Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How to draw

This week we are going to focus on drawing lessons.

On Tuesday, each student will be asked to draw an object for me without having any instruction first. This sketch will be placed in the portfolio.

On Wednesday we will have drawing lessons that focus on the skill of blocking in basic shapes first before adding detail.

On Thursday we will learn about getting the right sizes in the right places during blocking in and focusing in order to notice all of the details. (The first two classes will miss today because of an assembly)

On Friday each student will again draw an object. We will pull out the first drawing and compare it to the second drawing and discuss the difference. (Several classes will miss today because of Halloween celebrations)

What you can do at home:

Please encourage your student to draw commonly found objects around the house. A pot or pan, a fork, the light switch, the TV... anything that would make a simple composition (a chandelier or a tree would not be a good choice for simple!)

Remind him/her to look for the simple shape(s) made by the object. Squint your eyes to try to see it. Put the simple shape(s) on the paper first. After the simple shapes are there, slowly build up layers of details. When you think you are done, compare your drawing to the original object. Did you leave anything out? Often children miss details. We want to train them to look for and draw the details.

The biggest challenge is drawing WHAT YOU SEE instead of what you think it should look like. A good example of this is a pair of glasses. Most kids draw something like this...

When really, what they see is this...

That sort of focus only comes with time and practice.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Portfolios and name tags

Today we are creating portfolios to keep our work in. A portfolio is a folder to keep work in over time. An artist's portfolio shows progress over time, can be used when you are older as an audition piece for college, or as a resume of work done as a professional. In our art class, we only need a portfolio to keep our work safe in the classroom.

We will also be making name tags to keep in our portfolios. The name tags help me remember and/or learn your names in the first week of class. After that, they can stay in your portfolios until there is a substitute teacher in the art room. If you come in and see a sub, you should pull out your name tag and set it up to make life easier for the substitute teacher!

Getting to know Mrs. Watson

This post is for all the new students, parents, and anyone else who just doesn't know me very well, yet!

My name is Katharina Watson, but friends call me Kate (students call me Mrs. Watson). I am married to the most wonderful man in the world and we have 3 children.

Our oldest son, Matt, is serving in the Marines and is stationed in San Diego. He is supposed to be heading to Afghanistan in February. However, he is currently applying for security clearance to work at an American Embassy somewhere around the world. What adventures!

Our daughter, Helena, is a sophomore in high school and is looking forward to getting her driver's license in a few months. She loves ballet and photography and plays the violin in the school orchestra. She joined Math Club and enjoys spending lots of time with her friends. She spent some time last summer in Europe performing ballet! Next Spring, she will be traveling with the school orchestra to perform.

Our youngest, Will, is in 8th grade this year. He plays lacrosse, is in Symphonic Band (playing the Euphonium), and wants to take up bow hunting. He spent last summer in Washington State learning to sail!

We have 4 pets. Two mini dachshunds, Bella and Demi, and two cats, Tigger and Pepper.

I love being a mom and a teacher! I love to read, draw, design floor plans, and paint. I enjoy tinkering at my house, painting walls and trim. Oh, and I am an artist. I am a realist (meaning that I focus on making my artwork look as realistic as possible), I prefer to do portraits, and my favorite medium is pastels.

My favorite colors are found in nature...

ocean blues,

deep forest greens,

red rock and

sunset hues!

My favorite foods are usually smothered in cheese unless it is a dessert, then I prefer chocolate!

I am older than my kids but younger than my parents and that is all you will get out of me about my age.

That covers the questions that students ask the most.

I love teaching art and truly enjoy spending my time with all the sweet, funny, cute, and wonderful children of Harvest Elementary! I wouldn't be anywhere else!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Welcome to a new term!

Welcome to the art room for Term 2! I am looking forward to working with 1st and 2nd grade this term.

This is the 'Holiday Term' because it encompasses all of the Fall/Winter holidays within it. It makes this term feel longer than the others because of all the breaks in it, but it is really the same number of days in school as the other terms.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The End of the Term

I want to thank all of the students who attended art for the first term of this year! I really enjoyed our time together and I think you learned many wonderful new things!

As your portfolios go home, remember to show them to your parents, explain what you did and what you learned, and above all... KEEP YOUR PORTFOLIO SAFE!!!

In the spring, we will have a school wide art show. This will be a gallery experience, not a competition. That means we will admire the artwork like it is a museum, but we will not vote on favorites or award prizes. There will be an evening party and concert for the school choir and orchestra at that time, as well.

Every student will be expected to participate in the art show and your core teacher will be helping you. The easiest way to participate is to bring an artwork you created in art class! So put that portfolio in a safe place until May!

Thanks again for all the fun times! Feel free to keep watching the blog to see what other grade levels are learning in art and have a wonderful time in computers!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

2nd grade - Halloween Collage

We discussed what Halloween means to each of the students. We didn't go into the history of Halloween, because the current usage of the name bears practically no resemblance to its origins. Besides, the curriculum states that students should create artwork that relates to their own holiday observances.

So. What we did discuss was the fact that there are millions of children all over the world who have never celebrated Halloween and really don't know what it is about. The assignment was to create a cut paper collage showing what Halloween means to you so you can show it to a child that doesn't speak your language.
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1st grade - leaf texture rubbings

On Tuesday morning, I picked a bag full of leaves from the old growth trees in my back yard and brought them for the first grade students to enjoy. There is something very fulfilling in the tactile experience of fall leaves. We talked about the use of the word 'Fall' in place of the word 'Autumn'. Mrs. Penrod's class was tickled when I told them to "leave the leaves on the table" for the next class.
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Parent/Teacher Conferences!

I am excited to welcome parents to the art room for conferences this week!

I will be in my classroom from 4:00 to 6:45 p.m. both tonight and tomorrow night. Please feel free to drop in at any time that I am here, no appointments are necessary. If your student's p/t conference isn't until later in the evening, you are still welcome to come a little early and visit with me, then visit the book fair before going to your child's core teacher.

While you are here, make sure to enter your son/daughter in the prize drawing! Three winners will be randomly selected to receive a prize. The prizes are (in no particular order);

  1. Crayola Color Explosion variety pack
  2. Box of 120 Crayola crayons + a sketch pad
  3. Package of 50 Crayola washable markers + a sketch pad

Here are the eligibility requirements for the contest:

  1. Only students who are in art this term are eligible to be entered.
  2. Only one entry per student.
  3. Parents need to write their student's first and last name (and the core teacher's name) on a slip of paper and drop it into the bowl in my classroom during parent/teacher conferences.
  4. Winners will be selected on Monday.
  5. There is no guarantee of winning.
I hope to see lots of you and good luck in the drawing!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

1st grade - Mondrian paintings

The first grade classes learned a little about the painter, Piet Mondrian. They learned that he lived during both WWI and WWII. During WWII, he lived in Paris, but decided to move to London to escape from the battle. Then, when London was no longer safe, he moved to New York, where he lived for the rest of his life.

His paintings are fun because they are easy for first grade students to understand. Lines and primary colors! This group of paintings was done by Mrs. Cowley's class. They placed masking tape onto black paper, then painted with tempera paint. Once the paint was dry, they removed the masking tape to reveal black lines! Very fun!
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Here are a few examples of Mondrian style paintings from Mrs. Penrod's and Mrs. Richins' classes. In these classes, we used a white paper as the background. Then the students used a pencil and ruler to plan out the lines, tempera paint for the primary colors only, then black crayons and markers to darken the pencil lines. The effect is slightly different, but the end result is still beautiful!
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2nd grade - Pastel Landscapes

THESE ARE SO BEAUTIFUL! I am so proud of my second grade classes for the hard work they put into these gorgeous landscapes! The originals are currently hanging in the hallway outside my classroom and I hope you all get a chance to see them during parent/teacher conferences tomorrow and Friday. They are pastel (chalk) paintings on the 12 x 18 sized black paper, which makes it difficult to store them in the class portfolios, so they may have to either stay on display or come home a little early. We only have 11 more days of the term, so I think I will leave them on display until the end.

Can you see Arches National Monument? The 'Y' mountain? The Golden Gate Bridge? How about the surfer in the ocean? The waterfall?
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