Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Drawing the Figure from the Inside Out

Fourth Grade Figures from the Front and the Back
 As part of a unit on the Renaissance, our fourth graders have been learning to improve their figure drawing by considering the skeleton.  When thinking about the bone structure of our bodies, artists can draw the body in proportion.  The figures shown here are all examples of proportional figures drawn by the students.  They drew the skeleton, cut it out, and then used it as a template for drawing a figure.  I love how some of them got Christmas sweaters, and one had a Star Wars shirt.  We looked at work by Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael, who studied human anatomy to improve the realism of their work.
Leonardo Da Vinci was one example of a Renaissance artist who studied anatomy to improve realism in drawing.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Greek Columns in Clay

Do you know the three main types of columns the Greeks introduced in their architecture?  The second graders have been learning a poem about them, and they used clay to construct various columns with the features mentioned in the poem.  They will display their work and perform their poems this Friday at their multicultural celebration.

Ionic columns are topped with scrolls
Doric columns are flat
Corinthian columns are much more ornate
And now you know all about that!
 Samples of student work:  They learned to join pieces of clay by scratching and using slip to attach the pieces.  They learned to roll cylinders, scratch texture, and to use water to smooth out their work. This was our first clay project of the year, and they did pretty well!

Corinthian Columns

Ionic Columns

Doric Columns

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Weaving and Printing African Textiles

Greta's Kente Design

Anabelle's Kente Design

Sophia's Kente Design
Kindergarten students in 103 and 104 have gone to Ghana this week through art and literature.  They read about Anansi the Spider, and they have learned about Ashanti culture through their art and folktales.  In art class, we compared weaving and stamping.  We looked at kente cloth designs as well as Adinkra prints.  Students tried both!  They will wear their Adinkra creations next week in a multi-cultural fashion show. 
I made stamps from craft foam and cardboard, using scissors and a glue gun.
Kindergarten Adinkra Print Robes (printed on pillow cases)
Alexa and Grady work to weave patterns in their kente drawings.

Jillian works to create line and shape patterns using colors she observed in images of kente cloth.
Stephen and Arianna print with Adinkra stamps.

Colors of India

Henna Hands and Elephants on Parade
 The first graders are creating some masterpieces based on the culture of India.  They are learning about India in their classroom, and in art class we are making lots of designs that show radial symmetry and organic imagery that can be seen in the art of mendhi and rangoli.  Pictured here are three projects.  They cut colorful hands and decorated them with mendhi designs, using brown marker as their "henna".  They looked at photos from a parade in India that included elephants, and they made their own colorful elephant with crayon and watercolors before placing it on a colorful background with radial designs.  Below, you can see students trying to create sand designs.  They watched a video about rangoli artists before using traced shapes to create their own template to fill with colorful sand.  They will be making saris and Diwali lanterns for a fashion show next week! 
Radial Symmetry with Rangoli

Friday, December 4, 2015

Soapy Sculptures and Ceiling Sketches

In the 4th grade Renaissance unit, students learned about Michelangelo this week.  After reading about The Pieta, The David and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, students tried their hands at carving and ceiling drawing.  We carved dial soap instead of marble.  I had them carve a simple face, and we focused on cutting away the areas around the features like the nose, leaving the feature in relief.  This is very advanced for their age, so I was impressed that many of them were able to avoid the temptation to simply scratch a 2-D picture.  Here are a few photos of some 3-D faces in soap and a photo of our "ceiling drawing" station.  I think they will all have a new appreciation for sculptors!  I heard many of them saying they were going to try more soap carving at home.  An added bonus is that my room smells very clean:)
Drawing on the "Ceiling"



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Peace, Joy, Love... and Fun!

Art Club Mini-Paintings
The mini-canvases they sell at Blick are a great supply this time of year.  I had the 3-5th graders in my Art Club paint snowy scenes using acrylics and a detail brush.  When they dried, I let them use my stamps (from Target's dollar bin)  to add words they thought were appropriate for the season.  I love that they added their own twist on the pictures by including animals and people.  Esteban even remembered a 1st grade project where I told them a red bird would show up well in a snow scene because of the warm color contrasting the cool colors of winter.  He added a cardinal!  I used the glue gun to put ribbon around the outside edges, and I tied it into a loop for hanging.  I told them they could use them on a Christmas tree if their family celebrates Christmas, or they could just hang it in a window or on the refridgerator as a wintertime decoration. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

World Architecture in Watercolors

After finishing their Chicago Architecture unit, the middle school students have been looking at famous buildings all over the world.  I first had them choose a country they liked.  Most of them chose based on soccer teams they like.  We then used  www.greatbuildings.com as a resource and followed the link to that country.  On this website, they list buildings in each country that are considered famous.  I had them decide which building they liked, and they then researched facts about the building.  We stopped every once in a while to look up the answer to questions that we wondered about as we worked.  For example, "What was the Church of St. Francis designed to look like?"  or "How much would it cost to stay one night in the Burj Khalifa?" or "How do they keep the Leaning Tower from falling over?"  I had them draw, trace with marker and then erase using only lines.  Then, they used watercolors to fill in color.  They look great on display.  I had fun seeing which buildings they chose, and I learned about some new buildings myself!   
Aliyah, Grade 8, St. Basil's Cathedral, Russia

Gabe, Grade 7, The Colosseum, Italy

Maryann, Grade 8, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Japan

Amanda, Grade 7, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

Melanie, Grade 6, Burj Khalifa, United Arab Emirates


Shamar, Grade 8, Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Brazil

Quin, Grade 6, Familia Sagrada, Spain


Jackie, Grade 8, St. Basil's Cathedral, Russia

Exploring Lascaux

Lascaux, France
The first grade students are beginning a series of cultural art units.  Before we begin learning about the art of India, Australia, Japan, and other countries, we thought about who we thought made the very first piece of art.  Students had lots of answers that ranged from Picasso and George Washington to Jesus, but we decided there was no real way to know.  We can only guess by studying the oldest art we know.  Then we had fun looking at the oldest art that has been discovered.  We explored some caves around the world with ancient paintings, including this cave in Lascaux.  Students listed colors and images they saw, and then they referenced these lists as they made their own cave drawings.  We, of course, had to display them in a cave, so we built one in the classroom!  

Our 1st Grade Cave

Cave Images from our Classroom

Art Club Community Service

Toy Soldiers, Jack-in-the-Box Wreaths and a Toyland Train
The Prescott Art Club finished a community service project this morning.  They are making some decorations for Alliant Credit Union to use as they decorate for an event at O'Hare Airport.  Each year, they help host a holiday event for underprivileged children called the United Airlines Fantasy Flight.  Participants take a ride around the runways on a plane, and when they arrive at a terminal, it is decorated like the North Pole.  Santa brings gifts, and they have a holiday party.  Our students love making these decorations for the terminal.  They hope to brighten the holidays for other children.  It's fun to see them so excited to help.  This year, we tried to make things with a "Toyland" theme.  Here are a few photos of our work.
Sean, Martha and Landra decorate a wreath with toys.

Mariah, Daniel and Ethan work on a toy store backdrop.

Esteban, Dimitri, Ian and Josue added jack-in-the-boxes to their wreaths. 

Ruby and Ruth glued feathers on the soldiers.  


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Finding Lines in Nature

Work by Mrs. Blundy's 2nd Graders who were finding lines in Hokusai's Great Wave
In the 2nd grade at Prescott, student artists learn about famous artists and their art.  This week, they learned about Japanese artist Hokusai.  In class, we looked at some of his waterfall pictures and his famous picture called Great Wave off Kanagawa.  The students learned that these pictures are not paintings.  They are prints!  We watched a quick demonstration that shows how a print is made, and we noticed that prints are usually full of lines the artist carved into a block to create a picture.  Then we had some fun using sumi-e materials including ink and bamboo brushes to find lines in Hokusai's work.  Students began with a teacher-led demonstration of how to use the brush to make skinny or fat lines.  They then painted lines on a copy of his picture before doing it on their own paper.  They really did a beautiful job!

Elyza, Grade 2

Jair, Grade 2

Aubry, Grade 2

Jefrey, TJ, Caleb and Matthew, Grade 2

Bella, Grade 2

Bella's finished work!

Alexis's finished work!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Showing our Colors

Grade 1 has been constructing 3-D paper chameleons inspired by Leo Lionni's illustrations.  A Color of his Own is a great story about a lonesome chameleon who finds a friend.  The students practiced making patterns, cutting tricky shapes, and following directions to make their 2-D drawings 3-D.

Caleb, Grade 1

Leyla, Grade 1

Kennedy, Grade 1

Allejandro, Grade 1

Natalia, Grade 1


American Sculpture: Martin Puryear

Martin Puryear is a 79 year old sculptor who lives in New York.  He has traveled the world to study art and craft traditions, and he has rec...