Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Butterfly Invasion

I don't know about you, but this cold weather has me dreaming about warmer days. We were spoiled not too long ago with warm temperatures hitting the 70's and wishful thoughts of flowers in bloom and leaves sprouting on trees, but then the true South Dakota reality of frigid temperatures returned with temperatures as low as the teens. Weeks like this make me wish for warmer days and these thoughts sometimes inspire activities in the art room.
Kindergarteners continued working with balance and symmetry and created beautiful butterflies to decorate and brighten our hallway. Students started by folding a large 12"x18" paper in half and using black tempera paint, drew one half of the butterfly's wing (number 3), folded their paper in half, rubbed the back, opened the paper again, and saw a completed butterfly with a symmetrical reflection on both halves.

After using black tempera to add shapes and lines to the wings (and then folding and rubbing to match the opposite side to create symmetry), students then used tempera paint cakes to add color to the wings continuing with the symmetry theme, mirroring their color choices. After papers dried, students had the choice of cutting out their butterflies or keeping the butterflies as is and painting a spring inspired background around the butterfly.

Kindergarteners (all four sections) also worked on a large collaborative mural, using tempera paint to create a spring scene. Students were given paint brushes and tempera paint and told to think spring! It turned out beautiful and can be seen just outside the kindergarten wing in our building. Because I do not purchase secondary colors for my classroom, when choosing orange, green or purple paint to use on the mural, students had to consider what primary colors were needed to mix.

Aliens Invade the Art Room

For the last two weeks, 2nd graders have been experimenting with animation in the art room. The first project focused on flip books creating a ball bouncing. Now, students are using the Doink Animation App on the iPads to create a running alien in four poses. The idea for this project is not originally mine, but from Tricia Fuglestad, an elementary art teacher at Dryden Elementary in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
Tricia Fuglestad's blog, Dryden Elementary Art Website

 File provided by Tricia Fuglestad on her blog.
Using the Doink iPad Animation App, 2nd graders drew an original alien in four sequential poses to create the illusion that it is running. Once completed with four poses, students added the alien to a composition of a photo from the art room to give the illusion that the alien is entering from the left and exiting to the right of the photo and running rampant within our art room!
Composition directions for Alien running loose in the Art Room.
Once students are finished with their alien running in the art room, they may make a 2nd composition within DOINK choosing either to draw a 2nd alien (with four new poses) running in the art room or draw the alien's home planet and add the first alien running to the home planet in a new composition. If students finish composition two, they may make a third composition of their own free choice.

Printed Cityscapes

First graders continued with the cityscape theme and learned a relief printing technique using styrofoam sheets (a relief print is a print from raised images). We reviewed shapes and lines we would see in a cityscape such as rectangles, squares, triangles, straight lines, horizontal, diagonal, and vertical. Then, students planned their drawings on 6"x9" copy paper (same size paper as styrofoam sheets). Once competed with their cityscape plan, students then taped the drawing to the top of the styrofoam sheet and began tracing their pencils lines with an incredibly sharp pencil. The difficulty with this part of the assignment was making sure students applied enough pressure with the pencil to transfer an indentation into the styrofoam sheet. Sometimes, the planned drawing would tear as students transferred their lines. This was perfectly normal.

After all pencil lines were transferred to the styrofoam sheet, students then inked their styrofoam sheets with black water based block printing ink using a brayer, printing the image three times,  and re-inking after each print for good contrast.

As a class, we discussed how artists sign and number prints. Artists use numbers very similar to fractions when signing. Most students signed their print with a 1/3. The bottom number represents the total number of prints created. The top number represents one number within the series of prints.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Landscape Newscasts

I finally finished loading all the green screen landscape news reports to four movies, one movie for each 2nd grade section. Students are so excited to finally have their videos on YouTube. For this project, students were divided into groups of four to five students, together they were assigned one landscape from two artists; Grant Wood or Peiter Bruegel the Elder, and wrote a script before recording their video. Their script needed to include the following descriptions; horizon line, foreground, middle ground, background, overlapping, placement, size, and value. See my previous post explaining this project.

2A Landscape News

2B Landscape News

2C Landscape News

2D Landscape News