The grade 6s were just finishing with their funny/funky head sculptures. This happened in drips and drabs. I started thinking about what we could do to extend this project. I thought of somehow integrating photography.
I knew of some conceptual artists like Sandy Skoglund and a South African artist Jane Alexander who had done artwork around a sculpture. I also follow a blogger who takes photos of various toys in strange locations. I used all of these as inspiration!
I took photos of my own creature in strange places and showed these to the class. I explained about composition and camera angles as well as lighting. I also showed a simple video on composition tips by a world renown photographer.
As soon as the learners finished their model, they could fetch their phones/ ipads and take it on a walk about to find interesting locations to photograph their creatures. I showed them how I was looking for interesting pics that tell a story!
Andy Warhol was an artist that I felt my grade 7s could connect with. He was an art superstar from the last century who was super controversial and super interesting. We began this lesson with an intro to Warhol and his work and watched a pretty cool short clip that I found on youtube, showing Andy working on his Marilyn Monroe screen print artwork. This (and other similar artworks) was to form the basis of this art project.
I had already printed out black and white photocopies of all of the staff of Camps Bay Primary that we use in front of the office. Each learner was given one printout. The learners could use various techniques to edit each printout by adding colour and darkening lines. The first technique used by most of the learners was using oil pastel over the black and white face/hair etc. of the member of staff and then taking tissue paper and removing as much of it as possible. What you get is a softer colour that remains on the white areas of the page but where the black is printed, it cannot be seen.
Following Warhol’s style, the learners were encouraged to use bright colours and bold lines. They painted the background behind their member of staff using solid colour. They were then given two square pieces of cardboard, one coloured/black and the other slightly larger one, white. They used these to make a funky border for their artwork.
There was a little uncertainty about whether the staff would be happy to have the artworks up in the school exhibition but they were very supportive! The project was great fun.
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!
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!
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!
The 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.
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.
“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… 😛