Tuesday, October 18, 2016


To conclude our unit on LINE and COLOR students examine the sculptures by American artist Alexander Calder.  We discussed how he manipulates wire to create a  variety of lines such as SPIRAL, WAVY, CURLY, and LOOPED.  Students learned how Calder used inspiration from the Ringling Brothers Circus to make his wire sculptures.  Next, we brainstormed all the different ways we can manipulate wire and came up with bending, twisting, zig zagging, curling, connecting, and curving.  Based on these techniques, students created their own wire sculptures paying careful to the principle of design BALANCE and element of design FORM.  For the previous class we defined PAINTING FROM OBSERVATION as painting what you see in front of you.  All of our young artists carefully observed the lines and colors in their sculptures and transferred it to their large scale
paintings only using the primary colors plus black and white. We had fun at the end of class trying to match each sculpture to its correct observational painting.  

Haring in The House Again!

This is the second time I have used Keith Haring and the other project I did with kindergarten can be found HERE. For this project, transitional primary studied mural artist Keith Haring and made these large scale paintings in response to his work.  First, we learned how during Haring's childhood, he loved to watch his dad draw cartoons.  Once he got older, he moved to New York City to study art, and started showing up in subway stations drawing cartoon like characters on the empty
advertisement black boards.

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Keith Haring

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Keith Haring

We discussed why someone would want to make art outside or in public areas versus for a Museum.  Students concluded that it cost money to go to a Museum and art that was public could be  enjoyed by EVERYONE, rich or poor. Additionally, we dissected the message behind many of his murals to be world peace and for people to love everyone regardless of their differences.

To create our own Haring inspired art, we first played freeze dance and for each time we stopped the music, our students would come up with a pose and then have their body traced.  For the next class, we practiced using the primary colors to paint secondary colors inside of our bodies.  After our bodies were filled with primary and secondary hues, we added white to create tints.  The last day was spent creating a variety of lines in our bodies from spiral, curvy, wavy and loopy to zigzag and pointed.  This project wraps up our unit on line and color.




Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Roll a Picasso!

Every year I try to do something a little different on the first day of art class for each grade.  Typically we go over rules and routines, but I feel it is extremely important to still have time for a short art activity.  For fourth grade this year, we will be starting the year with cubism, so for the first day without having a complete introduction to the movement made famous by Pablo Picasso, students worked as a table to create one cubist portrait.  We started by reviewing how a portrait is an artwork of a person (usually head, neck, and top of shoulders).  

Next, students used the laws of CHANCE to create these fun portraits.  Students were so excited when creating these large scale portraits, because they did not have to worry about the pressure of making something look real as well as having to have a plan of what their artwork was going to look like from the start.  After all the portraits were created, we viewed them next to the original Picasso portraits and tried to match up which feature came from which painting.  See below and you can try and guess too! Next class, we will have a very in depth talk about cubism and the different techniques. 

Student Work 

 I found this great project at Teachers Pay Teachers and adapted it to work for our class,

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Third Grade Makes Their Mark

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For the first day of art class, third grade examined how the element of design LINE is used in drawings by Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso.   Students described these different types of marks as wavy, curly, dotted (stippling), cross hatched, vertical, and horizontal.  The challenge for third graders was to cut a circle from their square cardboard and create their own mark.  Some young artists repeated the a line, while others used several types of lines and incorporated them into a pattern.  This exercise is preparation for a mark making lesson we will do later this year when we use tooling foil.  

Vincent Van Gogh

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Falling Into Art

Pre-K has been busy rubbing and rubbing and RUBBING in the art studio! The first day each artist was given a blue textured plate, which they quickly learned was very different from the type they eat off of or see at the dinner table.  Each plate had a different texture/pattern.   Some of the designs reminded students of spider webs,  blocks, and raindrops.

We learned that in order to make a print we needed to pinch our crayons and lay them down as if they were going to sleep.  Then we use our muscles to RUB RUB and RUB.  After we had some practice with this,  for the second day students were able to use real leaves to make their prints.

Student Artwork