Sunday, June 11, 2017

Giotto and Fresco Painting

As 4th grade's final Renaissance project, they learned how frescoes are created.  They watched a video about Giotto and his frescos illustrating St. Francis and his life.  Here is an example of one of Giotto's frescoes showing him preaching to the birds.

Frescoes are painted onto freshly laid plaster so the paint and plaster dry at the same time.  The painting becomes part of the wall.  I had the students cover plates with spackling paste from the hardware store.  They used plastic knives and spread it onto the plate like icing on a cake.

I had them sketch drawings while the paste set.  I suggested fruit and had some sample photos for them to choose from if they needed a resource photo.  I thought this would keep the sketches simple and large enough.  Small details would be difficult with the watercolors.

Nate drew his grape sketch onto the plaster once it dried.

Maleah drew pears.

Madi is copying her sketch onto the dried plaster.
Once they finished sketching, they were ready to paint.  Here are some works in progress!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Chicago-Style Hot Dogs


Third Grade Hot Dog Art

Pop artists love hot dogs.  Wayne Thiebaud, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons have all used hot dog images in their work.

Hot Dog by Roy Lichtenstein
I decided that the third graders could practice their clay sculpting skills and could continue their year of Chicago art projects by making their own hot dog sculptures... Chicago-style!  We listed all the ingredients they have had on Chicago-style hot dogs, and I let them get to work.  After they finished all the ingredients, they let them dry for a day and then painted.  I challenged them to mix colors and to not use paint right out of the bottle.  They competed for the most realistic colors and sculptures.  Here are some photos from the project:

Haley added poppy seeds to her bun.

Jia Organizing Works-in-Progress

Anthony Taking a Pretend Bite

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Grant Wood Landscapes

Grant Wood created landscapes such as this one, showing American  farmland.
The 5th grade is continuing their American Art study with a look at Grant Wood and Regionalism.  They created some amazing landscapes in his style, practicing perspective, blending, value and brush techniques.  Here are some pictures of the process:

Students began with value gradients in the sky and on the hills.

I encouraged them to add light, medium and dark values, and to blend the  shades with a clean and dry brush.

Jaren, Grade 5

Adilene, Grade 5

Ethan, Grade 5

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Funny Faces and Chicago's Crown Fountain

Some 3rd Grade Models and Chicago's Public Sculpture
The third grade is continuing their study of the art of Chicago with a project based on one of the city's beloved fountains.  The Crown Fountain is a work of technology, science and art that has a fascinating design.  The students learned some interesting facts including how the fountain shuts itself off in high winds and how over 1000 faces are randomly displayed on a loop.  We used rulers to create a template to fold and glue the rectangular shape.  The students drew faces and folded the form before gluing it to a collaged background and adding the "water feature" with tissue paper.  Here are some photos of the process and some of the proud artists.

Anthony is cutting out the template he drafted.

Angelia has started drawing on her template.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Desert Landscapes and O'Keeffe Skulls

Class Gallery
 The 5th graders are working on using color pencils to blend and mix colors.  Most students rush with this medium, not understanding the rich colors and value changes that are possible with some focused and sustained work.  I had them use value gradients to create a desert scene, and they worked on blending for 2 full class periods.  They then used styrofoam to draw and print a skull onto the background.  We talked a lot about Georgia O'Keeffe and how she was inspired by the new and different landscape of the southwest after living in Wisconsin, Chicago and then New York.  We compared this to the inspiration Thomas Cole and the other Hudson River Valley artists found in the American Landscape.  I love how these came out, and they all seemed proud of their work.