Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Van Gogh sunflowers

Kinder: Van Gogh Sunflowers

Kinder students learned about Van Gogh and his love for sunflowers. Van Gogh is known for his "Starry Night", many self-portraits, and of course his numerous beautiful sunflower paintings. We analyzed his paintings and noticed how he shows his many brushstrokes. He used lots of different paint colors. 
I did this art work with kinder last year and loved it so much I did it again this year for kinder. Perhaps I'm also subconsiously thinking...spring time needs to get here! Perhaps if we paint flowers..spring will come sooner...hmm..could happen! Spring Break is next week and what better way to bring it in than hang some beautiful flowers in the hallway (and upload some to the blog!)

This project was made with oil pastels, liquid watercolors and black sharpie. We actually did use good quality watercolor paper as well. 

I think these are marvelous..we have some great talent in kindergarten, Davis!

Monday, March 3, 2014

2nd Valentine Jim Dine Hearts

2nd Grade: Jim Dine Hearts

Seems like every Art Teacher puts their spin on this project. I thought it'd be fun to try around Valentine's Day this I usually don't do a whole lot of "holiday art". And this project wasn't what I call "fru fru" with red and pink and lace.etc..etc.. It was true Jim Dine style. Jim Dine was an American Pop artist who made his mark on the art world with his unique style. He painted everyday objects like tools, bathrobes and of course, hearts. He painted all kinds of hearts. We noted that there were "crazy and chaotic" kind of hearts with tons of colors, wild lines and textures. There were also more "calm and peaceful" hearts with flowers  inside them. Seemed like there was never an end to the imagination Dine had for creating a new kind of heart in his "heart art". Sometimes it seemed that Dine "splashed" and threw his paint onto his hearts and the process was just as exciting as the destination. 
After being inspired by all these Dine hearts, students set out to work on their own hearts. Students had to draw 4 hearts (similar in size and shape). They were encouraged to show value in at least one heart. They were also encouraged to layer at least 2 colors in 2 of their backgrounds. We reviewed a lot about 2 primaries=a secondary. Students could also use tertiary colors (blue + green=blue green) for their backgrounds. Students used scratch sticks to add texture and line designs or 'calamity' to their heart art. I like how this project was partly stuctured, but also, freeing, as student's could go crazy with their scratch sticks if they wanted. For  the record...I hung these in the hallway ON Valentine's Day! 

Kinder Self-Portraits

Kinder: Self-Portraits

I read the story Marvelous Me by Lisa Bullard to kindergarten students. This is about a boy named Alex who believes he is a superhero and he is marvelous. He can do many marvelous things like using his imagination to pretend to be a pirate and becoming a roaring dragon while he cleans his room. He knows all 9 planets and loves strawberry ice cream. We talked about the ways we knew that Alex, the main character of the story, loved all those things. We heard the words and could see the illustrations. This formed a clear picture in our head of the personality of Alex. 
Students then drew a self-portrait of themselves. They also drew in one or 2 things into their picture to show the viewer some more things about them. They could draw a special toy, their favorite food, favorite sports ball, etc. We did do a step-by-step of basic body proportions (head, upper and lower body, and limbs). We also learned to draw a line to separate wall from floor. I had some students paint the background in 2 colors. I had some do this with a texture background using paint stamps. Both ways were interesting. 

There is indeed something truly Marvelous about kindergarten self-portraits. I think it's the bold drawings that are so brave and the sincerity of each picture. 

2nd-Grand Wood Landscapes

2nd Grade: Grant Wood Train Landscapes

2nd Graders learned about Grand Wood, Famous American Painter. He is best known for American Gothic, a painting featuring a farmer and his wife in front of their farmhouse. We looked at many of Wood's art, including many landscapes featuring farmland and the American mid west. We noticed how stylistic his art is and how well composed his art is. The viewer's eyes seems to travel around his paintings leading you to look at every aspect of it. Wood even did some historical based paintings, including one of Paul Revere and his midnight ride. We took Wood's themes of the midwest, farmland, meadering roads, and houses to create our own Wood-inspired awesome landscape.

I did a step-by-step of a basic landscape (including some rolling hills, farmland, house and trees. I also did a couple step-by-steps of trains (steam trains/diesel trains). And yes, the train idea was my own son's surprise. He'd been asking to do train art all year..and I thought this would be a great opportunity for it. Student's used metallic sharpie markers and crayola brand construction paper crayons to add lines, and color. We used Riverside Brand 76-lb black construction paper for this project. It is worth the additional price..the paper is heavyweight and won't fade and has a great dark color.  

I just love the creativity and thought processes used to make these! I saw everything from shooting stars to tomato plants to electric trains in these...but that's what's great..every students had different ideas and the variety is so fun to see!