Thursday, December 23, 2010

Clay Owls

First grade just finished their clay owls. For the full tutorial click here.

Klimt's Tree of Life

My second graders just finished paintings inspired by Gustav Klimt's Tree of Life. They started by painting a watercolor wash for the background, yellow on most of it with a little bit of brown on the bottom. Next class, we drew the tree together. On the SmartBoard I showed them Klimt's painting and drew on it, emphasizing the Y shape where the tree branches split from the trunk and the way the trunk and branches get skinnier as they move away from the base of the tree.

Once the trees were drawn I showed them how to choose paint brushes based on the needs of their painting. I told them to get a medium sized flat brush and a small round tip brush and showed them how to move the brush from side to side to create a very crisp line with their paint. They took the painting part very seriously, it was actually silent in the room for a while they were so focused!

The final step was to add a few sequins to imitate Klimt's patterns. If I had it to do over (which I do, next year!), I would order sequins that are only circular and/or square. The kids got a bit too focused on the different shapes and lost their focus on their patterns.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thinking in Pictures

One of my inspirations in my research on the minds of people with Autism is Temple Grandin. She has a couple of books published, one is called "Thinking in Pictures." As an adult with Autism, she writes about how her mind works and how others with Autism think. There was recently an HBO movie made about her, starring Claire Danes (which I hope to watch over break, if my kids will nap at the same time for me). I found this video clip of her speaking at a TED function via The Art Teacher's Guide to the Internet. The video is a little long-20 minutes, but will give you a sample of what she talks about in her book, and I assume her movie. If you're interested in how children on the Autism Spectrum think it's a good place to start.

I'm not so sure I like this song, but the video is so creative, and I really enjoyed their versions of so many famous works of art. And what a variety they included!

70 Million by Hold Your Horses ! from L'Ogre on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

TR Mack-Results

Some of my fourth graders have completed their TR Mack projects. I must admit, that in general I was quite disappointed in the results. A lot of the children did not have the patience required to strategically place the circles around their tree branches. There were, of course a few gems in the bunch. These three are my personal favs. These three artists really worked hard to complete their artwork, and took all of my instructions to heart.

At my other school, we voted on the circles and both classes decided that they did not want to add them. So, if you want to see our Artsonia gallery without circles you can click here.