Jan 12, 2015

Bubble Drawings

 You may have seen this lesson 'floating' around on pinterest lately. I absolutely love it! The original lesson can be found here at The Lost Sock. It is such a brilliant way to teach so many concepts - drawing 3D shape, observational drawing, depth and space, rainbow colours and pastel techniques. I always like a drawing activity that involves black paper too.

I gave my students a variety of round lids in different sizes to trace with a white pencil. We discussed that while bubbles are all different sizes, it also creates depth to have larger and smaller bubbles and to overlap some of the circles shows that sometimes bubbles get stuck together but also represent objects in the foreground and background spaces. It was also a good lesson in creating balance in an artwork. 

I then demonstrated how to echo the shape of the circle's edge with a coloured oil pastel, how to layer up rainbow colours and then how to gently smudge the pastel to create a softer edge. 

One of those great happy teaching moments happened during this lesson - whilst my students were working on these drawings I looked out the window to see one of our education assistants outside on the lawn with one of her students and a giant bubble wand! I quickly went outside and asked them to come in and blow bubbles all around my student's heads so they could observe the way the colours and reflections really look inside bubbles. Such a great coincidence!

I later realised that this lesson was originally intended for upper primary students, which made me very proud of these results from my grade 3 students. I would definitely like to try this lesson again in future with older students to see even more success and accuracy.


Jan 5, 2015

Poppy Field Paintings

These paintings were created by my grade threes back in November to commemorate Remembrance Day. I believe it is also known as Veteran's Day or Poppies Day in other countries. The idea for these came from some very inspiring 2nd grade paintings I spied at Brunswick Acres Art.

In the first lesson we discussed Remembrance Day and the significance of poppies to remember those who have fought in wars. We also looked at some lovely photos online of endless fields of poppies.

I asked students to begin with a piece of paper in a shade of blue of their choice. Some chose a sky blue, some chose darker blues to represent a night-time landscape and other chose a very pale blue they could paint with warmer colours to represent a sunrise or sunset. 

We began with green tempera paint, placing a horizon line somewhere across the page and painting the bottom area of the page green to represent grass in a field. I encouraged the mixing an blending of different greens. We also discussed the way a sky really looks - i.e, clouds aren't perfectly formed, they vary in colour and the sun is not a yellow ball in the corner of the frame. They then painted their sky to represent the time of day they wished to capture.
Once dry I had the students go back to their field and use oil pastels in greens and yellows to add some lines for the texture of the grass and stems. I then talked about achieving depth. We looked at some close up photos of poppy flowers to note the basic shape then we looked again at the photos of fields to see the poppies changing size and shape as they neared the horizon line. Students then used small brushes to paint their poppies in red acrylic. 

Claude Monet's 'Poppy Field in Argenteuil' via wikimedia.
You could always relate this project to the Impressionist style of painting, with particular reference to Claude Monet's poppy field paintings. 

Dec 9, 2014

Candy Cane Drawings

This is a great end of year/Christmas activity for older students. Inspired by this post at 'A Faithful Attempt', I had my grade 6 and 7 students create a tonal drawing of a candy cane using coloured pencils. This was a great project to review drawing techniques like using curved lines and implying light and shade by creating tonal variance to describe a rounded object.

Students love seeing these take form and appear to pop out from the page. Handing out some real candy canes as inspiration is also sure sweeten the deal!

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