Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Art Theme, Week 1 (Color)

I managed to make it back for a post this week! Small victories, amiright?

I wanted to start-- and hopefully finish-- a series over the next few weeks describing some of the projects we are doing for our current thematic unit on Art. We got into doing a lot of art projects over the summer, and I wanted to keep that momentum going into the school year. I also wanted to find a way to introduce famous artists and bring in some exploration on the elements of art. Our art theme has the added bonus of requiring lots of the fine-motor practice Second Sprout needs for Kindergarten without miles of piles of worksheets.

We kicked off the first week of our new Art Theme by exploring color. I read a neat tutorial that recommended using old, washable markers to create homemade, liquid watercolors. I thought we'd clean out the marker bin and use the primary colors to create and mix our own set of watercolor paints.

Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh was the perfect read-aloud for color mixing.
The color mixing was a huge success, but unfortunately, I accidentally thinned the watercolors out just a bit too much. They were still completely usable, but the colors were very subtle and the kids got frustrated with the muted palette. We'll know what to do differently next time!

The second component of our Art Theme for the week was learning about the work of Frida Kahlo. We read the book Frida by Jonah Winter, and we studied several of her self-portraits. While we looked at her self-portraits, we came up with a list of characteristics that made them interesting. Here are the three big ideas we came away with:

1) Frida filled the page, whether it was with her whole body, her upper body, or her face.
2) Frida used lots of detail.
3) Frida used lots of color.

Our culminating project for the week as a self-portrait incorporating the things we had noticed from Frida Kahlo's paintings.It tied in nicely with our discussion of color, and the kids really enjoyed experimenting with the vibrancy of watercolor pencils for their portraits. We loved the results so much! The sprouts are more than happy to lead their portfolios with the self-portraits, which was all part of my evil plan exactly what I was hoping for all along.

First Sprout's self-portrait (watercolor pencil and dot marker on watercolor paper).

Second Sprout's self-portrait (watercolor pencil and dot marker on watercolor paper).

This week (which will be next week's post), we are enjoying learning about the element of line and the works of artist Vincent van Gogh. Until then,

Happy Learning!

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