First Grade Meets Frederick

First graders learned all about neutral colors, tints, and shades this week.  Leo Lionni’s book Frederick was the perfect introduction to neutral colors.  First graders decided that neutral colors don’t care if they are warm or cold, primary or secondary; neutral colors are “just in the middle”.

We began by mixing white and black to create neutral gray colors, learning about tints and shades along the way.  Next we learned a fancy new painting technique called “scumbling” – ask a first grader how to “scumble” color to make some rocks for Frederick!

Their finished Fredericks are super cute!

Fifth Grade Chancay Figures

Fifth Grade artists learned about the ancient kingdom of Chancay, a Pre-Columbian civilization located along the coast of Peru.  Our artists created model magic figurines that were inspired by the ceramics made by the Chancay people.

150px-Idolo_Cultura_Chancay Clay idol from the Chancay culture.

IMG_2777 They began with “thumbnail” sketches in their sketchbooks.

IMG_2768 Creating the background – a bit of recycle art with cardboard and some awesome texture made from a donation of window shade samples.

IMG_2765 IMG_2766 IMG_2767 IMG_2774Creating and painting the Chancay figures using Model Magic.  Students recalled our earlier color unit and talked about Earth tones and neutral colors.

IMG_2792 IMG_2793 IMG_2794 IMG_2795Finished pieces.  Aren’t they wonderful?

Michigan Visual Arts Standards: 

Compare and contrast works of art as belonging to
particular cultures, times, and places.  

Demonstrate how history, culture, and the visual arts
interrelate in making and studying works of art.


Acorn Art

My first grade artists will be exploring color over the next few weeks.   We began with a little color “play” as we created these beautiful giant acorns.  We talked about earth tone colors, warm colors, and I discovered that some of my smart artist were familiar with neutral colors!

We read two books that inspired us during this project – Lois Ehlert’s “Nuts To You” and “Micawber” by John Lithgow.

We also examined lots of acorns from Mrs. Brouwer’s oak trees.  Then it was time to draw…and paint…and add texture details.

I love their acorns – and can’t wait to get them hung up in the hallway.

This lesson was inspired by a blog posting from a fellow art teacher….when I figure it out, I’ll include the link….

And here it is….belated thanks to Dali’s Moustache!  Check it out, here’s the link to this fun blog:

Dali’s Moustache 

First Grade Picassos

First graders have been learning about Pablo Picasso and cubism this week.  They’ve had great fun talking about Picasso’s portraits that show many views of the face at the same time.

We created our own Picasso portraits, and included a review of warm, cool, and neutral colors as we painted our portraits.

First Grade Picassos First Grade Picassos First Grade Picassos First Grade Picassos

The final step was to go over all of our lines with black oil pastel so our shapes would pop out.  This turned out to be the most difficult step – those lines kept hiding, and Mrs. Brouwer kept sending everyone back to find one more line!

First Grade Picasso First Grade Picasso First Grade Picasso