Saturday, January 19, 2013

Grade 2-Symmetrical Robot Faces

Grade 2 students at Birch Meadow are learning about mirror symmetry.  We created symmetrical robot faces.  First we folded a piece of paper in half and marked our line of symmetry down the center of the page.  We then drew only half of a robot face.  Next we outlined with  a black oil pastel, pressing down hard to ensure a dark line.  We then folded our paper back in half so that the drawing is covered by its other half.  Last, we took a ruler and rubbed the paper.  When we opened up our work, the drawing had transferred over to the other side, completing the face and making it exactly symmetrical.  we then darkened up the lines with our oil pastel and painted them using watercolor paints.

unfinished work by Emily
Finished work by Lucy

The next step after this would be cutting out the faces and mounting them on colored construction paper. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Finished Koru Spiral Paintings by Grade 4

Hi Friends...
Here is an update of the my lesson on Raewyn Harris.  Fourth graders learned about this artist and created paintings inspired by Harris.  See the original post here.

Here are some examples of some finished paintings:

Student painting using watercolor techniques
 gradient wash technique used

gradient wash technique used

gradient wash and resist techniques used in this painting

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cool Kids, Warm Clothes!!

First Grade students continued their studies about color.  In this lesson, we looked at color families.  We learned that there are three color families...warm, cool and neutral.  Warm colors are reds, yellows, pinks and reds.  Cool colors are blues, purples, and greens.  Neutral colors are browns, greys, whites, and blacks.

In class we talked about what the colors remind us of.  We said that cool colors remind us of cold things like water, grass or the sky.  Warm colors remind us of the sun, summer time, or fire.

Keeping that discussion in mind, we also talked about our favorite outdoor winter activities.  Many students talked about ice skating, building a snowman, snowball fights, or building snow forts.  We took these ideas and applied them to our drawings we made in class.  We drew ourselves doing an outdoor winter activity using cool and neutral colors.  We colored everything in with cool and neutral colors except for our winter clothing.  We saved warm colors for those.  The idea behind the drawing? Cool (cold) kids wearing warm colored clothing to keep them warm.  I of course thought this was very clever and laughed hysterically while my first graders scratched their heads and said they didn't get the joke.  Oh well, anyway, here are some examples of student work.....

ice skating!


Cities by Grade 2

This lesson is about the art element of space.  We learned that artists who work with 3-D (height, width, depth) objects work with actual space and artists who create 2-D (height and width) works need to show the illusion of depth or space in their flat work. 

We talked about the different strategies an artist could use to create the illusion of depth or distance.  One way is to change the size of an object.  Buildings, people and other objects appear smaller as they get further away. 

Another way is by overlapping things in your work.  When objects in a painting or drawing are overlapped, we can feel the space between them.  If you combine the 2 techniques, the the sense of space is even stronger. 

Second Graders at Wood End School and Birch Meadow School both worked on a city.  They each did it differently though.  I was trying to figure out which lesson would be more successful in getting the concept of space across to the students. 

Wood End students created a city collage and the Birch Meadow students created a city drawing using puffy paint to outline and chalk pastels to color in.  The puffy paint created a barrier for the chalk pastels so that  the pastels don't spread and mix too much.  It is similar to the effect of outlining with white glue if any people have ever done that.  Click here to see one of my previous blog posts about that.

Here are some photos:

BMS second graders working with chalk

Partly finished drawing

WES Collage

Mrs. Erb's City Collage Example
I think overall, the drawings of cities were more successful than the collages.  Most children did not like adding a lot of detail with paper.  The concept of space was more clear when drawing out our cities.  In the future, I think I will continue with the city drawings.   

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pinch Pots and Clay Slab Fish

Hi Friends! Its been a while since my last post. Its been a busy time creating and taking photos, but I haven't had a chance to really get some blog posts in. 

Here are a couple of projects we've done so far....

First graders worked on clay pinch pots recently.  We built them, let them dry and glazed them.  Usually I like to do a bisque fire first before glazing, but I decided to cut that step and just go straight to a glaze fire in the kiln.  A Bisque fire is the first firing of green ware (clay that has been air dried) that completes the initial drying process and the clay changes from gray to white. 

What I did with the first graders is let their pinch pots air dry to green ware.  I then had them glaze the pinch pots and  I immediately glaze fired them.  This saved me a lot of time and energy.  A bisque fire takes a lot longer than a glaze fire so it definitely saved me some time as I have a plethora of clay projects to bisque fire and glaze. 

Here are some pinch pot examples:

Pinch pots.  Green Ware (unfired clay)

Glaze fired Pinch Pot

Glaze fired Pinch Pot

Glaze fired Pinch Pot

Third Graders worked on slab fish.  A slab is a flat piece of clay.  We started by rolling our clay piece into a ball.  We then flattened the ball to resemble a pancake.  Then we scored (made scratch marks) and slipped (added water) the clay to fold it together like a taco.  Then we added details.  We shaped the back end into a tail and kept the mouth open.  Some students opted to add teeth or a tongue. We pinched the top together to resemble dorsal fins.  We smoothed out any bumps and visible scratches by dipping our fingers in water and smoothing it onto the clay.  Below are some examples of the fish:

Profile view Mrs. Erb's example

Student work in kiln, unfired and unglazed

Tail view Mrs. Erb's example

Front view, Mrs Erb's example

3/4 view, Mrs. Erb's example