Saturday, October 17, 2015

Cow Parade at Riddle Brook School!

I just finished my first student teaching placement--I was at Riddle Brook Elementary School in Bedford, NH. My cooperating teacher, Meagan Read, was super-wonderful--very supportive and a wealth of knowledge. Here's a quick one-day project that we were able to do as a finishing touch with the fourth grade classes (the other work will be coming soon, but I wanted to share these now).

Roy Lichtenstein-Inspired Cow
Mrs. Read and I made this cow as our sign for the entire parade
(tempera on paper).

We started off by looking at the book "Cow Parade New York" by Thomas Craughwell and by looking at a couple of mini cow statues I brought in. We then looked at a Powerpoint I had made about six or seven famous artists and a couple examples of their work. I explained that they were going to work together to create a cow inspired by one of the artists. The students were excited to begin and after a quick demo, they could begin working on their portion of the project. Sometimes they could work on their portion of the "Class Cow" at their tables, but other times I called up a table at a time to work on the "Class Cow" at teaching table. They came out so great and the students worked together so well. Prior to class, I had traced a really large cow onto butcher paper--these are about 3'x4' (so calf size). I would have LOVED to make them adult cow-sized, but that will have to be for the future.

When they weren't working on the class cow, they could work on their "personal cows" which were coloring sheets I printed out from the Cow Parade site. I know, you may be saying "coloring pages aren't for me." Yeah, I get it. If you don't want to utilize the resources on the Cow Parade site, that's cool, feel free to make up your own or have students draw their own cows.

This was a fun one day project for the students that inspired LOTS of creativity and discussion about art. I hope you try it! ENJOY!

Andy Warhol-Inspired Cow
(Students colored with markers on a photocopied photo of a cow).
James Rizzi-Inspired Cow
(Students drew symbols and shapes with oil pastels and then
painted them with tempera paint. The black outlines were redone
using the oil pastel once the paint had dried).
Wayne Thiebaud-Inspired Cow
(Each students was given a 6" square of paper and instructed on how to
use oil pastels to shade a sphere (a.k.a. a gumball).
Piet Mondrian-Inspired Cow
(Students took turns placing 1"x 24" strips of yellow horizontally
or vertically onto the cow. Once all of the students had contributed,
students could come back up and glue four 1" squares onto the yellow
strips anywhere they'd like.
Wassily Kandinsky-Inspired Cow
(The cow was divided into a grid. Each student could come up and
paint concentric circles in one of the grid spaces using tempera paint).

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Grade 6 Oil Pastel Fauve Landscapes

Well, I fell in love with these great oil pastels I found in art room of the middle school I was working at. They are chunky and water soluble--Um, hello!?! Water soluble OIL pastels? I do not understand the mysteries of the world, but I must say, my students and I used the bejeebies out of these last semester! 

This shows the stages of the project: Image selection, simplified sketch
and completed Fauve Landscape.

One great project the 6th graders worked on was Fauve landscapes. I have posted a Fauve Landscape project before which was more technical and science-oriented since it involved afterimages and such (check it out here--it makes a grew STEAM project). But this time, I went with a simpler version that still allowed the students to learn about the Fauves and color theory. These came out beautiful and made a wonderful display, but I didn't get a picture of them all together (I know, I can't believe it). Trust me, they are awesome and beautiful. :-)

Here's how it worked:
Students looked through the magazines in the classroom for three landscapes they liked that they thought would work to simplify--these oil pastels don't do detail well. The students met with me and we discussed their choices and they selected one to take to final. They could then simplify the landscape on newsprint using a grid format (or freehand it if they preferred).

Once they were done their draft, I had them transfer the image to a poster-weight paper. I thought that would hold up well. However, you could probably use white drawing paper. Students were encouraged to use at least two colors in each section of their drawing using blending. We had talked about color theory, warm/cool colors and atmospheric perspective so they could make great color choices. Once all of the sections of their landscape were complete, they could use a dark-colored pastel to outlines the sections (similar the some of the Fauve artists).

When done, the finished pieces were glued to a black mat (black paper cut 2" larger than the work). This really made the colors seem so bright and also made the pieces look more finished. Matting work just makes it seem more special.

Ta-da! Beautiful Fauve Landscapes! ENJOY!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

1 Point Perspective Shapes of AWESOMENESS

Ok, so this is a pretty basic 1 point perspective draw-a-long that I did with my 6th grade students. This was left by the art teacher for me to do with the students as their first project of the semester. Since it could be a little dry, I starting calling it "Shapes of AWESOMENESS" and used a super-hero-type voice that really inspired awe in my students :-) or maybe they were worried I had lost my marbles!

One of the students made me this--Thank you!

Anyhoo, this was a great way for them to learn the basics of perspective drawing such as horizon line, vanishing point, height, width, depth, facing size, construction lines, etc. They were able to draw geometric shapes, organic shapes, and letters. I encouraged the students to place their shapes and letters above and below the horizon line.

Once they practiced drawing a variety of shapes and letters on their "Shapes of Awesomeness" test sheet, I gave them another, smaller piece of paper and they could draw their names using what they had learned. They drew with pencil, outlined with Sharpie, then shaded with colored pencils.

My super-smart students then suggested we glue the finished names to their folders (duh, Mrs. P, why didn't you think of that!?!) and that's what we did. The teacher I was subbing for uses basic two-pocket folders for students to hold class paperwork and smaller projects in-the-works and these fit nicely on the cover.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Not-So-Scary Self Portrait Project

Many of my students dread the self portrait. I find that the older they get the more fear and loathing I see when I mention "self portrait." Not to fear! I was finishing up with last semester's 6th grade students and tried this neat twist on the self portrait from Dali's Moustache that uses clear acetate sheets (overhead projector film)--we had a surplus of them in the classroom, but I've also used sheet protectors (but those are more costly).

The students were pretty happy with the results, although some of them took a couple tries to get the hang of the drawing/tracing technique. We used watercolor paper and watercolors for our backgrounds.

I also saw this other version that uses collage for the background and I'm going to try that next time. Thanks, Janet Taylor for the awesome idea--I love collage!


And the bulletin board display of some of the completed self-portraits.

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