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.
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.
Wow did this project come together easier than I thought!
9x12 Black Construction Paper
White Tempera Paint
Fall Leaves (freshly fallen, not crunchy)
We had a little powerpoint on leaves and their shapes. I passed out leaves to each table and we examined their shape and form. First I demonstrated how to paint the veiny backside of the leaves and then how to press them on the paper to leave a clear print. Then they got started.
I thought we'd have more blobby prints with too much paint. But they printed their leaves magnificently! We let them dry while I then demonstrated how to do the echo lines with the pastels.
We discussed drawing some echo lines in warm colors around certain leaves and then cool colors around other leaves. For the most part they got it.
But they all turned out pretty fabulous, don't you think?
Okay, here is the lesson I was yakking about in my last post. Mrs. H and I decided super hero self-portraits would be a nice display for the parents to see on Open House Night.
We went with the #2 super hero version as I thought it would be the easiest for this class, and keeping everything on one sheet of paper would be easier to keep together.
18x24 white construction paper
brushes, water cups
I showed a powerpoint on cartoon super hero characters and we talked about realistic portraits versus cartoon portraits, how cartoons/comics are more stylized and simplified. We noticed that the super heroes usually had bigger heads than normal, bigger shoulders and longer legs and muscles! We looked at famous super hero symbols and all the accessories that super heroes can have. Then we started the drawing. I was probably a little ambitious to start with this kind of drawing project as the first art lesson with a new 2nd grade class. But these kids ROCKED it. I was amazed.
Before we sat down to draw we all stood and modeled several super hero "poses" and what kind of names we might have as our super hero alter ego. Then we took out the pencils (which I almost NEVER use in art class at school in the beginning of the year). I did try to come up with some tricks to help them with their drawings. As most kids at this age have trouble filling the page with artwork, drawing proportions anywhere near normal and drawing lightly with a pencil. That's just developmental stuff, but I still encourage all students to break out of those developmental art stages and stretch themselves.
I had them fold their papers in half both lengthwise and width-wise. Then fold again the upper half width-wise one more time. You can see it in the photo below.
Of course all along we are talking about "drawing so you can barely see your pencil line" but that doesn't really get through to them yet. :-) In that upper half of the paper we used the second fold to draw the oval head using the "T" shape in the middle to help center the head and facial features. I made several kids erase (eek!) and draw bigger heads. We then made "skeleton lines" for the rest of our body (with the intention that they were done lightly so they could be erased - HA! )Since we were drawing our super heroes a bit exaggerated we used the middle horizontal fold as the "waist or hips". We drew horizontal lines for the shoulders and hips so they could see how to give their heroes more dimension and shape, rather than the typical stick figures. Then we outlined around the "skeleton" with our pencils and made the "skin"- giving shape to their muscles and joints. For the most part, their proportions (while supposed to be slightly exaggerated) were not too shabby.
At this point we talked about their backgrounds - were they flying or standing on the ground? Were they in a city or over a rural area or in the sky? Pencils went away and they brought out their crayons to color their super hero and create their backgrounds.
All along we talked about what their names might be and what super powers they might have so that they could start drawing in accessories or a background that fit their hero.
I think I did have some project rules too: They were supposed to have a logo for their super hero, mask, some kind of cape. Most of them also added boots, belts and gloves. I wasn't too rigid on the rules this time as long as they got the big ideas. They also could not have guns or knives in their artwork.
This lesson took two days for drawing and coloring and then painting.
Here are some ideas that we generated that helped us create our super hero personas.....
NAMES....we thought of some super hero names and realized most super hero names come from the same "formulas".
#1 ADJECTIVE + Girl/Boy/Woman/Man (ex. Wonder Woman, Superman)
#2 NOUN + Girl/Boy/Woman/Man (ex. Iron Man, Hawk Girl)
#3 COLOR + NOUN (ex. Green Lantern, Black Widow)
#4 "The" + JOB or NOUN (ex. The Hulk)
#5 ONE WORD (scary animal or dynamic word) (ex. Wolverine, Flash)
The names kind of led us to possible super powers and vice versa.....here are some super powers we came up with: smiling, doing homework, telling time, eating vegetables, reading, playing soccer, singing, creating art, jumping rope, elastic arms, loving nature, being nice to animals, babysitting, passing all tests, making lightning bolts....really this went on for quite a while. I mean, there are a lot of possible super powers out there in this world in case you didn't know!
Accessory ideas came next because you kinda have to know your super powers to know what kinda swag you need....mask, gloves, belt, boots, cape, wings, eye patches, cyborg parts, shield, hammer, crown, rope, glasses, rockets, webbing, bracelets, mermaid tail (hey, you never know!)....
Background ideas were the final part...
#1 In the City (buildings, skyscrapers, roof tops)
#2 Over Land or Water (far away landscapes, farms, towns, ocean, rivers, lakes, trees)
#3 In the Sky (clouds, sun, rainbow, weather, rain)
The kids can't wait to show their parents and see if they can guess who they are.
Are these not the coolest group of super heroes or what?
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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