1st Grade: April/May 2013

1st Grade: Japanese Landscapes

1st Graders learned about Utagawa Hiroshige, famous Japanese Printmaker. They learned that he loved to create landscapes. Students viewed his famous prints of Mount Fuji and Japanese towns filled with footbridges, people and homes. Students also view photographs of real Japanese castles. We talked about Japanese Characters and how in Asian art, writing is part of the art itself and makes the art even more beautiful. We also discussed what Japanese "chops"were: seals that act as signatures created by stamping the art. Students sealed their art work with a Asian dragon stamp.

Process: I did a step-by-step drawing instruction for the river, hill, Japanese castle, footbridge and Japanese figures. Students drew out their landscapes following along with the step-by-step. We then had a brief review on color values. I demonstrated adding white to blue to get a tint of blue. I demonstrated blending various shades of blue to create a serene river. We also discussed using yellow mixed with green to get various shades of yellow-green. We talked about how this will give our painting interest-having a new shade of color that wasn't from the bottle. I strongly encourage color mixing, but always on the paper-not in the paint container. Students drew the Japanese figure on a separate pieces of cardstock. We discussed traditional Japanese dress, shoes, and hairstlyles and looked at some photos of this. Students designed Japanese clothing for their figures and added color with markers. They cut these out and then glued them into the landscapes.
Despite the complete "messiness" of tempera paint, students had a wonderful time painting these fantastic pieces of art! 

1st Grade: Matisse Portraits

1st Grade students learned about Henri Matisse and his famous portraits. Students learned that Mr. Matisse loved representing the emotions of people. He was interested in drawing their emotional reactions to events occuring around them and not interested in drawing people realistically. Students viewed famous portraits by Matisse including "Woman with a Hat" and "The Green Line", "Andre Derian" and "The Sailor". We talked about the bold, bright colors Matisse used in his paintings and how expressionism was a new art style that some people loved and some people disliked. Not everyone at the turn of the century (1900) accepted his new approach to creating art. In fact, one critic, Camille Maclair, said, "a pot of paint has been flung in the face of the public". However, some people loved his new way of creating art and some people bought his colorful creative paintings. 

For Matisse, colors represented emotions:

red: excitment
orange: caring/loving
green: growth/change
blue: truth

For this project, we did a step-by-step instruction of drawing a face using rules for correct facial proportion. Students did a great job on drawing guidelines to help place facial features correctly. Students either markered their shirt or used crayons and texture rubbing plates or both. Students used a combo of tissue paper and origami papers to decorate the background going with the theme of many bright and bold colors similar to Matisse's "Woman with a Hat" painting.

Check out these colorful portraits all by 1st grade. What talented young artists we have here at Kenneth Davis Elementary! These are so interesting and creative!

1st Grade: Kente Cloth and Printmaking

Students learned about Kente cloth and printmaking for this project. I had not heard of printmaking with markers before, only ink and possibly paint. This is a project that is way less messy than traditional printmaking. ( I needed a break from mess after doing a ton of tempera projects lately!) So this project fit perfectly. Students learned about Kente cloth, a traditional fabric made in Ghana, Africa. Students learned that Kente cloth is used in wrappers, traditional African dress. Students saw lots of pics of Kente cloth being used in traditional ways and also being used in Western countries, such as being used as a tie or skirt. Wearing Kente cloth is done during special occasions. There are many colors, and patterns. Men usually weave the Kente cloth. Students watched a video of a man in Ghana weaving the Kente Cloth on his loom. He worked very fast! He was very good at it. 

We looked at some designs used in Kente cloth. Students were inspired to use designs they saw and also to come up with some new designs for this project. Students cut out a circle from a styrofoam plate (we used the smaller size). They, then impressed lines into the foam with a dull pencil (my wooden stylus tools have pretty much bitten the dust by now..it's the end of the year..can you tell?) However, the dull pencils worked great..probably even better than the wooden tools would have done. After the designs were created in the plates, students added color to the plates with markers. we used both traditional broad-tipped markers and also some watercolor kind..I think any marker would work, as long as it is NOT  a permanent marker. The ink from the marker basically has to "float" above the surface of the foam and not absorb into it. 
Students then brought their plates to the back of the room at my round table and I assisted them in printing their 2 prints (editions). The first round, I let them print independently at their tables..however, prints did not come out completely. So, when I decided to have students come to the back so I could assist, I found that this worked MUCH better for 1st grade. I think for 3rd grade and above, these could be done independently, as their hands are stronger by then! FYI: Putting paper onto the inked plate worked better than putting the plate on the paper
Students wiped their plate with a tissue after the first print, so they could add new colors for the second print. This worked well and faster than washing with water.

Each student made 2 prints, which they then mounted (glued) onto a large colored paper for display. Here are some pics of single prints and then some mounted together for display.

1st: Color Wheel Creations

1st Grade students reviewed the color wheel (primary and secondaries). They also learned about tertiary colors! We learned that with all 6 new tertiary colors, there are 12 colors in the color wheel. We called the wheel a giant pizza and each color was a slice. Students drew their giant color wheel pizza. We divided it up into 4 quarters (there's those fractions again!). And then divided each 1/4 into 3 slices by drawing a line from the center to the outer edge. Students were excited to use a "16 color" box of crayons to color in their color wheel. They colored in all the colors, including the 6 new tertiary colors: red-orange, orange-yellow, yellow-green, green-blue, blue-violet, and violet-red. Students learned that "light blue, light red, dark violet, dark green, etc were NOT tertiary colors. Students had to say the REAL name of their new colors! We will go into tints and shades more in 2nd grade. Students imagined their wheel in a scene and their wheel became something new. Wow, look at the creativity of these 1st graders! I fastened their wheels with a brad fastener so they would spin. Kinder did a similar project. You can check theirs out on the Kinder page.

Great job 1st Graders! These are super cool!

Scarecrow or clown? you decide! I love it!!

giant ice cream cone..yum!!!

A color wheel is a sun

This reminds me of a giant monster truck! Nice wheel!

I love this giant flower!

A Gigantic beach ball, whoa! (Yep, that's the art teacher's son swimming!)

An amusement park..very cool! I would love to be on that ferris wheel!

A darling puppy.

A black panther I believe

Panthers became popular!

A flower..need to flip this poor pic around! Love the insects around it!

Love the heart shaped petals on this one!

I believe a lollipop..like the blingy color dots! Nice decorations!

A gumball machine...what a clever idea!

Beach scene and beach ball..love that cool crab!

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