Grade 4 – Self portraits

This project comes from the Santam creative art teaching manual.

The learners had to begin by looking at themselves in a mirror and drawing themselves using stick and ink on an A4 piece of paper.

They cut this out and then took a ready prepared, square piece of paper which they drew borders onto before pasting their self portrait onto it. At this point we took a little break to go outside and enjoy nature. On returning to the class, the learners used either warm or cool coloured crayons to draw plants behind their self portrait inside the borders they had drawn. around the outside of the border they wrote words that they thought of when they thought of nature or their image.

99% of these artworks turned out beautifully! The learners did very well!

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Grade 4 – Tonal landscape

This is a simple way to introduce learners to atmospheric perspective. I got the idea for this site from this blog.

Basically, learners begin by sketching out a simple landscape. They just have to show the outlines of the different layers of the landscape. It is important that the learners understand that their landscape will need to have ‘layers’ or significant divides in order for this project to work. A number of my learners wanted to do the sea which wouldn’t really work, unless it was the back layer.

They then choose a colour of one hue (for example: red, orange or green). The top layer they leave white; The second layer they mix white with their colour and paint the second layer with this colour; The next layer they paint with the pure colour; They then mix black with their colour and paint the next layer with this darker colour; and the final layer (the one which will look closest to the viewer) they paint black. It is a good way to teach learners about value of colour.

I reminded them that having layers overlap each other enhances the effect of depth. Also, increasing the size of foreground images helps. There was still a fair amount of freedom given to the learners and some of the artworks amazed me with their creativity!

Grade 4 – Stretched Capetonians

I was wondering through the streets of Cape Town and noticed a number of artworks being sold in markets and on pavements. I thought they could make a great artwork at school!

After introducing the learners to this street art (many of them had seen it before anyway), I gave each learner a piece of A2 paper cut in half so that it was extra long. They had to imagine a situation which they could be in. They had to draw themselves as a stretched person! They could also draw some things in the background. They then used oil pastels to colour themselves and any other significant objects in before using watercolour paints to fill the background with colour.

The learners did really well! Two of these artworks actually won awards in the local Eisteddfod competition!

Grade 4 – Peter Clarke Collage

01The grade 4 learners were introduced to British artist, Peter Clarke. Clarke creates artworks primarily of animals by building an image out of cut and torn pieces of magazines, newspapers, maps and other found material.clark_swissmiss.jpg

The grade 4s had to begin by choosing an animal (there were reference pictures of many different animals available). They then had to begin by drawing the base shape of their animal onto a piece of newspaper and cut it out. Onto this they could build up colours and textures using other, cut or torn, pieces of paper. Finally they could add extra detail using kokis.

Grade 4 – Where the wild things are!

02“Where the wild things are” is a well known book by Maurice Sednak. It’s a beautifully illustrated story about a little boy who is misbehaving and so gets sent to his room where he travels in his own imagination to a land of giant, horrendous, beautifully drawn creatures. I got this idea for the project from The lost sock.

The learners began by watching a youtube narrated telling of the book where the illustrations were shown. We then looked at the illustrations in closer detail. It was easy to see that the illustrator had combined different animals to make the new beasties.

Learners first had to write the names of 9 different animals they liked and then try and combine them in 3 different concept sketches of 3 different creatures!

We then looked at textures and how to create them using pencil crayons. The learners were encouraged to use a lighter colour (such as yellow) as the base and a darker colour (such as orange) for the textures. I loved this as many of the resulting pictures had far more life then what I had seen before.

Finally they drew their final creature on an A3 paper. I hadn’t planned on making a background as well but the learners did and it definitely added a lot! So we went with that… 😛

Grade 4 – Elephant Mandalas

03This was a simple but very fun project that the grade 4s loved!

I introduced the class to Mandalas (or rather refreshed their memories from a grade 3 project we had done the previous year). I showed the class various elephant mandalas as well as one I had done myself. I then gave them a template of an elephant that I had made in gimp. The one they had didn’t have an ear template though and I think I liked that better as they all made their own shapes. They had to paste their template onto mounting board before cutting it out and designing!

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This is the template they used.

How the learners wanted to decorate their elephants was up to them! Their only restrictions were that they needed an eye and an ear. Some of them added things which I hadn’t foreseen as well! We had unicorn elephants and wizards as well as elephants with top hats.:)

Once finished I took them and stuck them on coloured A4 paper for a background. So many beautiful elephants! 😀

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Grade 4 – Colourful Townships

Our school gets their art supplies from a shop called Art Sauce, now based in Gardens, Cape Town. I was in their store one time, browsing for exciting materials and happened upon crinkle cut gold and silver paper. The assistant saw my interest and she said that some school teachers use it for making township scenes. I thought of the colourful pictures I see being sold on street corners around town and started seeing the possibilities…

The project began with the learners drawing a simple, pencil line showing where the horizon would be. This was drawn on a creamy coloured A3 piece of paper. They then did two gradients. One for the sky, going from either dark to light blue or any combination of sunset colours. They then made a gradient for the ground. Every child did what they felt would look nice.

The next step was to take coloured paper and cut these into squares and rectangles. I had done a small introduction to the basics of perspective so the learners knew that houses get further with distance. They then took the gold and silver paper and cut it into roof shapes for their houses.

Finally, I asked them: “what else can be in a township?” They added extra things into their scenes. I asked them to cut these out of paper and stick them on though some just drew them on and others used pictures from magazines for extra effect.

I really enjoyed this project! My only disappointment was a few of the learners had done very well and cut small houses to fill their landscape. This took them a long time however and they ran out of time. If I did it again, I would ask the learners to start with small houses in the background before making slightly bigger houses and then the biggest houses in the front.