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!!


  1. They definitely have a Jim Dine feel with the black shadows and expressive lines!

  2. These are very nice works. I love the work of Jim Dine Your step by step instructions were very helpful.

  3. Thanks -- it was really fun once the kids got to finger printing the heart border. Lots of conversation about the tints that they were mixing!!