Friday, November 21, 2014

Piet's Pumpkins

Piet's Pumpkins

Here is a fun and easy Fall lesson that required minimal supplies and used a fun art history lesson on Piet Mondrian.

MATERIALS
9x12 white construction paper
Black permanent marker
Red, Yellow & Blue markers
Yep, that is all it took. Here are the easy steps.

 Piet's Pumpkins

Draw a pumpkin shape, using the entire paper, with a black permanent marker. Really encourage the kids to almost touch all the sides and the bottom of the paper - leaving a little more room at the top. After they draw the shape, they can decide if they want a jack-o-lantern and add a face at this time. They can also leave out the face and just keep it a pumpkin.

 Piet's Pumpkins

They can decide how they want to create their bold geometric lines like Mondrian. My jack version used triangles and irregular polygon shapes for a more fractured look - not exactly Mondrian but still fun. My plain pumpkin was more Mondrian in style and used squares and rectangles.

 Piet's Pumpkins

Then the students could start coloring in their shapes using yellow and blue and red. I let them keep the black markers because we talked quite a bit about composition in Mondrian's work and how as you are coloring in shapes, you may realize you need to change the size of a nearby shape to add a balancing color.

 Piet's Pumpkins

The students could also add a vine and some leaves if they like. They also had to add a horizon line so their pumpkin was not floating. They could then add some straw or something underneath their pumpkin as well.

 Piet's Pumpkins Piet's Pumpkins

 I have to admit that although Mondrian is such an important and accessible artist to introduce to kids, that I do not particularly like primary color schemes. But, these darn pumpkins turned out so striking with their limited palette and bold lines, that this has become one of my favorite lessons.

 Piet's Pumpkins Piet's Pumpkins Piet's Pumpkins Piet's Pumpkins

Aren't these fun? Definitely check out my Pinterest page for some fun Mondrian videos that we also used during our history appreciation lesson.


Piet's Pumpkins

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Monet's Poplars on the wall

All the poplars made it up in front of Mrs. H's classroom! I love them even more seeing them all together!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Monet's Poplars

Monet's Poplars

Mrs. H's class just visited Monet and learned about his famous poplar series of paintings.

MATERIALS
9x12 white construction paper
tempera cakes
liquid tempera
paint brushes
foam texture brushes
tissues

 Monet's Poplars

We had examples of Monet's work and the kids looked at the colors he used in summer vs the colors he used in fall. They also pointed out the different lines of trees, landforms and the river Epte. First we made a curvy horizon line and mixed our chosen colors right on the paper. For the sky we used tissues to lift off color for clouds.

 Monet's Poplars

 Then we added our poplar trunks with black paint, making some look closer and some farther away.

 Monet's Poplars Monet's Poplars

Since Monet painted his poplars en plein-aire, during different times of the day and different seasons and different weather conditions, the kids experimented with all of those elements in their own paintings.

 Monet's Poplars Monet's Poplars

Finally the kids used our homemade foam texture brushes to dip into liquid tempera and dab on for the leaves.

 Monet's PoplarsMonet's Poplars Monet's PoplarsMonet's Poplars Monet's PoplarsMonet's Poplars Monet's PoplarsMonet's Poplars Monet's PoplarsMonet's Poplars

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Easy Mixed Media Trees

Mixed Media Trees Mixed Media Trees

Another super duper easy lesson - could be Fall or Winter...

Using 9x12 white construction paper and watercolors, make a cool background. Color washes, wet on wet color, splatter, wet water drops, salt techniques...have fun with the background. I did one in warm and one in cool colors. I waited until they dried completely - the next day. And then I created a tree two different ways.

Mixed Media Trees

With this tree I just used black watercolor and a straw. I painted a trunk and then blew the rest of the paint to create the branches.

 Mixed Media Trees

With this tree I just used a black sharpie. Easy and pretty cool looking if I do say so myself.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Cezanne's Apples in Chalk

Cezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks

I have been wanting to do some pastel chalk with Mrs. H's class and I thought Cezanne and a still life might be the ticket.

 Cezanne's Apples in Pastel ChalksCezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks Cezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks Cezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks

I worked up a few samples above on different colored construction paper to see what they looked like. I decided to offer the kids brown, red, lavender and blue as their paper color choice. I showed them the difference the paper color can make on depth and shading with the chalks. I also thought it gave their still lifes a bit of an antique look. We had a little powerpoint about Cezanne and away we went.

 Cezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks Cezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks

We looked at many different examples of his still lifes but we studied his "Still Life with Seven Apples", 1878

 Cezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks

Since we had not done chalks before I did a little tutorial on how to use them AND how NOT to use them. You never know how younger kids will take to the pastel chalks. I don't usually set my expectations for a first time chalk lesson really high because there is so much experimentation on their part as they get used to the medium. But this class surprised the heck out of me! They were amazing.

 Cezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks

We went in steps together. First we chose a red, orange or yellow pastel to draw our apples. We went over each apple in Cezanne's work and noticed that some were overlapping and we noticed how much you could see of each apple.

 Cezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks

 Then we talked about the color in each apple and how we might combine that and blend our colors.

 Cezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks

 Then we created a shadow where the stem was and drew our stem and outlined our apples in black or dark gray.

 Cezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks

We then decided what color we would use for the background. How would it create contrast? They could not use any of the same colors they used in the apples. We talked about blending with our fingertips up to our apples instead of running right over them with sloppy coloring marks. And finally talked about where the light was coming from and where that would put the shadow. A backwards "C" was demonstrated for the shadows. We also went over any lines that we needed to make stand out more.

 Cezanne's Apples in Pastel ChalksCezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks Cezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks Cezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks Cezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks Cezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks Cezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks Cezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks Cezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks Cezanne's Apples in Pastel Chalks

These might just be one of my favorite projects to date. I was so impressed with this group of second graders (many of whom had never tried actual pastel chalks before)!!