PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Art Room week of 12/5/16

Kindergarteners are learning about different  kinds of lines, and that one can make patterns with those lines. They are drawing at least 10 different lines with oil pastel and then painting with watercolor which “resists” the oil pastel.

First graders observed Gustav Klimpt’s The Tree of Life (1905). They learned that Gustav started to follow in his father’s footsteps by becoming an engraver, but instead incorporated his love of gold into painting. He was inspired by nature and all its organic shapes, which are hallmarks of the Art Nouveau movement. Students painted gold backgrounds this week, on top of which they will paint their version of a tree of life.

Second graders are building on their prior knowledge of patterns and weaving by creating warm or cool oil pastel and watercolor resist patterns. These will be cut into strips which they will then weave in order onto a warm or cool warp, so that the pattern will re-appear.

Third grade finished creating a layered Notan cut-out. Notan is the Japanese concept of positive and negative space, involving the placement of light and dark elements. Most commonly these elements are paper shapes that are “flipped out” of a square to create beautiful compositions.

Fourth grade has just embarked on a long unit on basketry. They learned that there are three different ways to make baskets: coiling, plaiting and twining. They observed myriad baskets made by Native Americans, all serving different uses (soup bowl, hat, water jug, seed container, baby cradle, burden basket, treasure basket, dolls, cooking basket, gambling baskets and ceremonial).

Fifth grade is enjoying weaving-in-the-round. They strung their warp on a paper plate, and then proceeded to weave with different color yarns, often incorporating beads, and ending with fringe around the perimeter.

Sixth graders explored the complicated and long Egyptian mummification process which included extracting the deceased’s heart, liver, lungs, and intestines, and placing them in canopic jars for protection. Each student will choose an animal they relate to, and create a canopic jar out of recycled juice bottles, newspaper, tape, papier maché, model magic clay, and paint.

Seventh graders and eighth graders looked at the work of Chuck Close, and listened to a 5 minute video of the quadriplegic portraitist and how he uses the “Grid Method.” The seventh graders are using that method to recreate the right half of each of their faces next to half a photograph of the left side. Eighth graders have made ½” grids on their photos and are blowing the original image up to twice the size.

Seventh grade Fine Arts Elective students are working on their Micrography self portraits, while eighth grade Fine Arts Elective students are blowing up their photographs to 18” x 24” using the grid method. They have the option of using multi-media for the finished pieces.