Saturday, October 27, 2012

Color Wheel Eyes

A upper-elementary project combining Art, Science, 
and even Math!

My 4th and 5th grade students enjoyed this project. They all were quite successful with it!

We spent one art class learning a little about the human eye. Students learned to identify the sclera (the white part of the eye), the iris, and the pupil. We also discussed the lines and shapes of the eye lid, brow, and lashes. We started drawing an enlarged eye by tracing a circle stencil I made from tagboard. Since we were going to do a color wheel on the iris, I wanted students to start with a good circle that was the same for everyone. I guided students in sketching out the rest of the eye.

The next class we spent some time dividing the circle of the iris into 12 sections. We had a bit of a math lesson on fractions during this process. Some of my classes were better at it than others, but all accomplished what they needed to do. We also reviewed how Primary colors mixed to make Secondary and then Intermediate colors. We lightly marked out what color went where on the color wheel and I demonstrated mixing and painting the color wheel in the iris.

The following art class most students were able to complete painting the color wheel and most of the black painting. A few finishing touches were added the first 10-15 minutes of the next class before we started our next project.

Here are a few finished student examples - 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ink-Blown Trees on Warm and Cool Backgrounds

3rd Grade students reviewed Warm and Cool colors as they painted two 6x9 papers with watercolors. We discussed the wet-on-wet watercolor technique to blend colors together. Some students tried this on their background papers.

The next art day I demonstrated how to use a dropper to apply ink to the painting and a straw to blow the ink into tree-like shapes. I love the "Ooos and Ahs" that happens when you demonstrate something the students get excited about!

I set up the tables with small cups of India ink on a paper plate with the dropper. The students placed their papers onto a "placemat" (12x18 contraction paper that we reuse under paintings). When they were set up they got a straw and began to do their trees.

Students were on task and had fun watching the ink roll the direction they blew.

A couple of my classes worked extra well and were finished with their trees early. I had a plan if this happened and I was glad to be able to give it a try. When I saw students were going to finish early I stopped the group and showed how to do an ink monster. I dropped some ink on the center of a 9x12 paper and then blew the ink until it had soaked in and couldn't go anywhere else. This excited the students even more. I told them next class we would add to these ink blobs to create monsters.
Students that had a bit of problems trying to control the ink to create trees were more relaxed and were able to find success at the free-form blown ink blob.

The next art class I helped students glue their warm and cool trees onto a black paper for display. As I worked on this the classes that had time the week before to do an ink blob for a monster began to transform them using googly eyes and colored pencils. 

I honestly think the ink monsters were a huge hit and many came out even better than the trees!

 See some ink monsters here --

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hands Up for Creativity! A handy way to review line quality

I'm about to enter the last week of the first quarter and just now getting around to blogging about one of my first projects of the year! Keeping up with 3 schools can be a bit hectic...but lots of creative fun is happening in my Art Rooms and I get at least one hug a day thanking me for it.

This year I decided to start the year by doing one line project with all my 1st graders and 2nd graders and another project with all of my 3rd - 5th graders instead of my usual different project for each grade. Of course my 3 classes of 2nd/3rd grade splits through a monkey wrench in some 3rd grade students did the younger one.  My goal was to introduce, discuss, or review (depending on the level) line quality to all my students, while keeping the craziness of the first couple weeks of school to a minimum. There always seems to be schedule changes, students moving from one class to another, or waiting on numbers to settle before possibly getting another teacher, splitting a class, or even unsplitting a split class these first couple of weeks. So I thought less planning and prep would come in handy...and it did!

I called the 1st/2nd grade project "Hands Up". I got the idea from a Pinterest post and adapted it to fit what I wanted. After discussing Line as an Element of Art, students traced their hands and arms. We drew as many different kinds of lines as we could think of on the Smartboard (or under my document camera in one of my rooms). Students used crayons to design their hands/arms with lots of lines and colors. I insisted they use white at least once.

The next class we talked about the crayon-resist method. Students had fun painting watercolors over the crayon. When dry they carefully cut the hand and arm out.

At each of my buildings I displayed all of these creative hands together radiating out from a bright orange and yellow spot. The display was quite striking all together!