Art History

Flowers, 2nd Grade

Happy Spring! 

Enjoy this Spring inspired project created by our 2nd Grade Artists!  Students were introduced to the work of Andy Warhol, through the use of an Emaze presentation.  Students learned the history of Andy Warhol and how he became the Prince of POP! After introducing students to the artist students used art criticism to answer questions, “What do you see? What do you think? What do you wonder? when looking at his,“Flower” print.


Andy Warhol, Flowers, 1964. 

We also watched a neat video on Pop Art that my second graders just loved!

We got started by creating our grassy background. Students used repetition in lines to imitate the grass seen in Andy Warhol’s Flowers. Our second graders used a variety of lines (tall, thin, thick, wavy, straight) to create their grassy  texture. They also played with different  values of green and blue oil pastels to create depth, highlights, and shadows.  Next, we used our mop brush to paint green and black liquid watercolor over our entire paper. We learned that this is called a resist or as I like to call magic

On day two, we used simple shapes to draw flowers. Students drew their flowers on a small 4”x 4” piece of paper. These were then transferred to a Styrofoam board.  I have to give a big shout out to Cassie Stephens for her awesome printmaking techniques and videos! We traced over their lines two times to create an imprint in the foam. We used two different color pens to keep track of where we have been and to make our lines were deep enough. Next, we cut out our flower shape and prepared to print!  Next class students will be using the printmaking process to print their flower 2 to 4 times. Students use their knowledge of warm and cool colors and friendly colors. Students enjoyed taking turns at the printmaking station and pulling multiple prints (copies) of their flowers just like Andy Warhol did! I just love this lesson and couldn’t wait to blog about it. Inspiration for this lesson came from Deep Space Sparkle! 

FullSizeRender-42B’s Flowers are currently on display outside the cafeteria, just in time for spring! I couldn’t wait to get these artworks back from Square 1 art so that I could put them out on display for all to see and enjoy.

Kandinsky Paintings, 2nd Grade

When you see color, do you hear music? Wassily Kandinsky believed that color, line, and music went together like Yin to Yang.  A pioneer of the abstract art movement, Kandinsky approached color with a musician’s sensibility. We began this lesson by looking at Kandinsky’s work. We used two different painting by Kandinsky to create our very first painting of the year.

       Several Circles                                                    Yellow, Red and Blue 


Our discussions centered on color, line, shape, and emotion. To get us hearing in color we listened to classical music as we worked. We used the white side of our cardboard circles to focus on Kandinsky inspired lines. As we listened to music, we created a variety of lines. For example, spiral, mountain, curved, horizontal, vertical, and diagonal.

We then discussed how music can evoke emotion and used different colors to fill in the white spaces on our boards. We listened to different kinds of music and thought about how the sounds made us feel. We used the first color that popped into our heads to capture the sounds and emotion.


On our second meeting day, we looked at the painting, Several circles, and used our observation skills to answer questions, what do you see? What do you think? What do you wonder? On the reverse side of our cardboard, students created several circles. We used white tempera paint on our black boards to create contrast. This created a background for color to be applied. I just love turning these boards over and over again,  admiring the contrast of line, shape color, and emotion! These Second Grade painting marked the first project of the school year! They have since gone home. However, I couldn’t help but share these gems on our art blog! Aren’t they fantastic!!!!

Enjoy these abstract painting created by our second grade artists. Inspiration for this project came from Cassie Stephens blog! Thanks for the inspiration Cassie!

Keith Haring inspired Figures, 4th grade

These Keith Haring action poses were created by our fantastic fourth grade artists. We began the year by using Keith Haring’s iconic style and images to review our art room rules, create a collaborative mural, and make 4 dynamic action poses.

IMG_7556We did some practice drawings in our sketchbooks to get us familiar with Keith Haring’s distinct style. These colorful and dynamic works of art are currently on display outside the art room.

We learned how to draw a Keith Haring figure by first creating a stick figure and then giving it body! After drawing an outline around the stick figure, we erased our original “skeleton” lines. We practiced drawing light and filling our space with an exciting action pose. Later, students mixed and applied tempera paint to create flat areas of color similar to that of Haring’s work. Do you notice the use of complementary colors? Students used contrasting colors in two of their four action compositions. 4M created one action composition due to time. We completed this project by using our sharpie markers to outline our dynamic figures and create expression lines. Students used bold lines and vivid colors to bring their Keith Haring inspired figures to life. I have a new found love for Keith Haring’s art.


5th Grade, Elephant Festival of Jaipur

In celebration of India’s Holi “The Festival of Color” back in March, our 5th grade students created these colorful elephants. They are currently up on display outside the art room to signalize the arrival of spring. Our 5th graders enjoyed looking at photos and learning about how this colorful festival is traditionally celebrated. One of which is the carnival of colors, where participants play, chase and color each other with dry powder and colored water. We focused our attention on the decorated elephants of the Festival of Jaipur. We looked at how the elephants were groomed, decorated with traditional Indian motifs, embellished with head-plates, and wore embroidered velvet rugs. After choosing a photograph of an elephant, students got to work drawing their contour lines and creating value.
We created value “lights and darks” on gray paper by blending white and black color pencils. Once we had captured the elephants shape and visual texture, we focused on decorating the elephants with Indian motifs. Sometimes the images told stories while other times simple geometric and organic shapes blanketed our elephants. We used construction paper pencils to create vivid bold colors! The motifs happened organically as students began adding color to their designs.

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3rd Grade, Almond Blossoms inspired by Van Gogh

“I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say ‘he feels deeply, he feels tenderly’.”  Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh accomplished this and so much more in his short life. Almond blossom

 Vincent van Gogh, Almond Blossom, February 1890 oil on canvas, 73.3 cm x 92.4 cm

It was years ago, at the Van Gogh Up Close exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art that I first came in contact with Vincent’s beautiful, “Almond Blossom” painting. The final painting before exiting the show,  they truly saved the best for last. The story behind this painting makes it all the more special. Van Gogh created the painting for his newborn nephew Vincent Willem. His brother Theo wrote, in a letter announcing the arrival “As we told you, we’ll name him after you, and I’m making the wish that he may be as determined and as courageous as you.” Vincent Willem would later go on to found the Van Gogh Museum. The meaning behind this painting is one of hope, love, and happiness.IMG_6995

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After viewing and discussing the painting, each student created their interpretations of it. They mixed paint to create value in their color and used Van Gogh’s signature style to outline their trees shape and create visual texture in their brush strokes. We collaged on pink flowers after we learned that the ones in Van Gogh’s painting originally were pinker but have faded due to exposer to light. The almond tree, a symbol of new life and springtime, made the perfect subject matter for our artwork. I’ve loved watching these creations blossom and take form.

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IMG_7006 Students filled in their picture plane with blossoming branches that seem to float against the blue sky. Students created their blossoms in many stages, from bud, to peak blossom to falling pedals. They did so splendidly. So proud of our blossoming third grade artists!