Monday, January 23, 2012

Frederick: A Kindergarten Project

The idea for this project came from the book Frederick by Leo Lionni.  He's one of my favorite children's authors.  And although I am no longer able to work with the kindergarten classes due to a change in their schedule, I stay in contact with them and help them with projects as much as I'm able.  But I do have some "unpublished" kindergarten work that I will try to share over time.   This is a project I did with kindergarten in 2010.  It would have been posted sooner but I have pictures all over the place.  Just like my messy room, my computer is a mess too!  But I think I have it organized finally.  (crosses fingers)

I taught kindergarten for 8 years and this project was one of my favorites.  

Here's my basic approach:
*We used scissors, glue, paper punches, crayons, and of course, colored construction paper.
*Cut the construction paper (ahead of time) to the proper size (squares and rectangles).  **For example, I cut the mouse bodies approximately 2x3**  --( I cut all pieces to size except for the legs and tails.  Kids are on their own there.)
*Demonstrate how a square/rectangle can be made to look round simply by snipping off the corners.
(**I also demonstrate how to round off the corners but explain that if they have difficulty with doing that, just snip off the tips**)
*Add a light color to the background paper using the  long-side of a crayon.  As you will see in the gallery, we tried dark and it's not as nice looking.
*Add color to the rocks (for texture) using the long-side of a crayon.  Using several colors gives a nice effect.
*Display  ;) 

BTW, I used as a model for the picture one of the pages of Lionni's book.  Frederick is "sharing" the things he's stored up for the winter. 

Here's a gallery of work. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

5th Grade: Hot Air Balloons

   Here's a project I've done a few times and one that the students really seem to enjoy.  The idea came from a Donna Hugh video.  I love the instructional possibilities of this lesson.  I was able to talk about composition, balance, unity, repetition, atmospheric perspective, color choices, just to name a few. 

    However, my main focus was on the coloring technique.  The middle school art teacher actually refers to this method as the "Mr. Triplett Marker Method."  I did not originate the idea and have seen other teachers use it as well.  It offers a nice effect when using markers.

I tell the kids that the marker is like a paint brush. It has a tip where the color is and like a brush, it can be "brushed" on (so to speak). The method is simple: Lines run side by side and follow the same direction. They can follow the contour of an object (and should) but in some cases should follow straight lines. The object one is coloring dictate the type of line (curved or straight) one is using. I use this method to avoid the "scribble" effect one can get with using markers. In some cases, using a marker like you would a crayon (coloring back and forth) is OK and works well. But it can also derail an otherwise great artwork. The example should give you an idea of what I mean. I'll guess that many of you have your students use this same method when using markers. I'd love to hear your feedback on this one! Here's a few finished examples and a gallery of student artwork is found HERE on my website.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Impressionism 4th grade drawings

     I've liked the looks of this project from the first time I saw it.  The idea came from one of my Donna Hugh videos (found here) and is easy to do.  After creating a border (see this link) the students draw several lines (which separate different colored fields) a house on top and tree at the right.  

Then, using thin colored markers and utilizing small choppy strokes, each field is colored using a combination of colors.  Adjacent fields should be colored with enough contrast so that there is adequate visual contrast to separate the fields. Otherwise, the full effect will be minimized or even lost.
It's important that the house colors have enough contrast against the background sky and the field immediately underneath the house so that it can stand out.

The process itself takes several art sessions but is well worth the effort.  The results are very "impressive."  You can view a small gallery of work here

Here are a couple more examples