Colonial Glass Bottle Still Life

The 4th graders explored the art of glass making.  We discussed what glass is made from, and how it was originally used thousands of years ago.  We also looked at the Jamestown Glass House and explored how glass was created in used in Colonial Virginia.  Did you know the first factory in the US was the Glass House in Jamestown?

Students observed glass bottles to create their own still life.  We wanted to create the illusion of 3D in our artwork, so we learned to overlap our bottles and place them higher or lower on the page.  Together, these two techniques help to make objects appear closer or further away.  Lastly, we painted in our bottles, this was a little tricky because glass is transparent, so we wanted to be sure to mix the two colors where the glass overlapped.  To add finishing touches, we added a few shadows and highlights to our bottle still lives. I think they did a very convincing job creating a flat artwork that looks 3-D!

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Morrocan Radial Pattern Tile Paintings

5th Graders explored the art of Morroco as we took a closer look at their tile motifs.  Morrocan motifs were elaborate patterns made from geometric shapes.  These designs were often repeated and painted on hundreds of tiles, creating an even larger motif.  5th graders created their own motifs tiles, as we designed a radial pattern.  We looked at radial patterns that exist in nature, and learned that radial patterns are round designs.  By using a graphite transfer method, we transferred our design to create our own radial pattern.  Next, students chose a complementary color scheme, and learned how to mix tints and shades to paint in their designs.  To add a finishing touch, students painted mettallic paint onto their work to accent their designs.  Great work 5th graders!

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Recycled Glass Organic Bowls

Students in my 5th Grade Recycled Art Enrichment club created clay bowls using recycled glass  and clay.  We first discussed the technique of building with slabs.  Before  shaping our bowls, students discussed the word “organic” and how it could related to different shapes and forms in pottery.  We rolled our clay to a thin sheet, and then draped them over a mold, creating our “organic” form bowls.  After the pieces were fired, we glazed the bowl and melted pieces of broken glass inside.  This was a great way to recycle materials that would otherwise be thrown away!

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Australian Aboriginal Artworks

Kindergartners discovered the traditional artwork of Australia as we learned about Aboriginal Art.   Aboriginal means “first” or “original.”  This artwork, often found on cave walls and pieces of tree bark, was created by the original inhabitants of Australia.  Their work depicted what was important to them, mainly animals. The animal was often placed in the center of the work, and patterns made from tiny dots filled the space surrounding it.   We learned these animals were important symbols were used as symbols to tell stories.   After discussing different kinds of Australian animals, students learned how to draw a turtle, and then outlined the turtles with row after row  of painted dots.  To add a finishing touch to our works, Kindergartners learned how to tie a knot, and tied a branch onto their work to hang from.

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Japanese Landscapes Prints

5th graders learned the ancient art of Japanese woodblock prints.  We explored Katsushika Hokusai’s work, 36 View from Mount Fuji.

Hokusai was a famous Japanese printmaker.  A printmaker carves into wood, metal, or linoleum, to create an image called a plate.  The plate is inked, and the image is transferred onto paper.  Printmaking has been around for hundreds of years, and before we had modern day printers, this is how we used to print copies of books and posters.

Hokusai truly valued the beauty of Japan’s landscapes.  After looking closely at Hokusai’s prints, we created our landscapes by carving into a plate. Once our plate was finished, we painted them, and using a brayer, we transferred our image onto a large paper.   In connection with learning about the art of Japanese printing, we learned the art of Japanese Sumi-E painting as we added a decorative edge around our border.

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Kindergarten Set Design

Kindergartners put on their annual performance of The Three Little Pigs.  This year the students made their own set for the musical in Art.  We discussed what a set is, and how they are used in stage performances.  We also discussed that an artist has the job of designing the sets.  After reading the story, The Three Little Pigs, students began working on their own set design sketches for their production.  We then compiled the different sketches into one final design, and transferred it onto two large backdrops.  Painting was the last step to complete our set.  Everyone had a part of the set they were responsible for painting.  So we all worked together, and our set was created for the musical!

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Symbolic Self Portraits

Students learned about artist Chuck Close, and his unique grid style portraits.   We discussed the role of portraiture in Art, and how portraits can communicate information about the person.  The students used the grid format of Chuck Close to create enlarged self-portraits.   Students then learned about the value scale and symbols. They learned how to create a symbol that would be light or dark in value, and how to express something about themselves in their symbols.  They then used the variety of symbols to complete their self-portraits.

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