Art History

By Jenna Richter | January 18, 2017 | Uncategorized

This year we have been studying art history.  It is such a rich subject and we have been using math, literacy, technology and art components.  We started the year with Kandinsky.  We watched a video about his life and then we read the book “The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art: The Noisy Paint Box.”  The story describes his life as a child and the inspiration his Auntie provided by giving him his first paintbox.

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The book shows Vasya as a child who hears music as he paints.

 

We worked on two projects inspired by his famous works.  When we did our circles in watercolor crayon we listened to different kinds of music to see how they affected our circles.

These were made with watercolor crayons. First, we colored hard then wed added water to bend the colors.
These were made with watercolor crayons. First, we colored hard then we added water to bend the colors.

 

He famously said, “Everything starts with a dot.”  Our next artist, Paul Klee was known for the quote, “A line is a dot that went for a walk.”  We watched https://vimeo.com/43838365 on Paul Klee to an introduction to his work.  Before jumping into our interpretations of the Castle and Sun painting, we studied the color wheel.

We worked with the compass, learning to draw a circle. We learned to measure with a ruler and find the center of the circle and finally cut it into six equal sections using the compass.

We will be using these tools as we create our Klee inspired paintings.
We needed to learn these tools to help us create our Klee inspired paintings.

 

After dividing our circles, students learned about primary and secondary colors.  There is so much magic in realizing that there are six sections and only three colors of paint!  Each student mixed their own versions of the secondary colors.

Callum mixing purple.
Callum mixing purple.

 

Once we were done making the wheels and our lesson on cool and warm colors, I let them mix all of the paint together.  We got varying shades of brown and gray.

Marie Sabine mixing her palette.
Marie Sabine mixing her palette.

 

The next day, we read “The Cat and Bird”.  It’s a story inspired by Klee’s paintings and also shares a biography of Paul Klee.  Like the “Noisy Paint Box” it tells the life of Klee as a child and how he got his start as an artist.

Our Castle and Sun paintings are inspired by the illustrations.
Our Castle and Sun paintings are inspired by the illustrations.

 

It was a complicated multi-day process.  First, we used templates of squares and triangles to create the buildings.  Then, we used a compass for drawing the moon.  Finally, rulers were employed to add linear design elements to the buildings all in pencil.   We covered our lines in sharpie.  Paint mixing in warm hues was next.  Each student worked to add as much detail as they could.  Moon paint was made of black and white mixtures and finally cool colors filled our skies.

 

When Tosha came for tech time on Friday, she showed the class how to research the artists.   She showed them how to cut and paste the images onto a Padlet everyone could see.

We will veer away from paintings next as we study Henri Matisse and his cut out art.