Much of Spanish artist, Joan Miro’s later work is wonderful inspiration for young children because of it’s child and dream like simplicity and abstract nature. Many of his works at this time were quite surreal and imaginative that used shapes, symbols and a limited colour palette. He often used primary colours too.
We looked at the artwork “Sun Eater” or sometimes called “Imaginary Boy” by Joan Miro made in the 1950s discussing shapes, lines and colours. They found the tiny bit of yellow in the eye and we reviewed the primary colours.
Students began by drawing the basic shapes on their paper in pencil first to make sure they had the size right. They then used paint sticks in any chosen primary colour to colour the circle on the body, followed by the surrounding square, then the stripe across the eye, making sure they used the three primary colours. Because paint sticks dry so quickly, they were able to then go over their pencil lines on the head, eyes, nose and mouth before using straight vertical and horizontal lines across and down the square body.
Lesson Plan for Prep/ Foundation aligned to Victorian Curriculum with lesson steps and success criteria statements.
Two books by Todd Parr: “It’s OK to be Different” and “Be Who You Are” (Todd Parr website) are fabulous to explore the theme of diversity with young children. The illustrations are simple and bright, and lend themselves to this activity where Prep students choose different coloured faces, hair style and accessory to make a unique portrait, and perfect to practise cutting skills!
Prep/ Foundation Victorian Curriculum lesson plan with templates, learning intentions, success criteria, example artworks.
Heather Galler, born in 1970 is an American folk artist who make colourful patterned artworks of landscapes, animals and nature. She is well know for her pet portraits, where she uses a photo of a cat or dog, to produce a painted portrait in her folk art style.
After looking at and responding to the colourfully patterned dogs by American folk artist Heather Galler, Year 1 & 2 students explored lines and patterns to use on their own dog outline. The patterns were drawn in oil pastel and then a contrasting colour was painted over each section in dye wash (or liquid watercolour).
Digital Dog using Brushes App
As an alternative extension activity during remote learning, I posted a video demonstration to use Brushes Redux App (for beginners- no layers) to make a digital version of a Heather Galler dog (I think some of the parents enjoyed having a go too!)
Preview of a digital dog -Heather Galler style made using Brushes Redux App without the layers.
Preview of digital artwork using Brushes Redux App- with layers option to trace a dog outline, colour in, add patterns and finally a patterned background in a contrast colour.
Using the layers on Brushes Redux App (or similar) is easy once you know how to do it! It takes a little practice, and for younger kids, some guidance for each step. I have introduced using layers from Year 3 for other digital projects with success.
Lesson plan includes learning intentions & success criteria, examples of artist and student artworks, student self assessment rubric, instruction and links to demonstration videos to make a digital dog using Brushes App (or similar).
I used a number of picture story books, like ‘My Many Coloured Days’ by Dr Seuss and the Inside Out movie characters to discuss how feelings and emotions can be expressed with colours. We looked at the colour wheel to choose colours that best go with some common emotions: for example: happy (yellow), sad (blue), angry (red), frightened (orange), embarrassed (purple) and relaxed (green).
I drew some examples of faces with various emotions on the board. I got the children to draw a face showing a feeling next to each colour on the colour wheel in their books.
Children then choose 4 feelings to show on 4 faces. They traced a face template and drew their four chosen emotions in black waterproof marker (Prockey), using examples to help. Then they used food dye wash to paint each face the colour matching the emotions.
We discussed how we can feel all sorts of emotions even in one day. I had drawn an outline of a body on large sheets of paper and they used different colour pastels to trace over the border . They then use water colour paints to paint patches of colours on the inside of the body shape to represent our varying emotions.
The faces were then cut out and glued around the body shape. The faces could be smaller than what we did (as I had the brainwave to combine the two activities. You could of course display them as separate artworks!) Here are a couple put together:
Students share their pictures, describing the emotions shown and colours chosen, maybe relating a time they felt that particular emotion.
Learning Intentions & Success Criteria, links to useful videos and story books, lesson activities, and Victorian Curriculum links.