Thursday, January 19, 2017

Kindergarten: Fabulous Feasts!

Many artists use food as subject matter for their work, and food is often present at celebrations of all kinds. Kindergarten students have spent the past few months focused on the many aspects of celebration: masks and costumes, party drawings and now feast collages! After identifying what a “feast” is, students discussed the selected food-related artworks before listing their own favorite foods they would enjoy.

Students were then instructed to create a feast by cutting out appropriate shapes and colors to represent various foods, imagining the colored paper background as their placemat. Small details and texture could be added using markers, and students were encouraged to include and think about other table-setting objects such as dishes, flatware and drinking glasses.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Observational Drawing: Grade Two, Toys

Students in grade two were given a selection of toys to draw from, with special attention given to texture and details. Plastic dinosaurs, cars and trucks, dolls and stuffed animals were among the choices. Students had the option of adding color with colored pencil, if they chose. Students were also encouraged to include their newly acquired shading skills to add to the perception of three-dimensional form.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Grade One: Drawing Animal Textures

Students in the first grade have been learning how artists use the element of texture in their work. For this lesson, students examined how artists use pattern and line to give the illusion of texture in a drawing, painting or print that is actually smooth in surface texture. Students first looked at several photography examples which depicted many kinds of different textures and were asked to use their eyes to indentify and describe the textures they saw. Then, first graders were shown two examples of artworks featuring animals: Rhinoceros by Albrecht Durer and Hen by Saul Steinberg. Students were led to notice that line variations, shapes and patterns must be made to convey differences in hair length, scale size or bumpy skin.

Students were then asked to choose a photograph of an animal to draw using colored pencils and crayons and were required to draw the texture of that particular animal as they saw it in the photograph. Students were also instructed to give consideration to coloring, scale and proportion.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

January Masterpiece of the Month: Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso

Who Made It?
A Spanish artist named, Pablo Picasso, created this painting in 1921.

Where Is the REAL One?
The real painting can be seen at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, NY.

Why Is This Artwork Important?
Picasso was largely responsible for inventing a particular style of abstract art called CUBISM, which explored objects in flat, geometric shapes and showing more than one viewpoint at the same time—something impossible in real life. There are two kinds of Cubism: analytic and synthetic. Three Musicians is an excellent example of SYNTHETIC CUBISM because it explores the subject in shapes so flat they appear to be cut from paper! Synthetic Cubism was often done in collage, allowing Picasso to completely represent things as flat geometric shapes. But here, Picasso fools us and makes Three Musicians looks like a collage when it is, in fact, a painting. Painted artworks in Cubism are typically shown to be analytic, not synthetic.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Grade Two: Paper Pendants

Why do people wear jewelry? Students in grade two learned that people everywhere have decorated themselves with jewelry since ancient times, often for many different reasons. Students examined and discussed several different artisan pendants, some of which incorporated necklace structure, as well. The examples ranged in time period and materials, and students were asked to look for clues to help them determine how each pendant was created. They enjoyed seeing how different cultures have varying styles, how different artists use the same materials differently and how styles have changed over time. Despite the differences, however, some jewelry-making techniques have remained similar over the centuries.

Students were instructed to design and create there own pendant from paper and aluminum foil. They were encouraged to include additional decorations with markers and pencils.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Grade Three: Tiny Treasure Boxes

Third graders discussed the use and decoration of container design. They discussed how this wooden box created by a Japanese artist, held the special purpose of storing incense. Noting the planning and execution of design upon a three-dimensional cube and its possible function and purpose allowed students to realize that everyday objects can be made beautiful by artistic skills.

Students were given a template of a box which they were then instructed to decorate using pencils and/or markers, giving special attention to how one side would of the box could impact another side, as well as the top and bottom, in a wrap-around design. Once finished, the boxes were cut from the template, glued together and as an option, embellishments could be added to the interior and exterior of the box.

Grade Four: Analogous Landscape Painting

After a previous discussion and exploration of the style and techniques of Impressionist painting, fourth graders looked at Meadow of Giverny by Claude Monet, which depicts the artist’s understanding of using the full spectrum of the color wheel. Students were guided to notice the use of analogous colors, which are the colors next to one another on the color wheel. When colors are planned in this way in a painting, they create a more noticeable impact upon the viewer’s eyes when looking at the painting. Students were also led to notice that all colors can be changed to make a stronger visual impact when painting.

Students were then given photographs of various colorful landscapes to use as reference for their own paintings. Students were given a full spectrum of colors, but were instructed to mix and modify their colors in order to use colors more inventively. They were also encouraged to use analogous colors to make their painting sparkle with light.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Kindergarten: Stick Puppets

Kindergarteners wrapped up their costuming unit with a lesson on constructing stick puppets. This was also a good segway into our next lessons which will be about celebrations. Students were first shown reproductions of the above artworks and led through a discussion with a series of questions:

“What are the people doing?”
“What are the people wearing?”
“What have the artists repeated in these artworks?” (lines, shapes, colors, patterns, positions of figures, costumes and uniforms)

Children were especially guided to notice the interesting clothing worn by the performers depicted in each of these artworks, and were then told they would be constructing stick puppets of people wearing interesting costumes. Students were first instructed to draw the shape of the person onto a piece of oak tag, then cut out the person using scissors, and finally decorating their puppets using a variety of collage materials made available at their table.