Jun 16, 2013
These musical moments were made after year 4 observed this series of album covers created by British artist Paula Cox. The students created their own scenes in pencil, then traced the "good bits" with permanent markers before finishing with watercolour paint.
I like the variety of responses from the students and I think they have captured the emotion and simple joy of music much like Paula has. I always keep this lesson up my sleeve as a relief teacher, you can read more about the lesson process on my inaugural "Musical Vibes" post here. Another post featuring more oil pastel variations can be found here.
Jun 9, 2013
A talented and patient year 3 class are responsible for these great collages. They are inspired by Rosalie Gascoigne's Tiger Tiger. I first tried this lesson with a combined year 5 and 6 class last year. Both times the students and myself have been really happy with the results. There's quite a bit of work involved and there are some very thoughtful responses from these young artists. You can read more about the process involved and see the work of the 5/6 class on this previous post.
I like the variety of themes the students have chosen, from single and varied colours, to typography, people, transport, hairstyles and more. I commented to one young student that I really liked his collection of colours to which he replied "it's not a colour collection, they're all different dress fabrics..." I was even more impressed! Some might find it a little creepy, but I was also really impressed with the student who amassed a collage of different skin tones. As I mentioned the students were very patient, mostly I think students of all ages like fairly fast paced art lessons but this process is fiddly and laborious. Year 3 is definitely the youngest I'll repeat this lesson with : )
Jun 2, 2013
A second instalment of 10 minute value landscapes. Not only do they look great, but they are super quick and easily made with even the most basic computer painting program. Of course they can be painted or drawn in real life too! Just allow quite a bit more time... This time around I asked year 3 students to make their sky colour different to the tints and shades of their mountains/hills colour—I like the effect this has had. You can make up your own mind by viewing the original lesson here.
May 26, 2013
These collaboratively made maps of New Zealand were inspired by American graphic designer and artist, Paula Scher. Year 3 viewed a collection of her beautiful map art here. The land mass of NZ is made up of hand written words all to do with ‘Aotearoa’ (Maori for Land of the Long White Cloud). The children took turns copying from a word bank of around a dozen words with permanent markers. Originally there was a light pencil outline to guide the writing which was later erased. The writing wasn’t particularly legible but the overall effect is great!
I really like art that looks great on the wall at a distance but also seems to have laser beams that drag you in for a close-up look. It’s interesting to see all the different writing and words and the ways they zig and zag and tumble over each other.
The black and white one is my personal favourite and is inspired by New Zealand’s national sporting colours. The teacher of this particular class was on leave to compete in a hockey tournament in New Zealand so it seemed like a good opportunity to combine a quick geography lesson with some art. Apologies to any Kiwis reading this who have zoomed in close and feel that our word bank is stereotypical or too limited! In the future I would really like to try this lesson with an older class and let each student choose a country to research and make a Scher-like map of art for.
May 19, 2013
I find that incorporating choice is a great way to help students be enthusiastic about an art lesson—often the more prescriptive a lesson is, the harder it is to engage students. Another great benefit of lessons with choice is that the resulting art is obviously more varied and interesting to look at—it's a bit unexciting to see a classroom wall adorned with up to 30 very similar artworks.
Recently I was with this year 3 class for a session in the computer lab. This simple "doodlish pattern" task included two basic choices. The first step (and choice) was to cover their page/screen/image in either straight or curvy lines. The second step (and choice) was to paint in the resulting segments using either all cool colours, all warm colours or all tints and shades of a single colour. As you can see a few students felt even that was too restrictive!
May 12, 2013
Happy Mother's Day Mums! These paper-woven hearts were made by year 3 this week. Each card has a lovely message from the children to their mother on the reverse side. Hopefully they have survived the journey home intact and are being delivered along with breakfast in bed this morning : )
They were inspired by my one and only art project book 1000 Things To Make and Do by Fiona Watt. I'm sure there are hundreds more great titles out there, feel free to let me know of any must-haves!
May 5, 2013
A third instalment of cloudscapes. Some students in this 5/6 composite really dove in with reckless abandon, which was great to see, and admittedly a little scary at times! I am really impressed with the subtlety of some of the colours a number of the students created.
And as you can see below they really do make for a great feature on a classroom wall.
Apr 28, 2013
Displaying these Ryo Takemasa-inspired insects all together like this reminds me of a classic scientific insect identification chart—although these insects are more art than science; insect-ish rather than scientifically accurate. We briefly discussed the very detailed, exact and useful art of scientific illustration and contrasted it with the stylised insects Ryo has created.
These year 4 students pre-sketched, then penciled in their own stylised insects. There was a selection of real insect photos for them to view on the board as well as a selection of Ryo's insect illustrations. Next they traced their drawings with permanent marker and finished with watercolours.
Most of the students were really happy with their results, and so they should be—they look great. However, they're possibly not quite as good as Ryo's... yet!
Here's a dragonfly by Ryo Takemasa. You can (and should) see more of his work here.
Apr 21, 2013
Each year 4 student created nine various pictogram-style people in black and white. They presented their collection as a 3 x 3 grid on a piece of coloured construction paper.
I was with this particular class for a full week and they mostly worked on these during early finishing time. Initially I brought up some examples on the smart board and they sketched ideas in pencil before transferring them in permanent marker onto the small squares of art paper I had pre-cut. I asked the students that each of their nine people be obviously different in some way.
It was a good way to occupy the students between other activities and I think they enjoyed the collective process. It's an effective way for them to manipulate positive and negative space too. This is the first time I've tried this lesson but I'm sure I will again in the future. I think it could also be a good opportunity to look at and imitate Keith Haring-style people, but this is a future lesson!
Apr 14, 2013
These eye-catching collages were created by a recent year 5 class. I first trialled this lesson last year with year 2. I've been really pleased with the results both times. As a relief teacher it's great to have ready-to-go lessons that work well across multiple age groups (and are even more engaging than colouring-in stencils!). You can see the original year 2 results and read more about the lesson process here.
I was really impressed with some of these colour combinations and especially with the student on the very top left who opted to use only blue and black while most used their full "allowance" of four colours!
If you're too stretched for time to visit my previous post and instructions, here's a short overview : ) Students choose between 1 and 4 colours, then free-cut and paste pieces of these coloured papers down, covering the white paper without the pieces touching each other.