Thursday, December 8, 2011

Jean Dubuffet

This week 4th graders started by viewing slides of some of Dubuffet's work and discussing his progress as an artist throughout his life. I read about another Dubuffet art project a ways back HERE where the teacher posted a cool site with music also written by Dubuffet. We listened to a bit of that, too. The kids had some great comments as to how his music compared with his art!!! VERY interesting and insightful!!

We then started to work creating a Dubuffet inspired paper sculpture. I bought some 110# white cardstock for this so that it would be stiff enough to stand without sagging.

First, students got 1 piece of 8 1/2" X 5 1/2" piece of cardstock and three pieces cut 8 1/2" X about 2 7/8". They cut the three smaller pieces into organic shapes.

They cut slits where appropriate and assembled the 3 pieces to make a "base" that would balance. I had the students do these 3 pieces first for 2 reasons: 1) to make sure they used 3 pieces as a firm base and 2) in case some kids worked slower I wanted to make sure that they at least had a 3-piece sculpture. Once they had learned to assemble those 3 pieces, the larger two pieces that they would do next were pretty easy to add on.

Once students figured out their construction, it was time to add lines or design motifs. We did not stick to Dubuffet's color palette, but I did as kids to limit their palette to  2 colors, plus black.
The base is piece of 6" X 6" illustration board that was donated to us.
Some classes were taking longer to complete the coloring process, so I had them assemble the white pieces so they would understand the process. They then took them apart and took the pieces with them so they could finish them back in their classrooms. Thank you to the great 4th grade teachers who were willing to have the kids complete the work with them. This was my last day with 4th graders for this 4-week cycle, so there was not the option of finishing next week in art class!!

With winter break coming up soon, I also showed students how to take apart a cereal box and recycle the cardboard to make a sculpture like this. Here is the one I made during the last vacation at home:
I hope some of the kids try it at home!!


  1. This is great! I did a drawing lesson in this style this year - I will have to add the 3D element next year...

  2. Thes projects turned out really beautiful.

    A great lesson to teach the 3-dimentsionality of objects.