How do artists create an illusion of depth in their art? Muralists know how. Our fourth graders are creating a mural of the kelp forest habitat. To practice, we picked two items from the kelp forest – giant kelp and garibaldi (the California state marine fish) – and drew each one three times.
We started out by defining the foreground, middle ground and background. Next we talked about:
*placement (objects placed lower on the page appear closer)
*Size (larger objects appear closer)
*Warm and cool colors (warm colors come forward and cool colors recede)
*Value (lighter objects appear further away)
The students then viewed their completed sketches from a distance. They were happy to see the illusion if depth in their sketches.
Nice work! I think they are ready to paint the mural….
Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is this week. I just saw a beautiful, colorful DDLM altar at the Mingei International Museum in San Diego that I just had to share. The altar was made by a group including representatives of the Mexican Consulate in San Diego, so you know it is authentic!
The altars are in memory of a departed loved one. This one is in memory of Tin Tan, a Mexican film star who appeared in over 100 films. The signage reads:
Day of the Dead, one of the annual festivities celebrated by Mexicans, is a result of pre-Hispanic and Christian traditions. It is a day where families and friends get together to remember and honor loved ones who are no longer among us. This celebration begins by setting up an altar containing favorite objects and mentors that reveal the personality of the departed, their talents and preferences. Other classic elements of the Day of the Dead altar are flowers, drinking water, food, fruits and salt, each with a special location and meaning within the altar. The installed experiential space is valuable for its historical and cultural traditions that contribute to praising both the person the altar is dedicated to and the cultural heritage of Mexico.
Special Notice for San Diego Teachers and Parents:
Teachers: Do you want to take your class to the Mingei Museum? The Mingei provides free admission for all K-12th grade tours as long as they’re scheduled in advance.
Parents: The Mingei is free to San Diego county residents and military the third Tuesday of the month. Monthly Family Sundays offer admission and fun activities for just $5/family. Go to www.mingei.org for more details.
Are you creating any special projects for Dia de los Muertos?
Gorgeous animated short video ‘Dia de los Muertos’ by three college animation majors from Ringling College of Art and Design.
If you are looking for a fun video for Dia de los Muertos, please watch this beautifully animated short film about a little girl who visits the land of the dead, where she learns the true meaning of the Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos.
Produced by computer animation students Ashley Graham, Kate Reynolds, and Lindsey St. Pierre at Ringling College of Art and Design as their senior thesis. Student Academy Award Gold Medal winner, 2013!!
We watched the ‘Super Chameleon’ video on YouTube. The kids were amazed to see the chameleon change colors over and over. Then we took a close look at the chameleon books from our school’s media center. Next it was on to a directed draw. I modeled the basic contour of the chameleon’s head, body, tail and legs. Kids started in pencil, then outlined in Sharpie. They were free to use Sharpie to add their own details (stripes, patterns, dots, spikes) based on their reference photos.
Day 2: Color your chameleon
Kids used watercolor pencils dipped in water to color in the chameleons. The watercolor pencils were great for coloring in all the stripes and little spaces. The colors turned out really vibrant! The final step was to paint the background a single color using pan watercolors.
I encouraged everyone to stick to an analogous color scheme for their chameleons. Some kids did, some didn’t, but they all turned out beautiful. After all, a chameleon can be any color.
We tried a similar chameleon project last year using Crayola markers: click here to see more results.
Overall this was a popular, super successful project with minimal prep and clean up. It was my first watercolor pencil project, but it won’t be my last.