I have done one lesson on perspective with the grade 7s of last year. I found that teaching the basics of linear perspective is very challenging!
I was searching the web, looking for ideas of how to teach perspective simply when I stumbled upon this page on smart class. It basically looks to simplify one point perspective down to its most raw essentials and then create a simple landscape using perspective.
I began with a power point where I introduced perspective in general and showed some exciting examples of how it can be used. I then explained one point perspective and went on to describe the actual artwork.
They by drawing a horizontal line across the middle of the page.They drew a dot towards the center of this page. They then drew lines from each of the corners of the page to the dot. I explained that they now had a vanishing point with what could be a road or a river and guidelines for the rest of the scene.
The learners then created buildings and trees using pencil. This was coloured in using a medium of the learner’s choice. The grade 6s really enjoyed the project! I had estimated 2-3 weeks but it went on to be 3-4 weeks with a few of the learners still not finishing! We had a lot of flus going around this term so that probably contributed to the slowness of some.
Matisse was a very versatile artist. Though he is most well known for his Fauvist works, he was also a realist painter in his younger days and a very experimental ‘cut and paste’ artist in his twilight years.
I originally discovered this project on the fantastic page deep space sparkle. It was a very nice project! It was pretty simple and the outcome was some beautiful artwork!
The lesson began with a brief introduction to Henri Matisse. I showed his art through the ages and talked about his influence on the direction that fine art went. I then showed some examples of the project and explained what the learners would be doing.
The lesson begins with the learners taking pieces of coloured paper, cutting into shapes and creating a background with them. I explained how these pieces of paper must be quite large so they don’t distract from the figure and how they should not be just horizontal and vertical as this does not communicate movement – and we wanted our dancers to be moving! To introduce the figure, I had precut pieces of black paper for a head, torso, pelvis, upper and lower arms, upper and lower legs as well as feet and hands. I called the learners up to arrange this on a piece of board using press stick so that the figure was dancing.
The learners then worked on their own artworks. As usual they took what I told them and pushed it far further than I had imagined! A few of them I had to remind about adding clothing and extra details to increase the look of the work.
Kids love drawing eyes! In fact, I would be bold enough to say that most people of most ages love doing pictures of eyes. This project sought to teach learners about drawing of eyes. They had already done a self portrait earlier on in the year and if I were to do this again I would probably swap around which project was done when.
The grade 5s did really well though! The project began with a PowerPoint on eyes in general. They were shown a step by step walk through on one simple to draw an eye. The learners then did a practice drawing of a generic eye.
They were then given a mirror and asked to draw their own eye! They did this in pencil first and then once finished, they added some colour to the iris using watercolours.
We then learned about the Mauri custom of Tamoko (The tattooing of a man’s face and parts of a woman’s face). The learners were allowed to add some designs to what could be seen of their face once finished with their eye.
In memory of our wonderful ex-president and hero, Nelson Mandela, the grade 6s undertook to celebrate him through art. After viewing a quick presentation on his incredible life, the learners were given a piece of coloured paper. On this the learners were asked to draw a silhoutte of Madiba!
The original idea was for the silhouette of Madiba being decorated with patterns like the colourful shirts he was well known for wearing. Some of the learners drew Mandela so beautifully however that it would be a shame to colour over all their details with paint! They chose rather to add patterned colours to select parts of Mandela.
This was cut out and pasted onto a piece of either white or black paper. For the background, the learners had to think of as many names that Mandela had as possible. They wrote these as well as words or phrases which they associated with Madiba, filling the page with a written texture!
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.
Jellyfish make a very nice subject for a variety of artworks. Their translucence and indiscriminate form give freedom to those who are more painterly with their brush while at the same time giving something to those learners who need a subject to sketch.
I found this project on the deep space sparkle website. It uses a variety of media which is always nice and results in a beautiful artwork! The grade 3s did it on A3 paper. They began by making a gradient from black, through purple, Blue or red, to white. They then took a white crayon and drew the outlines of some jellyfish. Taking a black crayon they added in some seaweed before using chalk pastel to add some colour to their jelly’s. This they smudged to give them their translucent look. The last step was to add other fish and sea life using small pieces of coloured paper.
The learners really enjoyed this project and it was fairly simple to execute! The resulting artwork looked beautiful as well!