Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fish Exploration Part 1

rubber fish
First grade artists have begun a fish study. They recently went on a fishing trip and we are building off of that excitement! Today, we began drawing fish from observation. In lieu of real fish, we use the rubber fish set that I inherited when I came to PS 58. They are made for printmaking, but I like to utilize them in observational drawing units because of the details they include. We looked at fish created by Bruno Munari and Hokusai.

left: Hokusai print, right: Munari illustration
Students noticed that the Hokusai piece was more likely drawn from observation because the artist included so many details. Our goal was to include as many details as we could. Here are a few small drawings that will kick off our unit:

Check back to see where this will lead!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kindergarten Ink Paintings

Kindergarten artists have been working on drawing with a brush and ink. We have been practicing including details in our work. In one class, they created drawings of birds inspired by the book Feathers for Lunch. The following week, we looked at rubber fish and drew the details that we noticed. Then, we added chalk pastel. It was a new experience for a lot of students to work with the dusty material and the colors came out beautifully!

Monday, May 2, 2011

After School Food Collages

In my third and fourth grade after school mixed media class, students studied the work of Wayne Thiebaud and created painted paper collages of food. They first created a number of colors and textures with paint and then used these to find the perfect papers to create their appetizing collages. Here are a few examples:

Then George used the extra paper to make a monster:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Newsletter

Happy May! Here is the newsletter for this month:

Studio 220 Newsletter: May 2011

I can hardly believe it is May! I hope everyone had a wonderful April vacation. We have a ton of exciting things going on in the art studio. Here is what each grade is working on:

Kindergarten artists are exploring looking and drawing, or observational drawing. We will explore the work of a number of artists who worked from observation including one of my personal favorites, Beatrix Potter. Students will work from a number of subjects and in many different media. We will explore how we can create texture and shape with drawing.

First grade artists are going to be starting a sculpture unit. We will do a study of fish, exploring artists who were inspired by fish such as Hokusai. Students will create drawings from observation, collages and a plaster wrap sculpture of their own fish. We will be exploring moving from 2D to 3D, how artists use drawings in the sculptural process and how you can create form from paper and cardboard. Check out the Studio 220 Blick Wishlist ( to help us get the rigid wrap for this project.

Second grade artists are working on a painted paper collage project. Inspired by their science and Earth Day studies of birds of prey (How amazing were those birds?!!), second graders will create their own birds of prey from painted paper. We will look at the work of illustrator Kim Scafuro, a Brooklyn artist who creates collages of painted paper. Students will explore the textures and patterns that are common on owls, hawks, eagles and other birds of prey. Next, students will explore creating a variety of values and textures using only black ink on paper. This paper will then be used for the students’ final birds of prey collages.

Fourth graders are studying the work of Wayne Thiebaud. We will explore how and why this artist chose food as one of his primary subjects. Students will rely on their recent study of form to create pastel drawings of food and cakes inspired by Thiebaud’s work. Students will learn about complimentary colors and use them in their final compositions. We will take what we have learned in painting about mixing colors and apply this to dry media.

Fifth graders are working on animal paintings inspired by Australian aboriginal paintings. Students are exploring painting with non-traditional materials and creating patterns using only dots. Students will explore symbolism and how this can be incorporated into their artwork.