Fourth grade students are studying Aboriginal Dot Paintings from Australia. We looked at several different examples of dot paintings, both contemporary and prehistoric, and noted a running theme across centuries: native animals. We discussed how important animals were to the Aborigine survival and in their day to day lives. Then we turned to our daily lives in Austin, Texas, and how fourth graders are studying all aspects of the state of Texas this year. Students had to pick one native Texan animal to depict in their own dot painting. They first drew a silhouette of the animal, and cut it out of black paper. Then each student came up with his or her own dot design inside the animal, as well as depicting two "x-ray drawings":which show a bone or organ inside the animal. They finished off their designs with concentric circles, which is a common theme in many Aborigine artworks. Students used swabbed sticks instead of paintbrushes to paint the dots.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Kinder students are working on their Five Senses in art class. We are creating a page for each sense, and will put it all together as a book when we are finished. On the days pictured here, students were using their sense of sight. We looked at several different small objects very closely with a magnifying glass, and then tried to draw what we saw.
On the touch day, we played a game. Inside a long tube sock was a plastic cup, and inside each cup was an object. Students had to touch the objects with their hands, and then try to draw the object without ever looking at it. What fun!
Monday, October 18, 2010
First Graders are starting to create a book about Color Theory. On their first day, they painted their own color wheels using only the primary colors red, blue, and yellow. They mixed the primary colors to create the secondary colors green, orange, and violet. They also discovered what happens when all three primary colors are mixed together. The next few art classes will encompass exploring complementary colors, cool colors, warm colors, neutral colors, shades and tints of colors, and learning the order of the rainbow as well as the science behind it.
Our first field trip to the Blanton was on Friday, October 15th. The main idea of the lessons was artistic media - the specific materials and processes used by artists to create works of art. Before our field trip, students explored two different types of media in art class: pencil and watercolor. We discussed two artworks that had landscapes as subject matter, but were different in terms of media: one was an oil painting, and the other a print. After discussing the similarities and differences of the two landscapes, students looked at a photo of a small tree on our Zilker campus. They first drew the tree using only pencil, then painted the tree again using watercolor paints and brush. We then had a lively discussion about which medium each student liked best and why. This lesson set the stage for our first field trip that included a artwork media scavenger hunt as well as looking at different types of media in the museum's permanent collection.
Third Grade students are learning about the Mexican celebration of Dia de los Muertos. On November 1st and 2nd Mexican families honor the memories of family members and friends who have passed away. Families will go to the cemetery and decorate the graves with marigold flowers, and sometimes will have an altar in their home with the person's photo that they are remembering. Skeleton toys and candies are also a big part of the celebration, and are often silly and fun to show that death is not something to be afraid of but is part of the life cycle. The Day of the Dead celebrations show that people all around the world share many common rituals: a reference for life, respect for death, and the acceptance of the cycles of life. Third graders drew skeleton characters performing an everyday activity, such as skateboarding, cooking, or going to school. We also each cut out our own piece of papel picado to hang in the hallway for our Zilker celebration Zamboree.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Second Graders printed their stencils using a sponge brush and tempera paint. Then, we used our fingerprints to create crab bodies and small fish. The focus was on the warm colors of orange, yellow, and red, since we had used cool colors in the background. Next, students will add details to all of the animals and plants using color pencils. A true mixed-media project!
Monday, October 4, 2010
Second Graders are creating stencils. Each student had to pick one ocean plant and one animal that lives in the ocean. Students carefully drew the outlines of their plants and animals, then cut them out to create the stencils. In the next week we will be printing the stencils onto a prepared background. Stencils are just one type of printmaking we will be using on this project. The final project will be a seascape using lots of different materials.