Friday, March 25, 2016
As a follow-up to our "Great Wave" project, the students had the opportunity to experience printmaking. Since Hokusai's prints were images of everyday life in Japan, we decided to focus on everyday life in Vermont. I printed photographs of some iconic Vermont mountains, a sugar house and Sterling Pond. The students chose which photo to work from and drew a picture of the landscape from their photo. They transferred their drawing to a foam printing sheet and made sure to press hard and draw deeply into the foam to make for clear prints. After they drew on their foam, they colored on it with washable markers. They had a ton of fun being creative with their colors. Why not have a rainbow colored mountain, right? Once the foam plate was colored, they pressed it onto a damp sheet of paper and, like magic, the image from the foam transferred onto the paper! They students made more than one print so they could experiment with different colors and to make sure that they had at least one very strong print. I couldn't be more pleased with how these came out. They are bright, colorful and uniquely Vermont!
The students were given acrylic paint, a canvas board and permission to paint whatever they would like. They were able to focus on a subject they were passionate about, and the results were fantastic. Below are a few examples. Some of the students are still working on their paintings, so I will add those to the blog when they are finished. Enjoy!
Thursday, March 24, 2016
This lesson was inspired by a wood block print created by the Japanese artist, Hokusai. This is a very famous work of art that I am sure you have seen before. The students viewed a number of prints by Hokusai and had small-group discussions about what they noticed about the pieces and the similarities and differences between them. We came to the conclusion they all had a big mountain in the background (Mt. Fuji), and they were all outdoors scenes that had a lot of blue in them. When it came time to draw and then paint their version of "The Great Wave", the students learned about how you can take one value of watercolor paint and make it lighter using more water. They also learned about the different parts of a strong landscape or seascape piece- foreground, middle ground, and background. Since the waves are blue, the students made sure to paint their background with only warm colors to contrast with the cool, blue wave. These waves were very carefully painted and oh so colorful!
"The Great Wave" - Hokusai
For this lesson, we studied the beautiful folk art sculptures from Oaxaca, Mexico. These sculptures are beautifully carved and painted with bright colors and intricate patterns. They represent either real animals, or fantasy animals. Using recycled materials such as cardboard and plastic bottles, the students created an armature for their sculpture. They covered their armature with paper mache and painted it once it dried. They used layers of paint and created their own intricate patterns on their sculptures. This was a fun, messy project and there are some really great sculptures!
Thursday, March 10, 2016
The students had the opportunity to explore the art of Aboriginal Canadian artist, Norval Morrisseau. They discussed his use of color and shape in his paintings The students then created their very own work inspired by Norval Morrisseau. The students created mixed-media owls. First, they painted an owl using simple shapes and black paint. After the paint dried, they cut out colorful shapes and glues them on the black background of the owl. They created both organic and geometric shapes. They also drew some lines and dots on their colored paper. They had a great time making their owls. Each one is bright and unique!
Norval Morrisseau - "Owl Family"