I think out of every project I teach - this one has to be one of my absolute favorites. EVERY child is successful on some level.. and each piece of artwork created is gorgeous. This is one of those projects that hangs up in the hallway and gets "oooohhhs" and "aahhhhs" every time a class and/or teachers walk by! :)
|Lovely hall display!|
|I am always mesmerized by this every |
time I go to Wal-Mart. :)
Then I show them an image showing a paper filled with progressively darker concentric blue circles... and ask them how they think the artist created this. Because the circles appear to get darker.. the kids naturally say "the artist created shades!" Ahhh but this one is a tricky one I tell them... because black was never added to the blue! Instead the color blue was added to the color white until it became a pure blue by the time it reached the final outer circles on the page. Then comes the awesome animated part of my PPT - I created a bunch of slides which demonstrates how to slowly add blue to the color white to paint progressively 'purer' blues; then I demonstrate in real life.
Each set of students gets a paint palette top (the clear plastic circular lids work awesome for holding paint puddles) and a puddle of white and blue tempera paint. Students then begin by painting their pure white moon in the upper part of their page (exactly where is up to them). Then they dip the tip of their paintbrush into their blue puddle and slowly mix the blue paint on their brush into the white puddle (this creates a very light tint of blue). They use this to paint a concentric circle around their white moon. Then they repeat this process until their entire page is filled with progressively darker blues.
Once they are done, our paintings go into the drying rack until the next day!
On day two.. we begin by drawing a horizon line on our papers for our winter scene to take place in. We talk about how the horizon line should be further up the page so that we can show a lot of the foreground and middle ground in our pictures. Then they paint this space in with white tempera. The white tempera doesn't completely cover the blue background opaquely.. which ends up actually being a really nice and desired effect as the various streaks of blue helps to create the illusion of depth.
Once the white ground is painted, we go back to the projector and talk about what silhouette is (the dark shape of someone or something visible against a lighter background). I then ask students to think about a time that they've seen a silhouette. Lots of my students answer with 'trees at sunset' which is a great answer as it leads us into what we are going to paint next - bare tree silhouettes.
Painting bare trees can definitely be a challenge for all students.. but if you break it down for them and show them what not to do.. it helps them to be a bit more successful with their paintings.
I tell them to start with the trunk of their tree... then start adding 'Y' branches onto their trunk (they are just branches that create a 'Y' shape on their trunks. As the branches get higher up on the tree.. they will appear to become skinnier and more sparse. I also remind them that trees grow UPWARD.. so when they are adding branches.. they shouldn't draw upside-down 'Y's and that trees typically do not grow completely symmetrical.. so they want their branches to be somewhat asymmetrical. :)
|"Snowmen at Night"|
by Caralyn Buehner
|See! The shadow here is created with |
dark green - not black!
Finally, on the last day we begin by talking about cast shadows and details to add to our winter landscapes. We talk once again about directional light.. and how the light from the moon will cause a cast shadow off of the figures in our landscape (like the snowmen and trees). We then also predict where the cast shadow will fall (based on the positioning of the moon on each students paper).
As the students begin adding cast shadows and details to their papers with colored pencils, I read the book "Snowmen at Work" (the sequel to "Snowmen at Night"). This book is filled with more bright colorful decorative pages of snowmen doing various jobs. It's great inspiration for the kids!
|Picasso'esque snowmen. I LOVE it! :)|
I can't wait until my next rotation of 2nd graders so I can do this project over AGAIN! Be prepared for more image posts! :)