Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Brown Bag City

A fantastic recycled materials project!

Materials needed:
brown grocery bags
inside of security envelopes (patterns)
newspaper for stuff
newspaper cut down for collaging

The focus is on the skyline contour, windows, signs, and the verticality of the city.

Amate Bark Cloth

The second graders were given a choice of a lizard or a tropical bird to use as the focus of their Amate Bark Cloth.
We used oil pastel on brown craft paper that we wrinkled and dipped in water to feel like cloth.

Complementary Colors and Repeat

The Kindergarten classes created little pictures out of glued wood pieces on tag board.  They had to repeat them in the coordinating boxes.
Then we decorated the pictures while focusing on the complementary color duo blue/orange.

Duck Pond

The kindergarten classes go to the Public Garden in Boston and do the Make Way for Ducklings tour.  When they return I like to make duck pond pictures with them.  We focus on the difference between 'above' and 'below'.  
I teach them how to draw ducks and make suggestions for what to draw under the water and above the pond.  They trace in skinny sharpie, color with construction paper crayons, and then paint over the water with blue watercolor.


I did this lesson with four different classes, all of my students did an amazing job with this project!

It began as an observational drawing study of tree branches I brought into the classroom.
We discussed organic lines and texture and did some practice sketches.
The students had to follow this order when drawing:
-Make a 'map' of the branch (just sketch a light line to mark how the branch grew)
-Add thickness
-Add value and texture.
I taught my students how to use charcoal pencils, create texture, and shading for this.
Everyone had to have the main part of the branch touch one side of the paper.
One class I had the students draw the leaves on the same paper. The other classes I did the leaves as a separate part of the project and we cut them out and glued them on. We focused on contour drawing and how to draw the veins.

The leaves were painted with watercolor and were a study of warm analogous colors.
(If I do this project again I liked doing the leaves separate and attaching them last better than drawing them on the paper.)

Before the students painted the background I had them outline around the branch in white crayon.  This created a boundary between the background and the branch which protected their charcoal drawn branches.

The backgrounds were painted with cool colors.

One of my brilliant students asked when we began the project if we could put them together to form one big tree.  Fantastic idea! I said sure.  When we completed the artwork we worked together to make large tree trunks and then I arranged the branches so that they linked together.  We had three huge trees around the school. One I labeled with all the things the kids had learned.