With 3rd grades recent trip to Cave of the Mounds and all of their learning about rocks and minerals, I thought it would be cool to do a project based on minerals. We looked at Karina Eibatova's work for influence. Karina is a young Russian artist who moved from Russia to Sweden when she was 19. While in Sweden, she drew upon nature as inspiration for her works. While she depicts a variety of things from nature, I was really drawn to her mineral series.
We got the project rolling by looking at the shapes seen in minerals. They are made of geometric shapes due to the chemical make-up of the mineral. We used this knowledge and a ruler as a straight edge to draw an angular shape. Then we drew lines inward from each point along the edge to break the shape up into triangles and other polygons. I really emphasized holding the ruler still while drawing so that all of their lines were nice and straight. We finished off the day by picking one color and painting about a third of the shapes in our mineral with it.
For the second day, we talked about value and how it can be used to create form. The students had already unknowingly used form on their chalk drawings of Jeff Koons' balloon dog. I introduced them to tints and shades and talked about how tints are lighter and look like light is hitting the mineral. Shades are darker and look like they are shadows on the mineral. We practiced mixing tints this class and placed them onto a value scale, showing a range of tints. I collected all of these strips of value scales and am in the process of putting them together into a big collaborative project. After finishing their practice value scale, they mixed tints and added them to their mineral. You can bet that we used sparkle paint to add a bit of shine to our minerals!
For the third day, they did the same as the second, except they worked with shades this time. Students finished painting on this day.
The last day, we cut out our mineral and glued chunks of cardboard to the back of it before gluing it onto a black background. Because the students didn't have much to do this day, I introduced them to the installation artist, Olafur Eliasson. While the students will not be directly making a project about Olafur, their collaborative project made from all the value scales will be based on one of his works.
Harmony and Consolidated Elementary Art Teacher in Milton, WI. UW-Eau Claire graduate. WAEA President. Apple Teacher.