Jack and the Beanstalk
The English fairy tale “Jack and the Beanstalk” first appeared in print in 1734. Some literature researchers think the oral version of the story has been around for over 5,000 years!
It is an endearing story of a poor boy who buys magic beans that grow a beanstalk of gargantuan size. Jack climbs the beanstalk high into the sky and discovers that it leads to the home of a mean giant. Jack manages to steal some valuable treasures from the giant which causes the giant to become very angry. Before the giant shimmies down the beanstalk to get Jack, Jack cuts down the beanstalk.
Now we discussed this little tale at great length and it turns out that your children have a very firm moral compass! Congrats! They were all able to discern some important lessons...
This is all of course while they were working on drawing and painting their bird's eye view of Jack climbing back down the bean stalk! This piece drew their attention to different aspect of perspective in art. So far we have done 1-point perspective (poui trees), atmospheric perspective (winter landscape) and now bird's eye.
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!
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!
Birds on a Wire
It's weird how my mind works but I'm guessing all the feathers and wings have got me stuck on birds! So the Picassos launched into using up some of our hefty supply of gorgeous painted papers to make a little art piece I'm calling "Birds on a Wire".
We've all seen them. Little birdies just hanging out on the electrical wires that have become a part of the landscape of modern day life. But have you seen them look quite like this? I think not!
These birds are bright, patterned and whimsical (thanks for the raw material Doodlebugs) but this piece also has some serious lessons on scale, perspective, balance and composition. Feast your eyes...
Super Hero Portraits Part 2
, The Picassos worked on creating their super heroes in this session so our focus was drawing people in motion! To help ease some of my kiddos into this difficult task I brought my little wooden mannequin man so they could take turns putting him in different poses and sketching the limbs. I also made some nifty movable figure templates that they could use to get the proportions right. I like to think of these movable figures as training wheels... it really gets them thinking about how limbs are connected by joints and how arms and legs look when you move them this way and that.
So some Picassos drew free-handed, some looked at the mannequin for guidance on how to draw the angles and some used my movable figures. They all then drew the costumes over the basic body structure and erased the parts that would be covered by clothes! Take a look at their creative compositions!
Next week they will scratch out the buildings so we'll focus on perspective in the next part of this gargantuan art piece.
Tuesday Picassos are on top and Saturday Picassos are underneath :)
For the first part of this lesson see here, or to see how they finished them up move along to Part 3!
Super Hero Portraits Part 1
It's a new year and a new term and so I decided why not give these Picassos are running start... or rather a flying one! They all had to imagine themselves as super heroes... a feat that was surprisingly easy for these kiddos... hmmm.
But before they got to decide on super powers or design costumes they had to create the background for their super hero selves to land on and survey! This lesson is gigantic in scope because it covers my 'fave' thing to say 'perspective', but it also touches on colour theory, introduces a cool technique called scratch art AND gives the Picassos some exposure to figure drawing. Phew! Up top is a sample of what the finished piece might look like :)
So for Part 1 we painted our evening or night sky using watercolours and oil pastels in either a warm or cool colour pallete... oh yeah here's another technique.. wax resist! I suggested we take our inspiration from the huge Starry Night painting in the art room and give our sky a Van Gogh feel.
Tuesday kiddos are on top and Saturday Picassos are underneath.. take a peek!
Next they got started making the scratch art paper that we will use for our city sky scrapers... because where else is a Super Hero going to perch but up high on top of some buildings :)
Today we worked a little science into our art class! We talked about what makes a habitat a home. The Picassos were asked to choose an animal to research so this video is our jumping off point for our discussion.
Our task today is simply to choose a habitat and really focus on what it looks like and then sketch a scene from that habitat. The art concepts highlighted today are again perspective... looking at the foreground, middle ground and background of our piece. Also paying attention to scale and placement. The Picassos are also going to get to stretch their creative muscles as they come up with their compositions all on their own... no sample piece to look at today... only their understanding of what will be found in their habitat.
This lesson will take my Picassos a few sessions but it promises to be extremely fun in the best way possible! We'll all be learning as we create our beautiful pieces of art.
Cat in the Window - Part 2
Today our beloved Cat in the Window got painted. The Picassos were left largely to their own devices... they simply got down to painting using the watercolours! You can find the first part of this lesson here.
Cat in the Window
I guess it's fair to say the overriding theme for this term has been perspective. Today the Picassos are looking at perspective yet again but this time they are painting the image of a cat in a window. Through this window you can see buildings and even hills in the far distance.
This is a cute little painting but it was a great way to bring up lots of cool art words like 'foreground', 'middleground' and 'background'. Of course we also looked at the use size and position in creating dimension and depth in a painting. Notice how the buildings in the distance appear to be the same size of the cat!
This will be finished in the coming weeks but take a look at their drawings.
Thursday afternoon Picassos tackle the Cat in the Window... take a look :)
Sundays on the Savannah Part 2
So my Picassos finished their Savannah perspective pieces today. They put in the trees and painted in all the details! Trees, shadows and a gorgeous yellow Poui! Again the focus was on perspective and how things look when they are far away and close up.
Take a look :)
If you want to see the first part of this lesson you can find it here.
Better late than never! My Thursday afternoon Picassos got derailed by the rain last week but they finished their Savannah pieces in fine style :)
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 :)