Wednesday, December 16, 2015

8th Grade Tabletop "Self-Portraits"

In this lesson, the 8th graders brought in items that they felt represented something about themselves. After some drawing exercises to help them learn more about drawing from observation and using value in their work, the students set up the objects they brought in and drew them as accurately as possible. They made sure to include all the shadows and other light and dark values by shading with a variety of dark and light pencils. Their drawings are amazingly detailed and realistic. This was a great way to start the school-year. 

1st Grade Pinch Pots

The 1st graders created pinch pots for their first clay project of the year. Each student got a piece of clay and shaped it into a ball. Then, they made a hole in the middle of the ball and used their fingers to pinch the clay from both the outside and the inside. The students pinched the clay, then turned the pot, then pinched the clay again. Around and around they went until they had a well formed pinch pot. Using wooden skewers, the students then carved designs into the clay. Once the clay dried, they used bright, glossy paint to add color to their pinch pots. They did a fantastic job

Kindergarten "Knee Pots"

We had a lot of fun working on our first clay project of the year! The students each got a piece of clay and shaped it into a pancake. Then, they draped the clay over a bent knee to form the shape of a bowl. After the bowl was shapes, the students used a wooden skewer to carve a design into the clay. The clay was carefully painted with bright, glossy colors after it dried. The bowls are great!

2nd Grade Australian Aboriginal Art

Since the students are learning about folktales in their classrooms, we made paintings based on an Australian Aboriginal folktale in art. The students listened to a story about how the sun was created and came up with ideas about how they can represent the story in a painting. The students learned about how Australian Aboriginal artists used many dots to create their paintings. Using Q-tips instead of brushes, the 2nd graders created colorful paintings inspired by the story they heard. They did an amazing job!

2nd and 3rd Grade Autumn Leaves

This fall, the students practiced drawing from observation. They chose a few of the many leaves that had fallen outside of the Common School, and did some drawing exercises with the leaves to improve their observational drawing skills. First, the students drew their leaf without looking at the paper at all. This helps to slow your drawing down and focus on the tiny details. Then, the students drew the leaf and were able to look at the paper. They drew their leaves on a sheet of drawing paper and figured out a strong composition for their drawing - made sure the leaves where arranged in an interesting way on the paper. Using  watercolor paints, the students painted the leaves with warm colors and the space around the leaves in cool colors. These pieces are so colorful and beautiful!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

4th and 5th Grade Self-Portraits

In this challenging lesson, the students created self-portraits from observation. First, they learned about average facial proportions - how big eyes are, where the nose is relative to the eyes, where the mouth is relative to the nose, where the ears are, etc. Then, using mirrors, they drew their own faces, keeping those proportions in mind. For the background, the students were inspired by the artist Frida Kahlo and her portrait backgrounds that were full of symbolism. The students created a background to represent themselves in some way - what they like to do, how they are feeling, personality traits. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Kindergarten and 1st Grade Pumpkin Paintings

We had a lot of fun with paint for this project! The students learned about the three primary colors - red, blue, yellow - and how you can mix any color you can think of using primary colors. Before we started painting, we drew a pumpkin with oil pastel using curved lines to make it look round. We painted the pumpkin yellow. Then, we painted red right over the wet yellow paint and it made orange! We then painted our leaves - first with yellow and then with blue to make green. The next class, we cut the pumpkins and leaves out and glued them onto a black background. We used crayons to make the pumpkin look like it was in a field or any other place we wanted it to be. This lesson was inspired by a lesson found on Deep Space Sparkle

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Kindergarten and 1st Grade Leaf Paintings

For this project, the students worked with maple leaf tracers to trace 5 or more leaves onto a sheet of paper. They learned about cropping and how they can have some leaves appear to go off the page. They filled each leaf in with patterns created with different kinds of lines and/or shapes. When it came time to paint, the students learned about warm and cool colors. Since we wanted the leaves to look like autumn leaves and really pop of the page, we used warm colors to paint the leaves. Since we wanted the background to recede in space, we used cool colors.