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!

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Grade 3 – Castle in the clouds

5I have used this project a few times as I enjoy what the kids come up with. I tell the story of jack and the beanstalk and ask the kids to imagine what it must have been like if they were Jack. I ask them to close their eyes and see as their heads break through the clouds and they see this enormous castle!

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They then have to draw the castle, the beanstalk, themselves and anything else they would like in the scene. We used some black crayon to outline ourselves as well as the castle. We then used water colour paint to add colour!

I showed them how to wet the paper first for the clouds and then add the watercolour to make a beautiful, diffused colour that works great for things like clouds. We then used water colour on dry paper for the detailed spots.

Grade 5 – Dotty artwork

This is a very nice, simple project which the learners loved! It was also nice because the learners got to work in pairs if they wanted.

They began by learning about warm and cold colours and how warm and cold colours placed next to each other can create a lot of contrast. They then had to choose a simple picture with an animal/creature featuring in it. The initial idea was for the learners to just use a sea scene with a sea turtle and perhaps some fish but (as always) the children were not happy to be limited like that. 🙂

I had to keep reminding them of the importance of keeping their scene simple however and the importance of using either hot colours in the foreground animal etc. and cold in the background or visa versa.

We worked on an A2 piece of black paper. They began by sketching their creature and other elements. They then took paint, swirled their brush through this and then made a swirl of colour on their artwork. I showed them that mixing other colours into their base colours can create interest. For example, a purely red turtle might look a little boring compared to a red turtle with swirls of yellow into the red on the side where the sun would be hitting it and swirls of purple into the side that would be in shadow.