We learned about the second most famous Pop Artist (behind Mr. Warhol), Roy Lichtenstein! Roy Lichtenstein started out as a graphic designer. One day, his kids challenged him to recreate a picture of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck that they had seen in a comic book. He took the challenge upon himself and recreated it perfectly. This would go on to spur his iconic style. He is most well-known for his paintings of comic book pictures. Many of his paintings depict women or scenes from WWII comics. He is also known for only using the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue). To create other colors, he used ben-day dots. If you have ever looked at a comic closely, the colors are made up of tiny dots of colors. If a bunch of red dots are placed closely together, the image appears red. If they red dots are spaced further apart so that there is more white space between them, the color begins to appear more purple. The primary colored dots can also be overlapped to give the appearance of other colors, such as putting red and blue on top of each other to create the illusion of purple.
We touched up on our organic and geometric shapes from kindergarten to start things off. Then we practiced cutting these shapes out of primary colored papers and gluing them down to our backgrounds. Students were expected to fill up a good chunk of their paper.
The second day, we got a crash course on the proportions of the face. We really emphasized drawing our eyes in the middle of our head and NOT on our forehead. After drawing their self-portrait, they traced it with a sharpie. Lastly, they used bubble wrap to prints dots using the primary colors onto their backgrounds. The bubble wrap prints look king of like large ben-day dots like Lichtenstein used.
While I had fun with the project, I need to come up with a more effective way to teach this one.Maybe draw the shapes on next year with markers instead of cutting them out of paper?
I enjoy doing Day of the Dead projects and making students aware of other cultural practices outside of their own. This is one that they always love to learn about. After talking about Day of the Dead as a holiday in Mexico which celebrates the life of people who have passed, we kicked off the project.
On the first day, they used a sombrero tracer to draw out a sombrero. Then they used tempera paint to paint lines across their sombrero. It was a good chance for us to re-learn our lines!
The second day was spent tracing out a skull, gluing it to their sombrero, and then painting traditional Day of the Dead designs onto the skull
Gerhard Richter is a contemporary German artist who is well-known for his photorealistic paintings that he then blurs using a soft brush or squeegee. He is also famous for creating abstract paintings and then using a squeegee to scrape away paint.
For this project, we painted two sheets of paper the primary colors. When painting, we had to work thickly and quickly with our paint so that it wouldn't dry. After students had covered their papers with the primary colors, they used a strip of tagboard to scrape away the paint on their paper. As they scraped, the primary colors would mix together and create the secondary colors. The kids thought this was the COOLEST THING EVERRRRR and I thought it was pretty cool too for re-learning our color mixing! As they scraped, they could also change the pressure to their scraping and it would create different effects on their paper.
Each student made two paintings. One of the paintings they got to keep, the other painting I cut up into small strips that we then used in a weaving project. For the weaving project, each student got a sheet of paper that had slits cut into it. Students then practiced weaving their painted paper strips into it. Some students caught onto this right away while others struggled. I was really proud of the ones who got it and then helped teach it to their friends who were struggling with it. Throughout the weaving, we talked about patterns and how it is similar to ABAB patterns that they may have learned about in music.
On the final day, we used construction paper crayons to add a different pattern to each row of the weaving. I think next time I will have them just do one pattern on the entire weaving rather than a new pattern for each row.
I saw this project floating around somewhere on Pinterest and thought it would be a great chance to touch on shapes again with me first graders!
Reggie Laurent is a contemporary artist who makes abstract paintings. His artwork features brightly colored shapes on a black background. The shapes vary from geometric to organic. On top of the shapes, he paints vibrant lines and patterns.
Throughout the project, we talked a lot about the difference between organic and geometric shapes. I usually say that geometric shapes are shapes that have a name or that they are shapes with a lot of straight edges. Organic shapes are shapes that are blobs. We cut out tons of organic and geometric shapes and glued them to a black background. When gluing, we glued so that our shapes didn't touch each other. Our scissors were SUPER hungry so we did TONS of cutting. We recapped on using our glue properly too.
The 2nd class, we finished up cutting and gluing. After that, we used a white crayon to create squiggly lines between our shapes. Lastly, we used construction paper crayons to add lines and patterns to our shapes.
This is a project that I saw over at jamestownelementaryartblog.com
James Rizzi was an American Pop Artist who is most well-known for his fun, bright, and cartoon-like depictions of skyscrapers. His skyscrapers typically feature faces with various expressions.
We kicked things off by talking about space in Rizzi's work. We noticed that just because some buildings were bigger than others, doesn't mean that the bigger building was closer to us. We came to the conclusion that this idea of space was created by Rizzi's use of overlapping buildings. We also discussed the difference between foreground and background. We also talked about how buildings are typically made up of vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines. Students drew 3 large buildings and added faces and windows to them. They finished off the class by tracing everything they drew with a black crayon.
Next, we added 3 smaller buildings to go in our background and then traced them with a black crayon. We brushed up on ROY G BIV from last year and then used liquid watercolors to paint our buildings in rainbow order.
On the last day, we finished up painting our buildings. Then painted our sky black. Lastly, we did some splatter painting with white paint to add stars to our sky.
This is a project that I saw over at shinebritezamorano.com which is a super awesome art teacher blog.
1st grade recently finished up their project on Joaquin Torres Garcia. He was a Constructivist from Uruguay who used the primary colors in his work. His work looks a lot like Piet Mondrian’s except that Joaquin’s also uses some symbols within his work. Joaquin’s strong use of vertical and horizontal lines was a good recap for my 1st graders.
We broke up our paper into various vertical and horizontal lines which created different sized squares and rectangles when they overlapped. Then we added other lines that we knew like angles and curves. We added a few symbols such as fish, people, houses, etc. Last but not least, we retraced everything with a black crayon.
The second (and final) day of the project we used tempera cakes to paint everything using only our primary colors.
With our recent string of warm weather, I've been all about summer-inspired projects! This was a project that I saw over at Create Art with Me's blog. It took us two days to do it but we probably could've stretched it out to three days if we had decided to add some more details.
We spent the first day re-touching on the idea of space and how we can create it in our artwork. I was impressed that the students remembered the three different ways to create the illusion of space (changing color, size, and overlapping)! We took this into consideration when we drew our mighty sandcastles! Students were free to add details such as flags, draw bridges, etc. They also drew things like starfish and shells in the foreground (also super impressed that they remembered the difference between foreground and background)! After they finished drawing, they traced everything with a black crayon.
They second day was spent painting with liquid watercolors and tempera cakes. As always, we also talked about proper use of Mr. Brush!
First grade did two mini projects based on Dale Chihuly. Chihuly is probably the most famous glass artist in the world. He actually graduated from Madison for his masters degree. I had the chance to see one of his works during spring break.
The first part of the project, students colored on coffee filters. When they were finished, I wrapped the coffee filters over a paper tube and then sprayed them with liquid starch. This caused the filters to harden up a bit and to look kind of like flowers. I don't have a picture of it but we used these as flowers along the vine that was put up behind the kids during their spring concert. They focused on using warm and cool colors on these.
For the second part of the project, each student was given an old transparency. They thought these were so cool. Most had never seen them before and I had to explain what they were used for. Makes me feel old! Students used colored sharpies to create patterns and designs on their transparency. When they were finished, I drew a spiral onto their transparency. Then they had to cut out along the spinal that I had drawn. I collected all of the spiraled transparencies and combined them to make a large chandelier that now hangs in front of our courtyard. It looks beautiful in front of the light!
Mark Rothko is one of my favorite painters! I had a class of 1st and 2nd graders who were a day ahead of the rest so they both got to do a quick one-day project on him so that the others could catch up. Rothko liked to make really large paintings. He wanted people to stand close to his paintings so that the only thing they could see was his painting. He believed that he could use colors and their interactions with each other to make people feel different emotions.
Students hadn't used chalk in awhile so I thought this would be a good opportunity for them to use it. Students were asked to draw two or three large squares or rectangles on the center of their paper. They could leave a little bit of space between each shape or they could have each square or rectangle touch each other. I encouraged them to blend two different colors together for each shape. I didn't tell them which colors to mix together, but encouraged them to think about their knowledge of color theory. Lastly, they filled in the borders around their shapes.
1st grade got to make two clay projects in a row! Lucky ducks! This was a project I got from another elementary art teacher in Milton who this with her students.
We started off by reading a bunch of facts from a book about cats. The kids loved hearing all of the interesting things about cats! After that, we talked about how we created a pinch pot on the previous project and how we could use that shape to make the body of a cat. After making a pinch pot, students pinched two spots and indented two spots to create ears and eyes. Lastly, they learned how to roll a coil. A coil is like a clay snake and artists use them to create details, pots, and other things from clay.
After that Clay had been fired, we use tempera paint to finish them off.
Harmony and Consolidated Elementary Art Teacher in Milton, WI. UW-Eau Claire graduate. WAEA President-Elect. Apple Teacher.