Saturday, December 27, 2014

CYOA India Wrap Up

I have some random photos of student work that didn't fit into other posts hat I really want to show you, so here's the wrap up of students' choice based Indian culture projects.
The peacock print above turned out really cool. We liked the three colors together so decided to mount them on a large piece of black construction paper.
One of the starting points was Indian "miniature" paintings. Miniature paintings, as the name implies, were small scale. They sometimes depicted scenes of royal life or told stories. This reminded some students of fairy tales, which according to some claims originated in India. This 4th grader wanted to make a drawing of a princess that looked like she belonged in a fairy tale.
This drawing was inspired by the patterns of mehndi and Warli tribal art.
One of my 5th grade boys wanted to draw a Bengal Tiger but add patterns. He really explored what he could do with oil pastels and mixed in colored pencils for some the patterns. Though some students were reminded of King Tut's mask and thought it looked more Egyptian than Indian, we were all pleased with the result.
One of my 6th graders who works very methodically spent many class periods on this project. I knew his work habits so suggested that he draw half of the Taj Mahal as I offered to show him how to transfer the drawing to the other half of the paper. I was so glad that he got something completed!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Warli Tribal Art

When I was researching Indian Art and Craft for our Cultural Heritage focus this year, I came across a blurb about art from the Warli tribe. Their artwork has a lot of pattern and repetition of simple shapes. The figures of people are made from geometric shapes and they are usually working on day to day tasks. While most intermediate students gravitated toward the starting points of animals or mehndi, a few students were excited about drawing people without the intimidating details.
The students used the style of Warli tribal art and depicted something that was of interest to them. The artwork above is a drawing of a space station made with white colored pencil on brown construction paper. Some students drew scenes of their lives, like recess, and interests, like Minecraft. 
You can see some pictures of Warli tribal murals here!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

"Space" Drawings

One of my goals this year was to help students understand simple ways to show space in their artwork. I had some students put their hands together and say "space" as they moved their hands apart to remind them that in art, space means distance. 
With 1st-3rd grade, we talked about layers and overlapping being simple tools for developing space, as well as making objects in the distance smaller and higher on the paper. Even just raising the horizon line a little bit above the focal point instead of having that focal point (a house, a person, etc.) on top of the line creates a bit of distance. Lots and lots of students have all of a sudden become interested in landscapes.
There have been a lot of drawings as well as some wax-resist and mixed media paintings.
It has really made a big difference in improving their compositions!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

CHW India: Animals

Indian animals were one of the starting points for my 4th-6th graders' Cultural Heritage Week projects this year. India has some really beautiful, interesting animals. On my "choose your own adventure" bulletin board, one section had a list of Indian animals and some facts, like that the Bengal Tiger is the country's national animal and the Peacock is the national bird. I found a color photo of each of the animals I listed to display on the bulletin board and printed off reference photos showing most animals from multiple angles. How the students chose to use the animals in their artwork (or whether they went an entirely different direction) was up to them.
 Many students chose to create realistic drawings.

I wish you could see this 4th grader's drawing in person. I had to adjust the photograph because the colored pencil on black paper is subtle, but it is really cool.
Some students used my mehndi cheat sheet and worked the patterning into their composition.
You should enlarge this photo and read the artist statement. She was so thoughtful with her choices!

 Some students used the same idea in printmaking.
Two students asked if they could make handprint peacocks. I told them if they made it not look like a handprint turkey, they were welcome to try. They turned out kind of fun. :)