Tuesday, November 3, 2015

3rd Grade Oil Pastel Jellyfish

As my 3rd grade students are beginning a unit on color, I first introduced a fun project with lots of colors. I showed the students some photographs of jellyfish (which really aren't very colorful; if you've ever seen them in real life, they often are fairly transparent, and just a milky white). Then, I told the students that sometimes artists use color to enhance their art, adding colors where they don't really belong to make the picture beautiful. Then, the students began drawing jellyfish from the photographs I had, but altering the colors. They used oil pastels on fade-resistant black construction paper. But, black is hard to photograph, so the photos don't do the actual artwork justice!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Line, Pattern, and Color with 5th Grade

Sometimes when I'm browsing the internet, I'll find a really inspiring contemporary artist. I recently discovered an artist named Colleen Wilcox, from Hawaii! Her seahorse painting and octopus painting especially inspired me.

So, I shared her artwork with my 5th grade students (sometimes it's more meaningful to them to see a modern-day artist instead of an historical artist from a long time ago).

Then, the students created their own undersea artwork, focusing on line, color, and pattern. They first drew their ocean scene with crayons, and later painted with watercolors. I asked them to only make lines with their crayons, and to fill shapes in with paint, instead of coloring.

Here are some results from my 5th grade students.

Below are the paintings from Colleen Wilcox that I showed the students. But, I encourage you to visit her website, and browse her other work!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

3rd and 4th Grade Parrots

My 3rd and 4th grade students recently learned about artist John James Audubon's bird studies. If a bird had variations within its species, he would draw the bird multiple times to show the differences. For example, his cardinal artwork shows both the male and female, as they are different colors.

We looked at many different parrots before drawing ours, just like Audubon studied many of his birds. After seeing several different parrots, we made a list of the colors we saw. Then, we started drawing the parrot based on one photograph. But, as we got to each detail (the face; the feet; the tail), we looked at a different parrot to see more details. Lastly, the students colored their bird however they liked, using our list of parrot colors for reference.

In this lesson, the students worked from many photographs instead of just one. This was a positive experience, because when students were upset that their parrot was too fat; had too small of a beak; didn't have a long enough tail; etc., I was able to point out that some parrots look that way! This drawing method helped the students stay positive. (Usually it's my most talented students that are most critical of their artwork, so when someone is concerned their work isn't "right" or isn't "good enough", they usually need positive feedback, not correction in their drawing skills.)

The artwork was sketched in pencil, colored in crayon, and the background was painted with blue liquid watercolors.