Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Collagraph Hands

I wish I had more time to do printmaking with students. Many are so timid as they approach the project and would benefit from more time with lots of different kinds of prints. Most of our 3rd graders were here in the school last year when they did gyotaku (Japanese fish prints), so I know they have at least had that experience. This lesson came from Mrs. Crosbie's wonderful blog in Angus, Scotland. (See her lesson here.) If you haven't visited her blog yet, be sure to spend a little time browsing when you link to it!!
Kids started by tracing their hand and cutting it out. They then used that cut-out to trace and cut out another hand in a different color. I used 2 different colors for the hands to avoid confusion. They cut out the sections of one hand and glued those pieces on the other hand. See picture below to see them drying. Some students did better than others at this. Several had a hard time cutting and staying organized as they glued the little pieces even though I cautioned them to cut and glue only one finger at a time. I limited their cutting to thumbs and finger parts only -- I felt the palm lines would have been too confusing for this group.

When the printing plates were dry, on another day, students painted the hands and used them to print on an 8" X 10" board. They had white and 2 colors to choose from for paint. We talked about how to position the hands so the fingers pointed in different directions creating a variety of angles. Several students commented on how the white prints in particular reminded them of bones!!!

You'll notice that I used paintbrushes instead of printing brayers. That was a decision I made in the interest of time. I only have 8 brayers, but I wanted 15-16 kids to print at one time. I had 2 different printing tables set up. We were trying to finish up 2 projects and one day, so the time consideration won out!!

Here are a few of the finished projects:
When I returned the prints to students I gave them their hand plate separately so they could use it at home to try printing some more. However, I think the printing plate would actually look good mounted on the print itself.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Finished Spheres

This week 3rd graders finished up their Floating Spheres. The first part of the lesson is posted here. First they shaded their pencil spheres with crayon to add a bit of subtle color. I had to remind a few to continue to use curved lines, echoing the curve of the sphere as they shaded.
Then they cut out their 3 spheres and glued them onto their black and white vanishing point drawing.
We talked again about "fooling the eye" with the placement of the spheres on the background. To create the illusion, students placed the smallest sphere near their vanishing point, the largest sphere partly off the page, and the middle size anywhere in between. In the lesson I also emphasized arranging the spheres with the white highlight always in the same position. Most kids remembered to do this, but not all.

A final step, if the kids wished to do it, was to glue their whole composition on a matt board (either colored or black). It was interesting to see how they solved the problem of where to put the glue for pieces that stuck off the matt!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Favorite Book in the Art Room

I LOVE this book:

Unlikely Pairs by Bob Raczka is one of my students' favorite books. Whenever we have a few moments at the end of class, this is a "go to" activity -- analyzing the pairs of artworks and offering ideas why they might be paired.

This is one of the first pairings in the book:
The painting on the left, "Soap Bubbles", by artist Jean Babtiste Simeon Chardin has a lot going on in it to discuss. I was so delighted to recently find a short (and excellent) video on it at the Art Babbles site (here).  If you haven't seen this site, check it out. It is a treasure trove of resources for an art teacher!!!!

After viewing this video and examining a few bubble images from Google on the Smartboard, students will be creating their own bubble art ( maybe soap bubbles, maybe carbonation bubbles from a drink, maybe bubbles that they are blowing themselves).  I plan on having kids use construction paper crayons and maybe some oil pastels on black paper. We will have to wait to see what they come up with but I will share student work in the future.