September 27

GRADE 3 SUNFLOWER PAINTINGS

These stunning sunflower paintings were created by the Grade 3 students after they looked at the sunflower paintings and drawings created by Vincent Van Gogh.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 57 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 57 2015

I found some images online from Vincent Van Gogh’s sketchbooks and I always show these to the students to reinforce how important their art journals are in the process of creating their artworks.

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secretmuseum_vangogh2

The students also looked at photos of sunflowers which grew outside our grade 5 classrooms earlier this year

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 15

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 15

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sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 11

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 8

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 8

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sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 3

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 4

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 4

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sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 6

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sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 10

and at photos inside a magnificent book by David Douglas Duncan titled ‘Sunflowers for Van Gogh’.

David Douglas Duncan war photographer

David Douglas Duncan war photographer

I was lucky to stumble across this lovely book for $3 at the Salvation

cover sunflowers for van gogh

cover sunflowers for van gogh

Army Opportunity Shop in Werribee. What a find! The author and photographer, David Douglas Duncan, fell in love with Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings and travelled to France to create a book devoted to the fields of sunflowers in France. I often find fantastic art books on the bookshelves of Op Shops and they are always really cheap! Op Shopping is one of my favourite pastimes as you just never know what you might stumble upon! The students loved looking through this book and it was out, on their work tables, throughout the creation of these wonderful artworks. They were fascinated by the variety of the sunflowers and that they were so different to the sunflowers that grew in our school garden beds.

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 14

sunflowers in cambridge primary school garden 2015 14

As you can see the grade 3 students spent many, many weeks on these art works and they are, rightfully, very pleased with them.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 60 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 60 2015

The students started by doing a 10 minute pencil draft in their journals of 4 different sunflowers – front view, side view, dying with petals dropping, not yet open.

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grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 72

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 70

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 70

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 68

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 68

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 67

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 67

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 75

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 75

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 83

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 83

All the students found these 4 views challenging but were willing to give it a go in their journal. They then bought their journal to me for a quick one on one chat about their drawings, full of praise, of course, and directed specifically at their ability level – differentiation!

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 94

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 94

They then drew a vase of sunflowers 10 minute pencil draft. And again bought this to me for a brief chat. Most children drew their sunflowers in the vase facing in different directions (hooray!) as the brief practice of the four views freed them up to do this. I did not make any direct references to how they were to draw their vase in their journal, or that they were to include the four views from their previous drawing. It was all learning by doing – and isn’t that the best kind of learning!

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 90

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 90

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 89

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 89

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 88

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 88

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 85

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 85

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 81

grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 81

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grade 3 sunflower drawing painting 2015 76

So that is 2 steps before they could even commence painting!

The students commenced by drawing a faint pencil line at about a third of the way up from the bottom of the paper. This gave them a line between the tabletop and the wall. This was suggested by a student who pointed out that Vincent had given his flower vase somewhere to sit by creating a table top rather than the vase just finishing at the bottom of the painting – hooray, hooray for improved observational skills! There was a huge variety in the colours used and some children created fancy tablecloths while others decorated the background wall. Most students painted their background with dry block paints giving it a wishy washy watercolour appearance.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 59 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 59 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 47 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 47 2015

I usually write up a basic framework to create the art work during discussion with my first class at that grade level. I then revise and add to the framework through discussion with the other grades. All students are well aware that it is only a guideline and they are free to pursue their own ideas throughout the process. This allows the students to work independently, with a reference up the front if they need it, as they work their way back and forth, stopping and starting, between parts of the complex work. I scribble in alternatives at each step, sometimes as they appear, and make sure the materials are available on the resource table, to aid the students independence.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 48 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 48 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 19 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 19 2015

The next step was the sunflower stems. Most students chose to print the stems onto the background using cardboard scraps. Again, this created a huge variety of different looking stems.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 14 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 14 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 3 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 3 2015

They then painted the sunflowers carefully, most students leaving one stem without a head. Most students chose to paint their sunflowers using basic school acrylic paint. This accentuated the difference between the wishy washy background walls and the stark, bright, solid colours of the sunflowers.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 2 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 2 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 23 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 23 2015

The 3D sunflower head was made using Model Magic

model magic

model magic

which is an air dry clay which is very light and can be painted when it is dry. You can get it from Cavalier Art Supplies in Geelong. You can also use Paper Magic Clay

paper magiclay

paper magiclay

which is created by Zart Art in Box Hill, Victoria, Australia as an alternative to Model Magic. My students have used both successfully. We found, as the weeks marched on, and some students had not created their Model Magic flowers, that it worked just as well when we started cutting corners to get finished. It was just as successful if you glued the flower on as soon as you made it, rather than wait for it to air dry, and you could paint it before it air dried as well.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 64 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 64 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 13 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 13 2015

To finish their amazing work of art the students cut and decorated a vase and made sure it was big enough to cover the stems! This was an hilarious learning adventure all on it’s own. I showed the students how to fold a kinder square in half, draw half a vase on one side, cut it out and get a whole vase. The shocked faces when their vase was way too thin or better still, in two separate pieces, as they had drawn their vase along the wrong side of the folded paper, were priceless! I am always pointing out to the students that mistakes are part of their learning so it was fantastic to watch them fiddling with the two sad, separate pieces of their vase, to figure out where they went wrong, so they wouldn’t do it again.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 45 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 45 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 46 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 46 2015

It was a very long, involved process from start to finish for this work, with many stops and starts in between, as work had to dry completely between many of the steps.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 44 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 44 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 43 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 43 2015

All the grade 3 students worked brilliantly and moved independently onto different parts of the work while waiting for other bits to dry.

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grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 15 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 14 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 14 2015

I am very proud of how committed the grade 3 students are to their art and how well they used their art time!!!

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 23 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 23 2015

And I’m sure you will agree that these are stunning artworks, some of which took 8 sessions to complete. All students, regardless of the level of their ability, were proud of their achievements.

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 17 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 16 2015

And they made a gorgeous display. I can’t wait to put them all up at the art show!  The Cambridge Primary School Art Show is  on the 23rd and 24th October!!! Just 4 weeks away – aaaggghhhhh!

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 42 2015

grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 42 2015

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grade 3 van gogh sunflowers painting 41 2015

Thanks for reading and please leave a comment.

Shell

 

July 5

Grade 6 Optical Illusion drawing

I was looking for a drawing activity for my grade 6 at the start of the year and found this on my pinterest board op art that I had pinned ages ago.

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Thank you to We Heart Art who had a brilliant step by step procedure on their blog. It was a fantastic activity as it required few materials and soon had the students totally absorbed in their work.

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I must admit to being horrified at the grade 6 students poor ruler skills so was glad to provide them with this much needed practice!

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After looking at this set of samples all agreed that they would like to put themselves in the illusion, so when they were tired of ruling and colouring neatly they used their ipads to take photos of each other falling into 3e6ab44ae72303d30cf33c62c09b25e3what we all thought looked like a mysterious portal to somewhere else.

The photos were then to be emailed to me so I could have them printed off for their next art session. It was supposed to be so simple but the amount of students that did not have their email set up and running on their ipad was ridiculous. I also pointed out to the students that as they have their ipads all the time they could take their photo and send it to me any time rather than waste their art session doing this bit. A few students did this and emailed me their photos from home but most forgot about it until their next Visual Arts session.

I am certainly not the type of Visual Arts teacher that spoon feeds her students so they were responsible for getting their photo to me for printing. It became plainly obvious fairly quickly that there were lots of students who had forgotten all about getting their email settings sorted out and/or taking their photos in their own time. I absolutely refuse to fuss over students who don’t fulfill a simple requirement in a timely manner. Learning to use your one hour of art time well is part of being a responsible student but not having had this  particular cohort of students for a long time ( I have taught Prep – 3 the last few years) it was clear I was going to have to spend a lot of time pushing them to become more responsible for their own learning.

They did get there in the end and all were proud of their finished pieces which made an amusing display in the main hallway!

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Grade 6 optical illusion drawing

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 20

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 18

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 18

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 8

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 8

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 10

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 10

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 16

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 16

Grade 6 optical illusion 2015 L

Grade 6 optical illusion 2015 Look out Georgia

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 17

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 17

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 19

Grade 6 optical illusion drawing look out 2015 19

Positives:

  • Fantastic activity for the start of the year
  • needs little in the way of materials
  • many interesting discussions about colour, shading, line etc
  • students very supportive and encouraging of each others ideas
  • hilarious acting in the photos
  • practicing ruling lines
  • practicing cutting tricky shapes
  • practicing terrible colouring skills!

Negatives:

  • Some students were incredibly sssllllooooowwwwww to get this finished!
  • internet, email, etc never work when you want them to
  • many beautifully drawn backgrounds without photos to finish them off due to students not taking responsibility to get this bit done

Thanks for looking and I’m sure the grade 6 students would love it if you left them a comment!

Shell

September 29

GRADE 1 CLAY EXPERIMENTING WITH TOOLS

This is what happened when I gave the Grade 1 children a tub of wooden clay tools for the first time. Up until this stage they had only been using their hands and fingers as tools. I explained that this was a time to try out and experiment with the tools and see what they could do with them.

It was interesting how some of the children madly textured their work while others incorporated the tools into their finished items. Hey, I didn’t tell them that they couldn’t do that!

Quite a few of the children created a clutch of a few small items rather than make one large piece, and they all knew that none of this work was going to be kept but I would try to photograph their experiments before their session finished.

We certainly had a terrific discussion after everyone had walked aroud and looked at each other’s work.

“How did you do that?”

I wish I had thought of that!”

“I’m going to try to do mine like that next time!”

How did you make that shape?”

“Can we use the clay tools like that?”

“I made my clay flat like a picture but next time I want to make a fat shape that sits up on the table.”

And just in case you were like me who mistakenly assumed this was a nice tree – this is the Tower of Isengard from the Lord of the Rings!!!

September 29

NEW SCRAP PAPER COLOUR BOXES

I have always been really good at using up scrap paper, and encouraging all the children to do the same but have always been annoyed by the huge box of mess the old scrap box always ended up in.

Well, OK, it was never quite that bad but it was still annoying!

Here is my solution which seems to be working out really well.

I purchased a set of magazine boxes in bright colours and I already had a set of images of coloured paint tins which I was going to use for a display.  I stuck the paint tin pictures on with some clear contact and

ended up with a

 and

set of scrap paper boxes which the children seem to be using carefully as they think they look special!!!

And this is my Georgie fiddling around with them and helping me to sort them out – thanks Georgie! XXX

September 29

MY AVATAR

It took me ages to get around to creating an avatar for myself that I could use on Edmodo for school, and on this blog, and other things. I made sure I gave myself a pointy chin where it used to be before those other chins moved in and hid it, and my new blue glasses!

And then I went and had a radical haircut and got my new BLUE HAIR!!!

So now I have to give my avatar BLUE HAIR – and it will probably take me another age to figure out how to do that!!!

 

May 2

Grade 3 incised and decorated clay slabs

Last term, yes, in the incredibly hot weather, was when I was working with clay with Grade 3. The Main Art Room was a dustbowl for most of the term as the clay dried out and broke down so quickly but I had to persevere as we can only do clay activities in our Main Art Room. I thought I did pretty well as I only decided I couldn’t face it on one extremely hot afternoon, so that grade drew pictures with the air conditioner and fans on full blast!

The first skill to be learned was how to roll a slab to an even thickness, then we used tools and our fingers to incise into the clay as well as adding extra bits on using slip and correct joining technique. We worked on all these skills over a few weeks and this also gave us time to experiment with the type of picture we wanted to create on our slabs as we packed the clay back into a cube at the end of each session.

 I can’t stress enough how valuable it was to make time during each session to all walk around the tables (not touching, of course) and look at what everybody else was doing. The discussion after this was always intense and interesting and lots of children decided to try something new next week for their picture after they had seen what their fellow artists were doing. When I had photographed several of the slabs during these sessions I started to show these images to all the grade 3’s after we had looked at the work from their own group.

Most of the slabs in these photos were practice slabs and didn’t end up getting fired so I’m really glad I photographed them when I could!