Thursday, September 29, 2016

Grade One: Using Line Constructively/Tree Line Drawings



For their first lesson of the year, first graders revisited the element of Line and discussed how lines can be found everywhere in our world and that artists can use different kinds of lines to express their ideas more fully. Students examined and discussed several examples of line drawings by various artists, explaining how each artist used Line. Next, students were shown several paintings of trees done by different artists and explored how each tree was represented differently using various and often unexpected types of lines. Students were led to notice how using a particular type of line changes the way we expect a tree to look.


Finally, students were instructed to create a line drawing of their own choice. That said, everything in the picture had to be constructed from a variety of appropriate lines AND the subject had to include at least one tree. They were encouraged to think about how lines can be used to represent the many parts of a tree and different species of trees. Students were given artworks created by Asian artists which depicted different species of trees during different seasons to help them think about the many ways line can be used.







Observational Drawing: Still Life/Grade Five



This month's observational drawing activity for second, third, fourth and fifth graders consisted of a still life composed of many different types of objects and textures. Each grade approached the still life differently, using different skills or fresh approaches to a revisited subject.

Grade five students have had lots of experience drawing from observation while in previous grades.  This particular technique focused on seeing and planning spacial relationships while revisiting a familiar subject they have drawn previously. Students were led through the steps of focusing solely on achieving a simple, outline shape of several objects from the arrangement. Large, geometric shapes were then superimposed over their drawing, which divided and created even more shapes and activating the empty negative space surrounding the objects. They were then instructed to color in each shape with a different color, limiting their selection to five.







Observational Drawing: Still Life/Grade Four


This month's observational drawing activity for second, third, fourth and fifth graders consisted of a still life composed of many different types of objects and textures. Each grade approached the still life differently, using different skills or fresh approaches to a revisited subject.


Grade four students have had much experience drawing from observation while in previous grades while also developing alternative methods of drawing when approaching observational subjects. Some of these drawing methods are used to help strengthen and develop better concentration, which improve a student's focus, perception and skill. One such method is the continuous line drawing. Here, fourth graders attempt to draw as much of the still life as possible, all the while using only one, continue line and not allowing their pen to lift from the paper! Pens are used to eliminate the opportunity to erase mistakes, thus forcing students to concentrate on the present line. Student's attention was brought to notice that line drawings differ in appear from shaded drawings. They have their own unique style, and continuous line drawings are even more distinct in their appearance from other line drawings. Students then came together to share their drawing and experiences before the end of class.






Observational Drawing: Still Life/Grade Three



This month's observational drawing activity for second, third, fourth and fifth graders consisted of a still life composed of many different types of objects and textures. Each grade approached the still life differently, using different skills or fresh approaches to a revisited subject.

Grade three students have had experience drawing from observation while in second grade. Among the different techniques learned last year, students have practiced shading objects with the side of their pencil to make them appear more three-dimenionsal. Here, students were introduced to charcoal pencils, given specialized instruction in using pressure and blending to depict light and value changes, as well as how to use an eraser as a drawing tool for the same purpose.







Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Observational Drawing: Still-Life/Grade Two


This month's observational drawing activity for second, third, fourth and fifth graders consisted of a still life composed of many different types of objects and textures. Each grade approached the still life differently, using different skills or fresh approaches to a revisited subject. Grade two, however, had their first ever experience drawing the still life arrangements that were set up at each table for closer examination. For second graders, this was their first year of creating a sketchbook. They were told that they would be using their books in Art class periodically, throughout the year, for various reasons, including the practice of observational drawing.

A still life offers a unique perspective from single-object observation because spatial factors and placement must be considered and depicted. Students were led to notice how objects are situated behind, in front of, and next to other objects. They were instructed to draw what they saw from their seat, and to include overlapping, scale and placement in their drawing. Students had the option of adding colored pencils, if they choose.








Tuesday, September 13, 2016

September Masterpiece of the Month: George Washington by Gilbert Stuart


Who made it?
This portrait was created by an American artist named, Gilbert Stuart, in 1796.

Where is the REAL one?
The real painting is owned and shared between The National Gallery in Washington D.C. and The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA.

Why is this artwork important?
Stuart was a famous portrait artist, creating portraits of many famous and important people, including the first six US presidents. He actually painted several portraits of George Washington, yet this one remains the most famous. It is also unfinished and was used as a "study" of Washington's likeness, which Stuart then used as reference to create other, complete portraits of Washington. He also created many small copies of this portrait and sold them for $100 each. Portraits of Washington were in high demand at that time. This particular image of Washington also appears on the one-dollar bill. Although it is only a reference study, this portrait is considered to be Stuart's most skillful due to his masterful handling of the layers of paint and contrasting skin tones.

Welcome Back! News and Updates


I hope the new school year is off to a great start for everyone. Classes have begun smoothly in the Art room. As I have been meeting with all the classes for the first time this year, it has been interesting to hear of the student's summer art adventures. I was impressed and pleased with how many students reported that they saw art in some manner, this summer. I shared some art I saw this summer while on a visit to MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. The artworks consisted of examples from 
Colombian-born, Miami-based artist Federico Uribe’s magical, colorful, sculptural menagerie of animals, as seen above. Students enjoyed guessing what each sculpture was made from, given that all were constructed from functional objects. Can you guess what this sheep's fleece is made from?

In addition to catching up with students on their first art class of the year, students in grades 1-5 have been creating their art folders for the year, in which they will store all the artwork created this year. These folders will go home in June. In their second class, students in grades 2-5 will be creating their own sketchbooks for use during observational drawing and painting activities throughout the year.

Some new changes this year include the Art Parent Board, located outside the Art room. Various updates and information will be posted here throughout the year, in addition to this blog. I will also be making myself available every Wednesday after school from 2:30-3:30 for anyone who would like drop by and discuss any matter of concern. I will also be available by appointment, and can always be reached via email at dchisholm@arlington.k12.ma.us 


What Happened to Masterpiece of the Month??
I have had overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents and staff with our Masterpiece of the Month feature since its inception. I assure you it has not disappeared! I have moved the board to the 2nd floor, outside the library due to the increased need for more display space in the gallery for student work. Classes are bigger than ever, and all classes visit the library at least once a week, making it an ideal public viewing spot for students.

Please be sure to check back soon as new posts and projects will be posted here in the near future. Thanks for your ongoing support!