Kandinsky for Kindergarten

Wow – is it fun looking at Kandinsky artwork with kindergarteners.  They are still so literal and try so hard to make an abstract work be something.  Kandinsky is such a great jumping off point for our line collages though.  We study line as an element of art.  Not only do we draw lines, and dance lines, we cut lines!

After the lines are cut from black construction paper, we paint a background with just colors, not trying to make this painting be something real.  When the painting is dry, we glue down our cut out lines.

Making is collage is fun, and so is saying the word – cooo-laaage.  See, you just spoke French!

Enjoy Shay’s ode to Kandinsky.

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John Nieto Inspired Animals

John Nieto is a contemporary Native American artist who paints animals with vibrant colors and bold lines. My students were especially drawn to the use of non-realistic colors.

My students used a similar style to paint animals, reptiles, fish, and insects.

After looking a Nieto’s art, students drew the animal of their choice in pencil on white construction paper.  To achieve the bold, black line work, we used the “Slick” black fabric paint to go over pencil lines.

When the fabric paint dried, students painted the animal with tempera paints – using some realistic colors combined with unexpected, totally unrealistic color choices.  Think violet ladybug.

After this paint dried, students carefully cut the animal out of the white paper, leaving the black outlines.

Students choose a pre-painted background paper that I spray-painted directly on construction paper, creating tonal gradations (ombre effects) in many color combinations.  After the animals were glued down, students added a collage element that showed a part of the background, such as seaweed for a fish or a rock for a lizard.

(This lesson was inspired by a lesson in a School Arts magazine – I think – from several years ago).

Handmade Books

My fabulous third graders had a great time making hand-made books that went along with their biome studies.  Each of four classes made a different type of book.  One class had a twig binding, two used an accordion book format, one was a very tricky origami book.  All turned out beautiful.

Students included visual journaling inside their books as well as creating stunning covers.