Saturday, December 15, 2012

Animal Art

Art2 had a series of lessons that was an interest for all children so we used it as a week long morning group lesson a bit ago.  We finally finished up last minute details this past Friday they be!
First off, we looked at all sorts of realisitic pictures of animals and talked about color, texture, etc.  Then the children chose one animal to focus on for all the projects.  The children started with a realistic oil pastel drawing with watercolor resist on the right.  Then we discussed the different components that make something abstract and they used their choice of media to draw an abstract picture of the same animal in their sketchbook.  Next we used homemade clay to create a realistic sculpture, finally we brainstormed how we could create an abstract sculpture and sketched it in our sketchbook and then created the sculpture.
Grade 1---whale
This 1st grader is one lucky boy...he gets in on a lot of extras!  My goal with him lately has been to encourage him to draw big.  This was a perfect project to encourage that!
Grade 2---seal
I loved this activity for C.  Here is the kid that fought tooth and nail about any type of art in September.  I heard everything from "I can't draw." (yeah, right...check out that realistic drawing of the seal on the right) to "I don't like art."  Well, really the issue was he hadn't had much true experience in art.  We really not really something I'd want on my desk...but!  This would have not been created by Caleb even 2 months ago.  He really took this an extra step...he used yarn wrapped around a Styrofoam ball for the head of the seal, sewed two very different buttons for the eyes, pipe cleaner for the whiskers and nose and he made a point not to put them where you'd find them on a seal.  VERY different than what he typically would come up with.
 Grade 2---whale
This one took me by surprise.  If I had to say who was the most "creative" in my's this child.  Very imaginative/creative.  But I would say that he had the most difficult with the abstract creations.  This isn't the greatest picture of the whale on the rock.  The picture doesn't do it justice.  It's actually something I wouldn't mind sitting on my desk.  :-)  But I really had to walk him through it and that was as "abstract" as he could get. He changed the colors because I encouraged him but could only go from blue to green.  Funny!   Actually his sketch had a couple more abstract but when he got right to it...he really couldn't get past his wish for it to be realistic.  :-)  Interesting.  Art lessons tend to help me learn about the child a bit more!

 Grade 3---zebra
I was impressed with the process for this child.  She enjoys art but doesn't necessary think "out of the box".  After a few suggestions though...she was on her way!  This wasn't her lesson so when she wanted to paint on a plate for abstract "sculpture", I went ahead and let her.  I loved the conversation.  A tidbit of it was "I have a mommy (on the right) and a baby zebra (on the left).  I'm painting it red all around to represent love."  :-)

Grade 4---hedgehog
I smile when I look at the oil pastel on the right.  What you don't know was that he was completely in a funk that day and he didn't get it completed during time allowed so he tried to work on it in the afternoon and I had finally decided...forget it.  He can just skip out on these lessons...he be better off using the time on his own lessons anyway.  Yes, it was bad.  Tears/attitude about not being able to do something "just right".  Anyway...after a bit of a break I gave him one last chance at it in the evening and this is what he came up with.  Beautiful!  Again...the picture doesn't do the sculptures justice...his realistic sculpture is pretty cool.  Textured top, etc.
Anyway...I plan to do this as a series of projects in the summer or over spring break with my two boys.  I might add a few different techniques and only do one sculpture though.  We might do something different than animals.  Haven't decided yet.  We have a bit of time to decide!  They really had a lot of fun with this.  The homemade clay ended up being something of a flop.  Hard to mix up and then it was soft that it wouldn't stay in the position we wanted.  So that did hinder some of the possibilities.  It also took over a week to dry and some were still a little soft when we went to paint them.  I placed them in the oven at the end even though it wasn't an oven-dry recipe.  So, saying that...this last week we created dough islands and we ended up using a salt dough recipe.  That's the dough I will use from now on!
For each child:
1 C. flour
1/2 C. salt
1/2 C. water
Mix together. Kneed well!
Kids had great success with making and using this dough.  Easy! Dries well at 200-225 degrees for a few hours...depending on how thick the creation is.

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