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.

Grade 5/6 A&B – ‘Blue Dog’

We have blue dogs galore on display at Monmia. These appropriations of George Rodrigue’s ‘Blue Dog’ by Grade 5/6 are just wonderful! Im so proud of the way my students embraced and approached this Unit of work. It has deffinitaly been one of my favourite to teach.

The Pop Art inspired backgrounds complement the monochromatic paintings of the dog so well. The key to these backgrounds was to keep it simple – bold colour and geometric shapes.

I love how each dog differs in looks and personality!

I’ll be teaching this Unit again with my Semester 2 Grade 5/6 students. Cant wait! I hope the students enjoy this as much as 5/6 A&B did.

Grade Prep A – Fruit, Fruit, Fruit!

This was a really successful and fun single lesson activity. Grade Prep students practiced drawing a variety of different fruits. They worked really hard on improving their colouring and cutting skills.

I made the fruit bowl and the students and I filled it with the fruits they had made. Great work Grade Prep!

Grade 5/6 A&B – Collagraph Relief Printmaking

This week Grade 5/6 A&B started producing their relief prints from the collagraph plates they created during our previous lesson.

The students really enjoyed learning about this method of printmaking and they were very excited when it was their turn to use the roller and barren to print their own edition.

Only 9 or so students from each class were able to print (3 students at a time). It was a challenge trying to keep the rest of the class on task whilst assisting students to print. Unfortunately, we don’t have the space to set up any more than 3 printmaking stations. It is really important that students who aren’t at the printing station have work to continue on with. In this case, students were adding the final details to their ‘Blue Dog’ appropriations.

I think the prints the students produced are fantastic! They are so beautiful. This is the first time I’ve taught collagraph printing. I think its such a wonderful method of printmaking – appropriate for all levels with changes to the theme/design brief.

I asked Grade 5/6 to simply base their collagraph design on the art elements of line, shape and texture. They came up with some great ideas using a variety of very basic materials. The collagraph plates are an art work in themselves. I think I will display the printing plates with a print from each students edition.

By the end of week 10 I hope all students will have had an opportunity to produce their edition of prints. I look forward to posting more photographs soon.

Grade 3/4 A&B – Relief Printmaking

Grade 3/4 A&B have been learning about relief printmaking and how to create a scratch foam printing plate.

The theme for this unit of work was all things insect, spider and creepy crawly! I provided the students with some stimulous material to help them develop their own ideas and sketches. They were required to choose one of their drawings to transfer onto a piece of scratch foam. Students traced their original drawing and put the tracing paper on top of their foam plate. Then they used a pencil to draw back over the outlines of their work so it would make an impression in the foam.

Students learnt how to use a roller and barren correctly before printing their own edition of prints. Some students also created a unique background to print on and have included this in their edition. Next week the students will be learning how to correctly label their prints and how to mount and present their favourite one.

Grade 5/6 A&B – Collagraph Plates

This week in Visual Arts, Grade 5/6 students started learning about collagraphs and relief printmaking.

All of the students created a printing plate that explores the elements of line, shape and texture.

I can’t wait to help the students ink these plates up in our next class to create their own edition of prints. Stay tuned…