Chinese Brush Painting: Bamboo

10 Mar

brush1

The study of specialized brush stroke techniques.

The students learned a few traditional Chinese brush strokes. They first practiced how to hold the bamboo brush, then how to keep their fingers light on the brush, with the brush at times vertical to the paper, their elbows off the desks. Many kids stood to make it easier to stay light on the brush.

The kids practiced and practiced a simple up/down/up brush stroke to create what was the leaves on the bamboo stalk. They first used newsprint, then practiced more on rice paper. The students observed that different pressure of the brush on the paper created different results. The black paint on the rice paper created another element of observation, as the paint spread much easier on this paper.

brush6brush4

The second stroke they practiced was the broad “stalk” stroke. They laid their brushes on the side and gently and lightly, moved the brush upwards towards the top of the paper creating segments of bamboo stalks. Too much pressure made the stalks too thick, and too little paint made the strokes too faint. The students continued to practice their strokes until they got the concept and brush movement.

brush5

brush2

After much practice, the kids created their painting following steps to create bamboo stalks and leaves on rice paper.

Vocabulary:

  • Brush Stroke
  • Density

Materials:

  • Black Watercolor
  • Rice Paper
  • Bamboo brush

2nd grade, Ms. Schroder, Room B3
Art Docent: Marcie Guthrie

Louise Nevelson – sculptor: Art with found objects

25 Feb

The lesson’s focus was on assemblage art with found objects and cast-off materials. We looked at the work of Louise Nevelson, an American sculptor (emigrated from Russia when she was three years old) known for her monumental, monochromatic, wooden wall pieces and outdoor sculptures.

louisenevelson

The students focused on making something out of what would generally be considered nothing — taking what most people view as useless and arranging it in an artistic manner, elevating it from junk to art. Nevelson’s art appears puzzle-like — we encouraged the students to discover ways to layer the objects, create patterns and incorporate a variety of textures to create a unique composition.

room3_foundart1

Each piece was spray painted a monochromatic black or white (the students chose which color).

White

All the materials were donated from students. The kids had a great time going through the boxes and bags of materials to make choices for their pieces.

Boards_2

Room 3, Kinder, Ms. Lepse
Docent: Heather Allen and Gala Bent
Art Elements/Principles/Artists Reviewed: composition and shape

Sunprints

25 Feb

This was an art project that also had a lot to do with science. We planned to make sunprints, and lucky for us, there was **SUN** !

sunprints_objects

By the way, we did have a backup Seattle plan; sunprints can be made in cloudy weather, they just take much longer! We talked about these experiments as photographs–a word which means, literally: writing with light. We’ll be studying more about photography later this year, and will remind students about their experience with a light-sensitive surface.

sunprints_waterbath

We are planning to construct a quilt-like grid of the final pieces, so that it looks like a starry sky. The project was inspired, in part, by the work of artist Danielle Rante.

sunprints_drying

 

Room 3, Kinder, Ms. Lepse
Docent: Heather Allen and Gala Bent
Art Elements/Principles/Artists Reviewed: Color, form and pattern

Sunsets and Silhouettes

20 Jan

cclark

Preparation: We pre-cut rectangles of black paper in 3 sizes – the width of the painting t and two smaller sizes. The painting were done on white paper using watercolors in sunset shades – blue, white, red, orange, magenta, yellow.

Lesson:

We talked about the life of “cowboy artist” C.M. Russell and his love of the American West. We showed photographs of sunsets and example paintings Eileen and her granddaughter had done, containing elements like mountains, trees, cactus silhouettes.

We distributed paper, 1″ wide brushes, paints and water. The students painted the sky at sunset, using long horizontal brushstrokes allowing colors to mix at the margins. While the paints were drying they cut out black shapes for their background and foreground elements, then glued the silhouettes onto their paintings.

Unrelated activity pages were used by the students to allow time for the watercolors to dry.

Room/Grade/Teacher: Rm 2, Kindergarten, Ms Beckley

Art Docents: Eileen Berlin, Cathy Clark, Harriet Eidelman

Art Elements/Artist: Watercolors/C.M. Russell

Ancient Egyptian Clay Cartouches

16 Jan

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In celebration of Room 14’s unit on Ancient Egypt, we decided to make personal cartouches from clay.  In ancient Egyptian times, a cartouche was a “name plate” that was inscribed with hieroglyphs.  Using a hieroglyph translator chart, the students decoded their names and inscribed the symbols on a clay oval slab, creating a cartouche.

Lesson Overview:

I started out by explaining the lesson while the kids sat on the floor.  We talked about cartouches and I did a sample hieroglyph translation on the whiteboard with my name.  I explained that the first step was to accurately translate their name on to a piece of paper.  Then I demonstrated to them how to wedge the clay to remove the air bubbles and how to roll it out into a slab (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick) .  I then used a  cartouche template I had cut out  from tag board to trace the shape on to the clay.  (I cut out several of these for students to use)  Or,  I explained they could cut out their own cartouche oval without the template.  Then I explained that they would take their pieces back to their desks to work on the hieroglyph inscriptions and design.

Step 1:  We had the students practice their hyroglyphic names on a piece of paper.  Hyroglyphic charts can be found on the internet. Here is an example:  http://www.uhsda.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/hieroglyphics-table.jpg  Once they had successfully completed the translation, we set them to work on the clay.

Step 2:  I set out two old cloth shower curtains for the students to wedge and roll the clay on.  If you roll the clay on a desk it just ends up sticking!  (Think bread dough!)  Once they had their cartouche shape slab, they carefully carried it back to their desks and set it on a piece of paper to prevent it from sticking.  I used construction paper so that it would be strong enough to support the clay during the drying process.

Step 3:  Using their hyroglyphics paper rough draft, the students inscribe the design on to the clay using a thin pointy tool (toothpick, pencil,  clay tools)

Step 4:  I stored the cartouches on the shelf in the kiln room to dry for about a week and then bisque fired them in the kiln.

Step 5:  After firing, I brought the pieces back for the students to glaze.  They choose a lighter glaze for the background and a darker one for the hieroglyphs details.

Step 6:  Glaze fired the pieces and returned to the students (finally!)

Comments:  A ceramics project is a commitment of time on the docent’s part (and the student) but it is well worth it.  The students love working with clay and its great to give them the exposure to this medium.  Ceramics projects do break – part of the deal – but they can be glued with superglue after the bisque/glaze firings.  I highly recommend trying one ceramics project a year!

Art Elements covered: Form, Shape, texture, line, color

Art Docent: Kimberly Albert

Room 14 – Gaffney, 3rd grade

albertclan@aol.com

Mondrian

16 Jan

Room 4 Lesson on Mondrian – December, 2012

broadway boogie mondrian Room 4

Docent: Matt Schonwald-MBA
mattschonwald@gmail.com

Mondrian Shapes and Colors

16 Jan

Room 2 – Using Shapes and Colors in the style of Mondrian

DSCN8442 DSCN8444

Preparation: We pre-cut yellow, red and blue rectangles of various sizes, and 1 x 18 or 12 inch strips of black. The project was done on 12 x 18 white paper.

Lesson: We looked at Mondrian’s self-portrait and a photo of him when he was much older. We looked at an early representational painting, a painting from his cubism phase, and a geometic, basic colored abstract and explained how he believed in using only the basic essences of things in his work. Art, then, does not need to look like a real thing. Cathy showed a nature photograph, then how she made an abstract from it using the elements of blue sky, yellow sun, flower stems and red flowers.

We distributed the white paper and sets of the black strips and colored rectangles. We asked the students to start by gluing some black strips on the horizontal and vertical of the picture, then glue or cut and glue a few colored rectangles to complete the picture. When they gave their pictures to Ms. Beckley she asked them what was in their picture.
Lesson Title: Using Shapes and Colors in the style of Mondrian
Room#, Grade, Teacher: Rm 2, Kindergarten, Ms Beckley
Docent/s: Eileen Berlin and Cathy Clark

November, 2012 lesson

Email: catherinejclark@comcast.net
Art Elements/Principles/Artists Reviewed: lines and rectangles, basic colors