Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Congratulations to the class of 2025!

Our final art project in fifth grade was based on an artist each student was inspired by over their years in Lower School. Fifth graders created a personal interpretation of their favorite artist on a small canvas, working diligently on their paintings and revealing to all of us what makes them think and feel creative. Some made a bold statement through color choice and design, and others painted with soft and delicate strokes as in an impressionist masterpiece. These paintings represent the class of 2025 and their unique journey through Ranney lower school art.

To see all of our paintings, follow this link to the Ranney home page at

Painting by Gwen K.
Inspired by the work of Edgar Degas
"Creativity is like a spark in my mind that wants to turn into a flame."

Painting by Santino C.
Inspired by the work of Jackson Pollock
"Creativity means being able to look at art in a different way."

Painting by Kieran C.
Inspired by the work of Jamie Christopher Hewlett
"Creativity is to do your own thing and always keep at it."

Painting by Rithvik D.
Inspired by the work of Edvard Munch
"Creativity is designing what is in your mind."

Painting by Rianna K.
Inspired by the work of Vincent van Gogh
"Creativity comes from expressing yourself in a painting."

Painting by Cole S.
Inspired by the work of Claude Monet
"Creativity comes from using creative and unusual colors."

Thursday, April 26, 2018

GRAPHIC ARTS . . . Pixelated animals!

For our latest graphic arts project we worked in the breezeway of the Commons, hanging rows of Post-it notes on the windows. The sun shines right through the brightly colored squares and makes the walkway so much fun to see!

When we studied Adobe Photoshop at the beginning of this year, we saw what happens when we zoom in on an image. We no longer see smooth transitions, but squares of color. If a photograph does not have enough pixels at the size you want to view it, those squares will be visible and the image would not look natural or sharp. For this project, we tried to create that pixelated look on purpose.

To do this, we created a grid on Adobe Illustrator and filled it with squares of color to represent the parts of the image we were trying to represent with Post-it notes. We all chose an animal as our image and simplified it into a pixelated format.

Here are more of our Post-it note animals...

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

GRAPHIC ARTS . . . A digital "Love" sculpture!

In 1964, American artist, Robert Indiana, designed this Love design for the Museum of Modern Art as their Christmas card. The iconic image shows the four letters of the work LOVE stacked together with the letter "O" at a tilt. This same design became an image for a US postage stamp and then as a sculpture in 1970. His sculpted word designs are now on display all over the world. Fascinated with letters and numbers, Robert Indiana is a self-proclaimed "American painter of signs."

As graphic artists, we often look at letters and numbers as an important feature of any design. Each lower school graphic artist selected a four letter word, such as LOVE, that they identified with. Using Adobe Illustrator, we learned how to work with shapes, colors and text to create a colorful design with our words.

Just as Indiana transformed his flat design into sculpted art, we then used the tools in Adobe Illustrator to play around with 3-Dimensional images of our flat designs. In this digital transformation, we learned how to make objects move forward and back in their orientation, so that each part of our 3D design looks like it is supported by the forms underneath. Here are a few examples of our designs. To see all the graphic arts work, follow this link to the Ranney Home page of artsonia...

Ava G., 5th grade 
Ava G., 5th grade

Gwendolen K, 5th grade
Gwendolen K., 5th grade

Petra D., 5th grade

Petra D., 5th grade

Rianna K., 5th grade

Rianna K., 5th grade

Hamid K., 4th grade
Hamid K., 4th grade

Monday, April 9, 2018

PRE-KINDERGARTEN . . . Spring Flowers!

Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso painted this sweet picture of hands holding a bouquet of flowers. With a few colors of paint, a small brush, and a couple of thin markers, Pre-Kindergarten artists created their own version of this famous bouquet.

We started off by tracing our hand on paper. Then we were each given a palette of tempera colors on a paper plate. We painted circles of color for the centers of four flowers. Using the brush, we painted lines around the centers just like you might around a sun. This gave us the same look as Picasso's flowers. We used markers to add stems, and as Picasso did in his painting, we added our signature at the bottom.

Here are a few more of our Spring bouquets! To see all of our flower paintings, follow this link to

Monday, April 2, 2018

SECOND GRADE . . . Is it spring yet?

Still Life by Michaela

Wishing for warm weather and gardens filled with colorful blossoms, second graders painted a still life with flowers. We were inspired by the artwork of Vincent van Gogh, (1853-1890), a Dutch post-impressionist artist well known for his composition of "Sunflowers." He painted with short directional brush strokes that helped define the shape and movement of each element on his canvas.

To explore this style of artwork, we painted our vase, table and back wall with bright colors and let our brush strokes create patterns in the color. Then we learned a technique for painting flowers using the thickness of the brush to create the petals. We did not draw our flowers, but went right to paint, letting our brushes create each blossom. They all look like beautiful bouquets of wildflowers. Again inspired by the master, we signed our names right on the vase, just as Vincent did!

Here are some examples of our work. To see all of our 2nd grade flower paintings, click on this link for

Still Life by Alina

Still Life by Phillip

Still Life by Hannah

Still Life by William

Still Life by Scout

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

KINDERGARTEN . . . Crazy tall hats!

'The Cat in the Hat' by Michael

Crazy Hat Day?
The Cat in the Hat knows a lot about that!

Last week, Ranney Kindergarten artists celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday and Crazy Hat Day! In art, we drew a picture of a very familiar friend . . . a cat in a tall, striped hat! "The Cat in the Hat" is one of 44 books illustrated and written by Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991), better known to all of us as the beloved Dr. Seuss. This project was all about looking for the details of a drawing to make our rendition recognizable. The curves in the cat's face, the eyebrows showing surprise and the bow tie at the base of the neck are all as important to the famous illustration as the tall striped hat.

Here are more examples of our illustrations. To see all of our cats, follow this link to our home page at

'The Cat in the Hat by Lila

'The Cat in the Hat' by Mariella

'The Cat in the Hat' by Aastha

'The Cat in the Hat' by Valentina

'The Cat in the Hat' by Zaid

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Bunny by Henry

Art in Pre-Kindergarten is all about experimenting with the materials and becoming more comfortable with the tools. Our bunny project gave us many different opportunities to discover how much fun art can be! We practiced our drawing skills as we drew very big bunnies on big paper. We outlined our bunnies in black and then colored them any way we wanted. The background landscapes were done on separate paper and painted. We drew a ground line to separate the sky from the ground. Again, we were able to choose any colors of paint to fill in our ground and sky.

Here are a few more examples of our big bunnies popping up in our landscapes. To see all of our bunny scenes, follow this link to the Ranney home page of

Bunny by Amelie

Bunny by Angela

Bunny by Arjun

Bunny by David

Note to families...
This art blog will be updated regularly with new posts sharing our daily activities in the art room and news about upcoming art exhibits. To respect the privacy of our students, names will always be limited to first name only and identifiable photos will never be accompanied with a name. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write in the comment box below or send me an email at I would love to hear from you!
    In my class, students are given the chance to explore different materials and fun new techniques as they develop their signature style. Some young artists love to draw with a pencil, some like to paint on canvas or create images in a digital format, while others prefer working with clay and molding three-dimensional forms. In my classroom, we use a variety of materials allowing all artists to experiment and figure out which type of art they like the best. At Ranney School, we place a strong emphasis on originality and celebrate artistic differences, always nurturing and encouraging the imagination of every student.
     Remember to check out our display of finished artwork and student portfolios in the Ranney home page of