Saturday, September 30, 2017
This month's observational 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.
By now, 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. This year, students were given a challenge to their approach to the still life: to incorporate college in some manner. Students were left to decide how much college they wished to incorporate, for themselves. They were given a wide variety of collage papers and drawing mediums to consider and were shown several examples of still life collages by contemporary artists working in different styles, approaches and materials. This allowed students to respond in many possible ways to this challenge.
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.
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.
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, if they choose.
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.
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. These classes used said sketchbooks for their first activity of the year. Each grade explored a different aspect of drawing and/or working from observation from a still-life arrangement. Results can be seen in a separate post.
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!
Monday, September 04, 2017
September Masterpiece of the Month: Selma-to-Montgomery March for Voting Rights in 1965 by James Karales
Who Made It?
This photograph was taken by an American artist named, James Karales in 1965.
Where Is the Real One?
The real photo can be seen at the Special Collections Library at Duke University in Durham, NC.
Why Is It Important?
Selma-to-Montgomery is an example of PHOTOJOURNALISM, meaning that the photographer uses a camera to record real events. Karales captures a moment during a four-day march by 25,000 people over 54 miles from the town of Selma, AL to the state capital of Montgomery. The people were marching for equal voting rights for African-Americans in the United States. Karales' photograph of the event has become a famous icon of the Civil Rights Movement and captures the spirit and determination of civil rights workers during those tense and dangerous times.
Karales positioned his camera so that we look up at the marchers who appear to climb an unseen path. The stormy sky above appears to challenge their efforts but the marchers continue on. The bodies of the first three marchers move together in unison, as though keeping a rhythymic beat, and appear full of strength and determination. In the center of the photograph is the American flag: a symbol of individual freedom and Constitional rights.
Far from simply recording a historic event, Selma-to-Montgomery captures a fleeting moment that tells the story of the desire for freedom that is the shared hertiage of all Americans.