Tag Archives: oil pastel

Modigliani Portraits of Mom

11 May

 

Modigliani portraits of mom

Our first graders just completed their Mother’s Day project – portraits of their Moms in the style of Amadeo Modigliani.

Day 1: Learn about Modigliani’s style; practice drawing.

We talked about how the artist’s style included almond-shaped eyes, long skinny noses, tiny lips, and long thin necks. Click here for my Modigliani powerpoint. Students did a practice drawing of Mom on copy paper.

I didn’t focus on Modigliani’s life as much of it was tragic. Click here to learn a bit more about Modigliani’s life.

Day 2: Draw portrait, color with oil pastel

We drew our portraits on watercolor paper using pencil. We colored with oil pastels. I offered several skin color options.  Students were encouraged to rub two colors of oil pastel in the background.

First grade results:

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I taught this project before – click here to see more examples of student work. This project would work really well for Father’s Day – Modigliani made many portraits of men.

Educate the parents

This year I sent the classroom teachers an explanatory email with images of Modigliani’s work and a link to his biography. The email will go home in the weekly classroom newsletter. (Why? Last year a mother commented she didn’t understand her gift – when I explained she said she had never heard of Modigliani).

Here is a 2-minute video of Modigliani’s portraits of women.

Enjoy!

Wayne Thiebaud: Geometric Desserts

21 Apr

Wayne Thiebaud Geometric Desserts

Who loves dessert? Everyone, including second graders. Each year I teach a Wayne Thiebaud-inspired dessert lesson. This year we created compositions focusing on repetition of geometric forms.

Dessert Geometry (and Common Core connections)

Studying Thiebaud's art is an opportunity to incorporate geometry into your lessons. Try and time your lessons to tie into to the math lesson in the general ed. classroom.

Studying Thiebaud’s art is an opportunity to incorporate geometry into your lessons. Try and time your lessons to tie into to the math lesson in the general ed. classroom.

We looked at images of Wayne Thiebaud’s dessert art, and identified shapes and forms. Here are some of the forms we identified:

  • Sphere:  gum balls, scoops of ice cream
  • Right Triangular Prism: pie wedges, cake wedges
  • Square Prism: petit four (see above image)
  • Cylinder: layer cake
  • Rectangular Prism: Jolly Ranchers candy!!! (OK, Thiebaud didn’t paint Jolly Ranchers. A student came up with that one) :)

The second grade was studying 3D forms, so I timed the art lesson just after this concept was introduced in the general ed classroom. Click here for the second grade common core geometry standards.  You can also review the first grade common core geometry standards.

Here is a one-minute video I made featuring the geometric forms in Thiebaud’s art:

The Art Project

Materials:

  • light cardboard tracers: triangle, ellipse, circle, rectangle
  • pencils/erasers
  • white paper, 12″x18″
  • oil pastels
  • tempera cakes/water/brushes

Use teacher-made or student-made tracers (we used both). Students traced their templates with a pencil onto the paper. The composition were encouraged to fill the paper with a single type of dessert in a variety of flavors. It was OK to have the dessert coming off the page, and it was also OK to overlap.

(Note: I know some art teachers disapprove of tracers; I think the use of them in this project reinforces the tie-in to geometry and repetition).

Students then colored their desserts with oil pastels, adding details such as sprinkles, cherries, and chocolate swirls. They outlined the desserts with oil pastels. Finally, they painted the background with a single color of tempera cake.

Second Grade results:

Second graders used circle, triangle, and ellipse tracers as a starting point for these artworks.

Second graders used circle, triangle, and ellipse tracers as a starting point for these artworks.

If your administration asks if you incorporate math (or STEM/STEAM) in your lesson plans, teach this one and happily reply ‘yes’. After all, shape and form are elements of art. This art project reinforces geometry in a fun way.

Additional Resources:

I wrote about these other Thiebaud projects on the blog:

The lesson was inspired by this lesson from the Parent Art Docents website.

 

Enjoy!

 

Have you ever incorporated math into an art lesson?

Matisse Goldfish

11 Apr

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I love to create Matisse-inspired art projects with kids. Matisse’s paintings are full of color, pattern and energy. Here is a project that combines features of two of his famous paintings, Woman in a Purple Coat and Goldfish.
Day 1: pattern hunt

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We begin with a ‘pattern hunt.’ I look around the room and find kids wearing patterned clothing. They stand up and we discuss their patterns. Then we take a very close look at Matisse’s Woman in a Purple a Coat, and tally up all the patterns one by one. I can’t tell you how excited those first graders became when they identified the patterned curtains and wallpaper in the painting. They tallied up 13 patterns, including the fruit on the table.

Day 2: create patterned paper
Materials:
White paper 12″x18″
Tempera cakes
Water cups, brushes
Oil pastels or construction paper

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Here is a fast way to create four patterns. Fold the white paper into quarters and open. Using tempera cakes, paint one quarter a solid color. Paint the remaining quarters with patterned lines (wavy, zig zag, etc.). Now take oil pastels and create a pattern on the solid quarter. The tempera cake dries so quickly you can draw on it in just a few minutes. Add oil pastel patterns to the remaining quarters. Place on drying rack.

Day 3: create a goldfish bowl

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Materials
Blue paper, 6″x10″
Oil pastels (or construction paper crayons)
Scissors
Glue sticks
Turn blue paper vertically and draw a ‘rainbow’ at the top using a black oil pastel. Draw a ‘smile’ under the rainbow. Cut along the top line to remove the corners and create the look of a round vase edge.
Add goldfish or other aquarium creatures. Glue to patterned background paper with glue stick.

First Grade Results:
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Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite Matisse lesson?

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Happy Earth Day!

22 Apr

 

eyes on the table

 

Happy Earth Day!  Our fifth graders created this whole class artwork using recycled CD cases colored with Sharpie and oil pastel. For more art projects using CD cases, click here and here.

I just entered the piece in an online art contest offered by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) (P.S. MCASD is free to everyone 25 and under. It’s a great place for young people to discover contemporary art).

It feels great to make fun art projects and keep ‘trash’ out of the landfill!

Enjoy!

 

Do you have a favorite recycled art project?

CD Case Portraits

3 Mar

CD case portraits

Do you remember those old-fashioned lockets with little portraits inside? Our fourth graders made modern-day double portraits using recycled CD cases, Sharpies and oil pastels.

Materials:

  • Clear plastic CD ‘jewel’ cases, with trays removed
  • Sharpies
  • pencils/erasers
  • oil pastels (we used Crayola Oil Pastel Sticks plus a few Pentel Oil Pastels for the skin tone)
  • paper for sketching
  • baby oil + q-tip (for correcting oil pastel mistakes)
  • rubbing alcohol + q-tip (for correcting Sharpie mistakes)

We began by looking a pictures of lockets from Google images.

lockets

We talked about how you could only put a couple of photos into your locket.  You had to choose carefully. Our students then sketched two portraits to fit their CD ‘lockets’: one self-portrait, plus one portraits of someone very special.

tracing the portrait in sharpie

  1. Trace around CD case with Sharpie, then sketch a portrait in pencil.
  2. Place sketch under CD case. Trace lines in Sharpie on OUTSIDE OF CASE.
  3. Completed line drawing of single portrait.
  4. Completed line drawing of double portraits.

It was really wonderful to see who the students drew for the second portrait. Most drew a parent or a sibling. Several drew their current or late pet. A couple of students drew religious portraits. My intention was to do an identity project, and I do believe we got a better idea of the student based on who he or she selected for that second portrait.

The last step was coloring with oil pastel INSIDE OF THE CASE . The oil pastel is messy and can smear – by putting the pastel on the inside we can trap that mess for tidy storage.

Tips for success:

Sharpie on the outside of the case, oil pastel on the inside of the case. Erase Sharpie mistakes with a little alcohol and a cotton ball; erase oil pastel mistakes with baby oil and a cotton ball or q-Tip.

color with oil pastel on the inside

 

The project took three 40-minute classes, including writing an artist statement. It was lots of fun and extremely successful. These look great displayed accordion style on a table, especially with a light coming through from behind. I think the 4th graders will be very proud to show their families their very special double-portrait ‘lockets’.

This would also be a great recycled art or Earth Day project. It would also be a GREAT Mother’s or Father’s Day gift!

P.S. I got double duty out of my 250 donated CD cases! Here is a Kandinsky circles project made from the discarded CD trays.

 

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