Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Winter Break!

Happy winter break to all our Hosmer students, families & staff! Thank you to all the families who came to support our students at the Winter Concert last week. Congratulations to the 4th grade strings, 5th grade strings, 4th grade band, 5th grade band and chorus for their performances. 

We also had artwork on display in the Connector hallway outside the art room. Each 4th and 5th grade student chose an artwork from this past term to have displayed. Below are some photos. Happy holidays & see you in 2016!



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Abstract Painting with Primary Colors

PK and Kindergarten artists have been learning about our primary colors: red, yellow and blue. We touched on them briefly when we looked at Mondrian's painting to inspire our own collage artworks. This time, we began by looking at paintings by Franz Kline and Wassily Kandinsky to learn about abstract art.
Franz Kline, Mahoning (1956)
Students noticed the lines, shapes, and colors in the artworks. They noticed that sometimes a white triangle reminded them of a mountain, or a yellow circle reminded them of the sun. However, we also noticed that the paintings were not showing us something we immediately recognized. They were not paintings of people, places or things.
Wassily Kandinsky, Composition VIII (1923)
We learned that in abstract art, artists are not trying to show something from the real world. They use lines, shapes and colors to show an idea or feeling. Sometimes they are inspired by music. We talked about why an artist might do this, and some students thought maybe because it is fun, because you can be more free, or because the artist just felt like it. Students painted their own abstract painting, using lines and shapes that we have learned, with black paint. Students left plenty of white space inside and around their shapes. 
The following class, we learned about our primary colors. We learned that primary colors are important because you cannot mix other colors to make them, but you can use them together to make new colors. To remember the primary colors, we looked at Superman's logo, because it has the three primary colors and these colors are strong and powerful, like Superman! 
Then we used the primary colors to paint inside the shapes and around the spaces in our painting. We focused on washing out our brush in between colors, so that they did not mix. 
Here are some of our finished abstract paintings, using lines, shapes and primary colors!
Tyler, PK (Blackwood)
Marjorie, Kindergarten (Segreve)
Tommy, Kindergarten (Segreve)

Megan, Kindergarten (Segreve)
Brook, Kindergarten (Martignetti)
Naomi, Kindergarten (Bolton)
Arthur, Kindergarten (Tan)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Snowmen at Night Drawings

After learning about using value to show a three-dimensional form in their still life drawings, 5th grade artists applied the same concept using a different material. We read the story, Snowmen at Night, and create our own sketches for what our snowmen (or snowpeople) could be doing in winter. 
Some ideas we came up with included skiing, snowboarding, snowball fights, hockey and snowmen building other snowmen (very meta). In the sketch, students had to show some sort of action, and include a light source, whether it was the moon, a lamp or a fire. 
Using their sketch to guide them, students then used chalk pastel to draw their own snowmen at night scene on larger colored paper. We discussed how to use other colors in combination with white to create a three-dimensional appearance to the snow. 
For the areas of shadow, we used different shades of blue, purple, black and gray. For the areas of highlight, we used yellows and oranges to show light hitting a surface. This all depended on the light source in each student's work, and which side of the snowman was closest to it. Students enjoyed blending the soft pastel with their finger to blend colors together and fill in shapes. 
The following class, we focused on adding details to the snowmen as well as the background. Students got creative with details, adding faces, winter accessories, trees, and even animals and creatures. We talked about how to add the shading and highlight to those details, such as the carrot nose or a top hat. Students looked at reference images to help them create snow capped trees and icy skating rinks.  
As a finishing touch, some students chose to color in the sky so as to better hide chalk pastel finger prints and smudges. One student added the Northern Lights! Below are some examples of our snowmen at night drawings. Several students' drawings are featured on the December winter concert program and some of our other snowmen at night drawings will be on display in the glass case downstairs in January.
Adrina, 5th grade (Bellis)*
Vicky, 5th grade (Bellis)
Max, 5th grade (Bellis)*

Anita, 5th grade (Domermuth Fantasia)*
Sandra, 5th grade (Bellis)

Daniel, 5th grade (Psychoghios)
Kira, 5th grade (Bellis)*

Alyce, 5th grade (Psychoghios)*
Greg, 5th grade (Psychoghios)

Catherine, 5th grade (Twomey)

Ava, 5th grade (Psychoghios)*
Cristian, 5th grade (Domermuth Fantasia)

* indicates students featured on the Winter Concert program

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Color Wheel Eyes

After exploring the color orange and making our pumpkin paintings, 3rd grade artists learned about the color wheel. Last year, as 2nd graders, they painted a color wheel with the three primary colors (red, yellow and blue) and three secondary colors (orange, green and violet). 
This year, we expanded to include six tertiary colors. Tertiary colors are combinations of primary and secondary colors. There are six tertiary colors: red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet. An easy way to remember these names is to put the primary color name before the secondary color. 
Students started by painting their primary colors, and then mixing their secondary colors. We thought about how to make the secondary color look different than the tertiary colors, and we remembered than when we were mixing different shades of orange, if you added more red it was darker, or a red-orange, and if you added more yellow it made it lighter, or yellow-orange. 
Once the color wheels dried, we transformed them into eyes through collage. First, we learned about two parts of the eye, the pupil and the iris. The pupil is the black circle in the center of the iris. It changes size, getting bigger or smaller, depending on the amount of light going through, to help us see. The iris is the colored circle around the pupil, and it works with the pupil as it changes size. 
After cutting out the color wheel, students drew an eye shape on white paper, placing the color wheel in the center to help create a lemon shape around it. Then students glued the white eye shape and color wheel on top of a background and used black paper to add details, like eyelashes and eyebrows. 
We discussed what shapes might work best for the eyelashes, and many students chose to cut long triangles, rectangles, and some students also curled the ends to lift off the paper. Below are some examples of our color wheel eye collages.
Jaylyn, 3rd grade (Monfette)
Jason, 3rd grade (Fletcher)
Zach, 3rd grade (Monfette)
Pirada, 3rd grade (Stone)
Dorie, 3rd grade (Lutz)
Iris, 3rd grade (Lutz)
Gabe, 3rd grade (Fletcher)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Romare Bearden Inspired 'My Block' Collage

After their Pop Art inspired print project, 4th grade artists looked at the work of another American artist named Romare Bearden. Bearden lived in New York City. We looked at and discussed one of his collage artworks called "The Block."
Romare Bearden, The Block (1978)
Students noticed that there were many different buildings and a lot of detail -- windows, people, signs, etc. Students also noticed that some of the buildings looked like they were made of brick. We discussed how the street in a city is very busy, with many different kinds of buildings, such as apartments and restaurants. We also talked about how we can tell that it is a city street, but the mix of materials, colors, proportions and views are not completely realistic. For example, you cannot really look inside the stairwell of a building from the outside, and the lightbulb in one of the rooms is much larger than the people around it. The longer we looked at it, the more there was to see!
We then began our own mixed media collage artwork, using a long piece of construction paper to start the city street. We talked about what kinds of buildings students could add, and how to overlap and layer different materials together to add detail and interest to our street. There were many different materials to choose from, including construction paper, corrugated paper, metallic paper, fabric, felt, tissue paper and foam.
Students thought carefully about what other details they could add to their street, such as traffic lights and stop signs. Some students were inspired by visits to Boston, New York City, and Rio de Janeiro. After they were done with their collage, they used a black pen to add details such as window frames, bricks, and signs for different buildings.
At the end of our third class, we did a turn and talk so that students could talk to a partner about what inspired their collage, what they were most proud of, what they might change, and what was most challenging about making their artwork. For our turn and talks, we use a fortune teller that contains these questions, instead of fortunes, to help jumpstart our conversations and make them more fun.
Many students were proud of specific details in their mixed media collage, and their use of a particular material. Some students found it challenging to work with the fabric and felt materials and add the level of detail they wanted with them. Below are some examples of our finished collage city streets, inspired by Romare Bearden. Some of them will also be on display for the 4th and 5th grade winter concert in December, so look for them in the connector hallway that week!
Ava, 4th grade (Mattson Graves)
Elena, 4th grade (Mattson Graves)

Wellington, 4th grade (Doherty Barbieri)
Trisha, 4th grade (Cikacz)
Lily, 4th grade (Dubuque)
Halle, 4th grade (Dubuque)
Shahd, 4th grade (Doherty Barbieri)
Edward, 4th grade (Cikacz)