Here is a fun and easy Fall lesson that required minimal supplies and used a fun art history lesson on Piet Mondrian.
9x12 white construction paper
Black permanent marker
Red, Yellow & Blue markers
Yep, that is all it took. Here are the easy steps.
Draw a pumpkin shape, using the entire paper, with a black permanent marker. Really encourage the kids to almost touch all the sides and the bottom of the paper - leaving a little more room at the top. After they draw the shape, they can decide if they want a jack-o-lantern and add a face at this time. They can also leave out the face and just keep it a pumpkin.
They can decide how they want to create their bold geometric lines like Mondrian. My jack version used triangles and irregular polygon shapes for a more fractured look - not exactly Mondrian but still fun. My plain pumpkin was more Mondrian in style and used squares and rectangles.
Then the students could start coloring in their shapes using yellow and blue and red. I let them keep the black markers because we talked quite a bit about composition in Mondrian's work and how as you are coloring in shapes, you may realize you need to change the size of a nearby shape to add a balancing color.
The students could also add a vine and some leaves if they like. They also had to add a horizon line so their pumpkin was not floating. They could then add some straw or something underneath their pumpkin as well.
I have to admit that although Mondrian is such an important and accessible artist to introduce to kids, that I do not particularly like primary color schemes. But, these darn pumpkins turned out so striking with their limited palette and bold lines, that this has become one of my favorite lessons.
Aren't these fun? Definitely check out my Pinterest page for some fun Mondrian videos that we also used during our history appreciation lesson.
Mrs. H's class just visited Monet and learned about his famous poplar series of paintings.
9x12 white construction paper
foam texture brushes
We had examples of Monet's work and the kids looked at the colors he used in summer vs the colors he used in fall. They also pointed out the different lines of trees, landforms and the river Epte. First we made a curvy horizon line and mixed our chosen colors right on the paper. For the sky we used tissues to lift off color for clouds.
Then we added our poplar trunks with black paint, making some look closer and some farther away.
Since Monet painted his poplars en plein-aire, during different times of the day and different seasons and different weather conditions, the kids experimented with all of those elements in their own paintings.
Finally the kids used our homemade foam texture brushes to dip into liquid tempera and dab on for the leaves.
Another super duper easy lesson - could be Fall or Winter...
Using 9x12 white construction paper and watercolors, make a cool background. Color washes, wet on wet color, splatter, wet water drops, salt techniques...have fun with the background. I did one in warm and one in cool colors.
I waited until they dried completely - the next day. And then I created a tree two different ways.
With this tree I just used black watercolor and a straw. I painted a trunk and then blew the rest of the paint to create the branches.
With this tree I just used a black sharpie.
Easy and pretty cool looking if I do say so myself.
I have been wanting to do some pastel chalk with Mrs. H's class and I thought Cezanne and a still life might be the ticket.
I worked up a few samples above on different colored construction paper to see what they looked like. I decided to offer the kids brown, red, lavender and blue as their paper color choice. I showed them the difference the paper color can make on depth and shading with the chalks. I also thought it gave their still lifes a bit of an antique look. We had a little powerpoint about Cezanne and away we went.
We looked at many different examples of his still lifes but we studied his "Still Life with Seven Apples", 1878
Since we had not done chalks before I did a little tutorial on how to use them AND how NOT to use them. You never know how younger kids will take to the pastel chalks. I don't usually set my expectations for a first time chalk lesson really high because there is so much experimentation on their part as they get used to the medium. But this class surprised the heck out of me! They were amazing.
We went in steps together. First we chose a red, orange or yellow pastel to draw our apples. We went over each apple in Cezanne's work and noticed that some were overlapping and we noticed how much you could see of each apple.
Then we talked about the color in each apple and how we might combine that and blend our colors.
Then we created a shadow where the stem was and drew our stem and outlined our apples in black or dark gray.
We then decided what color we would use for the background. How would it create contrast? They could not use any of the same colors they used in the apples. We talked about blending with our fingertips up to our apples instead of running right over them with sloppy coloring marks. And finally talked about where the light was coming from and where that would put the shadow. A backwards "C" was demonstrated for the shadows. We also went over any lines that we needed to make stand out more.
These might just be one of my favorite projects to date. I was so impressed with this group of second graders (many of whom had never tried actual pastel chalks before)!!
Wife to a VERY understanding man (even if he does roll his eyes and duck back into his garage way too much); mother to three maniacs,crafter, professional volunteer, crazed maniac in her own right...yep, that about covers it for now.
It's about crafts, family, gardening, life....really whatever the heck I want to talk about. I am wordy, messy, opinionated, disorganized, lacking in focus, manic, craft obsessed...and pretty much this all spills out on the pages of this blog. You've been warned!
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