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 – 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!

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! 😀


Grade 4 – Relief sculpture

Blog_001If you ask most learners what a sculpture is, they will describe a traditional fully fledged, 3D model! The problem with making this sort of a sculpture in schools is that if learners don’t follow the methods for joining clay exactly, their sculptures will begin to disintegrate when they dry.Blog_002

For this reason, as well as for some variety, we looked at relief sculptures with the grade 4s. The lesson began by giving the learners a sheet with pictures of relief sculptures so they would understand what relief sculpture looks like. They then chose a picture of an animal from a small selection that I had cut out of magazines. We then got down to the work at hand!Blog_003

After trying to kneed any air bubbles out of our lump of clay, we made it into a square which we flattened out a bit with the palm of our hand. Our base now ready, we used a toothpick to draw a boarder and then within this border we sketched our animal. We then used little sticks and our fingers to push clay back around our animal so that it stood out. Finally we did small designs around the border.

Blog_004The next lesson the class painted their now dry sculpture. The final pieces came out very well!

Grade 4 – Still life

Blog_002Still life’s have long been a staple for artists looking to hone their craft. What better tool and subject matter for the children to practice then?

Blog_004Walking into the art class, The kids were confronted with a very strange collection of objects grouped together on a chair and table: There were bottles; next to Christmas tinsel; next to past grade 3 projects! They soon learned that this was called a still life (a collection of still objects which an artist arranges and then ‘draws’) and that this strange still life would be the subject of their next art piece.Blog_001

The learners did a very basic sketch of the still life using pencil. They then filled this in with oil pastels. The very bright colors are from those learners that used metallic/fluorescent pastels which are always loved by the kids!


The colorful still life now done, the learners were asked to make their own designerly background using black kokis. You’ll see that some of the learners went beyond this media but in many cases this resulted in a pleasant surprise!

Blog_005 Blog_006

Grade 4 – Natural Valentines

Natural ValentinesIt was the week before valentines day. Special events like valentines come around once a year and cannot be wasted! The learners (especially the young ones) love to make cards for their parents and friends! I like to mix it up a bit though.

Natural Valentines2I took my class outside and gave them about 5 minutes to collect material! We then trouped back into the classroom and started making valentines! I had various colored pieces of paper as well as kokis etc, how the kids used them was up to them! I’ve included some of the cards but their were many beautiful ones. I no doubt there were many happy parents on that valentines day.

Natural Valentines3