Mixed Media Landscapes ~ Yr 3-6

I did this project with Year 3/4, but would be really great do with Year 5/6 (11-12 year olds). Firstly, students viewed and analysed different types of landscapes by Australian artists, including Streeton, Drysdale, McCubbin, Namitjira, and Nolan.

Students began this project by choosing an Australian landscape type they wanted to depict. We sorted photos into the following categories: Beach, Bush, Mountains, Desert, River and Rain forest.

Students Began by mixing paint colours to match their photo to paint the background/ underneath layer of their landscape inside a sturdy box lid.

Next lesson they began to texture such as sand, tissue paper, bark, etc to the background- furthest away, moving to middle ground and then foreground. When complete they thought of an interesting title for their landscape and filled out a reflection/ evaluation sheet which was stuck to the back of the box.

Lesson Plan aligned to Year 3/4 Victorian Curriculum with learning intentions, success criteria, slides of Australian landscapes for analysis, analysis sheet, lesson activities and discussion questions, examples of student work, reflection/ evaluation sheet.

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.

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 >

Abstract Expressionism Portraits: Year 4 art lesson. Marten Jansen inspired

Students  view and describe portraits made by Jansen, discussing use of colour ,line, shape. View more info: https://prezi.com/huxyezp6dcjl/marten-jansen/

LEARNING INTENTIONS:

To learn about the Dutch artist Marten Jansen and his style of portraits

To explore using colour, shape and line to make an abstract Jansen  style portrait.

SUCCEESS CRITERIA:

I can use describe the elements of art in a Marten Jansen portrait.

I can describe the artwork of Marten Jansen – colour, style, line, shape, mood.

I can use colour, line and shape to make a portrait in the style of Marten Jansen .

LEARNING ACTIVITIES:

Students view portraits by Marten Jansen. I just used “head shots”; some of his pieces are not suitable to use in primary school, eg. ‘Street walker’, ‘Solicitation’ for obvious reasons (Check out his work here: http://paintings.name/paintings.php)

Discuss different colour combinations to show emotion or create a mood. List and describe the elements of art used. Talk about various lines used (thick, thin, long, short), shapes (circle, triangles, organic shapes) and colour.

They could annotate one of his pictures individually, in a small group, or as a class.

Students work from a photo of themselves to make a line drawing. (I took photos of the students, edited them on Photoscape (like Photoshop) to change it into a line drawing, and then printed them on A3 cartridge paper. They then use colours, lines and shapes to fill it in using chalk pastels, (we used square blocks) using the edge, tip, side to produce various thickness and intensity of line. Blocks of colour can be used too, especially in the background.

Students  reflect on their completed artworks.

WWW EBI (What Went Well / Even Better If ) Reflection Questions:

Did I fill the paper, leaving only a little or no empty/white space?

Did I use a variety of line thickness?

Did I use some shapes- geometric / organic?

Are the colours generally sharp, only blended or smudged in areas for an effect?

ANZAC soldier silhouettes: Year 5-6 art lesson

This lesson requires careful cutting out for the silhouette soldiers for it to look effective. I printed out pictures of ANZAC soldiers from the internet that would be suitable as silhouettes (on A3 paper). Students cut out the ‘positive’ shapes of the soldiers to be left with the ‘negative’ background to use like a stencil for the silhouette.

Learning Intention:

To make a commemorative ANZAC day picture with silhouettes of ANZAC soldiers.

SUCCESS CRITERIA:

I can carefully cut out shapes of ANZAC soldiers from a printed out /photocopy picture of ANZAC soldiers.

I can use the negative shape as a stencil to paint in the shapes of the soldiers.

I can use chalk pastels to fill in the background around my soldier shapes, blending and smudging colours.

One Point Perspective (Bedroom)- Year 5-6 Art lesson

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!)

Activity instructions were: Show each of the following on the photos using a coloured mark or line: A red dot for the vanishing point. A blue line for the horizon. Green lines for converging perspective lines. Drag each word to label the items.

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.

Video of three bedrooms drawn on Brushes App demonstrating the use of vanishing point, basic end shape and converging lines.

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)

Autumn Leaves in Oil Pastel -Yr 4

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.

Howard Arkley Style Houses

Year 5-6 Art unit –  5 one hour lessons

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 printed stencilled patterns onto sections of their house and garden. They masked off areas with strips of paper so they only printed within the chosen outlines.