Dapper Dogs & Digital Dogs~ Heather Galler inspired Year 2 art lesson

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).

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)

Andy Warhol style- art of everyday items: ipad art

These examples were very well done ipad /digital art in the style of Andy Warhol made by Year 3-4 students. We used the Brushes Redux free app on ipads.

Firstly students choose an everyday popular food item, and save a screen shot on their ipad camera roll. When you open the Brushes App you begin by clicking the + icon in the top right to create a “new painting” by choosing the appropriate size and orientation (portrait or landscape) I always tell them to choose the largest size as it’s easiest to work on.

Click the image/photo icon in the middle right to choose a photo from the camera roll. The image can be “pinched out” to make it fit the size of the “painting”. Click “Accept”

Separate layers are used to trace and then colour the image. You have to make sure the layer you are drawing on is highlighted in blue. The outline layer can be dragged to on top of the colouring in layer (as in the examples where different colours are used for the item as seen in the Twirl bar and below in the Crunchie bar and Dairy Milk chocolate bar.

Next I added 4 different coloured backgrounds on 4 separate layers. If the whole jar was coloured in, including the white areas, I could have just used the setting “Fill Layer” but that would show through on the areas I left uncoloured.

The following work are by students in Year 3 & 4: