Thursday, November 14, 2013


4th Grade: Zentangles

I officially named this project: "I've Been Tangled" (at least that is what the lesson plan says!). There was lots of "tangling" in the art room in 4th grade for the past few weeks! Students learned all about Zentangle art and Zentangle artists. Zentangles allow the artist lots of creative freedom, but also have structures to them. Zentangle art is formed within an image, either representational or abstract/non-representational. Students could create their own contour image for this project or trace their hands/fingers or use a box of reference pictures. Lots of choices! We also talked about patterns. There were many pre-existing zentangle patterns online that I let students try their hand at. I also let students create their own patterns...again more artistic choices. We did talk a lot about strong contrast..having lots of "filled" areas (which are made by using black sharpie pen/marker). This creates an overall pleasing zentangle. A lot of 4th grade artists blended their own images with references images, which I always encourage if they want to do that. This is something I'd been wanting to try for awhile..and so glad I did..I think this art is just amazing!! The background is a watercolor wash-wet-on-wet colors. I was out of any yellow paint (unfortunately), but I think the colors we did have works very nicely-blue, green, magenta, red, orange and violet.


Cezanne Fruit Baskets

1st Grade: Cezanne Apple Baskets

1st Graders learned about Cezanne and explored his many colorful fruit still lifes. We talked about his warm colors and the variety of colors he used in each fruit. 
I found this project on Artsonia and loved the many colors in it..and thought it would be great for first grade to try. Students created the woven pattern on the basket by using "tally marks and equal signs" (ABAB pattern). Students then drew 9 apples (3 of each color-lots of counting going on here!) We discussed ways to place the apples in the basket to look like a real basket full of apples-overlapping and tucking in the apples so they were "behind the basket" and not in front. We also talked about light and shadow. Students added shadow and highlights to their apples with oil pastels. Students created a pattern for the tablecloth with sharpie marker and filled in with oil pastels. They brushed baby oil on to the pastel to create a wash affect. Not sure if I'll do baby oil  again in the near future, as the baby oil scent in the art room was a bit much! Though, I do love the results. The background was created using crayons and texture plates. Lots of different elements going on in this project-texture, pattern, and lots of color!

Great job 1st Grade!

Thiebaud Pops

Kinder: Thiebaud Lollipops

Kinder students learned about Thiebaud and his paintings, which were based on yummy desserts. We talked about how Mr. Thiebaud like to paint his subject in groups of threes-3  milkshakes, 3 gumball machines, 3 ice cream cones. We also analyzed the splendid colors and patterns in his work-all the intense bright colors and fun designs on his cakes and lollipops. We  saw how thick his paint was applied to the canvas sometimes, to make his cakes look like they were very real. 
We talked about different ways we could draw lines-wavy, straight, zip zag. We also talked about many different ways we could create patterns-through the combination of lines and shapes. This was a great way for kinder students to apply what they had already learned about shape in math class. 

Last year, I forgot to snap some photos of this project before sending them here are some great ones from this year. Students traced a circle template, divided into fourths (more math terms!), and created a different pattern in each fourth. Students then colored with marker. For this year's project, I let students paint the background with green watercolor instead of gluing to construction paper. I rather like the painterly effect behind the pops!

Amazing job Kinder students!!