Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Color Theory Concentric Rings

Third grade has been spending a lot of time learning about color theory. This lesson, inspired by Vassily Kandinsky's Color Study: Squares with concentric circles. Except we dove a lot deeper.
If you stare concentrate on the dot int he above image for 30 seconds, then rest your eyes on a white wall or blank screen... you see... red  white   and  blue! 
It is pretty amazing how the students guess the reason why this is -- the above flag are created using the opposite colors of the actual flag!

 I believe that the black and white switch is the best hint.

I explain to the students how the cones of our eyes are responsible for viewing color--and they send the message to our brain what color we are seeing. Our eyes become tired at looking at a color for too long--and the "green voice" gets weaker and weaker, allowing for the "red voice" to shine through !
We see color in relation to other colors. 
Here is Kandinsky's painting.  We followed the same format, but instead filled our rings with complementary colors, tints, shades and analogous color combinations! 
The students painted the center and the background using complementary color combinations...then painted tints and shades of the center. Lastly, an analogous pairing. I explained what a study is in art--and this painting is fantastic practice in better understanding color and mixing paints! 

And how amazing they all look together. This display is 72" x 160"-- is makes for a huge WOW factor.
The students will be choosing their favorite color theory combinations for an upcoming painting! 

100 Dot Installation

How many ways can you show 100?
While tying math into art, some of my first graders (the Violet group) learned about how art can transform space. We looked at artwork by Yayoi Kusama (her amazing installation, Look Now, See Forever) and discussed what an art installation is. 
Looking back to September (International Dot Day, 9/15)-- we created our own very unique dots--100 of them--to create our own mini-installation.  What does 100 look like demonstrated and illustrated?  
In our short 40 minute classes, the lesson went a little something like this: 
 Day 1: The students printed dots with balloons (the water balloon size) and rings with plastic cups. We looked at Georges Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon the Island of La Grade Jatte and estimated the number of dots. (It was a contest: the winner received their very own multicolored crayon "dot") No one knows for sure, but some estimate 3.5 million to 6.4 million!
Day 2 was spent creating tye die dots with coffee filters and water soluble markers.
Day 3: We put them all together!  The students cut out their many dots and thought about layering them on top of one another.

There is something so beautiful and whimsical about these dots!
Day 4: As the students took turns lying them out on the floor, we counted our dots. How exciting it was, the closer we got to 100!
We made small tape rings on the dots and carefully brought them down to our chosen space. The students voted for the cafeteria, so that everyone can see !  

The students put their dots on the wall wherever they thought looked best, and I hung up a few to add some height. Stepping back, we noted how they all looked together and how it brightened the space: transforming it from an empty wall to a work of art!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

1st Grade: Autumn Leaves into Winter Wind

This lesson not only reinforces knowledge of temperature, seasons, warm and cool colors and motion through line-- it also is a fun approach to understanding the process of printmaking.

Students created monoprints of leaves using warm colors. They were invited to mix their own. We talked about the  why leaves have veins and how we can paint on the "bumpy" side to create prints.  They had a ton of fun--and the prints turned out beautifully.  The students us tempera paint, carefully painting the veiny side of the leaf, and pressing them onto small sheets of old "Dippy Die" paper left from many years before.

Next, the students practiced drawing motion with line.  Using only line, how would you draw the wind?
They used cool color oil pastels, using line to draw wind. There were whooooses and whistles around the room--sometimes sound effects help! Then they were given watercolors, and using cool colors, they painted the paper from edge to edge. It was great to see the creativity here!!

Next, I demonstrated how to carefully cut out the shape of the leaf, turning the paper instead of my hand. *A tip that really helps them!* I also demonstrated dabbing little dots of glue around the back of the leaf, and of course the very dramatic "watch what happens when you add too much glue" leaf. 

Seriously... how much fun are these:)


  Positive Space 

Negative Space

Back-tracking a bit to September...my First Graders were working on positive and  negative space dots.

  They look amazing lining the halls. 
Here are a few more for your viewing pleasure!