Greetings! A short and sweet update for you. If you were wondering…we are WAY off of our lesson plan schedule, but having a great time. 😉 I’ll try to keep you up to date on where things are at. Next time, for the 3rd-6th we will be doing scratch art. Still praying about a modification to the schedule for the 1st – 2nd graders.
In all 3 grades, the focus has been on fall color…of course! Today we finished up what we began last time. Here’s a recap.
1st-2nd: We did a fall reflection scene. Last time, the focus was on getting our water and sky painted in (horizon line), using differing shades of blue. Papers were prefolded in half and our automatic horizon line was the half way point (normally, you wouldn’t put the horizon line directly in the middle unless you had an intentional purpose of creating visual tension, or as in our case…symmetry between the trees and reflection). For some reason, last week, all the kids were more energetic that usual (think squirrels on coffee). I think it was the gorgeous weather…it had a spring fever effect on them (even the older kids). At any rate, getting the kids to focus was a bit harder, so the direction following was a bit tougher. In the end, we did get the water and sky done, but I had hoped that the fall reflections would be a 1 day project. We did go ahead and practice brush techniques, dabbing various fall colors onto a separate sheet of paper to create the feel and texture of fall tree leaves, while our wet backgrounds dried. Since we were using tempera, and I’d said to use just enough to cover and not much water, they should have dried quickly, but I think many of the students got mesmerized by the blending/ painting process, so our papers were very THICK with lots, and lots, and lots, of tempera paint. LOL.
TODAY: We moved forward with our “monoprint” technique of dabbing our leaves in, then folding and pressing to create a reflection. Many also did the bonus project of painting the “bare trees”, thinking about form and shape and also blending new types of brown (mixing the left over red, yellow, and blue… “Sanctioned” paint “mud” making. LOL). It’s always fun to hear the discovery process in their voices, “So THAT’S how you make brown!”.
3rd, 4th, 5th, & 6th Grades:
Again, last week all the students had psuedo Spring Fever and were like squirrels on coffee. Lots of energy. We began by using a masking technique to mask out our “Aspen/Birch” tree trunks and branches as well as masking off a boarder. Students were encouraged to tear the painters tape first to give more texture to their tree trunks. Students then used water color (or some opted for tempera) to add in a greenish ground and bluish sky, creating a horizon line. I enouraged mixing your own green and not just having a “straight from the bottle/ tray color” and color variation (Oh! I almost forgot…we threw in a little yellow crayon resist for our first layer of leaves before we painted, since yellow is such a difficult color to get good coverage from).
Today, we added our leaves. We reviewed warm/cool colors, color theory, mixing, texture, brush technique and size, how leaves lay when on the tree vs when on the ground etc…they also added in their birch/aspen tree “lines’. Things look great. I think for many the trickiest part was to realize that they could “dab, dab” OVER the top of their tree forms and not just around them. Had to encourage some to “get a little crazy” with their dabbing…and others to “reign it in a bit” LOL.
Everything is drying and should be ready to hand back next week.