AUTUMN BIRCH TREES: Elizabeth St Hilaire inspired – Year 5/6 art lesson

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.

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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.


Elizabeth St Hilaire: “A peek into My Process” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R69zzS9Ok3E

Our Process: (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.

Students evaluate their work with a rubric:

NAMES- Jasper Johns inspired- Year 3-4 Art lesson

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.

Jasper Johns

Alphabet

1959

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!

Primary Colours- Alexander Calder inspired ipad art – Year 1

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.

Calder inspired iPad art- Brushes App

Photo Montages: David Hockney style “joiners” ipad art lesson- Year 5/6

Remote teaching and learning called for some lessons that would be easily done at home with little equipment, just an ipad and a good eye! My students all have ipads, so I devised some art and photography lessons based on David Hockney’s “joiners” or photo-montages that he did in the 1980’s.

Hockney first experimented with photo collages mainly using polaroid photos in grid compositions. Later he used prints of 35mm photographs and created collages with many photos joined and overlapped to recreate the overall scene. Hockney was interested in showing the passing of time (photos were taken over a number of minutes) and often show slightly different perspectives of the subject. There is a cubist style about his joiners as they explore movement as well as fractured parts of a whole.

This was a great unit for the students to use photography, but also learn about an amazing artist. I did lessons where the students had to research David Hockney, view his photo-collages to understand the techniques he used to make them, analyse a chosen work and compare two of Hockney’s photo joiners. Then of course some lessons of actually taking photos and arranging them in Pic Collage. Here is a couple:

PHOTO COLLAGE OF AN OBJECT LESSON:

Learning Intention: To take photos of an object / outdoor scene in parts to be able to arrange together in a grid and freestyle format to re-create the whole object or scene. Success Criteria: I can take photos of an object / outdoor scene in sections, by zooming in and moving my camera along in lines to take a photo of each part (slightly overlapped) I can arrange the photos into a grid & freestyle format using Pic Collage so it reassembles the whole object /scene.

First lesson I introduced the students to David Hockney’s photo-collages which he termed “joiners”, explaining the two types- which I called ‘grid style’ (which his polaroid photos) and ‘freestyle’ where he overlapped and joined the photos. First you need to choose a household object to photograph (teapot, pot plant, clock, large toy, chair etc.) I demonstrated on a video how to photograph an item in sections: 3×3 (9 photos) with an ipad and then using those photos to arrange in the PicCollage app into a ‘grid’ format and then a ‘freestyle’ format. Here are some student examples:

Another lesson was to do a freestyle collage of an outdoor scene, like their backyard, the front of their house, the street, a park or playground. For this one they could do more photos, but they still need to take them carefully moving the camera along and then down to the next row. It doesn’t matter if the edges of the collage are uneven.

STUDENT EXAMPLES of PHOTO – COLLAGES:

I have a 7 lesson /activity Unit Plan on TpT that I did all by remote with my Year 5-6 students. The students had their own ipad and I used Seesaw to post activities and they used their ipad to take photographs and make the collages. I have included a link to a home made video demonstration (amatuer, but it did the job!) of how to photograph an object and make a joiner collage in grid and freestyle using Pic Collage. Each lesson has the Learning Intentions and Success Criteria. This is the lesson sequence that I did: David Hockney Photo Joiners_7 Art & Photography Lesson Unit Plan

  • Lesson 1: Digital Artist Poster (research and present)
  • Lesson 2: Analyse a Hockney Joiner
  • Lesson 3: Hockney style self-portrait joiner (freestyle)
  • Lesson 4: Artwork Comparison (Venn Diagram)
  • Lesson 5: Photo- collages (grid and freestyle) of an object (Pic Collage)
  • Lesson 6: Photo- collage of an outdoor scene (freestyle-overlapped ‘joiner’) Pic Collage
  • Lesson 7: Reflection of learning & Kahoot Challenge (link given)
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/David-Hockney-Photo-Collage-Joiners_7-Art-Photography-lesson-Unit-Year-5-6-6573317

Complementary coloured Candy Hearts- Year 3/4

Learning Intention: To use shape and colour to make a candy heart with a positive message and a complementary coloured background.

Success Criteria: I can draw a heart with a positive message inscribed inside the shape. I can add a shadow line to give it a 3D appearance. I can use a darker colour value to use on the sides. I can use the complementary colour for the background.

This lesson was done earlier this year before Coronavirus lock downs became something we had to endure here in Melbourne for many months. The messages certainly resonate now as we wait to see if shops, restaurants and bars can reopen and if we can socialise with friends.

The students used chalk pastels for the heart shape, darker on the edges. The background is food dye wash.

One Point Perspective (Bedroom)- Year 5-6 Art lesson

When we had to go to remote teaching last term, I had to throw out my planned lessons as they required too many “special materials” that students would not have handy at home. So it got down to, “What materials are easily accessible for all students at home?” Greylead and coloured pencils and copy paper! So I knew it would involve drawing and needed to be about learning new concepts and skills as well. I usually do some sort of one point perspective art in the senior years, so this was the perfect opportunity.

I broke down the tasks with video and powerpoint demonstrations of the key points about perspective- horizon line, vanishing point and converging lines, followed by simple Seesaw activities to show understanding of the basics. (Oh how I love the Seesaw app!)

Activity instructions were: Show each of the following on the photos using a coloured mark or line: A red dot for the vanishing point. A blue line for the horizon. Green lines for converging perspective lines. Drag each word to label the items.

The next lesson was to get students to practise drawing using a horizon line, vanishing point and converging lines, using basic shapes above and below the horizon line with a video demonstration.

We looked at on of the most famous paintings of a bedroom- ‘ Bedroom in Arles’ by Vincent Van Gogh and used the converging lines on some of the furniture to estimate the Vanishing Point (and therfore horizon. (Some of the lines are a bit out, but Van Gogh was probably working by eye!

The focus of the next lesson was to start drawing the basic geometric shapes that will become bedroom furniture. They uploaded their draft to Seesaw for me to check them, and for some I needed to draw some lines on their draft to show what to do, or where to draw, as well as explain- (when in the classroom you can just point it out while they are working on paper!)

Once their draft with shapes was checked, they were able to go ahead and add details, add to the shapes to make them into furniture and accessories in a bedroom, like their own.

Video of three bedrooms drawn on Brushes App demonstrating the use of vanishing point, basic end shape and converging lines.

Animal Eyes: Close Up – Paula Wiegmink inspired

This lesson is adaptable to different levels and using various materials. This particular lesson was done with Year 3/4’s using the Brushes Redux App on ipads. They chose an animal and then searched for an image suitable to use, bringing it into Brushes App and using the layers, colour and brushstrokes to give appropriate textures to make it realistic. Students may need to spend some time exploring and experimenting with the various brushstrokes and using the layers before beginning!

Learning Intentions: To discuss how an artist expresses an idea to show the audience a particular viewpoint. To describe subject matter, discussing materials used and how artworks are made. To explore Brushes App to use textures, colours and ‘brushstrokes’ to create a digital picture of a chosen animal eye.

Success Criteria: I can describe an artwork, infer the techniques, materials and ideas expressed. I can use Brushes Redux App layers, brushstrokes and colours to create the look and texture of an animal eye close up, using a photo as reference.

Inspiration for these artworks came from looking at and responding to artworks by Paula Wiegmink of various close up paintings of animal eyes: giraffe, tiger, lion, elephant, owl. Paula grew up in Zimbabwe (she now lives in Western Australia) surrounded by bush and wildlife and is passionate about conservation and uses her art to raise awareness of the fragility of many species. Her paintings, ‘Tears of the Rhino’ and ‘Tears are Not Enough’ of a chimpanzee, have been used by RAGES-One Fight Unite global poster campaigns to raise awareness of rhino conservation and plight of the chimpanzees, and signed by celebrities all over the world.

I introduced the students to some artworks by the artist, Paula Wiegmink, who was born in Zimbabwe in Africa. (She now lives in Western Australia.) She developed a love of African wildlife and many of her artworks feature animals and birds, along with still life, landscapes and portraits. She has a strong passion for wildlife and through her art hopes to create awareness for endangered species and the fragility of some animals in the wild. She did an amazing artwork called ‘Tears of the Rhino’ originally for World Rhino day, and was later used for a poster for the Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species (RAGES) campaign. ‘Tears are not Enough’ was an artwork of a chimpanzee, about raising awareness of animals at risk made for “One fight Unite”.

Paula stated: “They say the eyes are the ‘window to the soul’ and for this reason I always try to convey the spirit of the animal or bird I am painting through the eye.” Students viewed a series of Paula’s artworks of animal’s eyes and close ups. We discussed her passion for animals and explored the paintings with this in mind to infer what message she was trying to portray in these pieces. The children responded with ideas about connecting with the animal through looking into their eyes and messages they might be trying to pass on to us about looking after them and their habitat or environment.

Students responded to the above artworks by Paula Wiegmink. Explore ideas and artworks from different cultures and times as inspiration to create visual artworks (VCAVAE025) Explore visual conventions and use materials, techniques, technologies and processes specific to particular art forms, and to make artworks  (VCAVAV026)

‘The Love Monster’ Guided drawing: Foundation – Year 2

This was a great remote art lesson for the younger children. I posted a link for the story on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIva59P4HiY&t=54s and made a video of the steps to draw the Love Monster (Prep version- no arms or feet, Year 1/2 version with the arms and feet!) I also discussed the use of PRIMARY COLOURS, red, blue and yellow, and the use of TEXTURE- using lines for the fur.

LEARNING INTENTION: To follow guided instruction to draw the Love Monster. We will use SHAPE, LINE, TEXTURE and COLOUR to complete our picture.

SUCCESS CRITERIA: I can follow the guided instruction to draw the SHAPE of the Love Monster, including eyes, mouth and a heart. I can use short LINES to add TEXTURE for fur. I can colour in using the PRIMARY COLOURS, red, yellow and blue.

Autumn Tree Collage- Eloise Renouf style- Year 1-2

Eloise Renouf is an artist, designer and illustrator from the UK whose designs adorn fabric and printed textiles for homewares and greeting cards. She designs all sorts of nature-inspired patterns: from flowers, trees, clouds, birds and leaves. Her overlapping trees use circles, ovals and roundish shapes or ’round cornered’ squares!

LEARNING INTENTION:

To use colour, shape, texture and space to create a mixed media artwork with Autumn trees. We are learning about space- background and foreground and overlapping to create depth. We are learning about cool, warm colours and contrasting. We are learning about VARIETY – shape, colour, pattern. We are learning about texture- implied, by using painting techniques.

SUCCESS CRITERIA: I can make TEXTURE on paper by using ‘texture wands’ to create painted paper in various combined warm colours. I can (trace) and cut out various organic rounded SHAPES, like ovals and rounded squares for the tree tops. I can use LINE and PATTERN to add stylised branches on each tree top shape. I can fill the SPACE of the whole paper with one-third sky, one-third land (either by dabbing paint (with white to make tints of the colour) or by gluing down OVERLAPPED pieces of tissue paper. I can arrange the treetop shapes in two rows, with varied colours, OVERLAPPING the bottom row with the top.

First the students made painted paper, using warm coloured paint to print and dab with brushes and texture wands onto warm coloured cover paper. While this was left to dry, they made their background- one class used paint to dab on the grass at the bottom of a piece of blue cover paper; the other class overlapped pieces of green tissue paper along the bottom third of the paper.

The next lesson, students used pre-cut templates mostly in the shape of ovals and round cornered squares to trace the shapes on the back of the painted paper, and cutting out, making sure to share and use other students scraps to get a variety of colours and patterns.

They then used permanent markers to draw a line up the middle of the shape for the tree trunk, then add various lines for branches, using Renouf designs for ideas.

Students then had to arrange their trees with the colours spread into a “back row” on the top half of the page, gluing down, then adding the trunk in the black marker to touch the top of the “ground”. The next row of trees were glued lower, slightly overlapping the back row, and with the various colours spread out.

The trunks drawn from those trees needed to be drawn down a little lower because they are closer!

This took 2 one hour lessons. We had discussions about shape, colour, line, overlapping etc.

My art lesson with Year 1 and 2 students was adapted from “First Grade landscapes” from a Cassie Stephens post.

Paul Klee Portrait- warm / cool colours (Art lesson for Prep – Yr1)

My Prep classes were learning about use of colour to show emotions and feelings, so this activity was a good follow on to learn about warm and cool colours.

Learning Intentions & Success Criteria:

To explore the portrait artwork “Senecio – Head of a Man by artist Paul Klee. We are learning about portraits- abstract /realistic. We are learning about warm and cool colours. We are learning that colours can express feelings and emotions in art.

I can describe the colours used on Senecio and say whether it is realistic or abstract. I know the warm colours and can also identify colours that are cool (on the colour wheel) I can use warm or cool colours on a Klee style portrait.

Students used a card circle (from Supermarket pizza packaging) and followed a guided drawing to add the joined eyes, line for the nose and mouth, and shoulders. They then drew lines on the face and body to make sections.

Oil pastels were used to colour the sections. (Alternatively, water colour paints can be used with varying intensity- more water for a lighter colour value)

We discussed that pink is also a warm colour because it is made using red (with white.)

For the background the students use chalk pastels on the side, then spreading and smudging the colour with their finger to fill the space.