscapes with Depth

My 1st graders finished up these awesome winter landscapes right before we left for the winter break.  I really like introducing the concept of depth to 1st grade because I think they can actually understand it and work with it in simpler forms.  In the past, I've done pumpkin landscapes with depth and a Northern Lights landscape, so I decided to combine the two for this year's depth landscape!

This project took two days and about 10 minutes in a third class to complete.  On the first day, I showed students a video about how the Northern Lights are created (of which this fits really well into their Common Core Listening & Learning strand about Astronomy!).  We then got down to work drawing our landscape out.

Students used black oil pastel on black paper.  I first asked them to draw a big snowman, just the body, towards the bottom edge of their paper, and then a horizon line behind it.  I posed the question, "If you wanted to draw a snowman in the background, how would you do it?"  Most of them understood that it had to be drawn smaller, but I showed them how to draw it smaller and farther up on their paper.  Again, I had them draw a horizon line behind that snowman.  Then, I asked, "What if you wanted to draw a snowman in between those two snowmen? In the middle-ground?" It was like a light-bulk turned on above their heads! 

We added the mountains next, and then used three colors to create the Northern lights in the sky.  This all happened on day 1.

On day 2, we talked about how we were going to color all the snow.  If snowmen are white, and the snow on the ground is white, I explained that they would have to do something a little different to the snow so they wouldn't blend together.  Luckily, there was snow on the ground outside the windows so we could look at how the shadows from the building look blue in the snow!

After the snow was colored, the mountains and the details on the snowmen were the last things left!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

3rd Grade: Wayne Thiebaud Cake Drawings

Hopefully I'm going to be playing catch-up these next few days!  I've got SO MANY projects to share from before the winter break, it's not even funny!  Things have been insanely hectic with the holidays, conferences, and committees at school.  I also recently became a consultant for Jamberry in order to help pay medical bills from last year.  My blog has unfortunately taken a back seat to all of these things, but it's my goal to make sure that stops happening!

This next project I'm going to share is probably one you've seen on Pinterest.  My students in 3rd grade LOVED making these oil pastel Wayne Thiebaud cakes!  (Did you know his last name is pronounced "tee-bow"?  Like the football player?  I didn't until I presented this project!).  This is the first time I've used this artist as a reference in my classes, and the students just loved it.  I find that they always love oil pastels anyways, because it's so easy for them to be successful with color blending and value, but the added fact that they were designing cakes like the Cake Boss just made it even cooler!
I am in LOVE with this one!  There is a local, elementary art show coming up and I wasn't sure if I'd have four pieces to send to it, but I do believe that this one may be going! :)

This project even correlates with Common Core math, as students were turning basic shapes into 3-D forms.  We used vocabulary such as cylinders and cubes to describe the shapes of our cake tiers.  Students practiced drawing their cakes on a worksheet for the first day.  Then, they drew them on 12"x18" black paper the second day, and I demonstrated how to blend the colors together on the cake tiers, adding in a little black for shadows.  On the third day, students finished their tiers and colored the background, finishing them up!

Art 7: Elements of Art Project

After finishing up our graffiti unit, the next unit of focus in my Art 7 classes was the elements of art.  I created a note packet with snipets of worksheets and information that I "borrowed" from Pinterest.  Each page in the note packet concentrated on a single element and had some sort of drawing exercise, as well as vocabulary and definitions.

These pages took us about two class periods to complete.  Then, we were on to the first project.  The requirements were that students had to write the word(s) Elements (of Art) in the middle of their page using an interesting lettering style (pulling in from the graffiti unit).  Next, they had to split the page into seven sections, drawing lines through their letters.  This was tough for some students!  Lastly, they had to illustrate each section to represent one of the elements.  They were not allowed to write which element they illustrated...if I couldn't tell by looking at their drawing, then they had to go back and review that element.

In general, I thought this project turned out OK.  This group of 7th graders is struggling across the board in all area of academics, and it's starting to show in their art as well.  They were not very creative when it came to their designs.  Almost everyone did a brick wall for texture...not very thought out!  There was a lot of copying going on, and very few followed the directions or paid attention to the rubric very well.  In some cases, I asked for 5+ examples of an element in their picture, and they only gave 1 or 2.  I actually think that I might replace the infographic project for my Studio Art students next year with this project.

The final project in the elements of art unit is a hard-edge tempera painting.  Students are in the process of finishing these up after our winter break (and delays for -degree temperatures!).