Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lines and Color Bursting Forth

A few weeks ago I wrote about line patterns that started with black and white and then progressed to color surrounding them. The lesson is here. I finally got around to teaching this to 2nd graders this week and thought I would post the results. Actually, I changed how I taught the lesson a bit.

We started out discussing different styles of lines and named a few of them. Kids drew some of their ideas on the Smartboard (sorry I forgot to take some pictures of this part of the lesson). Students then drew a minimum of 3 lines on their 3" X 4" boards. They had to begin and end on an edge and each edge had to have at least one line beginning or ending on it. This was to help create a background with lines extended in all directions, providing nice large sections to paint.

 Children cut small squares of foam core to raise this rectangle from the background and create a "pop-up".
Once the small piece was glued on, they extended all their lines to the edges of their larger board (8" X 10"). Finally, they painted the background sections using cake tempera. The focus here was using color thoughtfully and purposefully. (We had spent some time reviewing color systems.)

I loved the variety of lines and was so pleased that almost everyone remembered how to use their brushes correctly (without mashing the bristles) and cleaning them well between colors!! The best part of this project was that children worked independently with very little need of help and actually finished in one class period ( 50 - 60 min.)
I like the way this girl used separate colors for each of the "loops" in her vertical line:))

I made the suggestion that kids could leave some sections white. This student didn't quite get the concept of extending his or her lines to the edges of the board, but I really like the result!!

Look at all these great reds with the one section of the complement, green!! Great color mixing!!

The lines on the small rectangle fairly explode off the page -- such terrific action!!

These make me smile in the same way that Matisse's cut-outs do:))

This shows a nice, intentional use of white space.

I liked seeing how students treated their extended lines. Some painted over them, some left them black and white, and this student painted his blue:))
After drying outside (if you live in Boston, I am sorry to show you this one!!) I put a few up in the hallway display case.

Sometimes I display line works like these touching each other so that the lines seem to connect and create a network. I didn't do that here, but now I am thinking that maybe I should have!!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Warm and VERY Cool 3-D Hearts

2nd graders started this project with a look at Eric Telchin's book, See a Heart Share a Heart as well as a comparison of works by Jim Dines and Jeff Koons. We were particularly interested in how artists shade objects to make them appear 3-D and their use of warm and cool colors (which helped to create balance in their artwork.) The ultimate goal was to make the shaded heart to appear to "pop" off the page.

Students used 1-inch illustration board strips (instead of rulers) to draw their borders. This is a good opportunity for partner work.
Next, they used pastels to create either warm or cool backgrounds, choosing geometric or organic shapes.
I taught a directed lesson on making a heart following the steps below.

Then, using oil pastels in a color contrasting with their backgrounds, kids colored their heart. They shaded it with black, and went over the whole heart again with their original color, trying to blend the colors and "move" the black towards the center.(It helps to use soft oil pastels!!) This was as far as we got on the first day.

On Day #2, students cut out their hearts, looked for a good spot to place them on their background and traced around them lightly. Following a bit of Jim Dines' work, they used a black Stayonal crayon to make the scratchy, spiky marks and then glued on their hearts. I did a quick review lesson on how to hold a glue bottle (horizontally with their thumb on top) and "touch, squeeze and lift" to control the size of their tiny glue dots.  

For the border students used their finger dipped in a warm or cool color and then white. 

The paint choices matched their large heart. That is, if someone had a cool colored heart, then they also used cool colors to make their little border hearts. I controlled this on the first day by having only cool or warm colors at each given table. That way I didn't have to provide all six colors of paint at each table. If I still had my own classroom that wouldn't have been a concern. But now that I am traveling on a cart from room to room, I find that I am being ultra organized and am always trying to manage how many materials I can actually fit onto the cart!! (UGH!) Students made the letter "V", pulling down diagonally to form the hearts. There was a LOT of conversation about the creative color mixing!!

In Eric Telchin's book, he searches for hearts everywhere and takes pictures of his "heart finds." A lot of kids found that when they dipped their fingers in the white paint to tint the color already on their finger, that they left a heart shape of color on the surface of the white paint!! That was quite a thrilling discovery for many!!

Here are some of the finished pieces:
These are drying outside in the sun. I thought some of you in the  East might want a peek at some 70° weather as you await Spring. Don't worry, it WILL arrive for you!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Patterned Columns a la Siena Cathedral

Every now and then Pinterest provides a wonderful "find." That's how I felt when I stumbled upon a zentangle blog (here) that took its inspiration from the columns inside the wonderful Siena Cathedral. There are some great images of the cathedral's interior on Google.
The site teaches how to get the 3-D look, as well as how to "wrap" the design with a frame. What a great way to reinforce repetition, pattern, line direction (vertical, horizontal, parallel) and shading!!!

Since the only materials needed are a fine line marker, pencil, ruler and paper or board, it is great lesson to leave for a sub when you are going to be out of your class, too!

4th graders started by drawing their frame. Next they drew vertical pairs of lines to mimic the columns. These can be parallel, that is not necessary. Single vertical lines can be used to create a zig-zag effect. The next step was to draw horizontal bands that they would fill with patterns. ** Some students needed help seeing the arc lines connecting the verticals:))

 Then they created border designs that wrapped around their piece. The last step was to shade one side of the columns or zig-zag and shade the interior side of their frame border to add depth.
Here are few that are almost finished.