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...
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!
Line is one of the good old elements of art and my Picassos spent the week's class getting pretty familiar with it. ? We talked about the different types of lines (straight, curved, zig zag, diagonal and spiral just to name a few) and then I introduced them to our project for the day.
They had to create a landscape showing perspective (uh hum... we use big words in this class ?) and they came up with imaginative pictures showing a foreground, middle ground and background, and then they filled the space with different types of lines to show movement and space. It might sound like a tall order for 7 and 8 year olds, (the younger end of the age spectrum) but I think they all did a marvelous job!
Easter is upon us and while most of my Picassos (both Christian and non-Christian) generally understand the religious importance they were all totally clueless as to the origin of the Easter Bunny and the significance of Easter Eggs... go figure lol.
So we discussed why bunnies are associated with new life... which is a popular theme of Easter! I told them that if you put a boy bunny and a girl bunny in a box you'd soon have lots of baby bunnies! As for the eggs well they are also a symbol of new life and birth but they may also have been linked to Easter because long ago the Church prohibited the eating of meat, fish and eggs during lent so having them again at Easter became a special treat! We managed to get through our entire discussion without ever debating whether the Easter Bunny is real or not to my great relief because I know that I have a mix of opinions in my class on that front!
Oh and of course I also pointed out my little homophone title... the Picassos had a brief head-scratching moment before the could recall the word in English for 2 words that have the same pronunciation but different spellings and meanings. English and art... squeezing in that learning whenever we can!
After we all of this talk I showed them our project for the day. We created a portrait of Mr. Easter Bunny and focused on the use of line (another element of art) to show how the artist can vary the shape, thickness and style of line to say different things to the viewer. They also deconstructed the bunny and put it back together again for a different look to the basic portrait.
Last week the Doodblebugs drew and traced our amazing transforming fishy (see the first part here) and this week... you guessed it... they got down to the business of painting these fine fishes in any colour they liked! Afterwards I had them redraw their lines using black paint to make their fishes pop and I have to say these fishes are even more adorable in full colour :)
Today the Doodlebugs and I did a little magic in the art room! Well it may as well have been magic anyway... the looks on their faces when I showed them how my innocent little fishy drawing was going to turn into a ferocious predator was absolutely priceless!
They couldn't wait to see how they were going to draw this one and of course this one is not just a great painting... it's also loads of fun! They were all holding their drawings and making them go "nom nom"... in case you don't speak fishy that's the noise they make when they are eating. lol
These fishes are drawn first in pencil and then traced in Sharpie and they'll be painted next week. This exercise really worked on those motor skills... taking a line for a walk all the way from the top of the page down to the bottom is serious stuff for a 5 year old! So some of their lines are a little wobbly but those shaky lines are evidence of their little hands hard at work :)
Enough of my babbling... take a look at them in action!
To see how they finished these adorable fishes check out Part 2 of this lesson.
What 8 year old doesn't love to doodle? I think the term Zentangle is relatively new because it's pretty similar to what comes naturally to expert doodlers... lol... but I digress... as usual. Today we looked at using repetitive patterns and lines to create balance and beauty. They were tasked to fill an animal of their choosing with a bunch of zentangle patterns.
The finished animals were then cut out and mounted on coloured 'frames'.
The colours chosen would have to fit into one of our predefined colour schemes though... we discussed how analogous (colours next to each other on the colour wheel) and complementary (colours opposite to each other on the colour wheel) can make the viewer feel differently about a picture. Take a look at these beauties!
Laurel Burch gained much acclaim for her lively depictions of cats. One of the things I admire about this artist is her refusal to let her real life pain stop her from creating and living the life she wanted. Her work is extremely lively and almost child-like, which is probably why children enjoy it so much :)
She uses simple shapes and lots of colour and patterns in a way that is bound to make anyone looking at her art smile. The Doodlebugs drew and painted a cat imitating her style today. It's a great way for these little ones to think about their shapes and colours!
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 :)