Monday, October 27, 2014

Pastel Fruits and Vegetables- RES

Grade 4 artists are working on 
chalk pastel fruits and vegetables in class. 

So seasonal!
I am always bragging about my students here at RES, but this group of 4th graders is a really exciting bunch for me to be working with. Why?  Because this is the first group I have had at RES all the way through, since they were Kindergarteners.
Electric lemon!
What does that matter?  Well, one of the joys of being a Specials teacher is that you get to see the students through their entire elementary education.  I introduce shadow and light in art making in grade 1, when students create a cut-paper self-portrait with a shadow.  We play with a projector and figure out what things are needed to make a shadow: a light source, an object blocking the light, and a surface onto which the shadow and light fall.
The red/green color complements really make this pop.
In second grade, students create a snowman at night, a project that I blogged about here back in July.  That project is the first time I ask students to paint volumes.  In third grade, this group of students created paintings of apples in a still-life cluster, and mixed all of their own second and tertiary colors as well.

An apple still-life from last year's third grade
So by fourth grade, their work is pretty astounding, and can suggest, without explicitly showing, the direction of a light source on an object.

Can you tell the light comes from the upper right hand side? Peachy keen!

These RES fourth graders know all about it. Shadows are always opposite the light source, and the side facing the light tends to be warmer in color as well.

It's the end of October. There were a lot of pumpkins.
 Artists began with black paper and used richly colored chalk pastels to create the basic shape, and then add lights and darks to show volume in the forms. We review color complements, but using them was not required, just a reminder of how to let colors make each other look good. A color like orange not only stands out with its complement blue, but also looks great with blue's analogous colors like purple and green.

A dimpled orange- citrus skin is challenging to make smooth and bumpy simultaneously.

Pear on polkadots
 The color use goes above and beyond with many students.  Look at how the artist made the pear above pick up and reflect the warm tones of the table top in the glossy skin. Also, the choice to crop the leaf and stem off at the top are surprising and interested to the viewer. It's fun to share those choices with the other students and see how they change or respond in their own artworks.

Plum all aglow.  Just like the faces of the kids in art class.

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