When we had to go to remote teaching last term, I had to throw out my planned lessons as they required too many “special materials” that students would not have handy at home. So it got down to, “What materials are easily accessible for all students at home?” Greylead and coloured pencils and copy paper! So I knew it would involve drawing and needed to be about learning new concepts and skills as well. I usually do some sort of one point perspective art in the senior years, so this was the perfect opportunity.
I broke down the tasks with video and powerpoint demonstrations of the key points about perspective- horizon line, vanishing point and converging lines, followed by simple Seesaw activities to show understanding of the basics. (Oh how I love the Seesaw app!)
The next lesson was to get students to practise drawing using a horizon line, vanishing point and converging lines, using basic shapes above and below the horizon line with a video demonstration.
We looked at on of the most famous paintings of a bedroom- ‘ Bedroom in Arles’ by Vincent Van Gogh and used the converging lines on some of the furniture to estimate the Vanishing Point (and therfore horizon. (Some of the lines are a bit out, but Van Gogh was probably working by eye!
The focus of the next lesson was to start drawing the basic geometric shapes that will become bedroom furniture. They uploaded their draft to Seesaw for me to check them, and for some I needed to draw some lines on their draft to show what to do, or where to draw, as well as explain- (when in the classroom you can just point it out while they are working on paper!)
Once their draft with shapes was checked, they were able to go ahead and add details, add to the shapes to make them into furniture and accessories in a bedroom, like their own.
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.
The topic for the school was ‘Community’ so I thought Year 5 and 6 could look at the houses in the local area (including student’s own homes if they chose). I introduced the Australian artist Howard Arkley (now deceased) and his artwork through a youtube video (see lesson unit plan) and a powerpoint with examples of his artwork. (see below)
Arkley’s house artworks were inspired by houses in the Melbourne suburb of Oakleigh. After returning from Europe he observed the suburban decorative gates and flywire doors, and used the patterns on his exterior and interior house artworks. He mainly used an airbrush on his artworks because he could make marks quickly and didn’t really like working directly with a paintbrush. He used real estate adverts and magazines for the images.
First, I actually got the students to do some research to get some basic facts about Arkley and his style and technique of art, and produce it as an artist poster (along the way discussing principles of art to help with the composition- balance, variety, etc.
Students used ipads to take a photo of their own home from the front or from the street, or get a screen shot of it from google street view, or get a screen shot of a local house from a real estate website.
Students at my school have their own ipads, so it makes it easy for them to use apps for digital art. They used the Brushes Redux App (free) to bring in the photo, add a layer and then trace the outline of the house, garden, fence etc. They uploaded just the traced outline to Google classroom, so I could print these off on A3 paper.
They then painted their house and surrounds in exaggerated colours, and blue dye wash for the sky. Early finishers experimented with making stencil prints, to see the colour contrast and pattern design to help them decide where would be best to use particular patterns.
Next lesson, students masked off areas with strips of paper so they only printed within the chosen outlines.