Milk Bottle Cows- John Kelly inspired ~ Year 5/6 art lesson

Melbourne artist John Kelly is well known for his many cow sculptures and paintings, but they are rather intriguing because they are a boxy shape and have an elongated neck and small head. It is not until you find out the back story for these strange bovines that they make sense.

His inspiration came from a story about how life size paper mache model cows were made during WWII and placed around airfields to disguise them as farms to Japanese aircraft! The interesting part is that several artists who were serving in the army were instructed to make the cows, including William Dobell who served as an official war artist. In 1943 he won the Archibald Prize with a stylised, exaggerated portrait of fellow artist Joshua Smith, with an elongated neck and small head, which at the time was quite controversial.

So when John Kelly read about this wartime ruse, he decided to make artworks of what he named, “Dobell’s Cows” mimicking portraits Dobell had made with these long necks and small heads on his cows. He imagined how Dobell would have marked out lines to paint them as Holstein or Ayreshire cows with patched markings, maybe had them on wheels to move them around the field, stacked them up line blocks- quite a parody of events!

LESSON ACTIVITIES:

Students were shown the artwork, ‘The Incident’ by John Kelly, without any knowledge of the story behind it. I used the Visual Thinking Strategies by posing the questions:

What is going on in this picture?

What do you see that makes you say that?

What else can you find?

After students shared their thoughts, we looked at other artworks by Kelly that help build up the story. I used a Powerpoint (included with lesson plan below) with other works and a look at William Dobell’s portraits to understand how this influenced Kelly’s cows.

Use 2 Litre plastic milk bottles for the cow body.

We used corks for legs because I had a huge tub full of them, but you could just as easily secure rolled cardboard to the front and back.

Start with the legs, covering with strips of wet plaster cloth to join to the bottle, then cover the entire bottle with plaster smoothing as you go.

I sliced off edges of champagne corks to make the thin neck and glued and glued egg shaped poly balls to them. The top of the cork fitted nicely into the opening of the milk bottle with a strip of wet plaster bandage wound around to hold it in place.

When covering the head with plaster strips, ears can be shaped out of the wet plaster.

Horns can be added with the plaster or paper clay like Crayola Model Magic. Once the plaster is dry the cow is painted either black and white for a Holstein cow or reddish-tan for an Ayrshire cow.

Detailed lesson plan for John Kelly Cow models. Includes learning intention, success criteria, assessment /self evaluation rubric and Victorian curriculum standards. Also a PDF to discuss John Kelly’s cow artworks.
PDF to discuss John Kelly’s cow artworks.

Cows with Four Stomachs! Year 3/4 Art lesson

LEARNING INTENTION & SUCCESS CRITERIA:

We are learning about the 4 stomachs of a cow and how they make milk and digest food.

I can draw the the side view of a cow and colour it in a chosen breed, eg, Holstein, Ayreshire, Jersey, Guernsey, etc.

I can draw and label the four stomachs of a cow to stick behind the flap cut in the cow’s stomach.

LESSON ACTIVITIES:

Videos to learn about cow’s digestion and their 4 stomachs- list the names on board.

How cows make milk 4 stomachs explained.

FOR KIDS –   The Cow’s Stomach video,

Mobile Dairy Classroom: Learn About Cattle Eating Habits and Cow Digestion, Grades 4-6 (best from 1:50min)

Students draw a cow on A3 paper to mostly fill the paper. Colour it in a chosen breed. We used the Discover Dairy website to help choose: Cow Breeds Interactive We used water soluble pastels to colour then painted with water to give it a painted look. Food dye wash for sky and grass.

On A4 paper draw the cows four stomachs and label, making sure it will fit inside the cow’s stomach that they drew. Cut a flap in cow (I did this for them with a scalpel knife (Stanley knife)- basically a “U” shape, so you can see the stomachs stuck behind when you lift the flap.

Holstein Cow & Barn- Prep art lesson

LEARNING INTENTIONS:

To use shapes to draw a farm scene- a cow in green pasture with a red barn.

To use skills of tracing, drawing, colouring, cutting, gluing, painting and techniques of making texture.

To make red painted paper adding horizontal or vertical lines as texture for a  barn.

SUCCESS CRITERIA:

I can trace/ draw rectangles for body & head and arrange for shape of a cow.

I can trace my pencils lines on my cow shapes in Prockey marker and colour some black patches on the cow. I can add 4 legs, an udder, ears, eyes & nose.

I can paint some paper with red paint, and while paint is wet scrape a texture comb through to make straight lines. (horizontal or vertical) for the barn.

I can use dye wash to paint sky and grass  around my cow.

I can cut a square with a semi circle or triangle roof for a barn, and glue it on my scene, halfway up on the paper, so it looks like it is further away.

Fauvist Cows~ by Prep/ Foundation

LEARNING INTENTIONS:

Students will explore the Fauvist movement by drawing a cow and and colouring with bold, bright colours.

To follow a guided drawing of a cow’s  head and use bold colours, like the “Fauves”.

SUCCESS CRITERIA:

I can follow directions to draw a large cow’s head that fills my paper.

I can use pastels to colour in bold colours.

I can blend my pastel colour with water and paint the background with dye wash in one colour.

LESSON ACTIVITIES:

Students view artwork of this colourful cow by Claudio Malacarne (Italian artist) painted in 2008

Discuss: What do you see?

Why do you think the artist painted the cow with colours rather than looking real?

How does it make you feel?

Discuss the term “Fauve”, and show some paintings from the Fauvist period that use colour in this bold fashion.

Students follow guided drawing directions to draw a large cow’s head that fills the paper. They go over the lines in black crayon and then use water soluble pastels to colour in bright colours.

 Using a brush and water they paint over the water soluble pastel colours to blend and spread the colour to give a painted effect.

Food dye wash in one colour for the background.

Reflection: Students look at their artwork and decide which smiley face they feel about how they went with each criteria.

“The Cow Jumped over the Moon!” Prep Art lesson

LEARNING INTENTION: To make a mixed media artwork of the cow jumping over the moon from the nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle, the cow jumped over the Moon”.

SUCCESS CRITERIA:

I can make the TEXTURE of a moon using foil, cotton wool balls and paint sticks.

I can use SHAPE to help me draw a cow using a rectangle, adding head and legs to arrange and glue in a jumping action.

Lesson Activities:

Two videos to watch as an introduction about the rhyme: Hey Diddle Diddle  Nursery Rhyme and the story The Cow Tripped Over the Moon.

The background with the moon- is on black or grey paper, (you could flick with white /fluro yellow paint for stars) A large circle is traced on the lower half of the black card (cover paper)

To make the moon- use foil giving it a bumpy texture by gluing some cotton balls on the back, turn over and then press the surface, use a paint marker to draw around the spots. Students do one cut in from the edge of the black paper to cut out the circle so the black paper is left with a hole. Glue it over the top of the foil to make the moon.

Students used a half A4 paper (B5 size) to draw a rectangle for the body of the cow. They draw and cut out the head and legs to then assemble on the top half of the black paper with it’s legs out stretched like it is jumping over the moon!

Peter Diem inspired Cow sculpture~ Year 3-4 art lesson

Students used a combination of materials to make these Peter Diem inspired models.

 LEARNING INTENTION:

To make a model of a Diem cow with clay with bright colours and texture.

SUCCESS CRITERIA:

I can make  a model of a Diem cow using air dry clay and paper clay, forming a body and head inspired by Peter Diem cows.

For the head, I can cover a cork with coloured paper clay (Model Magic) adding a mound for the head with wiggly ears.

The Body:

Air dry clay was used to form the body. Students formed a small pinch pot into a rounded shape, pulling and shaping legs so that it would stand.

The head:

A champagne cork was covered with paper clay (Crayola Model Magic) to form the head, long snout and ears)

Flatten out small pieces of coloured paper clay (Crayola Model Magic is perfect) and join together in a colourful “blanket” to then wrap around the cork, covering everything except the flat round bottom.

Form a flat square shape that will cover the end of the cork for the snout /nose of the cow. Join /blend edges with the other clay. Push a pencil in to make indents for nostrils.

Mold some more coloured paper clay into a shape like a wrapped lolly- round in the middle and two pieces at the side to form into wiggly ears. This is joined onto the top part of the cork and smoothed down, shaping the ears at the side. Add small balls with dots of another colour for eyeballs to press into the raised head mound.

Once the body is dry, use small amount of coloured Model Magic / paper clay to form small shapes and lines to press onto the body, adding colour and TEXTURE as it will be slightly raised from the surface.

Use some Model Magic to join the head to the body, checking it lines up with the legs in a frontal view and is forward to the front of the body in a side view.

Self Evaluation: (we used Seesaw and students added photos of their completed cow digitally)

Crazy Cows ~ Peter Diem inspired Year 3-4 art lesson

Peter Diem (born 1945) is a Dutch artist well known for his expressive use of colour and texture in his art. “He gained worldwide fame because of his vivid paintings and lively, colourful representations of Dutch cows.” We viewed the Peter Diem – Cows website for examples of his artworks and discussed the elements of art Diem used to make them: colour, line, shape, texture, space.

LEANING INTENTIONS:

To learn about the Dutch artist Peter Diem, who paints cows in an abstract expressionism style. To explore Diem’s techniques when making his artworks, so I can be inspired by colour line and texture when adding details to my abstract cow.

To be able to describe the elements of art in Peter Diem’s artwork.

To be able to identify the materials and techniques Peter Diem uses.

SUCCESS CRITERIA:

I can describe a Peter Diem cow using the elements of art (colour, line, shape, space texture)- art response /Seesaw activity.

I can identify the techniques Diem uses to apply paint.

I can follow guided instruction to draw the shape of a peter Diem cow.

I can use expressive colours, lines and shapes on my cow.

I can choose a contrast colour for the background of my cow picture.

I can add details and texture to my cow by adding puffy paint lines and shapes.

I can describe the materials and techniques I used when making my Diem style cow.

LESSON ACTIVITIES:

Students viewed and discussed Diem’s cow artworks on his website. They were then given a task where they described the elements of art thy noticed in a cow painting. I used a Seesaw activity for them to respond. Here are some student examples:

We viewed some videos of Diem in action to learn about his materials and techniques, noting how he draws the cow, and methods of applying paint- brush, finger, hand, straight from the tube.

Videos about Diem and his work:

Peter Diem in Het Klokhuis #1/4 ‘Cows’ (Diem sketching a cow from beginning doing a painting then skip to 1:40min to see him drawing a cow.)

Peter Diem, the painter. US Documentary by Charles Giuliano (To see Diem’s method of painting- hands, fingers, straight from tube, etc.)

Students are shown how to draw a simplified cow, Diem style – just the outline-in the shape of a Diem painting. Students then outline in black or a dark colour crayon or pastel.

Use bright and fluorescent oil pastels to add lines and shapes and patterns, considering the features of Diem’s work. It is then painted over to fill the gaps and a contrast colour painted for the background.

The next lesson we made puffy paint with PVA glue, shaving cream and food colouring in a zip-lock bag, and mushed it around to mix the 3 ingredients. A TINY bit of one corner of the bag is cut off to enable squeezing out fluid lines of puffy paint! They could outline or add lines to their design for amazing TEXTURE.

Once complete, students reflect on their work noting (circling or highlighting) materials (mediums) and techniques they used when making their Diem style cow, as well as the best thing, and what they might change if repeating the piece.

COLLAGE COWS ~ Inspired by Elizabeth St Hilaire. Year 5/6 art lesson.

Our school was doing a “Discover Dairy” inquiry unit and so we were making lots of artworks of cows! The inspiration for this lesson was from “paper paintings” of cows by Elizabeth St Hilaire (Nelson)

“Paper Paintings” by Elizabeth St Hilaire

The students looked at some St Hilaire’s “paper painted” cows and inferred the techniques and materials they think she used.

We watched a couple of videos with Elizabeth St Hilaire talking about her materials and showing the techniques she uses.

The students then chose a photo of a chosen breed of cow to crop to a square to use for a reference to make a realistic drawing and get the shape and colouring right.

They drew a grid on the photo (digitally) then ruled up a larger piece of paper to enlarge each part of the drawing of the cow’s head.

Next they used the photo as a reference to mix paints to match to do an underpainting and make some painted paper.

The painted paper was used to collage over the “underpainting”

We took 4-5 one hour lessons to complete and evaluate the artworks. Full lesson plan with learning intentions, success criteria, lesson activities with process, useful video links and students self evaluation rubric, all linked to Victorian Curriculum to purchase below.

Natural Disaster: Volatile Volcanoes! -Yr 5/6 art lesson

I had seen this lesson on various school blogs using Nick Rowland’s explosive volcano artwork as inspiration for students to produce their own using some of his techniques.

LEARNING INTENTIONS:

To respond to a volcano artwork by UK artist Nick Rowland.

To make an artwork of a volcano using techniques explored in Nick Rowland’s work.

SUCCESS CRITERIA:

I identify materials and techniques used in an artwork.

I can use materials and techniques with paint such as splattering, flicking, dripping, blowing etc to capture the explosive nature of a volcano inspired by Nick Rowland artwork.

I can describe the process, materials & techniques used in my own volcano artwork

Explore & respond:

Students first explored his use of materials and techniques by brainstorming and listing how they think he applied the paint to get various effects. Seesaw example of student response >

Natural Disaster: ~ Bushfire ~

Year 5/6 Art lesson

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.

LEANING INTENTION:

To depict a bushfire scene with silhouetted trees, building frames, etc.

SUCCESS CRITERIA:

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.

LESSON ACTIVITIES:

INTRODUCTION:

The Natural Disaster of Bushfires was introduced with news coverage from bushfires (including the West Australian fires happening at the time), this video: Bushfire Disaster – Classroom – BTN and the book Fire By Jackie French.

ARTWORK COMPARISON:

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.)

PAINTING:

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.