Grade 5/6 C&D – Semi abstract flora

Grade 5/6 students have been learning about different types of art including still life, realism, abstract and semi-abstract.

They have also been learning about well known Australian artist Margaret Preston. Preston’s subjects ranged from bold, colourful still life paintings and prints of native and introduced Australian flowers and animals, to impressions of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

For this Unit of work, I provided students with a variety of Margaret Preston woodblock prints to use as inspiration. Below is a photograph of Preston and one of her woodblock prints – Banksia and trunk 1935.

 

Students learnt about the art principle of cropping and used a small frame to explore and find a section of a Preston print that they liked. After deciding on their cropped section, students drew a sketch on A3 paper of that area.

I added a bit of a twist to this task – a semi-abstract twist. Students were asked to transform their sketch into a semi-abstract artwork using portfolio pastels and a warm and cool colour scheme. With semi-abstract art, the subject remains recognizable although the forms are highly stylized in a manner derived from abstract art.

I taught the students how to apply and dry blend the portfolio pastels. Below are some photos of students applying pastel to their work. They had to decide if their subject matter would be rendered in warm or cool colours and then they had to do the opposite for the background.

I am blown away by what the students have achieved throughout this unit of work. Their finished artworks are so beautiful! They have nailed the semi-abstract brief. I can’t wait to create a display of work at school. As more students complete their pieces I will photograph and post for you to view.

Grade 1/2 C&D – Koi fish in the pond

For the past two weeks Grade 1/2 students have been working on these beautiful Japanese koi fish in Visual Arts.

Students learnt that people in Japan believe that the koi fish symbolizes wealth, prosperity, love, successful career and good fortune.

The Grade 1/2’s began by painting pond water using watercolour paint. Whilst the paint was still wet, I gave the students some glad wrap to place over the top of their painting. We left them to dry and when the glad wrap was removed, a ripple effect appeared in the water.

The following week, some green oil pastel was applied to the water to create pond plants. Then, on a seperate piece of paper, students drew koi fish using oil pastel. Some stencils I made assisted students to draw the koi body shape, but they added all of the fins and details themselves. Students mixed and applied watercolour paint over the top and discovered that the oil pastel resists the watercolour and creates an interesting effect. Once dry, students cut out their fish and pasted them onto the water and plant background.

This is such an engaging activity where students get to develop and practice a variety of skills. Definitely one of my favourites at the Grade 1/2 level.

Grade Prep B – Self Portraits

I just love watching students draw their portraits. Wouldn’t it be great for students to complete a self portrait during each year of Visual Arts to look back on at the end of Grade 6?

Prep B created the above self portraits during their first lesson. We talked about what a portrait actually is and all of the features you need to include when you are drawing one.

The students did a fantastic job! They were very proud of their work.

Last week I asked the students to imagine that they were travelling into space to see the moon. I provided each child with an astronaut helmet template to paste around their portrait. The students were then asked to create a space background using chalk pastels. Love the results!

Grade 1/2 C&D – Lines That Wiggle!

 

A new semester and seven new groups of students.

Such a wonderful start by Grade 1/2 C&D. I’m so impressed with their ‘Lines That Wiggle’ artworks!

This is a great task for students to begin the semester with. It’s perfect for introducing the elements of art and explaining to the students that these are the ‘ingredients’ that we use to make and create artworks. During this task students explored line in particular, but also colour and shape.

They used watercolour pencils and enjoyed transforming their work into a painting.