Paper cut patterns from way back at the start of the year with year 4. I've been holding off posting them because I've posted this lesson a few times already during this blog's short life! Simple and effective = great for casual teaching days... and I think the results definitely speak for themselves : ) The previous examples are here, here and here.
Oct 13, 2013
Sep 15, 2013
Very intricate, very laborious but very rewarding art. They are (painted) paper mosaic landscapes courtesy of year 5 and 6. Most of the scenes depicted are directly inspired by landscape photographs, some are a fusion of different photos and a few are entirely imagined. Islands and icebergs, mountains and rivers, rocks, roads, oceans, jetties and sunsets—there's a great variety of scenery, and as with all good landscape art, it's very easy to stop and stare at these beautiful natural environments.
The first and probably most enjoyable part of the process was painting all the paper. We gathered a tonne of scrap paper (just regular old copy paper) and went a bit wild with the paint, making numerous colour mixes, tints and shades. The unprinted side of each A4 sheet was quickly painted one colour, then the mix was tweaked (darker or lighter or greener etc) and another full sheet was painted. And so the process continued until virtually every flat surface in the room was covered in dozens and dozens of differently coloured pieces of drying paper. Once dry, the paper was flattened underneath a pile of atlases (proving that a printed map is still more useful than a GPS!). The speed of the painting also left lots of visible brushstrokes, which made for a very textural look on the mosaics.
The students then made planning sketches based on a series of landscape photos that I showed them. I had a quick conference with each student and made sure that they had a strong composition that was distilled down to the basic shapes and free of overly intricate details (e.g. just foreground, mountain, sky etc). They also wrote down the colours they intended to use in each area.
Next they very lightly drew in some guide lines on their good piece of art paper. Finally they began the laborious task of blocking in each segment of their landscape by cutting and pasting down pieces of the paper we had painted previously. As well as deciding exactly where to place all those great colours, other goals included gluing each piece of paper so it didn't touch its neighbour, and also to rub out the pencil guides before they were immortalised in glue!
This cutting and pasting part of the process was quite taxing on their patience and admittedly the enthusiasm had waned for a few students towards the end... Hopefully it was patience-promoting rather than patience-demanding. It took around 5 weeks to complete and made for a fantastic class display at their school art show. Well done any 5/6 students who are reading this : ) I think that may be the first time I've used the word fantastic on this blog!
Aug 25, 2013
These primary colour gradients were painted by year 5 and 6 students. The process is simple but the results are striking. This is a slight variation on my original more detailed Primary Colour Gradient lesson. To read about the process involved please take a peek here.
This time around I supplied the students with cardboard shape tracers to cut out their chosen shape before sticking it onto the background gradient. Last time every child used a circle, but I realised that the results would be improved with more variation. What do you think?
Aug 11, 2013
As you can see Umina Public School is having an art show next weekend. It will be grand I'm sure, if you're in the area please pop in. My talented wife designed the above image as part of the advertising.
I'm teaching at Umina for the rest of the school year and have recently been lucky enough to work with one talented 5/6 class on their art-show entries. They've made some mesmerising paper landscape mosaics. I will post photos soon. I've been lagging behind in my blogging but I hope to be back to my weekly routine before long.
Jul 7, 2013
I'm often surprised that some lessons are very popular with visitors to my site while other ideas that I thought might resonate with a wide audience have a lot less people viewing them. Perhaps "good" art lessons and ideas are just like "good art" in general - very subjective. That's fine though, art wouldn't be what it is without this innate characteristic. Anyway enough rambling... I was a bit surprised to see 10min Value Landscapes very quickly become my all time most popular post. I hindsight it may have something to do with teachers wanting to avoid messy painting clean-ups!
Here are a small selection of "value-scapes" a year 6 class created in computer class earlier in the year. They viewed the aforementioned post and I asked if they could see a way to extend the initial idea or put a new twist on it. In a break from tradition I've just posted a few that stood out for me.
Jun 30, 2013
A little while ago I walked over a concrete path that appeared to have a turtle print stencilled into it's surface, it made me think that some animal prints in nonrealistic colours would be a simple and memorable introduction to Fauvism. The students chose their own colourways and worked directly on the paper with no pencil lines underneath. The animal prints range from truly wild beasts like tigers and leopards, through to zebras, giraffes and the more sedate beasts like cows and even turtles.
Jun 23, 2013
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 : )