Monday, December 8, 2014

Zoom in on Pinecones

I am constantly encouraging students to "draw what you see, not what you know."  This lesson was an exercise in drawing from observation.  We got up close with our pinecones and looked for patterns and repeating shapes. We tried to capture interesting views of the pinecones as we made the smallest details the focal points of our drawings. Third and fourth graders worked carefully in pencil and Sharpie marker before painting their works using value scales with liquid watercolors. 

Inspired by Andy Warhol's Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree print by Pop Artist Andy Warhol 

Trees by first and second grade artists:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Mondrian Squares in Primary Colors

Dutch artist Piet Mondrian was well known for his artwork made up of straight black lines and primary colors.  He created grids using vertical and horizontal lines.  

"I construct lines and color combinations on a flat surface, in order to express general beauty with the utmost awareness. Nature (or, that which I see) inspires me, puts me, as with any painter, in an emotional state so that an urge comes about to make something, but I want to come as close as possible to the truth and abstract everything from that, until I reach the foundation (still just an external foundation!) of things…
I believe it is possible that, through horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness, but not with calculation, led by high intuition, and brought to harmony and rhythm, these basic forms of beauty, supplemented if necessary by other direct lines or curves, can become a work of art, as strong as it is true." - Piet Mondrian, (Netherlands, 1872-1944)

First and second grade artists were inspired by Mondrian's artwork.  We used black paper strips to create the grids, then painted the rectangles and squares with the primary colors.