Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Watertown Public Schools Art Exhibition

The annual Watertown Public Schools Art Exhibition is taking place this April! Artwork will be on display at the Watertown Mall (the one with Target) from April 2nd - April 25th. There will be a reception for students and families on Monday evening, April 4th, from 5-7pm. Please join us!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Romero Britto Inspired Embossed Metal Artworks

Continuing our exploration of Brazil, as part of our Arts Around the World curriculum this year for 2nd grade, we learned about contemporary Brazilian artist, Romero Britto. Britto was born and raised in Brazil and now lives and works in Miami, Florida. He still makes artwork today and is well known for his art, which is on display in many museums around the world and also in public spaces, such as airports, parks, and shopping areas.
Romero Britto, Children of the World (2006)
We looked at some examples of his artwork and students noticed the bold lines, colorful patterns, shapes, and fun, playful nature. We brainstormed our own ideas for artwork, inspired by Britto's style. 
Romero Britto, A Brand New Day (2006)
Students came up with four different sketches for ideas, focusing on one object -- such as a shape, symbol, food, animal, or alphabet letter -- and adding different lines, shapes and patterns to that design. Students then selected their favorite sketch and drew it on a square piece of paper, using a Sharpie to outline their shapes and lines and make those lines thicker.
The following class, students learned about embossing, which is a technique where you carve, mold or stamp a design on a surface, like paper or metal, so that it stands out in relief. The two materials typically used for embossing are paper and metal. Metal embossing is used to put a design on metal sheets. The metal is pushed with an embossing tool or stylus to create a raised effect on the opposite side. 
Students taped their design on top of an aluminum sheet, so it would not move around. Then they placed this on top of a piece of felt, which provided a softer surface to work on. Using a wooden stylus, students pressed down on all their drawn lines. Students were amazed to see their lines coming through, creating a bumpy raised design on the opposite side of the metal sheet
After they went over all their lines once, they removed the paper on top and went over all their lines again with a blunt pencil. This creates a bumpy texture that you can see on both sides of the metal, but we used the side where the lines were raised. After students were done embossing, they used colored Sharpie markers to color in the areas in between the raised lines of their design. The lines created borders for their shapes, and we discussed color choice and how to use complementary colors to help their designs and patterns stand out.
The final step involved getting the metal hot glued to a background color, creating a frame for their work. Below are some examples of our finished embossed metal artworks, inspired by Romero Britto: 
Priya, 2nd grade (O'Leary)
Gavin, 2nd grade (O'Leary)

Mia, 2nd grade (O'Leary)
Lory, 2nd grade (O'Leary)
Ethan, 2nd grade (O'Leary)
Yulissa, 2nd grade (McIsaac)
Pedro, 2nd grade (McIsaac)
Karolena, 2nd grade (McIsaac)
Maria Clara, 2nd grade (Pearse)
Lily L., 2nd grade (Pearse)
Deakin, 2nd grade (O'Connor)
Destanie, 2nd grade (McCarthy)
Raffi, 2nd grade (O'Connor)
Aliah, 2nd grade (McCarthy)
Brixton, 2nd grade (O'Connor)
Connor H., 2nd grade (O'Connor)
Ella, 2nd grade (McCarthy)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Out of This World Outer Space Resist Paintings

4th grade artists recently drew these out of this world outer space drawings, using oil pastel and watercolor paint to create a resist effect. After an exploration of value through a pencil drawing and value scale, we explored value using color to create more three-dimensional forms. Students used lighter and darker values of colors to turn a circle into a spherical planet. 
To begin, students brainstormed a list of things you might see in outer space, including the Earth, sun, planets, stars, asteroids, space stations and even space junk. 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. 
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.  
Here are some examples of our out of this world outer space resist paintings! 
Chris, 4th grade (Cikacz)
Anna L., 4th grade (Doherty Barbieri)
Grace, 4th grade (Doherty Barbieri)
Alec, 4th grade (Cikacz)
Cyrus, 4th grade (Mattson Graves)
Hashir, 4th grade (Cikacz)
Lalita, 4th grade (Cikacz)
Sidney, 4th grade (Doherty Barbieri)
Nabila, 4th grade (Cikacz)
Lily, 4th grade (Dubuque)
Ashlynne, 4th grade (Dubuque)
Ilana, 4th grade (Dubuque)
Mackenzie, 4th grade (Mattson Graves)

Monday, March 7, 2016

Wayne Thiebaud Inspired Dessert Paintings

3rd grade artists began this project by experimenting with color mixing, combining different colors together to create brand new colors and naming them. Some of the unique colors and names we came up with are below:

After exploring color mixing, we then 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. He was born in 1920 and is still alive today, which makes him 95 years old!
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. They are often painted on a white or plain background without a lot of detail, so the focus is really on the dessert. 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 use white to create tints of color. Students painted their desserts, incorporating tints, and also painted the background, considering the use of a complementary colors and colors that would help their desserts to stand out.
The following week, students 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. Since Wayne Thiebaud's paintings are also characterized by their 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. Here are some colorful examples of our delicious Wayne Thiebaud inspired desserts:
Caroline F., 3rd grade (Stone)
Andrew, 3rd grade (Lutz)
Breanna, 3rd grade (Donato)
Aiden, 3rd grade (Lutz)
Miah, 3rd grade (Monfette)
Keir, 3rd grade (Fletcher)
Emma, 3rd grade (Fletcher)
Cammy, 3rd grade (Stone)
Sophie, 3rd grade (Lutz)
Caroline A., 3rd grade (Lutz)

Anna, 3rd grade (Stone)
Gabriel, 3rd grade (Monfette)