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.
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!
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.
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)
Autumn is a great time to use colourful leaves of various shapes and sizes for students to use for observation drawings. I had Year 4 students choose a leaf to place in front of them to draw (some students found it easier to trace the leaf to get the shape right) They began using oil pastels in a colour close to the colours on the leaf, making sure to emphasise the veins on the leaf. They blended colours with their finger to spread the colour to look natural, rather than blocks of colours.