Friday, January 29, 2010

Kindergarten - Week 3

This week I allowed the kindergarten students to paint freely with the watercolor paints. The lesson for the week was 'How to take care of paints'. This might seem like an overly simple lesson, especially if you are one of those blessed parents who allow your children access to art supplies at home.

However, there is a growing number of households who simply do not allow little children to get a hold of any markers or paint for fear of the mess that would be created. I have MANY kindergarten (and even older) students who have never touched a paintbrush before and don't know how to go about using it. It makes me sad to recall the little boy who asked me "What do I do with it?" when I handed him a paintbrush. Or the girl who wanted to know how to get the paint from the tray to the paper.

Because it is a first experience for so many, the only lesson was how to get the color onto the paper, and how to keep the colors in the trays from getting all 'yucky'. I encouraged them to use their imaginations to create the painting. I gave no suggestions, because I would end up with a classroom full of whatever I had said. Please note some of my favorite examples of kindergarten painting. There is a sunset, a soccer game, a pet(?), a tribute to the US Air Force, and a rainbow crowned campfire among others.
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3rd grade - composition

Our next 3rd grade project deals with a Principle of Art; COMPOSITION. We discussed the idea that 'Composition' or 'to compose' means to carefully select which parts to put in, and which parts to leave out. A musical composer does this by selecting which notes, rhythms, and harmonies to use, and which to leave out. A letter writer 'composes' the letter by deciding what to write about and what to leave unsaid. An artist or photographer 'composes' by carefully selecting which elements of the image to include in the artwork or photo, and which elements to be left out.

The students chose a reference image and created a 'view finder' to place over the image. Then, each student chose a "zoomed" in part of the original image to turn into their own personal art. In this way, the students are choosing, or 'composing' the elements to be included in the artwork!

Monday, January 25, 2010


A couple of Fridays ago, we had finished an assignment and didn't want to start a new one with the weekend looming. We decided, therefore, to have a 'Friday Fun Day'. On 'Friday Fun Day', we simply choose something fun and artsy to do that doesn't require too much pre planning or learning. This time, we made snowflakes! The students really had a blast and made some truly beautiful snowflakes! All of it was done without using pre-designed patterns.

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Congratulaitons on artistic excellence!

Congratulations to the artists on the excellence board! These artworks are the best examples of proportion, details, and shading!

And here is the completed example from the front board.

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Sra. Luiz's class Still Life Project

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Mrs. Hendricks' class Still Life Project

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Miss Bowman's class Still Life Project

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Mrs. Card's class Still Life Project

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Mrs. Larsen's class Still Life Project

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Friday, January 22, 2010

4th grade student examples of shading a ball

Here they are! Fabulous examples of shading a ball! Now that we have learned all the separate parts (proportion, details, and shading), I am really looking forward to seeing the still life project completed!
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kindergarten - week 2

This week the Kindergarten students drew pictures of themselves! We talked about all the parts that belong on a head, then the students looked at themselves in mirrors while drawing. They all had a ton of fun and the pictures turned out really fantastic!
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4th grade - Name Art

Here are some photos of the student name tags, finally! Sorry it has taken so long to post this, I have had a cold all week, so I haven't had the energy for posting.

The name tags turned out really fantastic! Well done, everyone!
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Seeing with artist's eyes, aka using the Elements of Art

This week all 4th grade classes will begin their work in the art room. Our drawing lessons will start with a review lesson on seeing the world with 'artist' eyes. An artist sees the world around him/her as an arrangement of basic elements. The Elements of Art are the basic building blocks of reproducing what we see around us.

There are 7 basic Elements;
1. Shape - everything in the world can be simplified into basic starting shapes for sketching the layout of an artwork.
2. Line - can be used to create surface contours, shapes, textures, and more.
3. Color - creates mood and energy in an artwork.
4. Texture - the way something feels when you touch it (real texture), or looks like it would feel if you could touch it (implied texture). It can lend a sense of realism and variety.
5. Value - the scale of light to dark of any given hue. A gray scale is also called a value scale. Value creates mood, contrast, and variety.
6. Space - a feeling of depth. Basics of space are ... size, placement, detail, and overlap.
7. Form - 3D! Creates realism in an artwork.

The trick it to not only recognize and see the elements in the world around us, but to then manipulate them on paper to create a pleasing composition. But more on that later!
For now, practice at home looking for and identifying the Elements of Art around you!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Welcome to a new term!

I would like to welcome the 4th grade classes to the art room!

Today we went over the rules in the art room. There are only 3...

1. Whisper voices. Please keep conversations quiet so that others can concentrate on their art!
2. Listening bodies. It is easier to listen if your body is still and you are looking at the speaker.
3. The GOLDEN RULE! Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

If you fail to follow the rules, you will...

1. receive a warning. This is a freebie.
2. be moved to a new seat in the room. At this point, you will lose some points.
3. be sent to think time. You cannot come back until you have a written plan to fix the problem.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hairspray fixative for chalk pastel projects

Second grade students are bringing home their portfolios today.  Inside the portfolio, there is a pastel landscape.  Pastels are extremely fun, but also extremely messy.  They will never stop being messy unless you spray a fixative on them.

Artist fixatives are expensive and smelly; but fortunately, there is an alternative!  Spray aerosol hairspray 6-8 inches above the artwork and let it dry!  If there is still chalk coming off on your fingers, spray it again.  The hairspray acts like a glue to hold the chalk in place.  If you don't have any of this type of hairspray in the house, you can find it at the dollar store.  I don't recommend pump hairspray because the droplets coming out are much larger and can leave dark spots all over the artwork.  Aerosol creates an even, fine mist that works very well.