Friday, February 10, 2012

Lawrence, Van Gogh, & Frankenthaller Projects

It's been a whirlwind of a year so far! Our house has been feeling particularly creative, with my impromptu gallery show, picture person projects, and now valentines day is right around the corner!

The first graders had fun doing a pattern project for Jacob Lawrence's, the Parade. We did this earlier in the year, but it would be a good one for Black History Month. I pre-cut strips of colored paper and they choose three colors they wanted to draw on. We talked about the print and the colors, lines and patterns. They were to make their own pattern, with characters in a parade, in the same style as Lawrence. Most kids stacked them in a line, although some staggered them more like the figures in the print. They had a blast drawing different parade characters. Since this project is basically drawing and gluing, it is nice and mess free! They were proud of their results. Thanks to my friend, Sharon, for this project idea!

In December, the kids learned about Vincent Van Gogh's, Starry Night. After learning about the edited version of Van Gogh's life, the kids painted their own Starry night with thickened paint on cardboard. I added glue & flour to tempera paint so the kids could really glop it on! They were instructed to create a landscape with a house or trees and a sky. I showed them how to use a fork or toothpick to draw into the thick paint to make a design. These projects turned out awesome! A bit messy, and they need to dry at least overnight. The kids had a blast and really got into painting. These projects went home right before Christmas, so hopefully some parents got a work of art for a gift.

The other day, I ran into an awesome website/book called the Anti-coloring book by Susan Striker. There are a few sample pages on her website that would be really fun to incorporate into a picture person project. The first one could be used in many projects, the 2nd one is specifically for Picasso.

<---A famous artist needs your help. The artist started this picture but was stung on the thumb by a bee. Turn the picture any way you’d like and finish it. 

What do you think this woman sees when she looks in the mirror?-------------->

The 2nd Graders learned about abstract art and Helen Frankenthaller, who invented the soak/stain art technique. It was amazing how interested the kids were in the abstract piece, Blue Atmosphere. The first image below is Frankenthaller, the 2nd was created by a 3rd grader.

They had me turn the print many times to view it at different angles, and they took turns telling me what it looked like! Then came the project. We threw a drop-cloth on the floor and the kids took turns dumping watered down tempera paint onto watercolor paper. They would tip the paper to make the paint run down and create drips and splashes, 3 colors total. They used sponges and brushes to gently cover the entire page and just let the paint soak in some spots and saturate the paper. They also decorated greeting cards using this same technique, for our school's spaghetti supper auction. This is definitely a messy project, maybe even an outside one. Have plenty of paper towels on hand and a space cleared off to lay the finished project to dry overnight.