I have done this lesson a few times over the years when the students are working on the inquiry topic of natural disasters in their classroom. In Australia we have had many devastating bushfires and there are always plenty of news stories and many images to view on line. After viewing images we discussed the intensity of the colour of the fire with trees, buildings etc silhouetted against it.
To depict a bushfire scene with silhouetted trees, building frames, etc.
I can use warm coloured paint using techniques of blending brushstrokes, dabbing etc. for a fire background.
I can use edges of cardboard to make marks on the fire background to represent silhouettes of trees, fences and building frames, etc.
We looked at two artworks, one historical and one contemporary and students completed a comparison. (Look at the title and artist, the year the painting was made, the perspective, colour, texture, realistic/abstract, details, shapes, objects, space, etc.)
Students began by using red and yellow paint and painting the entire paper, mixing in on the page to make orange. Even at thus stage of the process there are so many variations in the ‘fire’ including how much they used of each colour, and the brush strokes or dabbing effect.
Once the background was reasonably dry they used cut up rectangles of cardboard iv varied lengths (like a cereal box, as long as it is not too flimsy once dipped in paint) and a few of those thin wooden blocks you get with canvases. I put out plates of black paint on the tables so they could dip the edge of the cardboard in and use it to stamp on ‘lines’ to represent trees, fences, burnt building frames. They could also scrape the card to spread the paint or scratch into the wet for various effects. At the end I added some white paint to the leftover black to use for smoke- a suggestion to students to dab the brush fairly dry before applying. The end results were so varied and powerful.
View portrait of Dora Maar painting by Picasso. Discuss the colours used and the different views of the face. Next, view Weeping Woman 1937. Note the colours and emotion on the faces (Explain Picasso drew and painted a series of “Weeping Woman” in response to the Spanish Civil war and the loss and devastation- these portraits portraying a mother who has lost her child in the bombing, using colour and expression to convey feelings of anguish, horror, deep sorrow and mourning.)
Students can compare these two portraits of “Weeping Woman” by talking about the similarities and differences.
Students are shown how we can draw a Picasso face by playing “Roll a Picasso” game to choose different features. They draw some faces in their Scrap Books.
Next lesson, students choose two emotions they would like to show on either side of the face, choosing some features from their Roll-a-Picasso drawings to suit the feeling. Students draw in grey-lead pencil, firstly drawing a face shape or using a template to trace. After making a mark in the middle of the face students choose a nose to draw down from that point, then adding the line continuing up to the top of the head and below the nose to split the face in two. They add eyes, mouth hair etc. Trace over in black marker.
Talk about colours that could represent emotions. For example, yellow=happy, sad=blue, red=angry, green=calm, purple=confused. Students paint their faces in a colours to match the emotion shown on each half.
Background can paint or food dye “wash” . Students describe the emotion on each side of the face along with colour chosen to match.
This art lesson is suitable for Prep students (adaptable to Year 1 & 2) and I loved the way the artworks turned out. The use of colour is stunning! It will take 2-3 lessons depending on the class time allotment. I have hour lessons, so two and a bit of the next lesson gave enough time to discuss, explore, reflect and share.
Alexei Jawlensky (born 1864, died 1941) was a Russian Expressionist painter, (moved to Germany in 1896 and was a founding member of the New Munich Artist’s Association.) He is known mostly for his portrait art of heads and the use of bold, contrasting colours and strong directional brushstrokes.
The students viewed artworks by Jawlensky, describing what they saw, discussing use of colour, style of art, feelings conveyed.
‘Head’ 1910 by Alexei Jawlensky, pictured left, could be used on a platform like Seesaw for students to record their description and thoughts about the artwork, which can be used to assess the achievement standard at Level F in the Victorian Curriculum: “Students identify and describe the subject matter and ideas in artworks they make and view.”
To learn about Russian artist Alexei Jawlensky so I can use the ideas to make my own portrait.
To identify and describe subject matter and ideas in artworks.
To explore and use techniques and materials with water soluble pastels and chalk pastels to express my observations and ideas.
I can describe an artwork, talking about the subject matter, elements of art, like colours, feelings conveyed.
I can draw a portrait of my face (head and shoulders) using a mirror to copy my features.
I can use bold colours on my self-portrait in the style of Alexei Jawlensky.
I can colour in patches of bold colours with water soluble pastels on my portrait and then use water to brush over to give a painterly effect. I can use chalk pastels to add colour to the background, blending and and smudging.
After discussing and describing Jawlensky’s portraits, students use a mirror to draw their face. To get them to draw their head big enough, I got them to put their hand a bit above the middle of the paper and draw bigger around it. Some students used a face template to trace around to get the size. We look at the position of eyes, being half way on their face, top of ears in line with top of eyes, bottom of nose in line with bottom of ears, etc. Everything is done in pencil first, so they can retry if necessary. We traced over our pencil line with a black ‘Prockey’ marker (permanent and waterproof).
Next lesson, students use chalk pastels on the side edge to gently lay down colour to then blend with fingertips (of course there are always some who get excited and use their whole hand or even both!)
Students then use water soluble pastels to colour contrasting colours (discussing and showing examples of what contrasting colours are) to colour “patches” or areas of colour on the face. Water is brushed is over the pastel areas to smooth out the colour, giving it a painterly effect.
For students at this age, they can reflect on their artwork by sharing with others or describing their piece on a platform like Seesaw.
To learn about the Dutch artist Marten Jansen and his style of portraits
To explore using colour, shape and line to make an abstract Jansen style portrait.
I can use describe the elements of art in a Marten Jansen portrait.
I can describe the artwork of Marten Jansen – colour, style, line, shape, mood.
I can use colour, line and shape to make a portrait in the style of Marten Jansen .
Students view portraits by Marten Jansen. I just used “head shots”; some of his pieces are not suitable to use in primary school, eg. ‘Street walker’, ‘Solicitation’ for obvious reasons (Check out his work here: http://paintings.name/paintings.php)
Discuss different colour combinations to show emotion or create a mood. List and describe the elements of art used. Talk about various lines used (thick, thin, long, short), shapes (circle, triangles, organic shapes) and colour.
They could annotate one of his pictures individually, in a small group, or as a class.
Students work from a photo of themselves to make a line drawing. (I took photos of the students, edited them on Photoscape (like Photoshop) to change it into a line drawing, and then printed them on A3 cartridge paper. They then use colours, lines and shapes to fill it in using chalk pastels, (we used square blocks) using the edge, tip, side to produce various thickness and intensity of line. Blocks of colour can be used too, especially in the background.
Students reflect on their completed artworks.
WWW EBI (What Went Well / Even Better If ) Reflection Questions:
Did I fill the paper, leaving only a little or no empty/white space?
Did I use a variety of line thickness?
Did I use some shapes- geometric / organic?
Are the colours generally sharp, only blended or smudged in areas for an effect?
This lesson requires careful cutting out for the silhouette soldiers for it to look effective. I printed out pictures of ANZAC soldiers from the internet that would be suitable as silhouettes (on A3 paper). Students cut out the ‘positive’ shapes of the soldiers to be left with the ‘negative’ background to use like a stencil for the silhouette.
To make a commemorative ANZAC day picture with silhouettes of ANZAC soldiers.
I can carefully cut out shapes of ANZAC soldiers from a printed out /photocopy picture of ANZAC soldiers.
I can use the negative shape as a stencil to paint in the shapes of the soldiers.
I can use chalk pastels to fill in the background around my soldier shapes, blending and smudging colours.
The 25th April is ANZAC day, when we commemorate and remember the sacrifice of soldiers who fought in the First World War. This 2 minute youtube video explains ANZAC day for children to understand.
To draw an ANZAC soldier showing emotion.
I can follow a guided or instructed drawing the draw an ANZAC soldier’s slouch hat, head, shoulders and part of uniform, adding a face that expresses an emotion felt by a soldier in the War.
Read a story book to the children about ANZAC soldiers, suitable for young children, such as one of the following:
My Grandad Marches on ANZAC Day by Catriona Hoy & Benjamin Johnson,
ANZAC Ted by Belinda Landsberry,
ANZAC Biscuits by Phil Cummings & Owen Swan,
Simpson and his Donkey by Mark Greenwood.
There are many other beautifully written and illustrated picture story book that will help young children understand this important part of Australian history, whilst focussing on aspects of courage, friendship, honour and loyalty.
After sharing one of these ANZAC stories (youtube has many of these books read aloud) discuss with the children some of the feelings and emotions soldiers would have felt at different times. For example, lonely, missing their family or loved ones; frightened and scared that they may die or get wounded, sad, when a mate dies; etc.
Children follow a guided drawing following along step by step to draw the slouch hat, the shape of the face, neck, shoulders and shirt pockets etc. They then think about which emotion they want to show on their soldier’s face. Children could use a mirror to “try on a face” to get the right expression or examples could be drawn on the white board.
I mixed up a khaki coloured paint to paint in the hat and uniform; the face is food dye (red, yellow & a tiny bit of blue) mixed to make a skin colour.
Another example is to use pastels. The following portraits were made to be a design for a commemorative stamp, done by Year 2’s
Painted paper collages of ‘Fall’ birch trees by Elizabeth St Hilaire were the inspiration for these mixed media artworks by Year 5 students. The process we used was different than that of St Hilaire, though I got the students to suggest what materials and techniques they think were used by her.
Elizabeth St Hilaire was born and raised in New England, USA and has lived in Florida for more than 20 years. She makes collages from painted, found and hand made papers, which she tears and collages to make her amazing textured and patterned artworks of landscapes, trees, animals, flowers, birds and portraits. St Hilaire does an underpainting first then uses swatches of painted and found paper in matching colours to glue over the top, giving her work a painterly finish, with the texture of a collage. We used a different process, painting the collaged newspaper after it was stuck down. For this project we looked at her Autumn (Fall) Birch trees for inspiration.
Learning Intention & Success Criteria:
To make a mixed media artwork of Autumn birch trees in the style of Elizabet St Hilaire.
I will learn about artist Elizabeth St Hilaire and view her artworks of Autumn (Birch) trees and how she shows texture and perspective in her artworks.
I am learning about PERSPECTIVE and TEXTURE so I can use collage and painting techniques to resemble Birch tree trunks.
I can tear and glue down overlapped newspaper to cover a piece of A3 paper.
I will use masking tape to make some trunks thin, some thicker to give the illusion of depth and perspective. I can use scraped and dabbed black paint to give texture. I can choose and blend colours and emphasize texture in the Autumn background.
I can analyse artworks by Elizabeth St Hilaire by noting materials, process and elements of art.
First of all students look at the Birch tree artworks by Elizabeth St Hilaire to infer the materials and techniques. For example: Materials: paint, paper: newspaper, sheet music, painted paper, glue, etc. Techniques: tearing, overlapping, gluing, painting, collage, outlining, etc.
This is a video of an interview with St. Hilaire explaining her process and collage techniques: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9obDq-QLtA and this one: “A peek into my Process”: demonstrates how she goes about an artwork.
OurProcess: (different from St Hilaire)
Collage the entire page with torn newspaper. Brush over with ‘Modge Podge.’
Use masking tape of varying widths to make the tree trunks from top to bottom of the page with some thin branches off the side.
Use Autumn colours to paint the background- could be in layers or mixed all over.
Use a thin brush to paint black paint along the edges of the tree trunks. Using the edge/side of a card, scrape paint inwards along the edges of the trunks to give tone and texture of a birch tree trunk.
Jasper Johns is an American born (1930) artist (painter, sculptor, printmaker) who made artworks were about icons of everyday life including motifs and symbols like the American flag, a target, numbers and the alphabet. He often used stencilled letters and numbers.
For this art lesson, done with Year 3/4’s we looked at his artwork, ‘Alphabet’ with it’s continuous sequence of letters to fill the paper. Interestingly this artwork is only about A4 paper size. We made our artwork on A3 size paper.
Paper on Hardboard
30.5cm x 26.7cm
Students folded their lengthways twice, to give four columns, then twice the other way to end up with 16 rectangles (4 rows of 4). Firstly they write the letters of their name in grey lead continuously and repeated until the rectangles on the paper are filled, so it does not matter how short or long your name is. Next oil pastels were used to to go over parts of each letter, until all the grey lead is covered and the letters are thick.
We used food dye “wash” to brush over each section for an oil pastel resist. I have containers with diluted food dye at the ready in my art room as we use it a lot for things like adding backgrounds to artworks- quicker than painting!
LEARNING INTENTIONS: To learn about the Primary Colours To learn about line and shape To learn about the artist Alexander Calder
SUCCESS CRITERIA: I can use the primary colours in a digital artwork. I can use various lines and ORGANIC shapes in an artwork. I know that Alexander Calder made artworks and mobiles that often used primary colours.
This lesson uses the Brushes App to make a digital artwork. We looked at Alexander Calder’s paintings and discussed the colours, lines and shapes used. We looked at the colour wheel to identify the primary colours.
LINES: curved, loopy, wavy, straight SHAPES: rounded and organic, circles
Students opened Brushes App to start a “new painting”. I showed them how to find or edit a ‘brush’ so they had a smooth stroke and choose black to draw various lines and some shapes inspired by Calder’s work.
They then need to add a layer (this will need to be demonstrated) Primary colours: red blue and yellow, are chosen to colour in the shapes and maybe add a shape, spiral, or line.
The outline layer is dragged on top of the colouring in layer.