Saturday, October 31, 2020

Roots and Shoots


Sample Student Work

Last week we made art about rural life on a farm and made barns and barnyard animals.  This week, we will learn about what grows on a farm!  We will make some fun garden art, and we will think about how plants grow.  Let's start by making a picture that shows what grows UNDER the ground:  root vegetables! 

Watch this video to see how you can draw some root vegetables like carrots, radishes, onions, potatoes, turnips or garlic!  

Video Link

Sample Student Work

Then, draw a horizontal line across your paper.  ABOVE the line, draw the leaves of your plants, and BELOW the line draw the roots of your plant.  Have you ever eaten any of these types of roots?  What can you add to your picture?  In the sample image I see ants, worms and a butterfly!

Finally, for your last step, paint blue sky ABOVE the middle line and paint brown dirt BELOW your middle line!  

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Henri Rousseau Dream Jungles

Does 2020 make you miss travel?  We are all spending a lot of time at home, and we can probably think about what it was like for this week's artist to dream of travel.  Henri Rousseau lived in Paris, and he spent his time painting thick, green jungles full of plants and animals from all over the world.  You would never know that he NEVER left France!  He was a toll collector and did not have money to travel.  He learned what he could from books or from gardens around the city, and he drew preserved animals that were in collections at museums.  Look at his work!  

As we paint a jungle this week, we will be investigating how Henri Rousseau was able to use green, green and more green!  How did he do that without making his picture a solid color?  He used TINTS and SHADES of green.  This means he made the paint lighter with white or darker with black to create more versions of green.

This week we will also learn to use our brush in different ways to get different shapes of leaves.  We will look at examples from Sumi-e painting, and we will practice using our brushes in new ways.

Let's make some jungles!  Watch this video to follow along with Ms. Ammons:
Student Sample

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Cardboard Tube Creations


For our final week of class this quarter, you will be challenged to use a new material in a creative way. You will research online and experiment with cardboard tubes to build a sculpture.  What is a sculpture?  Let's watch a video:

What is a Sculpture?

Think about how you will connect your tubes.  Do you have a glue gun?  If so, you could create a 3-D sculpture "in-the-round".  This means you could glue and build a structure that is free-standing and interesting from all sides.  Here are some examples:  

No glue gun?  You could create a RELIEF sculpture.  This means you will arrange the pieces in a creative way that sits on a table.  Here are some examples.  

It will be very important this week that you consider how you will take your photo.  Notice these examples are all photographed with a white background and are cropped carefully.  If you think very carefully about how you photograph your work, you can make a very simple sculpture look artistic.  Try to have a solid color background, try to make sure your photo is well-lit, and think about the angle from which you are taking your photo.  

Do you have paint?  Try adding color!  These example all have painted tubes: 

Remember:  Do NOT decide what you will do based on what you think is easy.  Choose something you think looks interesting and fun.  It will turn out better that way

Need some ideas for how to attach pieces together?  See if this YouTube video gives you some ideas to try...

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Saturday, October 24, 2020

Barnyard Shapes


Ms. Ammons's Sample Project

Now that we have talked about urban and suburban communities, we will make a picture of a rural landscape.  Rural communities often include farmland, and this week you will use shapes to make barnyard.  You will use circles to make a pig, triangles to make a chicken, and rectangles to make a cow.  You will add details to your picture to make it unique.  

Listen to a story:  Farm by Elisha Cooper

Follow along in this video to make your own barnyard with Ms. Ammons!

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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Watercolor Washes With Line Drawings

Ms. Ammons's Sample Artwork

This week, we will learn some basic watercolor techniques, beginning with a flat wash.  A wash is a thin, transparent layer of paint that is usually part of the background of a painting.  It seems simple, but can be tricky without learning the technique and practicing it.  

Your challenge will be to create at least 9 flat washes of color in shapes on your paper.  You should choose a color scheme that reflects the theme of your work.  On these washes, you will sketch some line drawings of a collection.  This collection should tell us something about you, making your work more personal.  

In my sample, I show that I chose nature and fall as my theme.  I used fall colors, and I drew a collection of items from my yard.  What other themes or color schemes can you imagine?  Here are a few ideas.  You can also look up "line drawing doodles" and see what you find.  

These samples are by famous artist Andy Warhol.  He chose shoes and butterflies.

Follow along in this video to do the project.  

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One-Point Perspective

Renaissance Artists like Leonardo and Raphael, who's work you see here, began using perspective to make their paintings look like they were 3-D.  Notice in The Last Supper and in School of Athens, which we discussed earlier this year how you can see the space within the room and beyond.  In this project, you will learn how artists create this illusion.  

The Last Supper by Leonardo DaVinci

School of Athens, by Raphael

To create this effect, we will practice using a vanishing point, a horizon line and aerial perspective.  Look at these examples by Prescott 4th graders, and then follow along in the video link to do your project.

For your project video, Click Here! 

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Patterns, Props and Pets: Henri Matisse

A Painting of Matisse's Studio... By Matisse!

Henri Matisse was a French painter and collage artist who used bright colors, bold patterns and abstract shapes in his work.  He made landscapes and still life paintings, and sometimes painted portraits too!  He liked to surround himself with things that he found inspiring.  If you went in his studio, you would see collections of fabric, furniture and decorations from all over the world.  

Matisse painted this cat and goldfish with bright colors and black outlines!

He also has some pretty cool paintings of goldfish, cats and dogs.  His patterns, props and pets will be our inspiration  this week!

We will begin by going through this video activity about Matisse:

Click Here

Next, follow along with Ms. Ammons to make your own picture with patterns, props and pets!

Sample by Ms. Ammons

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Sculpting a Community

What is a community?  

Can you belong to more than one community?  Why or Why Not?

What communities do you belong to?  Think about home, family, school, clubs, and hobbies!

Does a community have to be a physical space or can it be online?

What makes being part of a community good?

How do you give back to your community?

In this project, you will create a paper model of a community.  What parts of your community will you add to your artwork?  Can you think of places around your neighborhood you could add?  Can you invent some new places?  We will fold, curl and bend paper to make a sculpture that shows different parts of a community and ways they connect.

Begin by watching these videos:



How many communities can you count in this story?

Last Stop on Market Street

Let's think about how we can use our art materials to make our own model of a community!


Collect Materials

Gather a variety of paper and one paper plate.

Cut Shapes

Cut paper into shapes representing community structures.

Make Shapes

Manipulate paper into imaginative representations. Examples: folding, bending, twisting, cutting, curling.


Consider the initial layout of community representation by arranging pieces without gluing. Determine what else is needed to complete the artwork.

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Cubism Collages

This week, you will learn about the famous artist Pablo Picasso.  

Picasso is very famous for coming up with a new way of looking at things and painting them.  He studied things from many points of view and made many sketches of them.  Then, he added many different views into one picture.  This makes the image look like it is shattered and put back together.  This style is known as CUBISM.  

Sample by Ms. Ammons

Look at this painting he made called The Three Musicians.   What shapes, lines and colors do you see?  What do you notice, wonder or think?  How would you describe the pictures?

Watch this video about Picasso, his art and this painting:

In the video, you were challenged to make a self portrait.  Begin by cutting two ovals that are different colors.  Next, draw a line down the middle of one that shows the profile (center edge) of a face.  Cut and combine the shapes.  

Next, draw the eyes and lips on separate papers.  Make sure you make them nice and big, and try drawing them from different points of view:  the front and the side.

Finally, add your facial features with glue, and then use paper collage and crayons or oil pastels to make your picture look finished.  Add your person to a colorful background, and use your scraps to add some unique details to your scene.  

Next, look at these paintings Picasso made of guitars. 

They are abstract, but we can tell these abstract paintings are guitars because of a few clues including a circle in the middle, lines to make us think of strings or sheet music, and curvy lines of the guitar's body.  Use these "clues" to design your own guitar collage.  Use paper and crayons or pastels.  

                                       Here are some examples by Prescott students:  

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Monday, October 12, 2020

Figures in Motion

Last week, you learned that the average human body is 8 heads high, and you drew a proportional figure using the skeleton as your guide.  This gave us a chance to see how the Renaissance artists made their artwork more realistic by studying the human body.  When we drew our figures, we drew them standing straight and facing us.  This week, we will learn to draw a figure that is NOT standing straight and facing us.  We will learn some ways to draw a figure in motion!  

Begin by finding a few figures in magazines.  I put one in your art class packet, but you can find others to practice more.  Look at the figures, and look to see if you can summarize each person with one line.  This line is a GESTURE LINE.  Look at this example:

Next, look around each figure.  Do you see any shapes in the empty spaces around the figure?  Look in between the arms and legs, and see if any shapes stand out.  Practice coloring those shapes in.  Look at this example:  
Finally, look at the shoulders and hips.  Draw a line that connects the shoulders, and draw a line that connects the hips.  They should tilt in opposite ways.  Draw these lines if you can.  Look at these examples:
For your assignment, you will chose ONE figure from your practice papers.  You will be challenged to use the 4 "tricks" we just went over to re-draw the figure on a drawing paper. 

8 Divisions of the Body
Gesture Line
Negative Space
Counterbalance/ Contrapposto

Once you re-draw the figure, you will change the scene.  Make your figure wearing different clothes to match your scene.   Spend time using your best art skills to color evenly and to think about perspective and value.  Look at these examples:

Watch this video to review the "4 tricks" we learned:

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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Circle Squirrels


Sample Project by Ms. Ammons

We have learned about the primary and secondary colors.  We have learned about warm and cool colors.  In this project, you will use neutral colors.  Neutral colors are colors that we don't usually think of as part of the rainbow.  Brown, black, white and gray are neutral colors.

Begin by finding some papers that are neutral colors.  You can use brown grocery bags.  You can use pages from magazines or newspapers.  You can paint paper neutral colors, or you can use construction paper!  


You will be cutting circles.  Find some round items around your house to trace.  You will need three sizes:  large (think coffee mug rim sized), medium (think soda can sized), and small:  (Think glue stick cap sized).  You will use these papers and shapes to create a fall picture of a squirrel on a tree branch.  You can decorate it with any fun craft supplies you have at home.  Add some fall leaves from your yard if you like looking for colorful leaves!

Sample Project by a Prescott Student

Watch this video to do the project with Ms. Ammons.

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Impressionism and Monet


This Japanese bridge is not in Japan.  It is in France.  You can find it in the beautiful gardens, around a pink house in Giverny, where the famous artist Claude Monet lived and worked.  He is famous for changing the style of painting that was popular in Paris.  

People liked realistic paintings with serious and traditional themes and styles.  Monet changed the style.  He painted quickly, with light brushstrokes.  He often worked outside and tried to capture a moment in time before the light changed.  He tried to give an impression, or idea, of what it was like to be in that exact spot at that exact time.  His work is known as Impressionism.  

This week, you will learn about Claude Monet and his artwork.  Begin by watching these short videos about him.

You will paint a water lily pond with a Japanese bridge, inspired by Claude Monet and Impressionism.  Watch the video to follow along with Ms. Ammons as she Makes a sample painting.  
Sample by Ms. Ammons

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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...