Monday, February 29, 2016

Endangered Animals of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil

After their visit to Morocco, 2nd grade artists went to Brazil. We started by learning about the Amazon Rainforest, 60% of which is located in Brazil. Then we looked at the endangered animals of the Amazon Rainforest and discussed what it means to be endangered, which is when there are not many of an animal species left and they are at risk for extinction. We noticed that the word "danger" is part of the word "endangered." 
We learned specifically about five endangered animals from the Amazon Rainforest, including the hyacinth macaw, jaguar, poison dart frog, golden lion tamarin monkey, and the three-toed sloth. We began by learning about the Amazon Rainforest and its environment and climate, as well as reasons why certain animals are endangered there. For example, the jaguar is endangered because people hunt them for their fur and the hyacinth macaws are being caught and sold as pets. 
Students selected one animal to sketch, using reference images, and drew the animal it its rainforest habitat. Using oil pastels, students added color and thought about the texture of their chosen animal. 
During the following class, students added details to the background to suggest the Amazon rainforest, such as leaves, branches, and vines. We made sure to leave some of the white paper showing. 
Then we painted over their oil pastel drawing with liquid watercolor to create a resist, since the oil pastel and watercolor paint do not mix. 
As a conclusion to the project, students participated in a turn and talk, where they discussed their artwork with a partner using special fortune tellers to help start the conversation. We also had a gallery walk to see everyone's finished artwork. Students shared their observations afterwards, noticing that everyone included the rainforest environment in their backgrounds and focused on the texture and pattern on their animal's body. Here are some finished examples:
Tatiana, 2nd grade (Pearse)
Ben S., 2nd grade (Pearse)
Amaia, 2nd grade (McIsaac)
Evey, 2nd grade (Pearse)
Gavin, 2nd grade (O'Leary)
Lia, 2nd grade (O'Connor)
Manos, 2nd grade (McIsaac)
Yulissa, 2nd grade (McIsaac)
Lory, 2nd grade (O'Leary)
Pavlos, 2nd grade (McIsaac)
Tamia, 2nd grade (O'Connor)

We will be doing one more project connected to Brazil, before our next journey, so stay tuned!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Monochromatic Tints & Shades Landscapes

Continuing our study of value, 5th grade artists explored tints and shades of colors. Tints are made by adding white to a color and shades are made by mixing black with the color. We began by practicing mixing our shade and tints, choosing three different colors to explore. We also learned about the concept of atmospheric perspective, which can be seen in many landscape photographs and paintings.
Atmospheric perspective describes the effect of objects being lighter in color as they get further away from you, and darker in color when they are closer. In addition, you can see more detail in the foreground and less detail in the background. We looked at some examples of photographs and paintings that demonstrate this concept. 
We discussed how landscapes can be organized with a foreground in the front, middle ground, and background. We looked at different examples of landscapes, including rural or countryside landscapes, urban cityscapes, and even fantasy landscapes inspired by books and video games. Students sketched a landscape of their own creation, including more details in the foreground, and numbering their layers to match the tints and shades gradients they painted earlier. 
The following class, students chose just one color to use for their tints and shades in their artwork, based on their explorations. When artists use shades and tints of the same color in their artwork, it is called monochromatic
Students began painting the background or the lightest layer first, and then painted each layer a darker tint until they arrived to their color and their shade. We discussed keeping the details as silhouettes, or outlines of the shapes. 
At the end of their project, students completed self assessments where they reflected on whether they had been able to create a monochromatic tints and shades landscape with a foreground, middle ground and background. Students also shared what was challenging and what they were most proud of in their art making process and artwork. Many students found it challenging to mix enough of a color to paint with, create different tints, and paint smaller details. Many students were proud of the landscape they had designed (whether it was inspired by a family trip or a favorite video game), their ability to mix a variety of tints and shades in their artwork, and specific details such as their dragon or their trees. Here are some examples:
Sandra, 5th grade (Bellis)
Katie, 5th grade (Bellis)
Lara, 5th grade (Psychoghios)
Cristian, 5th grade (Domermuth Fantasia)
Anthony, 5th grade (Domermuth Fantasia)
Anita, 5th grade (Domermuth Fantasia)
Ava, 5th grade (Psychoghios)
Casey, 5th grade (Bellis)
Bianca, 5th grade (Twomey)
Jack P., 5th grade (Twomey)
Catherine, 5th grade (Twomey)
Olivier, 5th grade (Twomey)
Ryan, 5th grade (Domermuth Fantasia)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Winter Wonderland Collages

In an ode to winter weather, PK and Kindergarten artists recently created collages of houses covered in snow. We began by remembering how we make a collage, cutting out different shapes to create a picture of a house or multiple houses. We thought carefully about details to add to our houses, including windows, doors, roofs, and chimneys.
After finishing the collage part, students then used to white paint to add snow to their collage picture. Using a brush, students painted on top of their houses, added snow to the ground and also dotted paint to create snow falling from the sky. Some students created very snowy days and even some blizzards! Take a look at some of our artworks below and currently on display on the bulletin board in the connector hallway.
Ruken, Kindergarten (Segreve)
Alexander, Kindergarten (Segreve)
Adriana, Kindergarten (Bolton)
Marie, Kindergarten (Tan)
Caden, Kindergarten (Bolton)
Elora, Kindergarten (Martignetti)
Ella, Kindergarten (Tan)
Maya, Kindergarten (Beatty)
Mahnoor, Kindergarten (Bolton)