Friday, September 27, 2013

Hot Dogs & Cool Cats

They say that practice makes perfect, 
so we did some practicing before we got to work on our big projects this time.

First, we did some practice drawings of dogs and cats....

Then we practiced coloring, blending, and creating texture with oil pastels...
Then we could get to work on our project.

We drew a BIG dog and a BIG cat....

we talked about Warm and Cool Colors...

and then colored some cool cats...

and hot dogs...
The final touch was a layer of watercolor paint for some contrast and to fill in all that pesky white space. Love these!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Des Moines Art Center & Pappajohn Sculpture Park

This fall, our PCM 4th graders were able to visit the Des Moines Art Center and Pappajohn Sculpture Park (transportation paid for by the Des Moines Art Center - so PLEASE visit the art center as a family, and while you're there, tell them what a WONDERFUL thing they are doing by providing the opportunity for these kids to take a field trip there).  I recently read a Huffington Post article about the benefit of just ONE trip to an art museum - seeing the actual artwork of Keith Haring, John Singer Sargent, Edward Hopper, or Georgia O'Keefe - the one they actually touched with their own hands, and not just a reproduction - is something really special, and it's all right there in Des Moines! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bikes- three ways!

Third graders explored different styles and genres of art through a subject matter they are very familiar with - BIKES!
The first thing we tried were realistically drawn observational drawings (it was 100 degrees out, thank goodness for shade!).

Nice, Huh?

Next, students used a viewfinder to pick out an interesting piece of their drawing....

and created an abstract work.

We talked a little about what genre meant, connecting back to literacy (these kids were tossing out stuff like expository nonfiction and realistic fiction - they are smart cookies!), and connected those back to what we were doing in art (still-life, portrait, realistic, abstract...)
We finished up the bike art with Fantasy drawings, and these kids had some really interesting ideas!

I'm hoping we can get to my favorite collaborative bike project, I just haven't figured out the logistics in my new space yet....

Friday, September 20, 2013

Oil Pastel Landscapes

Fourth Graders have been working with someone I call "Bossy Art Teacher." She appears kind of a lot at the beginning of the year - even more this year, since the kids and I are still getting to know each other, and there are some things I REALLY want them to try before they get into some serious art making of their own. Working with oil pastels is challenging, messy, and FUN!  
So, all of the fourth graders made landscapes!  The sky is blended simply by rubbing rows of color together with our fingers. 
Next, we practiced some perspective by drawing a river and then mixing different blues 
using white as a blender.
The final step was to get all scratch-arty for the foreground.  Students layered colors and used a stylus to scratch away the top layer to create some landscapey textures.

They look GREAT!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

International Dot Day

Students at Monroe Elementary make their mark after listening to The Dot, by Peter Reynolds