Archive | October, 2012

Warm and Cool Colors

26 Oct


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This lesson was about warm colors and cool colors. Identifying them. Creating a pattern with them. Looking at artists that use both warm and cool colors in the same painting (Klee, Kandinsky, Jacob Lawrence). And what effect that has on the painting. We talked about primary colors and a simple addition problem (1 + 1= 2). One primary color + one primary color = a secondary color.

We used watercolor pencils for this lesson. Color with pencil…apply water… and presto! It becomes like watercolors! The kids liked watching the transformation.

Here’s the lesson:

Review color theory and the color wheel. Talk about primary and secondary colors. Discuss complimentary colors or color opposites and how those combinations are always the result of a pairing of one primary color with a secondary color.

Complimentary colors are made up of a warm color and a cool color and how they sit across from each other on the color wheel.

Red (a warm primary color) is the compliment (opposite) of Green (a cool secondary color)
Blue (a cool primary color) is the compliment (opposite) of Orange (a warm secondary color)
Yellow (a warm primary color) is the compliment (opposite) of Purple (a cool secondary color)

A primary color + a primary color equals a secondary color.  1+1=2


Fold cardstock in half one direction and then in half again in the other direction so that you end up with four boxes.

Draw diagonal lines in one box, starting in the middle and radiating outward. Lines should not be any closer than a finger width apart.

Repeat on the remaining three boxes so that all the lines would match up at the folds.

Add colors in an alternating pattern of warm and cool. Starting with the center box (4 triangles). Make sure each triangle alternates warm/cool.

Color is added in such a way as that the warm cool pattern continues both from the center to the sides of each color.

Once all the color was added we use Q-tips to add water and blend.

Art Docents:

Marcie Guthrie and Gala Bent
2nd grade, Room B3, Ms. Schroder
Art Elements/Principles/Artists Reviewed: color


Creating a Character – Tim Burton

21 Oct


1. We looked at several Tim Burton Sketches (from his concept sketches to realization both in animation & live-action)

2. We did a demonstration of building a simple 2-D character out of paper (using markers, simple templates & brads)

3. The students designed and built their own moveable character!


1. To understand the MOTIFs an artist might typically employ in his/her work (for example, with Tim Burton we noticed: STRIPES, SPIKY lines, BIG ROUND eyes, Round or HEART shaped faces, STITCH lines, etc…)

2. To use those motifs while creating our own character that embodied particular values &/or story (for example, with Tim Burton we talked about characters with VULNERABILITY, a sense of WHIMSY, who are maybe a little bit CREEPY, but BIG HEARTED)

3. To begin to understand how we can turn 2-D characters into moveable creations.  To do this, we had the students add brads to make their characters moveable (which will be important as we move into the 3-D of clay).


1. We had a set of very rough Tim-Burton-ish parameters for the students to follow, but they were free to be as creative as possible!

2. We talked about how the simple lines of an eyebrow can convey emotion (ie: sad lines point up from the nose, angry lines point down towards the nose…some kids had great fun trying to figure out “wicked” eyebrows, “happy” eyebrows, “surprised” eyebrows…)

3. All images shown were related to Tim Burton’s G and PG work only. We talked about James & The Giant Peach, The Nightmare Before Christmas & Alice in Wonderland


Room 8, 4th grade, Mr. Kreiter

Docent: Kira Franz-Knight

Line and Shapes used to Draw a Complex World

21 Oct

We studied the types of line and shape that artists use to draw a complex world– looking at simple families of shapes and lines, and practicing them on a sheet that will come home in their folders today.

A Victor Vasarely piece showed us how some art is made of simple shapes that we can name (square, rhombus, rectangle, etc.). A Picasso drawing showed us how some of our line families (straight, curved, angled) can help us draw a face. A Jacob Lawrence piece showed us that we can make a detailed scene out of many types of shapes. (examples of these artists’ work are attached)

Then Room 3 kids shaped two pieces of paper to become heads and shoulders, and used line to draw all the features and embellishments. The variety and imagination was awesome!

Room 3, Kinder, Ms. Lepse

Docent: Gala Bent and Heather Allen

Art Elements/Principles/Artists Reviewed: line & shape

Patterned Animal Illustrations

2 Oct


newsprint scratch paper (for practice and desk protection)
sharpie markers
thick white paper
colored construction paper
glue sticks

Pattern: is an element (or several elements) that is/are repeated over and over in a regular sequence
– identify patterns in classroom or on kids clothes
– draw a few on the board

Iain Macarthur Owl

© Iain Macarthur

Look at the art of Iain Macarthur – a young illustrator and painter from England

– he uses patterns in his drawings of animals
– repeating shapes in different areas of his drawings
– light and dark areas, thin lines and thick lines, many different shapes

We are going to create an animal illustration in this style
first decide on your animal and create a line drawing
– practice in pencil on your scratch paper
– use one of my examples as a guide or do a different animal of your choice
– make the animal very large on your piece of paper

Within your animal drawing add patterns in sections
– use lines to separate areas of your drawing for different patterns
*SUGGEST LEAVING FACE PLAIN* to help the viewer know what kind of animal you made
– but if you want to pattern it you may
– some patterns are big and some are small
– try to use a different pattern in each section
– for patterns with black areas fill them in all the way (no scribbling)

when your illustration is complete cut out your animal and glue it onto a colored piece of construction paper


– with younger students remind them of proper marker use (only on paper, not on skin, clothes or desks)
– after being inspired by Iain Macarthur’s work the idea for this project came from DeepSpaceSparkle here and here

Room 6 First Grade Ms. Wilson

Docent: Jen Clark


Art Elements/Principles/Artists Reviewed: line & pattern