Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Overlapping Circles

As I wrote my last post I was thinking about how many children have trouble getting their paintbrush to do what they want. Next year I am going to do a lesson demonstrating how you can drag your brush along a line to make the line straight or curved and how turning your arm or hand and the brush can help in that effort. So, let my playtime begin...
The steps for this are the same as for my last post with squares.(here)

I think I like the finished composition on the "squares" better than this, although I could envision using this technique with snowballs to make snow people during the winter months. Hmmm. Have to think about it some more.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Overlapping Shapes

What is one thing that teachers do during the summer? Well, of course, we get in there and try out things we have thought about doing during the school year but haven't had time to play with. So, today was playtime!

I started thinking about overlapping shapes showing dimension. But rather than incorporate the skill into a full fledged landscape or still life, I wanted to isolate just the skill of overlapping.
I started using a 3-inch square to trace around with a permanent marker. I started "off the paper" and traced one whole square. Then, for the next square I traced around all of it EXCEPT the part where the previous square was.
I continued the "path" until I reached another side of the paper.
Next, I painted around all the squares with one color. As I was painting I remembered noticing this year how much difficulty some kids had dragging the paintbrush along a line to make a straight edge. This seemed to be a foreign concept for many, so next year I plan to focus on that as a separate skill. I think a project like this will be a good vehicle for this.
Finally, I used black to edge the overlapped sides of the squares. This really gave an illusion of depth and it was created totally by dragging the edge of the brush.

I am not sure whether this is a finished idea or not. I may have kids do something inside the white areas of the squares, but I like just leaving them as tumbling squares, too.  We'll see next year.

Once I had the paint out, I figured I might as well try something else. So, using the same idea, I cut out newspaper squares and glued them down in the same way that I drew the above squares.

Then I painted around the squares in much the same way. This might be better for younger students who would have trouble knowing exactly where to draw to make their squares appear to be overlapping.

I'll be playing with this idea more during the summer. My attention span for school stuff   has just about expired and I am off to read a book!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What Does Teacher Do During the Summer?

Well, I started my summer off by walking down to our local Farmers' Market on WEDNESDAY. Usually I can only go on Saturdays. I strolled along buying this and that and snapping a few photos until I got to the flower stall. Spent quite awhile there and left with just a small bouquet of sweet peas.

When I got home, fully motivated by the flowers, I tried out my new Fluid block of watercolor paper -- 8" X 8". I liked it because it is only connected on 2 sides and easy to release when you are done painting.

What a perfect way to start the summer!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Good-bye Art Room, Hello Summer!!

As I take art off bulletin boards, clean the counter tops and pack everything away off the floors so that the custodians can clean the room during the summer, I am already thinking of new projects for next year. How obsessive is that!! (although I am sure some of you must do the same thing)

 I have a huge pile of odd sizes of foam core that I started sorting and cutting.

It is for what I think will be a very cool collage inspired by James Rizzi and when I should be thinking about summer fun, here I am anxious to see what it will look like!! I think maybe this is because I really don't like endings, but I love beginnings. So much hope and promise as you anticipate what will come!
So, I have taken down the giant pencil and crayon [you may remember from September -  see link here](had to leave the top of the paint brush because I couldn't reach it and was too lazy to go get a ladder!!) and I am off to enjoy the next 2 months. YEAH!

I'm not sure how I'll be using this blog during the summer, but I'm sure I'll think of something. It may be a place to share some new projects in tutorial form, or think about inspirations for next year's work, or maybe just a space to relax and enjoy the "fruits of summer"! We'll see. I know I am already looking forward to and enjoying reading about what others are doing with their summer. Hope we ALL have a restful, fun time and can rejuvenate to be able to start again in Aug. or Sept.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Finished Project

Here is our finished 3-D Circle Painting (although the 3 dimensional cylinders are hard to see, even when you zoom in). This could almost be an "I Spy" exercise!!!

As kids talked in their teams about where to place the cylinders, they considered where the predominant color of the cylinder would best fit in with the overall design, how they could best lead the viewer's eye toward the center and spacing out the cylinders. As they surveyed the work, I also had them think back to yesterday and talk to me about the kinds of artistic decisions they made as a group. I heard such things as
"We made chains and stars."
"We worked together with 2 colors to make spirals."
"I used the color wheel to figure out opposite colors so that it would stand out."
"We worked together to make sure there were connections between what we each painted."
"Our group thought it would look good to layer colors of paint as the paint started to dry."
I absolutely LOVED watching and listening as kids created this art. It was such an authentic evaluation of all they have learned this year!!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

3-D Circle Painting

For our final project of the year we worked on a variation of Circle Painting.
I first read about Circle Painting on Barbara's blog here. I followed that idea, but added a variation of dimension to our piece. Since our school blocks YouTube I found some other sites with examples of circle painting to share with my group of 4th graders to give them the general idea. Kids worked in teams of 4, each with one color of paint, at separate tables. Each table had a different set of colors.

One child started with a circle or circle pattern in the center of the board. The next child added on with a new color. Once everyone had added one color they could all jump in and paint at the same time growing from the center outward.

I asked them to plan, thinking of color, line, design and general balance of the piece, however, I found that the planning conversation just happened naturally. I loved when I overheard one of the boys saying, "Let's plan this smart!" and then went on with his rather elaborate suggestion.
Children rotated their positions at the table so that their color repeated in different areas. After awhile, I had kids change tables so that they were working on a different piece of art with their new set of colors. It was fun to see them go back to their previous table to see how other kids had added to "their" painting. The teamwork began with the original 4 kids, but then grew to include the others who worked on the same piece. Such a great opportunity to demonstrate cooperation!!!!!!
Before the students started this part of the painting, they cut and painted a 2" tube which they will be gluing onto the finished paintings tomorrow when they are dry. I think that this addition of dimension will add to the basic circle painting. We'll see!! I'll share when it is done.