Chocolate Bar model: Year 3/4

I did a unit on Pop Art and Andy Warhol to fit in with a Food theme a few years ago, and students made these models of a “Favourites” chocolate bar (obviously ‘popular’ food rather than healthy food!) The students had already created a digital Pop Art artwork using either a chocolate bar or an everyday food item, see here.

Students used a combination of air-dry clay and paper clay. They formed the shape of the chocolate bar (wrapper) with air dry clay, then painted it the colour of the background. They then used coloured paper clay (Magiclay / Modelmagic) to form the letters of the name of the bar and pressed it lightly onto the base.

To display these at an Art show I mounted them on white card and put them in a black frame.

Still Life Fruit on a plate ~ Year 5

There are so many artists that do still life of fruit and vegetables, but I often like to introduce the students to Australian artists. These fruit / vegetable still life were inspired by Lucy Culliton from New South Wales who paints landscapes and portraits as well. I found some artworks she did from the early 2000’s and thought they would be great to view and discuss for their own ideas. This painting of Lucy’s has different plates to note the patterns and how she gives form to her fruit with light and dark tones using tints and shades of the colours.

Students began by choosing a fruit or vegetable they wanted to draw and paint (from Google images or from some photos I provided) They traced a circle for the plate and sketched their food from a reference photo. They then added a pattern around the edge of the plate.

I demonstrated some techniques with watercolour paints for them to try, being careful to not overpaint it initially, keeping it fairly light and watery, then adding more opaque layers on the darker areas shown in their reference photo.

Students looked at some images of plates with patterned edges or designed their own, in grey lead first, then coloring in with pencils.

To help give the fruit and plate dimension, students added charcoal and smudged to blend it.

Lesson plan aligned to Victorian Curriculum for Year 5-6, learning intention and success criteria, lesson steps, artist artwork response sheet, photo reference images of fruit on plates and ideas for patterned plates; student self evaluation questions to discuss or write about.

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Fruit & Vegetable Characters: Mulga (Joel Moore) style ~ Yr 5-6

You can only love the fun and zany art of Joel Moore, aka Mulga. ( @mulgatheartist ) His characters and scenery are bright and imaginative. We looked at his mural of fruit characters that he did in a shopping centre in Sydney as well as his process of drawing, colouring and outlining his pictures through some videos on YouTube.

After watching Mulga’s art process on several videos, students completed the following sheet. (It could be used on Seesaw, rather than printing out.) His ‘Art Process’ is 1. pencil sketch 2. colouring /painting 3. Outlining and adding texture marks in black fine liner.

Students chose a fruit or vegetable as a character, sketch it out in pencil, with Mulga style glasses, nose, moustache/ beard and mouth. They then coloured with coloured markers.

Darker shades of colour can be added if applicable, or use a fine line black marker to add texture lines or shapes to the fruit. Everything is then outlined, before being cut out.

To make the background, a colour cover paper was chosen that works well with their fruit/ veg. Folding up a piece of white paper several times, a shape, like a cloud, star etc. was cut out and glued onto the cover paper background and then their character glued on.

Finally once complete, students gave their character a name and wrote a silly story about it (like Mulga does).

Cut Fruit on a Placemat ~Polly Jones inspired Still Life – Year 4

Year 4 students were introduced to Texan artist, Polly Jones by way of a series of works she did featuring cut fruit on a placemat. The students chose a fruit and used an image to draw from as a reference, then painted with watercolour paints.

The students had been leaning about mixing tints and shades with acrylic paint and for this project they were exploring mixing light and dark tones with watercolour paints. I was so pleased with their application of techniques.

Other concepts reviewed were complementary colours (opposites on the colour wheel) and then students learnt about analogous colours (colours next to each other on the colour wheel).

Learning Intentions, success criteria, lesson activities step by step, artwork analysis sheet, colour theory exploration sheet, artist example artwork, student work, self evaluation sheet, photo reference images.

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Fruit & Vegetable Collages ~ Year 1

Year One were working on a healthy food theme and these simple collages were made with painted paper and newspaper, inspired by Megan Coyle‘s collages made with magazines. We looked at her artwork (mainly food and still life collages) so the students could see the overlapping and slightly different shades of a colour.

I drew the shape of different fruit and vegetables onto A5 size paper (half A4) so it wasn’t too arduous for the kids to fill with overlapping paper pieces. I had a box of painted paper scraps so the students searched through for the colours they needed, (maybe finding different shades of one colour) cut them into smallish pieces and glued them inside the drawn shape.

Next lesson they used cut up newspaper (with just print so it was fairly uniform) to fill the negative space around their fruit or vegetable. I then coated them with PVA white glue which dries clear to seal and keep any flappy bits down. They were then mounted on black card for display.

Watermelon Smile Portraits~ Year 3 Introduction to Mixing Tints

I have seen this art lesson on a number of blogs and Instagram. I used this lesson as a simple way to introduce students to mixing tints (and talk about shades)

Students first drew a face shape large in the middle of an A3 portrait piece of paper (I demonstrated). They then drew a semi circle to cover the bottom half and drew the nose, eyes, eyebrows, ears and hair.

Three students shared a daisy plate pallet with dark green and white. First they all used the unmixed green to paint the round edge of the semi circle. Then one student scoops a big blob of white with their brush and mixes it in with the green for them all to paint the second line inside the dark green. Another blob of white is added to make a lighter green for the third line of green, slightly blending at the edges.

We had time to paint the face and a pair of hands that they traced and cut out.

Next lesson, students painted the background and shoulders. They could use tempera paint cakes or liquid water colours which dry fast. I had the red and white paint ready in daisy plates ready for mixing to paint the watermelon flesh. They used the red paint to fill the semi circle leaving a strip on the round edge to use white mixed with red to make pink.

Black seeds were painted with a thin brush and tempera paint. Then the hands were glued on with the thumbs to the outside, fingers over the edge of the watermelon.

Lesson plan with learning intentions, success criteria, lesson activities, examples.

Watermelons ~ Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera inspired ~Colour mixing tints-Year 4

Inspired by Frida Kahlo’s ‘Viva la Vida, Watermelons’ and Diego Rivera’s ‘The Watermelons’ students first discussed and compared the two artworks, then drew their own compositions of watermelons – whole, half and sliced, the shapes overlapping.

Looking at images of watermelons, we talked about the different colour values and how to make them using tints- adding white to a colour. (We discussed how adding black would make a shade, a darker tone of the colour to use for shadows). Students used the dark green first then added white to make tints to add the lighter tones and did the same with red.

Victorian Curriculum lesson plan with learning intentions, success criteria, lesson activities, focus artwork and student examples, Venn diagram comparison worksheet and student evaluation sheet.

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BOTJOY inspired by Gary Hirsch

For a whole school wellbeing project I introduced the students to creative artist, Gary Hirsch from Oregon in America and his bots, that he has been making for years to “spread joy, courage,
love, and gratitude throughout the world”. He wants people to “steal this idea” and make a bot to gift to someone in their community.

We watched a video of Gary explaining his bots. The students chose a positive feeling (love, confidence, patience, curiosity, kindness, bravery etc.) for their bot, then made a design in their scrap book using basic shapes for the head and body. I drew a variety of shapes on the whiteboard for students to choose from, along with antennae, arms & legs. (see handout below)

I got several boxes of dominoes from KMart and the students used paint pens, like Posca pens to draw and colour the head and body on a domino. This needs a few minutes to dry.

Students then add a face, a ‘symbol’ on the tummy to represent the bot, for example, a love heart for a Love Bot, a star for a Brave Bot, etc. Outline with a black fine liner and add white highlights.

I had been collecting magnetic calendars & business fridge magnets so cut these into small rectangles to hot glue onto the back of each domino. They were displayed on an old metal sheet, but easily removed to share or gift to someone, and then be kept on the fridge as a positive affirmation.

African Kente Cloth- paper weaving~ Year 1-2

Another successful lesson I did with Year 1 & 2 exploring art from different cultures (World Culture Art) was this paper weaving with added shapes and lines to represent to colourfully patterned cloth woven in Ghana, Africa. This idea is not original, I have seen it on many websites and there is a great video Kente paper weaving on YouTube showing the process to weave the paper and add geometric patterns to resemble / represent the patterns woven into the brightly coloured cloth.

Students chose an A4 coloured cover paper to cut up to a line 3cm from the top, then chose three CONRASTING coloured strips to weave through in a repeated pattern, eg. red, blue, yellow/ red, blue, yellow..

A tip to make weaving easier and faster is to pick up every second strip with the colour just woven and slip the next strip under, then wiggle it up to touch the squares above.

Lastly they add a simple pattern or shape to the background colour squares that they wove onto.

Next step is to add GEOMETRIC patterns. I drew some examples on the whiteboard and we talked about the difference between geometric and organic lines and shapes. I had the students try some in their scrap book first, using straight lines and geometric shapes like squares, rectangles and triangles. They could try some of the patterns on a handout sheet or make up their own. Students used black fine liners like ‘Sharpies’ and ‘Prockey’ markers for thicker lines. They had to do the same pattern on each of the same coloured squares. White pens were also used on darker colours if they chose.

Victorian Curriculum aligned visual art lesson plan with learning intentions, success criteria, lesson steps, links to useful websites and stories, template to print 2 widths for the weaving ‘card’ depending on the experience with weaving, a reference sheet to copy for geometric pattern designs and a reflection/ evaluation sheet for students.

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Mexican Amate ‘Bark’ Art ~ Year 1/2

As part of a theme of world culture art, Year 1 & 2 looked at some traditional paintings on bark from Mexico. Students viewed amate paintings depicting flowers, birds and images from nature all in bright colours, outlined in black. We discussed the use of bright colours, size and placement of objects, for example one or two birds taking up most of the space, surrounded by flowers.

Amate comes from the Nahuatl word ‘amatl’ (paper) and is an ancient tradition of paper making made using the bark of fig and mulberry trees. To make amate, the outer tree bark is peeled and the inner bark is boiled and soaked in water overnight, then beaten with a smooth flat stone until the fibres fuse into a pulp. The pulp is molded and left to dry in the sun.

Firstly students practised drawing some birds in to their scrap books using printed out reference sheets as a guide. Then they chose one or two birds to draw ‘big’ onto 80gsm brown kraft paper in pencil first. They had a choice to use square of rectangle paper.

Oil pastels were used to colour in the birds and flowers, blending colours together with on finger. The paper was then crumpled to resemble the texture of bark paper like Amate.

Lesson plan is aligned to the Victorian Curriculum, with learning intentions, success criteria, lesson steps and activities. There are two levelled reflection / evaluation sheets, plus five sheets of drawing reference sheets.

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