Nov 7, 2014

Hokusai's Great Wave

The Great Wave Off Kanagawa image via wikipedia.
This project was given to my grade 6 and 7 students recently as part of our focus on Japanese art. Students learn Japanese at my school so I've been trying to introduce a big helping of Japanese art this year. I discussed with students the work of the great Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760 - 1849) whose woodblock print 'The Great Wave Off Kanagawa' is arguably the most recognized piece of Japanese art. 
Commonly called simply 'The Great Wave', this print has been entwined in pop culture for nearly 200 years. One only has to google 'great wave hokusai' and you will find yourself bombarded with this famous image reproduced for murals, tattoos, iphone covers and t-shirts. My students were also impressed to learn that 'The Great Wave' was the inspiration for the logo of our beloved Australian surf brand Quiksilver. 
Students were asked to create their own interpretation of Hokusai's famous image using any medium of their choosing. I was very surprised, not only by their ability to reproduce what I considered to be quite a complex image but by the clever, witty and adventurous way many students tackled this project, which has definitely been one of the highlights of the teaching year for me.
Collage using marbled paper
The Great Wave - as a diorama.
A particularly surreal approach.
The Great Wave that sank the Titanic
The Great Wave - inspired by Aborginal dot painting

Oct 31, 2014

Spooky Trees in Charcoal

Happy Halloween! My grade 2s created these spooky trees just in time for Halloween. It's still not a major thing in Australia but seems to be gaining popularity every year. This lesson has been doing the rounds on pinterest thanks to Jennifer Lipsey Edwards who posts many of her elementary art lessons to her pinterest page here.

Many students hadn't used charcoal before this lesson and it was a great introduction to different charcoal techniques, creating different shades and beginning to understand perspective.

Oct 18, 2014

Abstract Paintings

 This was an introductory lesson to abstract painting for grade 2. I love exploring abstract art with younger age groups as they always seem to have an innate understanding of abstraction and never question its relevance the way older students do. 

After discuss the meaning of abstraction and viewing many examples of well-known abstract paintings, students set about creating their own abstract paintings. I loved watching them paint and seeing their personalities spread out in paint on their page.  Those who love colour used all the colours, those who are neat and organised painted organised lines and patterns and those who love mess and chaos went a little wild.

In the next lesson we made a square window frame from black card and I asked the students to frame the section of their work they felt was most interesting. Each student also titled their work after we discussed the convention of artists creating titles for their work. 


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