Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Kindergarten Mixes Secondary Colors

As I gain experience in teaching art (almost halfway done with my 4th year!), I'm trying to harder to make each assignment by every student a finished piece of art. One thing that really hindered some pieces from being masterpieces in the beginning of my teaching career was all of the white space on the paper! I occasionally fixed that by using colored paper, but now I am really encouraging students to color all the way to the edge of the paper, no matter what the assignment. All of the famous paintings on my wall are painted in completely; there is no "empty space" where the artist didn't paint. So, I'm encouraging my students to do the same! Last year, while teaching kindergarten students to mix secondary colors, they painted a flower vase based on work by Henri Matisse. This year, I had the students use crayons to create a table and wall behind the vase. I think the finished pictures are better, and the students spent a little more time learning which colors are the secondary colors, as they had to find them in their crayon box, as well as mix them out of the primary colors. Here are a few of this year's secondary color flower vases:

Monday, October 13, 2014

3rd Grade Kites

As it's getting windy this fall, I thought kites would be a fun project for my 3rd grade students to use the principle of art pattern on. We discussed patterns that follow a rule, like an AB pattern, or an ABB pattern; but also, patterns that are just a design, and follow no rule. A pattern of dots can be random with big ones and small ones; or they can be lined up neatly, and follow a rule. Stripes can follow a rule, or they can be random colors.

After designing their kites on watercolor paper, I taught my students one of my favorite watercolor techniques: making clouds with a paper towel. The students painted their whole sky quickly with blue liquid watercolors and a large paint brush; then they dabbed away clouds with a balled up paper towel. They also used a paper towel to wipe away any watercolor that beaded up on the kites. Here are some results from the lesson:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

6th Grade Analogous Color Paintings

My 6th grade students have been learning about several different color schemes this year. Most recently, we studied analogous colors, colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Analogous colors are similar to each other; not opposites like complementary colors. Using analogous colors creates a harmonious color scheme.

My students each picked two colors of tempera paint, and I showed them how to slowly blend one into the other to create a gradation. Then, we looked at silhouettes, both in paintings and in photography, and my students created their own silhouettes on their analogous colored painting. I encouraged them to create a silhouette of something that they liked; many choose sports themes or favorite animals.