For this project, students learned about Heather Hansen and continued their study of symmetry along more than one axis. Heather is an artist based out of New Orleans. What I really like about her is that she combines two of her favorite passions: art and dance. Her art is very meditative and requires concentration and movement of her whole body. She uses charcoal while lying on a large sheet of paper to create symmetrical drawings.
With the students, we used an app for the iPad called Morphi. Morphi allows you to create and mirror drawings on different axis. This made it easier for students to create symmetrical drawings. After creating 2D drawings in the app, they can then convert them into 3D forms which can be further manipulated along different axis.
One of my goals this year was to begin using more and more technology with my students. This was a project I snagged from shinebritezamorano.com Don does an awesome job using iPads with his students!
Forge of Neon is a free app for iPads. When using it, I expected the students to focus on symmetry using 3 or more colors and using at least 2 different axis.
This year, I put a special emphasis on Black History Month and did my best to teach a black artist for each grade level. With 3rd grade, we looked at an artist named Lina Iris Viktor.
Lina is the youngest artist any of my students have learned about and they thought it was SOOOO cool that she is just a few years older than I am. Lina's work is characterized by many circles and straight lines that break her paintings up into many geometric shapes. She also restricts her color palette to a particular hue of blue, 24 karat gold, black, and sometimes white. The students noticed that some of her work reminded them of Egyptian Hieroglyphs based on the symbols and her use of gold. Lina's work was recently plagiarized for a Kendrick Lamar video. This was a great opportunity for the students and I to have a discussion because they have learned about copyright and plagiarism in the past in other classes.
The first day of class, students created two sketches using some of the elements they saw in Lina's work (lines, circle, geometric shapes). After their two sketches, they chose the one they believed was their strongest design and had it ok'd by me. To finish class, they transferred their sketch to a large sheet of colored paper (color of their choice). They were expected to use rulers and different circle tracers I had put out to ensure that they had nice, clean, crisp lines.
On the 2nd day of the project, students used gold paint to fill in about a third of their artwork. You would've thought they were using actual gold! They went nuts for it! We talked about different ways to fill in spaces of their artwork (outlining, painting in a shape, painting the space around a shape, etc). I also emphasized outlining things first and then filling in the space. This helps to make smooth outlines.
The final day was spent using black on about a third of their project. They were expected to have every pencil line either outlined or filled in.
This has probably turned into one of my favorite projects! I love how strong many of their designs!
3rd grade has been learning about the French street artist, Invader. Invader is an anonymous artist who uses small bathroom tiles to create mosaics of 8-bit video game characters. He is named after the old arcade game Space Invaders and is most well-known for portraying these in his street art. However, he has moved on to incorporate other video game characters such as Mario and Pac-Man. He likes to display his "invasions" in busy areas of cities due to their high traffic. He believes that everyone should be able to enjoy art, not just people who can afford to go to museums and galleries.
I love teaching about street artists because students are always particularly drawn to them.
The first day was spent looking at characters from the Space Invaders. We talked about how all the characters are symmetrical and made up of pixels (or small squares). We used gridded paper to re-create Space Invader characters. I wanted them to have a good understanding of how the Space Invaders were symmetrical before moving on to making their own.
After a couple practice drawings of old space invaders, students finally had the opportunity to create several of their own. My requirements were that it had to have an eye, be symmetrical, and it had to be 8 pixels high and 8 pixels wide. These requirements were to help the students with keeping their invader symmetrical.
After students got the knack for creating their own Invaders, I created an 8x8 grid using Google Sheets. I uploaded it into Schoology. From there, each student could access it and create their own Invaders by filling in the spreadsheets. When they finished a new character, they screenshot it and then started a new one. This was the first time we had ever used the iPads in art class and they turned out great!
The last half of class on the final day, they created an Invader character in an app called 'Bloxels.' In their classrooms, they had been creating their own worlds in Bloxels. They could then use their own Invader characters to play in the Bloxel worlds they had created!
Maya Hayuk is always one of my favorite artists to teach each year! I just love her use of bright colors! Here is the write up on this project from previous years. Enjoy the pictures from this year's students!
Check out these Ted Harrison inspired landscapes! You can read the details to the project here.
3rd grade recently wrapped up learning about Richard Serra. I wrote about this project last year so you can find all the details here. Check out some of the awesome work they did below!
I typically try to reach out to the artists that we learn about in class (if they are still living). Once in a while, we get a tweet or an email back from them. 3rd grade recently learned about Julie Mehretu and even received a few tweets of praise back from her!
We looked at Jeff Koons' work. Koons is an American Post-Pop artist. He is most well-known for his large reflective sculpture balloon dogs. Most of his sculptures use a reflective surface. He likes how the reflective surface changes the way you perceive the area around you by warping and distorting the room on its shiny shell. He depicts objects that are popular in pop culture such as balloon animals, Popeye, and pool inflatables. His sculptures are highly rendered, down to the subtle creases along the seems of his metal pool inflatables. I find his balloon dogs particularly interesting because they toy with the idea of life and death. When something is full of air/breath like a human or a balloon, the item is thought to have life. But when those things run out of air, they become deflated or lifeless. By creating balloon dogs out of metal, they lose their ability to deflate making them immortal. He is a highly controversial artist who uses around 130 "assistants" to produce his ideas. The kids were amazed that he is the second richest living artist and is worth $500 million.
We did an observational drawing of a balloon dog inspired by Koons. To do this, we had to learn to break the dog's shape down into different sized ovals. After drawing it, we then traced over our lines with glue then left them to dry on the drying rack.
For the second day of the project, we talked about form. Typically, we talk about form as being something that is 3D but it can ALSO be something that has the illusion of being 3D. To do this, we would need to add shadows and highlights to our dogs. We chose a color and LIGHTLY chalked the various sections of our dog. The glue lines help to contain the chalk and the chalk also wipes off of the glue lines easily at the end of the project. They gently blended the chalk and then re-chalked it, making sure not to chalk quite to the bottom this time. Then smoothed and chalked again, going even less far down on the dog. By going over parts of the dog over and over, it creates a bright spot on the dog called a highlight. This gives the illusion that the sun/light is hitting that part of the dog. Lastly, we added a touch of black opposite of the highlight to give the dog some shadows. By adding highlights and shadows, our dogs now looked like they were 3D or had form.
Harmony and Consolidated Elementary Art Teacher in Milton, WI. UW-Eau Claire graduate. WAEA President-Elect. Apple Teacher.