Friday, January 27, 2012

Dr. Seuss Fish

I think it is very important for my promising young artists to consider careers in art. Occasionally I'll have a student tell me she can't decide between being a teacher or being an artist, and I'll help her put two and two together ;-). 

Another wonderful art career is that of an illustrator. This week, my kindergartners looked at the artwork of Dr. Seuss in the book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. I told them that he was both an author and an illustrator, and they thought that was pretty cool! Next, my students made up their own fish. Some used Dr. Seuss's ideas, such as a fish with a hat on, and others came up with their own ideas. We used crayons to draw the fish, and watercolors for the background. It was a fun project!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

5th Grade Pointillism Bulletin Board

I just put my 5th graders' pointillist work up on my bulletin board....suddenly they remind me a lot more of Thiebaud than of Seurat!

Monday, January 23, 2012

5th Grade Pointillism

After studying work by Seurat, my 5th grade students tried pointillism with markers. I chose the topic of desserts because it's fun and colorful (think icing!) and looks nice even without a background. Doing a whole pointillist picture with a background often ends up confusing to the viewer, unless the artist is skilled in contrasting warm and cool colors, light and dark colors, and complementary colors. I found images online of different desserts for the students to copy in the pointillist style. I purposely printed the pictures too small so the students wouldn't be tempted to trace! The students began by lightly outlining their picture in pencil. Then, they added their dots, and finally they erased the pencil lines. 

On the first day of this project (after learning about Seurat and looking at some of his work), I had my students complete a "Pointillism Worksheet". They had to try to make colors out of several other colors. For example, to make purple, the students could mix pink and blue, or red and blue, or just several shades of purple. This activity made the student much more comfortable with the idea of "mixing" colors with dots. The last step on the worksheet was to experiment with any colors they wanted. It was fun to see what the students made!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Warm and Cool Colors with 2nd Grade

2nd grade recently learned about warm and cool colors. They used soft pastels to make these cool color birch trees. This is a lesson I got directly from my cooperating teacher while I was student teaching. It was a great lesson, so I'm reusing it now in my own classroom! The students used masking tape to make trees on their paper, and then they colored the sky, grass, and shadows with pastels. After taking the tape off, the students carefully added little black lines on their birch trees with a crayon. To ensure that the tape would come off easily, the students stuck it to their shirt before sticking it on the paper.

2nd  grade made desert pictures for warm colors. They painted a watercolor sky with any warm colors that they wanted, and glued sand on for the ground. I mixed together all the warm colors of sand that I had (pink, red, orange, yellow, tan) to make the sand color. The students learned that when you mix two (or more!) warm colors together, the result is still a warm color! The camels are drawn with colored pencil.

I like how these pictures look in the hallway. The warm and cool colors really complement each other!

Here is a close-up of the heading on the top of my bulletin board.