Grade 5 – 3D Pixel Pokemon

This was a very nice project and the kids really enjoyed it! They were asked to first create their own, unique Pokemon. They were then given a piece of mathematical paper (with a grid) and told to lightly draw their pokemon on this paper in pencil.

They were then shown how to transform this organic shape into one made out of square pixels. Once they had done this they were told how to make these pixels ‘3D’. They had to draw a line from each corner going diagonally left and up to the next corner of their grid paper (but not going through their Pokemon!) Once they had all of these corner bits done, they could link the corners with a line. It took a little explaining to get this process going but, once I had shown them an example or two of me doing it, the learners got it! I loved their creations!

Grade 4 – Where the wild things are!

02“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… 😛

Grade 5 – Collagraph

Collagraphing is a printing process where an artist sticks various things onto a flat plate and then uses this (now bumpy plate) to print from.

Our grade 5s were asked to first do a creative excercize around the idea of “Adventure is out there!” They first did a random association excercise where they had to come up with related concepts before doing a brainstorm. From these, they came up with an idea for their final image.

They each got a small block of cardboard where they drew their idea in pencil. Taking extra cardboard they cut out some of their idea and built it onto the initial board so that it stuck out. We then went outside and looked for other things to stick onto our boards. Some of the learners boards looked like an artwork in themselves!

We then used tempera paint to ‘ink’ them up and printed from them! Though the prints often don’t come out as the learners expected them to, they were very beautiful. We all really enjoyed this project. I kept a few of the inked up printing plates as they looked very cool themselves! Initially we just used one colour and painted only those bits we had stuck on but found that painting different sections in different colours also looks cool and painting the entire base board can also look nice!

Grade 7 – Keith Haring

I discovered Keith Haring a number of years ago and have been looking forward to doing a project on him ever since! He was a rebelious artist who stood for many important but controversial topics in ways that sometimes made the authorities a little unhappy.

His style is simple to do but also has great scope for creative interpretation. The learners were first introduced to Haring as well as the use of rhythm as a principle of design. They were then given a white piece of paper on which they were asked to make a silhouette of themselves…this soon changed to a silhouette of something that is meaningful to them. 06The filled this with different small, living and moving characters. They did this first in pencil before adding colour. It was up to the learners to use their own creativity to add whatever they wanted to finish off these artworks!

 

Grade 5 – My eye

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.

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 4 – Colourful Townships

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.