Wednesday, January 28, 2015

4th Animal printing

4th-Animal Printing and Value Scale Drawing

4th Grade: Animal Prints

4th Graders looked at some of John James Audubon works. They also watched a short video on this famous bird and animal illustrator. Audubon was a North American artist. He was also a scientist. He studied birds and animals. He wanted to tell people the importance of protecting the animal's habitat. One bird that he painted, the North Carolina parrot, is now extinct. Audubon's famous book, the Birds of America, showcase hundreds of species of birds and their beauty. His work inspired many generations to come of the importance of conservation. Audubon also painted hundreds of land mammals, from bears to foxes to rabbits. 

To begin this art, students chose a bird or mammal to illustrate. I had pictures on 4 x 6 cards that students transferred onto printing material. I usually have styrofoam plates for printing, but this year I wanted to try the actual "printing foams" available for this purpose. I was happy with the brand I chose. It was fairly inexpensive, but created nice prints. These are the elementary kid friendly kind-no sharp tools needed. Students made a "book-sandwich" with the foam material as the base, then the black transfer paper in the middle, lastly the animal card on top. This was taped together with a piece of scotch tape on the edge. I emphasized "black shiny side" down for students. Biggest problem was students getting the transfer paper upside down. Students traced the image with a papermate pen. (which worked better than pencils). Then, students went over the transfer lines with the pen again, making grooves directly in the foam. Students then brushed a layer of tempera paint on this. Students laid down a piece of white cardstock and transferred the image to the cardstock. Sometimes the paint was too thick or sometimes, not enough. However, students were allowed to do enough prints to get 2 good ones. Students cut these out and glued to black 12 x 18 paper. 

The second part of the project was studying tonal values. We looked at some pencil drawings on the white board and some I drew. We looked for light, medium and dark tones. Students traced their image on a 4 x 6  drawing paper. Students then added a minimum of 3 tones and shaded their drawing.

I think the students had a really great time with the printmaking process. Last year, this group had done printmaking, but it was a bit different. I like the look of the colored print next to the tonal drawing. A very nice display!

Great Job 4th Grade!!

Fish under the Sea

Kinder: Fish Under the Sea

Kinder students explored mixed media in this project quite a bit. This was quite a long project but well worth it. Students put a lot of effort into these and I think they really enjoyed the creative process as they were using so many different materials. 
The first step was painting the background with liquid blue watercolor paint. Students painted the bottom half with blue paint. The top half was "water painted". Students spread water onto the paper and the wet pigment from the bottom half spreads a little to the upper half creating light blue. This is a good introduction to basic values.
They also learned about recyling! Students covered an old c.d with tissue paper pieces (these were pre-cut into squares). Warm colors were used for this. Students added gold glitter to the fish (lots of supervision here with the glitter!) Students also created tails and fins with orange colored paper and added line designs with oil pastels. This was great review on the many lines we'd learned up to this point. Fins and tails were drawn by students through a step by step instruction. These were glued onto the underside of the fish. Students stamped the sandy sea floor with texture stampers.( I have gotten so much use out of these. 1st graders recently used them on their Thiebaud Pop Art for added texture). Back to Kinder though! On another day, students stamped fish bubbles with old glue bottle lids and yogurt cups. The last day involved creating sea plants/seaweed with green Kraft paper. I demonstrated how to "squish" (crinkle) the paper with their hands. This was then glued to the ocean. Students had to really press these down pretty hard onto the paper but then they stuck marvelously. All in all, a great success!