Friday, September 28, 2012

Vincent Van Gogh Sunflowers

Vincent van Gogh is one of my favorite artists and my students loved learning about him! They are always interested in his life and how sad and tragic it was in the end. This is the perfect time of year to discuss van Gogh's famous sunflower paintings because we are seeing sunflowers pop up in all the fields around town. Before introducing the lesson I give my students a little background on Vincent van Gogh. The book Camille and the Sunflowers is perfect for this! In this lesson I talk a lot about overlapping, outlining, depth, repetition, variation, unity, and still-lifes.

  •  examples of Vincent van Gogh's sunflower paintings
  • a 9x12 black piece of construction paper OR larger
  • pencil
  • Elmer's school glue
  • construction paper crayons (oil pastels or chalk pastels would also work but would be a bit messy for 2nd grade)

                                    Introduce Vincent van Gogh and his sunflower paintings. Discuss the composition, variation of colors, flowers, vases, and the painterly quality of the works of art. Why do you think van Gogh painted the sunflowers more than once (to get better and better)? How does he show depth in these paintings (lightness and darkness of colors and overlapping)? How does he establish variety and unity (through color and shape)? Is there an emotion conveyed?
                                    Demonstrate drawing (with pencil) a bouquet of flowers in a vase. Two or three different varieties of sunflowers should be drawn and overlapping should be apparent to show depth. I have students repeat each type of flower at least once.  The vase and tabletop should be added next. Stems and leaves should be added in a variety of greens.
                                    Students should outline their drawing with a thin line of glue. Allow glue to dry before coloring in the composition with construction paper crayons. I have students stick to warm colors when coloring in their flowers. I also give students the option to sign their name on the vase the way Vincent did :)

Leaf Prints

In first grade we talk about printmaking early in the year. We talk about what a print is and different ways we could make a print of something. Some vocabulary words I mention are Printmaking, printing ink, print, brayer, diagonal, fold, crease, overlap, balance, and contrast. 

  • one 12x12 piece of construction paper in a vivid color. Black also works very well.
  • a variety of real leaves
  • plastic trays for inking the leaves
  • printing ink in various colors
  • paint shirts or smocks 

Discuss and demonstrate the technique of leaf printing. 12x12 paper should be folded corner to corner (diagonally) or regularly in half, making a sharp crease. Leaves should be individually inked with color and laid on the paper on one side of the fold (not across the fold). Fold the paper with the leaf inside and rub to insure the image transfers to both sides of the paper. Open the paper and remove the leaf. Repeat this process with other leaves being sure the images slightly overlap and the composition is balanced.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Elements of Design Books

In fourth grade we start the year by talking about the 7 elements of design: Line, shape, form, value, color, texture, and space. We discuss what each element is, different examples, and how they are used in creating art. This took us about 4-5 weeks. I supplied each student with:
  •  Eight 5x3 pieces of card stock (1 for each element plus a cover page). 
  • Colored Pencils, erasers, and #2 pencils
  • Sand paper or fabric to use for "texture"
  • Examples of each element of design- I display this through a power point. 
  • A hole punch and a brass fastener for the last day.
 Here are some examples of the finished pages!

Booklet cover held together by a brass fastener.

We spelled "value" wrong on this one. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Family Portraits

In first grade we follow up our self portraits with a family portrait. This project gives me a good idea about where everyone is as far as using drawing materials, the understanding of objects being in front or behind something in a picture, and that everything needs to be touching the ground. Seeing floating families at this age is not uncommon. :) This takes us about 2 art classes. One to draw the outline, and the other to color in!

Materials:              12x18 white paper, black permanent marker, crayons.

Procedures:           Discuss the similarities and differences within a family such as eyes, hair, color, skin, shape, clothes, size, etc. Discuss what can be disclosed about personalities, hobbies, social status, life situation, or time in history, etc., in a portrait or family portrait. Students should be encouraged to think before they begin about filling the page, about proportion, and position of the body. They should be encouraged to think about what they want to convey to the observer about their personality, their hobbies, the clothes they wear, and what they look like. Demonstrate drawing a family portrait using a black permanent marker. Students should draw an outline of themselves first, then the outline of the members of their family around them. Students should draw a line representing the ground making sure it touches everyone’s feet. In the background students may add details such as their home, trees, and the sky.
Once the outline is finished, demonstrate how to color the family portrait. Each section should be colored in entirely.

-Miss Scannura

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Size and Shapes Collages

My kindergarteners do collages their second week of school. We have a dye cut machine at school. This allows me to supply them with some fun and colorful organic shapes, as well as pre-cut geometric shapes for them to work with. We talk a lot about overlapping, space, and balance in this project. Here is the lesson plan and my friend Jenna demonstrating!

  • 12x12 black or colored construction paper
  • 2 large geometric shapes
  • 3 medium organic shapes
  • 3-5 small shapes (geometric or organic)
  • glue with red tap cap. 

Procedure: Discuss geometric shapes, contrasting colors, size, geometric and organic shapes, and application of glue.Demonstrate choosing contrasting colors and shapes; layering and overlapping (2 large, then 3 medium, then 3-5 small) shapes. Shapes should be arranged in a way that creates a balanced and colorful composition. Glue should be applied sparingly to the outside edges of each shape.Dismiss children to seats with materials.

-Miss Scannura