Monday, 19 January 2015

Painting water for Something Fishy

With my Y3 students, we also explored the element of line and used 'wavy' lines to help us draw water ripples.

We looked at many photographs of moving, rippling water and Paua / Abalone shell to inspire us.

The colours of these shells are so beautiful and we really wanted to capture the essence and iridescence of them.
The trick was to use metallic student acrylic paints on black cartridge paper and... Voila!

Gold and copper metallics also help to add the sparkle, but keep an eye on this bit as little ones LOVE anything shiny and will easily over-do it.

Visit TPT (here) and TNB (here) to view my step-by-step art lesson guide for Something Fishy (with New Zealand cultural line pattern focus). Assessment Rubric for Level 2 and student self reflection included.

Thank you for visiting,
With love, as always...

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Wassily Kandinsky - just for fun

As students completed their Kandinsky's Gardens paintings, I set out a printing learning center for them to experiment with more circles.

The center had:
- black paper strips (A3 triple-coated cartridge cut in half lengthwise). You need to provide white crayons for students to name their work :)

- plates of bright, pastel, metallic and fluro colours, and white

- a variety of circle shaped stamping objects, including ear buds, straws, lids, plastic rings, empty glue sticks, etc.

After a brief demonstration, paying particular attention to the work flow order, students were encouraged to experiment and print a composition of circles. 

Once complete and hanging up to dry, students could go back and experiment further. Soon they were finding new ways to make marks with the stampers.

Super fun!! and a cool display the variety and so vibrant  :)

 Thank you for visiting,
With love, as always

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Wassily Kandinsky - Kandinsky's Garden Art Unit

With all the provocation, exploration and skill practice done, the Y1s  started on their individual art pieces - our Kandinsky's Gardens.
The students were working on a Social Studies unit back in class relating to public spaces we use and a colourful garden, where we could play, sounded like a great ideas for an art piece.
Exemplars of rolling hills images available on line

We sketched up our rolling hills and sky and applied 2 different paint finishes. The students started painting the hills first to build their skills for smooth painting, as this area had a line texture applied to the wet paint so messy painting was less noticeable :)

Next they completed the sky hues as smoothly as they could. This gave them a background of  'cool' tones.
A photo I took in Arrowtown, South Island NZ - love Autumn colours

To make their flowers / trees, we first painted our own Red and Gold papers, and applied the line textures to the Red where they were more visible.

Once they cut out all their multiple sized discs, they were left with a great maths challenge. They had to sort by size and colour and layer their discs to make their flowers.
To make this manageable, I gave each students a named envelope to store their discs in between visits to the Art Space, and stored each class set of envelopes separately.

Great fine-motor development for little hands

The final step was to compose their discs within their painted landscapes and add branches or stems to their painting and voila! - Kandinsky's Gardens.

This 74 page step-by-step art lesson includes all instructions for Kandinsky's Garden as well as the materials for the provocation activities written about in previous posts. It can be purchased from

TPT(click here) and TNB(click here):

They will make a great impact of colour on your walls.

Thank you for visiting,
With love, as always

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Wassily Kandinsky - father of abstraction #4

I love introducing children to amazing and talented artists and I count Kandinsky as one of those unique individuals that I could spend ages exploring.

Once we started to take a closer look at the element of line with my little-ies, we explored his painting - Composition VIII...
Kandinsky regarded Composition 8 as the high point of his postwar achievement. In this work circles, triangles, and linear elements create a surface of interacting geometric forms. The importance of circles in this painting foreshadows the dominant role they would play in many subsequent works. Solomon Guggenheim purchased Composition 8, the first of more than 150 works by the artist to enter the Museum's collection.

With younger children, we worked as a group, finding many different lines types in this painting. For older students, I made them each their own copy for their art journal and asked them to label the ones they could identify, then we shared our findings as a class.

We followed this up with this journal age about lines (note 2 different levels)...
After exploring the lines types individually, students were challenged to draw a picture in the box completely composed of the line types listed above.
They came up with some great ideas :)

With older students we went even further and looked at how line types are used in cultural patterns in a specific way to define their unique and identifiable characteristics.
Here I projected up examples of Kowhaiwhai patterns (NZ Maori) and also gave each student their own copy.
We used different colours as we built up the seemingly complex patterns from the main elements through to the minor.

This exploration of cultural line lead into a unit on sea creatures with Y3 students which I will post more on later ...

With love as always...

Thank you for visiting,

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Wassily Kandinsky - father of abstraction #3

GOING FURTHER with Kandinsky's Several Circles:

After our small group discussions about this painting (see this previous post) I spent some time sharing with the students about Kandinsky and his life experiences. This can be run as a hot-seat activity (a common drama element), where the expert on a famous person (in this case, me) can dress in costume to represent the character that they are taking the role of. Students can then ask you questions as if interviewing the actual person, trying to get to know more about them.

Next I printed a small colour image for each student and we took some time to individually explore this painting in our sketchbooks by having a go at reproducing in to a larger scale. I found it fascinating to see what different elements stood out for each student and which elements they completely missed. A great activity to promote skills of observation, discrimination, comparison and contrast.
The following resource pages form part of this 74 page art unit available on line from TPT(click here) and TNB(click here). These art journal pages come in 2 levels - for younger and older students:

I really hope you find them useful too.

With love as always

Thank you for visiting,