Grade 6 –

Social media opens up a whole world of lesson possibilities which the learners would love! Edgar Artis is an amazing instagram fashion illustrator who is very popular. As soon as I discovered him I knew my grade 6s would love his work! I decided to do a project around his style.

The lesson began with a figure drawing session. Various members of the class took turns posing for their friends while their friends practiced drawing from observation. When the next week I told them they could either choose their favourite posed drawing, or choose from a selection of images I had, and draw a model. I asked them to complete the drawing as much as possible with colour and outlines etc. This finished, they then began adding the clothing.

Edgar Artis does this using a various media, the stranger and the more unexpected, he greater the impact! The learners had to do this as well. They loved this step! They used old fabric, feathers (these were a favorite), beads and even seeds to create their clothing. Once it was finished, we cut out the model and pasted it onto black card which we could add details to using metallic pens.

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Grade 7 – Picasso can crushing portrait

This project was very fun! The idea came from this site. Learners had to bring a can to class. I first taught the learners about cubism and Pablo Picasso. They then began making their artwork.

Learners began by crushing their can! This was a fairly noisy process (especially with the principals office beneath my class). At the end of the period, each can was definitely crushed though! I then explained what a portrait was and linked the drawing of the portrait with the Cubist trait of using geometric shapes and drawing the character from different angles.

They were encouraged to use bright colours and to keep the form away from being realistic.

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!

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 6 – Chuck Close

This artwork focused on the American artist Chuck Close. Now a number of the learners at our school (as at any school) have great obstacles that they have and will have to overcome in their lives. Chuck Close is an artist who overcame the hugest of hurdles to become a world famous artist. For one, he is a quadriplegic. For another, he has prosopagnosia, which makes it almost impossible for him to recognize faces.  He began painting portraits, in part, to overcome this difficulty. You can watch a small intro video to Chuck Close HERE.

Our learners first learned about Mr Close and his background. They then learned the technique he uses to make huge, super realistic portraits using paint and other media. He divides his canvas up into a grid which correlates to a grid drawn on a smaller photo of a persons face. Instead of focusing on the picture as a whole, he transfers the image block by block (Often called the grid method). We took the concept of the grid method and pushed it, using the grid as a creative tool.

Though some of the learners struggled a bit with expanding an A4 p

age to the A3 paper using the grid method, the learners creativity made up for this. The end results of the project speak for themselves, The artworks are beautiful!

Grade 6 – Madiba Magic

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!

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Grade 3 – Jellyfish

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!