Saturday, September 19, 2015

Art Theme, Week 4 (Shape)

So far, we have covered Color, Line, and Value as part of our Art Theme. Last week, we also added Shape to our repertoire of art elements, and we studied the work of Jackson Pollack. It ended up being one of the more fun (and messy) weeks so far!

I introduced the elements of Shape through a few read alouds (most notably, Tana Hoban's Shapes Shapes Shapes). We talked about regular shapes and irregular-- or organic-- shapes. We also read about the process of action painting while reading Action Jackson by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan. Then we incorporated the element of Shape into some action paintings of our own.

Our first project for the week was to create circle prints. We used a variety of circular objects from the recycling bin and our junk pile as the media for painting. The sprouts' favorite tools were probably the cardboard rolls wrapped in bubble wrap. Using an old cd for printing was also very popular. It ended up being a great way to explore how regular shapes could still be used to make dynamic artworks. The project was extraordinarily messy-- because, well, action art-- but it was also extraordinarily fun. We ended up with a few prints that I will seriously frame!

A selections of tools that we used for creating circle prints.

Second Sprout in action. This was a challenge she ended up really getting into.

First Sprout experimented with a lot of layering and color mixing for this project. It worked out well to use primary colors.

Our second project for the week was intended to use a different form of action painting that would result in more irregular shapes. I found this neat idea for using straws to blow paint across the page, so I though we'd give it a whirl. I should have paid more attention to the author's caveat on using tempera paints because we ended up not being able to blow the paint very well at all. Instead, we ended up improvising and using the straws in a more, um, direct fashion. We still got in some fun action painting but it wasn't quite the huge success we had hoped for.

Third Sprout mixes colors with a straw during our action painting project.

Second Sprout loves painting blocks of color.
Although the straw painting didn't work out as planned, it was still an opportunity for improvisation, which is completely valuable in it's own way. I think it's good for the sprouts to see that my ideas don't always go as planned! Next up, we will be studying the work of Alma W. Thomas and the element of Pattern. I'm looking forward to trying out some different media with the sprouts for Week 5, so please stay tuned. Until then,

Happy Learning!

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