We Are Artists:

Watch us create art using our hands, heads, and hearts!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall Trees by Grade 4

I found this lesson in an Usborne Art book. I talked to the students about perspective before we tackled this one. They VERY LIGHTLY sketched a tree to one side of their paper and divided the paper between land and sky. Then they tried to paint in leaves that were smaller on the tree and bigger as the got closer to the bottom of the paper. This gave the impression of leaves blowing toward the viewer.
I love how the fall-colored leaves "pop" off the page with color. They worked hard using the watercolor paints ,which are not the easiest of mediums to control.
Here are some of the final results:

Great work, Grade Four!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Colorful Sunflowers and Fall Leaves by Kindergarten

The kindergarten drew great big sunflowers and leaves the past two weeks. They traced the leaf shape (I like to help the little ones build their tracing skills) and they drew their own sunflowers. I drew one first and then let them draw theirs, encouraging them to draw BIG. Young artists tend to draw smaller and smaller as the go. I do a lot of lessons with them that help them to draw big with interesting detail. I encouraged them to touch as many sides of their 12" x 18" as they could while creating their sunflowers.

When they were all done, I gave them all watercolor paints and let them create a background for each. I love how they all created unique backgrounds. I think the backgrounds reflected their little (or big) personalities.

Check some of them out...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Autumn Abstract Reflections by First Grade

So, in all honesty, these beautiful paintings were not the paintings I had envisioned in my mind when I developed this lesson. I have done this lesson in the past, but did a very specific, step-by step lesson. The outcomes from past years looked like this:

 This year, one of my overall personal goals as an art teacher is to let the students have more freedom when creating their artwork. I have been using picture books, stories, poems, and famous artworks to inspired my students. I am still guiding them through a process, but at the same time giving them much more creative freedom. I want this year to be more about personal expression and unique style for my students. I want them to see a real sense of self in their artwork.

Well, this year I gave them step-by-step directions again, but with a lot more freedom. I said things like, "Use red paint to paint some treetop shapes on the top half of your paper". We continued like this while periodically folding the paper to give it a reflection effect. I love how they all came out unique with bright bold color!

Here is a peek at some from this year's looser lesson...

I love the abstract quality they have to them. They first graders should be very proud of their work.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tree-ish Art by Grade 3

Today I read a fabulous book, Ish, to my 3rd grade art students.
If you have ever had  students or children get frustrated because they could not get their art work "just right", then they should check out this book! The main character in this book, Ramon, learns to draw "ishly", which means that his drawing looks sort of like what he means it to look like.

So, today the 3rd graders made "tree-ish" art work. I asked them to use a black sharpie marker to create a tree silhouette. We talked about how they could stick to a basic tree form or get creative with their designs. They knew it could look completely different from everyone else's and it would still be great. So they set to work...

Next, I told them they needed to fill the background with color. They could use solid colors, create patterns or designs. I gave them crayons and markers to complete the task. They could use one or the other or use a combination of both. Again, they set to work...

I think they enjoyed the creative thinking and freedom involved in this project. They were all so happily creating, chatting, and complimenting each others' work. It was a very pleasant art period. I love the final products. I backed them on black construction paper and hung them outside their classroom.

Later on in the day, I noticed that one of my 3rd grade buddies had written me a little note in the corner of my chalk board. What a sweetie! I'm glad he thinks "I rule" and that it was "the most awesome project ever". I hope he is as thrilled with our future projects as he was with this one!