Friday, February 27, 2015

Warm and Cool Hands

PK and Kindergarten artists recently learned about warm and cool colors. We learned that warm colors, like red, orange, and yellow, remind us of warm things like fire and the sun. On the other hand, cool colors, like green, blue and violet, remind us of cool things like water and the sky. 

We then looked at two different paintings by Vincent Van Gogh. If students saw mostly warm colors, they held up a "w" with their hands and if they saw mostly cool colors, they held up a "c." First we looked at Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers, which we decided had mostly warm colors.
Vincent Van Gogh, Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers (1888)

Students noticed all the warm colors, like the red and orange in the middle of the flowers and the yellow petals and background. Then we looked at Starry Night, also by Vincent Van Gogh, and many students recognized it from having seen a poster of the painting on the wall of the art room.

Students noticed the cool colors in the swirling night sky, noting the different blues and greens. Many students thought that the way Van Gogh used the warm colors for the moon and stars helped make them stand out in the night sky.
Vincent Van Gogh, The Starry Night (1889)

Then we used warm and cool colors in a resist painting. Students outlined the shape of their hand and used either warm or cool colors of oil pastel to color inside the area. Those who used warm color oil pastels painted cool colors, using watercolors, and those who used cool color oil pastels painted over their hand using warm color watercolors. Here are a few examples of our warm and cool color hands:
Ally, Kindergarten

Joey, Kindergarten

Finnley, Kindergarten

Lily, Kindergarten

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Jim Dine Inspired Hearts

In honor of Valentine's Day, Kindergarten and 1st grade artists looked at and discussed the work of American artist Jim Dine. Dine often explored the same ideas and shapes in a variety of different ways, including the heart. We looked at a few examples and talked about why he might repeat this shape so often in his work. Some students thought it might be because he wants to show how much he loves and cares about people.
Jim Dine, Four Hearts (1969)
We learned about a few different techniques using oil pastels, which we have been exploring, including blending, layering and scratching. Because oil pastels are softer than crayons, students noticed that they could blend and layer colors on top of each other and building up these layers.
Then we used wooden popsicle sticks to scratch lines and shapes through the layers, to create texture. We also thought about how we could make the background of our work more interesting and complete.
Here are some examples of our Jim Dine inspired hearts. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!
Edmond, 1st Grade
Lusine, Kindergarten
Ally, 1st Grade
Mery, Kindergarten

Monday, February 9, 2015

Pop Art Printmaking, Part 1

Artists in 4th grade began their Pop Art inspired printmaking project 2 weeks ago. We began by learning about Pop Art, looking at art work by Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenberg and Andy Warhol. 
Claes Oldenberg, Floor Burger (1962)
Pop Art was an art movement that began in the 1950's. Artists featured objects and scenes from everyday life and popular culture, borrowing techniques from commercial art and popular illustration, like comics and cartoons. Pop Art did something brand new by exploring popular culture in their artwork, challenging traditional ideas of art.
Jasper Johns, 3 Flags (1958)
We looked at a few examples of screen prints made by Andy Warhol, who made multiple prints of his artwork. A lot of his art featured commercial products that were mass produced, so he chose to mass produce his artwork, as well.
Andy Warhol, Campbell's Soup Cans (1962)
After sharing our observations, we discussed what popular culture means to us today. Each class made a list on the whiteboard, which included things like sports teams, music, video games, social media and Apple products. Then students brainstormed at least four ideas for a print, featuring pop culture that is important or meaningful to them. There were some reference images for inspiration, with sports teams logos, emojis and Spongebob Squarepants, among other things! This helped jump start our ideas.
We selected one image to make larger and turn into a foam printing plate. First, we thought about how to use line, pattern and texture to create an interesting image that could be repeated. Since words would come out backwards when printed, students had to flip them backwards in their drawing. 
Students drew out their idea on a 4 x 6 piece of paper and traced over it to make imprints into their foam print plate. A wooden stylus was used to go over their lines to make them deeper so that they will print clearly. Below are some examples of drawings and printing plates.

Next, we will be pulling prints using different color inks, to create our Pop Art inspired prints!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Taking Transportation

A few weeks ago, artists in PK and Kindergarten learned about transportation, which helps us get from one place to another. We watched a video about different forms of transportation and we talked about how we get to school using transportation. Many students take a car or the school bus!

Students then set about painting forms of transportation, using both primary and secondary colors that they have been practicing mixing.
Some students painted a form of transportation that you can see on the road, and others painted forms of transportation that you can see in the sky. We also talked about adding a background to our painting, as well as details like traffic lights, stop signs and clouds.
Mera, Kindergarten
Some of these paintings are featured on a bulletin board in the connector hallway, near the music room!