Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Little Perspective and Discoveries Made!

A few entries ago, I showed some 4th graders painting with watercolors on the beignning of their "Watercolor Discovery" project. I did this project for my 2nd-4th graders with a simplied version of the project for the Kindergartners and 1st Graders.

This is Mikelle's painting that I had her do ahead a time as since she's in 3rd grade (not at the same school), the kids could see an example from their own skill level. I love doing this type of art, but it would just make the students feel overwhelmed if they saw my example as opposed to a peer's example who happens to be around their same age. This also gives Mikelle the opportunity to have more art exposure as her school doesn't have a separate Art special, but they do art projects with their regular classroom teacher. I'm okay with that arrangement with her school, because the district we live in has their elementary schools as K-5 and are exelling schools. When she gets to middle school, she'll be able to take art. Whereas the district I work for has schools lumped into K-8 and as an art teacher for K-8, I feel spread very thin. Not to mention, the little kids are around the older ones and it is often not a good thing.

But as usual, I digress. Back to "Watercolor Discovery" The instructions were to just put colors together and not try to make a picture of anything recognizable. Most of the time when we sit down to start an art project, we have an "end result" in mind. But with this Watercolor Discovery lesson, the idea was to see what you end up with. After the watercolor paint dried and they returned to my class a week later, they would begin to incorporate simple line and shape to their watercolor "blobs". The results were phenomenal! Below the larger Grade 2-4 examples, are some Kindergarten and 1st Grade examples. They received the same lesson, just simplified.

4th Grader's finished work:
Adding the lines to his dried watercolor....
And the end results!

Some more beautiful Grade 2, 3 and 4th grade examples:

I told this 4th grader that she was going to have a difficult time getting this one back from me. Isn't it beautiful? Her little sister is in kindergarten and made one too (just smaller and lines with black crayon instead of black Sharpie).

Kindergarten and 1st Grade's "discoveries"

Shifting gears, grades 5-8 were challenged a bit more in the recent weeks as we brought on a little more precision and -dare I say it - "math" (*gasp*) into the equation. However, despite some of the expected frustrations, I think the end result was a success! They were to use one point perspective to design their own "hallway". I even had 7th and 8th grade challenge themselves more if they wanted, and if they felt they could take it on, they could take the assignment another step up and do their own "Initial City".


  1. Those watercolors are just beautiful!

    I always loved doing the perspective drawings in art class, too.

  2. Very very cool! You've got a lot of talent under you! Looks like *such* a fun project too. tupoi

  3. I still remember an art project I had to do in 8th grade, back when I was convinced I wasn't artistic at all. Your post reminded me of it!

    We took a piece of paper and had to draw 5 lines that crossed the paper but did not cross each other. We could draw them any way but were encouraged to make them kind of wavy rather than straight.

    I drew 5 diagonal lines with a gentle wave to them.

    Then we had to look at the 5 lines and "see" something there (like seeing a figure ina cloud). Then we had to draw and color to "bring out" what we saw and make it identifyable.

    I saw a fish swimming in a stream! I had a lot of fun actually making the fish apparent to the naked eye.

    Thanks for the great memory!

  4. Ooh, I like that one too! Very cool. (Makes me think of Peter Max, for some reason.)