5th Grade Self-Portraits

This is one of my favorite projects to do with 5th Grade. A lot of hard work goes into these. We learn about proportion on day 1 and create a realistic looking human portrait. We discuss cartooning vs. realism.

On day 2 we learn about contour line. We learn about and struggle with creating a “blind contour line” portrait. Students use mirrors to study self, but may not: look at the paper, erase, let the pencil leave the paper. It is very challenging, but teaches them how to REALLY look, and not rely on what they think they know.

On day 3 we look at a variety of self portraits by famous artists (and some of my own from way back!). We discuss body language, expression, props, color. We use both our knowledge of proportion and observational drawing to compose our final drawing on large black paper. We trace over the drawing with white glue and let dry

Finally it’s time to apply color! We learn about pastel techniques and give thought to how we will use color to create expression.

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1st Grade Halloween fun!

So not only are these cute and fun to wear, but they required visual measuring and learning an “accordion fold”. What cute little spiders!

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3rd Grade “Mini-Matisses”

In 2nd Grade we learned about Henri Matisse and his paper cut-outs. This year we learned about his still life paintings, and interiors. We identified organic shapes, pattern, and his use of bright colors.

We used his painting “goldfish” as inspiration. Our goal was not to copy, but to use elements of the painting (fish bowl, table, organic shapes) and organize them in a different way.

These beautiful paintings took about 3 weeks. During that time the students learned a variety of painting techniques, how to choose the best “tool” (brush) for the job, and use and care of materials and tools.

Below is Matisse’s “Goldfish”, followed by the 3rd grade interpretations and variations.

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1st Grade Color Exploration

Painting with young children, while a bit messy, is also quite magical. Hearing their enthusiasm and excitement when they discover new colors, seeing the pride on their faces- it makes all of the set-up and clean up totally worth it!

We began these beautiful “non-objective” paintings by reviewing our Line Families. Using pencils first, the students “broke up the space” using straight lines, curvy lines, zig zag lines, circles and dots. We tried to create “areas of interest” and “areas of rest”.

Once satisfied with their composition, students went over with black tempera paint.

On day 2, we used color! But wait! There was only red, yellow, blue and white! Using the Primary colors, we were able to create a wide range of Secondary colors (orange, purple, and green). Tints were created by adding white, and neutrals by mixing color opposites.

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4th and 5th Grade Art Club

Today was our fist day of Art Club! We had a great time exploring the concept of “drawing with wire”, along with learning about the challenges and possibilities of working in this medium. Here are some photos of our Art Club working on their Alexander Calder inspired wire sculptures.

I will post finished products after our next meeting. And yes, students are wearing protective eye goggles. Safety first!

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3rd Grade “Line Families” compositions

This is such a great project for the beginning of the year. I adapted it from a lesson in “Drawing with Children” by Mona Brooks. Each student is given the same set of instructions, yet the variety that is possible within that framework always amazes me! Really helps instill the fact that there is no one right answer in Art!

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4th Grade Tikis

We may be back in school, but technically, it’s still summer! We looked at examples of tikis before composing our own. Students focused on pattern, focal points, and areas of rest. We used crayon and then coated drawings in black tempera paint, then rinsing off, creating a “batik” effect. Aren’t they fun?

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2nd Grade Self-portraits

This was a fun way to start out our school year! 2nd graders created mini self-portraits, mini masterpieces, and wrote what they liked about art! They look adorable in our front entry.

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3rd grade- Painting with Matisse!

Our first day of Matisse painting unit. What fun! Stay tuned for more…

Watch us paint!

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Welcome to Willowbrook Art!

I am looking forward to another great year learning, exploring, and creating with you!

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