Thursday, September 29, 2011

Drawing People (in progress)

An adjustable life-sized person in proportion
Goodness, the thought of drawing people can be daunting. The first unit in fourth grade is all about drawing people … in proportion! A lot of students have found comfort in drawing stick figures, but in art class we learn to break down the average person into basic shapes. Students also found out many “tricks” to make a person in proportion. Did you know that your elbow is at the same level as your belly button? Or, the very tips of your fingers reach mid-thigh? We also observed and drew people by measuring in “head lengths.” Fourth graders have been doing a fabulous job so far. These people are IN PROGRESS, meaning they will look a lot more like people when we go over how to add clothing, hair, and details. Take a look below at some of the people “beginnings” below, and keep an eye out to see how we improve in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Quilting with Mrs. Black

In third grade art, we have been closely studying pattern. Quilting is something that connects with many different parts of third grade art including: pattern, storytelling, and Faith Ringgold. It also connects to the social studies curriculum in the future when third grade begins a pioneer unit.  I felt very lucky when I found out that Mrs. Black is a quilter. I knew very little about quilting, and, frankly, the idea of making a quilt intimidates me. Mrs. Black kindly offered her expertise to my art room by presenting some quilting basics, along with some quilting history. She drew from things that the students already know and things that the students will learn in the near future. Mrs. Black brought in some of her own quilts to share with the students, giving them an interactive learning experience. I think this valuable opportunity will provide the students with a more distinct understanding of Faith Ringgold’s story quilts when I introduce her in the near future. 

Geometric and Organic Shapes

Last week, the second grade artists learned all about geometric and organic shapes. First, we talked about what shapes are, and then we talked about how to identify them by category. Students were introduced to a nifty way of cutting out these shapes with more precision. I showed them simple folding techniques to create more defined shapes. Students also worked on polishing their cutting and gluing skills with this project. The final result is a reflection on all of the shapes that the second graders can skillfully cut out. This project sure will come in handy for the Kandinsky Inspired Collage. Stay tuned… 

Looking Closely at Lines

In fifth grade art, we began the year exploring a very familiar element of art: line. Line is a very important element of art. Lines are everywhere! They can be actual or implied, two-dimensional or three-dimensional, long, short, angular, curvilinear, dashed, and more! Fifth graders got very comfortable with the free-flowing and graceful curvilinear line. Students then exercised patience and dedication by creating a piece of art out of only curvilinear lines. The twist was, all of the lines needed to remain parallel. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Pattern Scavenger Hunt

Patterns in our school
Patterns, patterns, everywhere! In third grade art, we closely looked at pattern and how it can be dissected into some of the basic elements of art: line, shape, and color. A pattern can repeat any combination of those three elements. Then, we zoomed-in and examined some familiar patterns that I photographed around the school. After we were feeling pretty confident in the pattern department, we embarked upon a Pattern Scavenger Hunt on school grounds. In their sketchbooks, students were on the prowl for several different kinds of patterns: a geometric pattern, an organic pattern, a pattern using lines, a pattern in nature, and a favorite pattern. Pattern is the foundation of our first major project in the third grade. More to come on that later…

Recording pattern in sketchbook

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sketchbook Fever!

What a whirlwind the first week of school has been! Exciting new things have been happening in the art room. It has been so wonderful to be back at school. I have gotten to see familiar faces and meet some new ones.

Jumpstarting this year in art, I decided to have every student create their very own sketchbook. Sketchbooks are a marvelous way to store a collection of thoughts and ideas. Students will make a “school sketchbook” to keep in the art room. This will give them an outlet to do some doodling if they finish a project early, or serve as place to create rough drafts and practice some new techniques. Yet, I encourage an “at home sketchbook,” providing students the ability to practice drawing, observing, and imagining.