PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Art Room Update, 12/21/18

Kindergarteners are in the midst of collaging penguins, learning how to draw and cut out the body, tummy, flippers, and other features after having created a watercolor and salt background. Adding salt to wet watercolor creates little “bubbles, as the salt melts and spreads.
First graders have learned how to make clay pinch pots after having looked at the beautiful patterned ceramic works of the Anasazi, or Pueblo people. This week they painted them with white acrylic paint, and have drawn the black patterns they will paint them with after the winter break.
Second graders have for the most part finished paper machéing their puppet characters after learning how to create and attach facial features such as unicorn horns, bunny ears, etc. out of foil and tape.
Third grade started 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 finished working on their “Alphabeasties.” They looked at the work of Andy Warhol and “Pop Art,” the British and American movement of the late 1950’s that focused on popular culture, the media, and mass production amongst other things. They learned about Warhol’s soup can paintings (he in fact ate Campbell’s tomato soup every day for lunch), and have been assigned to create a soup can and logo that reflects some aspect of their personality or things they like to do.
Half of Fifth grade is finishing Zentangle names while the other half have moved on to learning about one-point perspective. We looked at Leonardo DaVinci’s Last Supper (1498), and noticed how he purposefully placed the vanishing point behind the head of Jesus in order to draw your focus to him. They are creating their names in one point perspective, utilizing a vanishing point, baseline, horizon line, and orthogonal.
Sixth graders are exploring the possibilities of onomatopoeia words, and how to express them visually in the style of Roy Lichtenstein. We looked at his work and the photos or comics that he used to create his work. We discussed appropriation, and the fine line between copying someone’s work vs creating your own.
Seventh graders have finished looking at the work of Chuck Close, the quadriplegic portraitist and how he uses the “Grid Method.” The seventh graders used that method to recreate the right half of each of their faces next to half a photograph of the left side.
Some Eighth graders are finishing their skateboards, while others have begun their grid method self portraits. Unlike 7th grade, their self portraits will be much larger and they are drawing their entire face rather than just half.

Seventh grade Fine Arts Elective students are still working on their Micrography self portraits, while Eighth grade Fine Arts Elective students have finished their portfolios.
Fifth grade Elective students have been learning increasingly difficult pop up card designs and have happily taken home their sewn felt pillows.