The Christmas season is fully upon us so I thought it was time to bring some holiday cheer to our class! This week we looked at the work of the artist Kandinsky and infused his style with our Trini Christmas flavour!
Kandisky is credited as the father of Abstract Art and he is also famous for having the condition SYNESTHESIA! Synesthesia means that colour and sound are inextricably connected in the brain, so a person with this condition can 'hear' colour and ascribes colour to music! It's no wonder then that his art came out looking the way it did! Putting Kandinsky and Parang together might seem an odd paring, but to me it seems quite natural and hopefully my Picassos left feeling the same way. They listened to a reading of The Noisy Paintbox which is based on the life of Kandinsky so they could appreciate the art and the artist we were going to try to mimic.
To make sure my Picassos created something unique to them and something they could relate to, we talked about the instruments used in Parang. They practiced simple versions of them and then they came up with their compositions using Kandinsky as a guide! They had to be sure to use at least 3 instruments, make sure one pair is overlapping, then divide the background using irregular shapes! Lots of instructions to follow and I could just see the problem solving skills developing in this project! LOL
They painted their compositions using a warm and cool colour combination... so yet another art concept comes into play!
I thought I would usher in Christmas at the studio by reading this great little book "A Bucket of Blessings". While it is not a Christmas story it certainly has some beautiful lessons that tie in well with the season of giving.
In the story they see that one person ( or monkey ha ha) can make a big difference just by doing something relatively small and it also underscores that you can find great joy in helping others. Of course, the colours are vibrant and the pictures appear textured so it is very visually appealing.
They created the peacock from the story using a collage technique which they approached in the manner of a puzzle! Lots of fun and lots of learning and the art isn't too shabby either!
My Picassos did a fun little project today that highlights one of the most difficult concepts in art.. PERSPECTIVE. This is the system used to represent 3D objects on a flat or 2D surface.
They got to trace their hands and shoes and fill in the space with the rest of their bodies as they would look if they were falling backwards! This fores them to think about angles and how the arms and legs would look shorter than they really are and how the head would be positioned behind the hands etc...
I think they did tremendously well!
So my Picassos completed their St. Basil's pieces this week and we spoke about our newly discovered Russia facts! So here are a few of the facts my kiddos brought back...
Today the Doodlebugs took a look at a fun video on the life of the Monarch Butterfly and then of course we had a little chit chat about symmetry and what that means! We really looked closely at the gorgeous orange and black of the Monarch Butterfly and it's patterns and then they got down to creating this wondrous creature using our nifty printing technique.
No drawing here! My little friends held their big brushes and made big sweeping movements to create wings and printed them on the other side and the looks on their faces throughout the process! I got a good many of them with the old 'tongue sticking out the mouth concentration' look lol!
They also got to practice some more colour mixing as I made them layer yellow and red and then of course they got our gorgeous orange monarch colour! Colour mixing this way is a lot less messy... hmmm
The Picassos and I journeyed half-way around the world for the inspiration for our art lesson today and we landed smack dab in the middle of Russia's Red Square!
We took a look at St. Basil's Cathedral and of course they learnt a bit about this very ornate building's history and purpose! Did you know that it is made up of 9 separate buildings that are all arranged around a central column? Or that the colourful structure that is famous today actually spent it's first 200 years in plain white?!? Yup, the colours were added long after it was built and they are said to come from a description in the book of revelations. Speaking of revelations... the cathedral is not a cathedral at all... it's actually a museum!
Anyway, this structure is so complex and full of colour, that I thought it would make a beautiful art project, but it also serves to connect the Picassos to our world and introduce them to a foreign culture!
Another cool side effect... we get to point out some math connections as well! We talked a bit about geometric shapes, how squares and rectangles have 4 right angles and looked at the use of 2D figures in our drawing!
This is a 2 part lesson, so they will draw today and St. Basil's will be painted in our next class!
There is nothing like the look of accomplishment on the face of a child when they do something and it comes out just the way they envisioned! This simple little drawing of Porky the Pig (I just had to name him guys 😀) delivers an easy win but it also works in lots of fundamentals.
They have to use their shapes and follow instructions step by step and then of course they get to mix a tint! Red and white makes pink!!! Gasp! Finally I get them to say PERSPECTIVE and they learn that things look very different depending on which way you turn them! This piggy is viewed from the front, but if we drew him from the side it would be very different!
Simple step by step drawings like these are real confidence builders for my little artists because they always start off thinking they can't draw whatever I say we're going to do, then voila they see that they can!
Take a look at my darlings as they create the most adorable little pigs you've ever seen. 😉
I try to squeeze a colour wheel lesson into every term not just because colour theory is to art what phonics is to reading, but also because children simply LOVE to mix colours! It literally never gets old... they can spend an entire class simply mixing colours to see what they come up with and not actually paint a single thing and giving them the freedom to experiment in this way is just a must... so take a look at them as they mix their secondary colours and create an adorable little juggling clown in the process :)
Our art this week takes a bit of inspiration from our stormy weather. I introduced the Picassos to the artist Winslow Homer and we looked at lots of his paintings of the sea. Children generally want to paint the ocean blue, but Homer's work really shows all the varied colours the ocean can be!
This piece, which I'm calling Calm after the Storm was loads of fun because we used different media and techniques. I like highlighting that art can be made with different materials and in different ways, sometimes in a single piece! Here we used watercolours, tempera and acrylic paints and they used brushes and even cardboard chips as tools! The only limit on what or how you create is your imagination!
My Tuesday Picassos and I were in the mood for a little more oomph so we used Tempera paints for the sky and ocean.
Be a fly on the wall in our art room! Take a look at what we do, how we do it and the smiles that I get to see week after week :)