Students in grade 1, 2, 4 and 5 are beginning to explore the color wheel. How was the color wheel invented? How does it help us? How do we make it? Grade 5 has a unique opportunity to go beyond primary and secondary colors. In grades 5-8, students in art explore many different aspects of color theory, including tertiary (intermediate colors). These colors are created by mixing one primary with an adjacent (meaning ‘next to’) secondary. For instance, on a basic color wheel you will find red (primary) next to orange (secondary made from red and yellow). When we mix these two, we get….. red-orange!! We approached the color wheel as another familiar circular shape we have been seeing a lot lately and the results are astonishing! I am so proud of the effort put forth by all 5th graders during this project!
Kindergarten in the fall is a place like no other. Many students are seeing an art room for the first time and experience the tools we use with immeasurable excitement. We have been busy exposing our students to as many materials as possible, and letting them explore. Students at this age can surprise you with their ability to think outside of the box and create something truly genuine to their own experience. Here is what we have been up to so far:
My favorite days are those when a student is genuinely excited about what is happening before their eyes! Pastel resist helps to create that moment in the art room. Students are amazed that water based paint runs away from the thick heavy lines created by their oil pastel. Getting to explore both paint and pastel in this way is a magical combination. Discuss with your artist the steps they took in order to create their work of art.
Working with Scissors… and other tools of the trade:
Students in K are developing both gross and fine motor skills. In art, we focus heavily on helping students with proper hold and use of the scissors. This is tough work for little hands. Students were given square pieces of paper and directed to somehow turn it into a round shape, like an apple. Students were using their helper hand to turn the paper while cutting off the corners of paper, all the while controlling a slow cutting motion with the scissors. WOW! This is exhausting for our K friends. After the apples were cut, students cut a pre-drawn bowl, and asked to arrange a plan which would place the apples in the bowl. Students glued their plan down firmly and used their favorite, pastel, to enhance their work. These look both yummy and beautiful!
Everything is made of shapes, simple as that. In K, we have been exploring types of geometrics shapes and how they work together to make other things. Our main focus has been on squares, rectangles, triangles and trapezoids (although the ‘parallelogram’ has made an appearance as well). Students have been given the opportunity to ‘play’ with the shapes to see what discoveries might be made. I am excited about the progress made within only 2 classes!
If you want to try this at home, pattern blocks are a great resource!
Students in grade 1 have been busy for weeks! For 3 months the art room has been busier than Grand Central Station! This season I was lucky enough to see Mrs. Bello’s class twice a week. These students have had the opportunity to take on some projects that require more time and attention to small detail. Here is what we’ve been doing:
Students learned about traditional mosaics, their function and the materials most often used. To adapt to a classroom setting, we focused on using paper tiles on black construction paper. Working to bring each space to life without overlapping was a challenge! Students needed to plan and think critically about the position of each tile. These masterpieces took over 3 classes!!!
Abstract Name Art & Geometric Shapes:
After looking at the art of Wassily Kandinsky, students works tirelessly on creating an abstract design based on the letters of their name. Like Kandinsky, we focused on our lines and movement. Students were challenged to think beyond the constraints of the lines and allow their color and design to flow freely. I was so impressed by the results and the focus of the students, I decided this would be something we bring back every year!
Before we dove into the world of Kandinsky, we spent some time exploring the lines and the tools we need to create them. Students worked with rulers to draw a variety of geometric shapes and lines. It was like seeing 25 architects hard at work on their designs!
Pastel Resist and Primary Colors:
Students in grade one explored the use of oil pastel and tempera cakes to create a ‘resist’ painting. It was fun to explore how the water-based paint ran away from the heavy oil pastel they had previously applied to their paper. Their designs were abstract, and students were encouraged not to strive for perfection, but to enjoy the experience and take note of what was happening on their paper.
Most recently, students began discussing primary colors. Why are they important? How do we use them? After reading Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh, students created their own primary colored mice, and even used a palette knife to create secondary colors in between the primaries. This modified color wheel has started a conversation about how colors relate and how we can make almost anything with Red, Yellow and Blue!