Friday, March 16, 2018

Arts Around the World: French Impressionist Paintings Inspired by Monet

The third country on our Arts Around the World journey this year is France. We began by learning a few facts about the country, like the capital city of Paris, and we also learned about the French artist, Claude Monet. Claude Monet was born in 1840 in Paris. Monet began the Impressionist art movement. 
Impressionism is a style of painting that began in France in the early 1860s when artists started painting pictures outside instead of in their studios. This was called 'en plein air' (which is French for open air). Impressionist artists, like Monet, wanted to capture a moment in time and the light and color of the moment, more than the details of objects. 
Claude Monet, Impression, Sunrise (1872)
Monet enjoyed painting the same places over and over, to capture differences in light and color. Because the light conditions kept changing, he had to work very quickly, using quick, gestural brushstrokes of paint.
Claude Monet, Bridge Over a Pond of Waterlilies (1899)
We looked at some examples of Monet's paintings and discussed the differences between a few versions of his garden bridge and waterlilies paintings. We then drew our own version of a bridge, using oil pastels, and waterlilies underneath it. 
We just used oil pastel, instead of starting with pencil, to keep things loose and students thought about creating the impression of waterlilies and floating lily pads, rather than drawing each petal in detail. 
The following class we added watercolor paint to our oil pastel drawings. The oil pastel bridge and water lilies could still be seen through the watercolor paint which demonstrates resist, an effect students have learned previously. Students also learned about a watercolor technique called wet-on-wet, which involves painting the paper with water first and then dropping or painting with watercolor on top. The watercolor blooms or spreads because the paper is already wet which creates a blurry effect. Students enjoyed experimenting with this technique, and many found its effect "magical"! 
Students also experimented with another watercolor technique: using salt sprinkled on top of the wet paint. The salt absorbs the color from the paint, creating a white spot underneath as it dries and making a interesting texture. Students enjoyed combining some of the watercolor techniques they learned about during this project. After our artwork dried, the salt was brushed off and students were excited to see the effects of the salt, as well as the wet-on-wet. 
We shared our finished work with each other through a gallery walk, noticing everyone's use of the watercolor techniques and how the paint had dried. We also read a fun book about Monet, by Mike Venezia, which is part of his Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists series. Below are examples of our Monet inspired garden bridge and waterlilies artworks:
Gianna, 2nd Grade (Pearse)
Joshua, 2nd Grade (Pearse)
Logan, 2nd Grade (Stone)
Mason, 2nd Grade (O'Connor)
Naomi, 2nd Grade (Hinds)
Ruken, 2nd Grade (O'Connor)
Sean, 2nd Grade (O'Connor)
Tia, 2nd Grade (Hinds)
Tyler, 2nd Grade (O'Connor)

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Out of This World Outer Space Resist

Recently, 4th grade artists thought about how to use color to make shapes appear less flat and more three dimensional. We noticed that adding shading to a shape, as well as a highlight, helps transform the flat shape into a three dimensional looking form. We applied this concept to our outer space drawings, using oil pastels. 
To begin, students brainstormed a list of things you might see in outer space, including the Earth, sun, planets, stars, asteroids, space stations and of course, the Millennium Falcon and Death Star from Star Wars! After sketching out their compositions, students drew their outer space scenes on larger paper and used oil pastel to add color and depth. 
Students were encouraged to use several colors on each object, considering the light source and where there might be shade to help give objects and three dimensional appearance. Students got very creative and imaginative with their details, including aliens, food items, and space junk! 
When they finished drawing with oil pastel, students painted their entire artwork with black watercolor paint. This is called resist, because the oil pastel resists the watercolor paint, and allows the oil pastel outer space objects to stand out. We also shared our work through a gallery walk and a turn and talk, where we partnered up to share our artwork with each other.
Here are some examples of our out of this world outer space resist paintings!
Ava, 4th Grade (Mattson)
Mia Z., 4th Grade (Doherty)
Hunter, 4th Grade (Doherty)
Maria, 4th Grade (Doherty)
Valentina, 4th Grade (Doherty)
Ben T., 4th Grade (Doherty)
Arianne, 4th Grade (Doherty)
Ben S., 4th Grade (Graves)
Priya, 4th Grade (Graves)
Ariana, 4th Grade (Graves)
Yensi, 4th Grade (Cikacz)
Holly, 4th Grade (Cikacz)
Siobhan, 4th Grade (Cikacz)

Friday, March 2, 2018

Delicious Desserts, Inspired by Wayne Thiebaud

After exploring color mixing by creating new colors and naming them, 3rd grade artists looked at and discussed the work of American painter Wayne Thiebaud. Thiebaud (pronounced "tee-bow") is known for his paintings of everyday objects, like food, and still makes art today.
Wayne Thiebaud, Four Cupcakes (1971) 
We looked at his paintings of different kinds of desserts and noticed his use of bright colors and dramatic, colorful shadows. Looking at several examples made us hungry! To begin our own paintings of desserts, we looked at the geometric shapes and forms that make up a lot of our favorite desserts. 
We noticed that many desserts are either a cylinder, like a cake or pie; a cone shape, like an ice cream cone; a sphere, like the scoop of ice cream; or a triangular prism, like a slice of cake. We brainstormed and drew a few sketches of our favorite desserts before selecting one to sketch out on larger paper, focusing on the shapes.
The following class, we used our recent experience with mixing colors to paint our favorite desserts! We thought about how we could mix a variety of colors, thinking about the bright colors that Thiebaud uses in his painting, as well as using white to create lighter tints of a color. Students painted their desserts, incorporating tints, and the following week, they added additional details on top, now that the first layer of paint had dried. 
Students thought about how they could decorate their cakes, ice cream cones, sundaes and doughnuts with creative details like frosting, sprinkles, flowers, candles and hot fudge. 
During the next class, students painted the background, considering the use of a complementary colors and colors that would help their desserts to stand out. Since Thiebaud is also known for his use of strong shadows, we looked at cast shadows and how the shape of the object changes the shape of the shadow. Students added a colorful shadow to their dessert, and many students actually chose to add a window in their background to show a light source. 
For our last class, students participated in a gallery walk to see everyone's artwork and also a turn and talk to share their work with a partner. Here are some colorful examples of our delectable Wayne Thiebaud inspired desserts:
Isabella, 3rd Grade (Fletcher)
Nicolle, 3rd Grade (Fletcher)
Anna, 3rd Grade (Fletcher)
Joey, 3rd Grade (DeBaie Nickl)
Morgen, 3rd Grade (DeBaie Nickl)
Boran, 3rd Grade (DeBaie Nickl)
Daniel, 3rd Grade (Fletcher)
Jehangeer, 3rd Grade (Fletcher)
Audrina, 3rd Grade (Donato)
Camryn, 3rd Grade (Donato)
Katie, 3rd Grade (Monfette)
Luanna, 3rd Grade (Monfette)
Amanda, 3rd Grade (Monfette)