Monday, December 15, 2014

The Kindergartener who Painted a Blue Horse

Many of our students in Kindergarten are familiar with the illustrations and stories of Eric Carle books. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?” are two examples of his popular stories. Eric Carle’s “The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse,” is the book we used as the inspiration for our latest project.

To make our collages, Kindergarten students painted a large piece of paper with two colors close to each other on the color wheel, such as red and orange, or blue and green. We used a very large brush and created designs with the brush strokes. When the paint dried, students traced and cut the shape of their favorite animal out of the paper.

To complete the project, we created a background for the animals on a separate piece of paper with a much smaller brush. The animals were then glued down over this background scene.  As we are learning with each of our projects in art class, our pictures can tell a story. We might have used Eric Carle's illustrations to inspire our artwork, but as you can see with this video, we each have a story to tell as well.

This video includes the all of the Kindergarten students of Ranney School. Make sure your sound is turned on to hear our voices. Enjoy!



Friday, December 5, 2014

THIRD GRADE . . . Corn Husk Masks


















Corn Husk Masks are made and used by Native American societies as part of their rituals. The Northeastern Iroquois are known to weave many types of baskets and masks. These masks made by braiding corn husks are traditionally woven by the women of the tribe but worn only by the men during secret ceremonies. The masks are thought to have supernatural powers and are considered sacred.

The art of Native American societies is rich in beauty, tradition and meaning. In honor of Thanksgiving, we looked at the culture of the Native American tribes for inspiration with our own artwork and creative ideas.

Creating a design with
multicultural markers
Cutting out the shape
of the mask
Squeezing glue along the edge
on the back side of the mask
Pressing pieces of raffia
along the glued edge
Based on the art of the corn husk masks, third graders created paper masks, focusing in on linear designs to represent the braids and coils of the husks.




We used cut pieces of raffia to create a decorative fringe around the outside of the mask.





Here are a few examples of our finished masks. As soon as we are all done with this project, the full exhibition will be available to be viewed on Artsonia!

Artwork by Peyton
Artwork by Riya

Artwork by Hunter

Artwork by Nico


Monday, November 24, 2014

FIFTH GRADE . . . Drawing on the iPad!

Artwork by Alexa 
Artwork by Christopher
Artwork by Kayla

Artwork by Anthony


































Our 5th grade self-portraits this year are digital portraits! We used an app on the iPad called, Sketchbook Pro. This app allows us to work from a photograph and to work in layers. In the tools palette of the app you are able to select from a pencil, pen, paintbrush, airbrush, eraser, chisel marker and many other art tools. In addition, you are able to choose the weight of line, the opacity of the color and work in colors from a variety of different palettes. The choice of how you draw and what you can create is endless!

David Hockney
iPad Illustration for the New Yorker
David Hockney is a famous present day artist from England, well known for his bold and colorful canvases. Mr. Hockney has also become known for his digital artwork as well, using drawing apps and creating illustrations for the cover of the New Yorker Magazine. Creating art on a tablet or phone is no longer just a game or a way to pass the time, it is used by many artists as their modern day sketchpad and can be considered a serious art form that reflects our time.

Here is a quote by David Hockney...
“People from the village come up and tease me: ‘We hear you’ve started drawing on your telephone,’” Mr. Hockney said in a quotation displayed in the exhibition. “And I tell them, ‘Well, no, actually, it’s just that occasionally I speak on my sketch pad.’”




When we drew our portraits, we worked in layers. One layer was our drawing layer, using a thin black line. The next layer was our color layer and we could choose from many colors in a variety of color palettes, as well as pick up a color directly from the photograph. The final layer was created for the background design and that layer sits behind everything else. To see all of the portraits that have been completed, check out our exhibition page on Artsonia.com.
http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839











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 blevine@ranneyschool.org. 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 Artsonia.com.  http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

KINDERGARTEN . . . We are Authors and Illustrators!


We have finished our books called, "All About Me !" Our self portraits became the cover of the book and we filled the pages with our favorite things. Here are a few sample pages from our Kindergarten books. With each illustration, we learned about shapes, lines, color, and how to represent what we like best through our artwork. These books will be going home for Grandparents and Friends' Day!

Illustration and words by Claire
Illustration and words by Alexandra
Illustration and words by Vincent
Illustration and words by Ansh











































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 blevine@ranneyschool.org. 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 Artsonia.com.  http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839

Monday, November 17, 2014

FIRST GRADE . . . Weaving with patterns

First Graders are learning to weave in art class. This is a project that celebrates the art and culture of the Native Americans and teaches us a wonderful technique using patterns.

Our handmade looms were created out of the cardboard base from water bottle trays and we recycle these looms every year. Six slits are cut into both ends of the cardboard and yarn is strung from top to bottom creating the warp (or vertical) strings of the loom.

Next students choose their first color to weave with. We learned how to measure the yarn against a table edge by working in pairs with our friends. One student holds the end of the yarn against the end of the table and the other student unrolls the yarn to match the length of the table and cuts it off. To weave our colored yarn into the loom threads, we learned how to follow a pattern of "Over, Under, Over, Under, Over and Under." Not only is the process of weaving a pattern, but we can also create a pattern by alternating our colors of yarn.

Here is a short video of some of our students demonstrating how to measure the yarn and weave!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

LOWER SCHOOL ART EXHIBITION


Lower School art exhibition is now on display in Panther Hall Gallery. Still be to exhibited are the Fifth Grade digital self portraits. As students are finished with their projects, they will be added to the gallery. I hope to see all of our families and friends come out to see our show for Grandparents and Friends day. 
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 7, 2014

THIRD GRADE... Adding details to our paintings

Artwork by Alexandra
Artwork by Christopher
Artwork by John  W.
Third graders added details to complete their portrait paintings. We blocked in the main colors of the portraits last week, leaving us to work on the hair, the features of our faces and any other small detail designs we wanted to add.

Just like with our skin tones, we tried to match our hair color to best represent us in the portrait. With a wide brush we painted the hair in the same direction our hair grows, treating the paint brush as we would a hair brush. With a smaller detail brush we added eyebrows to match the hair color.

Detail of Eyes
Artwork by Carter
For our eyes, we painted just the center circle of the drawn eye with blue, brown or hazel. Then using the smallest brush possible, we added the black circle of the pupil, a white dot for the highlight in the eye, and a very thin line to create the upper lid, indicating the line of the lashes. This is how famous impressionist artist, Pierre-Auguste Renior, painted eyes in his portraits. Simple and soft, but very realistic looking.

We finished up our portraits with a lip color and added other details to make our portraits special and uniquely ours. Please log onto Artsonia, an online museum that Ranney School participates in and see all of our 3rd grade portraits. If you have not already registered to the site, a note will be coming home soon with all the necessary information granting you access to your child's online portfolio.  http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839

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 blevine@ranneyschool.org. 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 Artsonia.com.  http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839

Thursday, November 6, 2014

FOURTH GRADE . . . modern technology meets traditional art



Our self portraits began as a lesson in technology when we learned how to use Adobe Photoshop in our art class. Then we turned back the clock to the 16th century and learned about the life and work of Leonardo da Vinci. Inspired by his mirror image writing, we retouched our photos on the computer and then created a mirror image drawing of one half of the photograph.

It was not possible to upload these drawings to Artsonia because they contain photographic images. Therefore, in order to share our drawings with you, I have created an iMovie with everyone's final work. Press the play button on the video below to enjoy our smiling faces and wonderful artwork!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

SECOND GRADE . . . A Pop of color!


Artwork by Isabella
Artwork by Alexander
Second Graders finished their colorful Pop Art Portraits this week. We used different colors for each background and varied the colors for our hair, shirt and small designs. Choosing different colors for each of the four portraits imitates the style of Andy Warhol's popular silkscreen art during the 20th century.



Artwork by Gwendolen
Artwork by Gavin
It was fun to see how we would look with red hair, with black hair, or even with gray hair! By adjusting the color palette for each of our portraits, we learned how make unique and creative choices, not once but four times. Color can make such a difference in the appearance of any design. Our bright and colorful portraits prove that beautifully!

Please log onto Artsonia, an online museum that Ranney School participates in and see all of our portraits. If you have not already registered to the site, a note will be coming home soon with all the necessary information granting you access to your child's online portfolio.  http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839




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 blevine@ranneyschool.org. 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 Artsonia.com.  http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

GRAPHIC ARTS . . . Photography names




Graphic artists have completed their photo name collages. We took a walk around our campus with our digital cameras and looked for images that reminded us of the letters of our names. A tree, for example, could often be seen as a letter "Y". Part of a railing might look like a letter "D" as David did with his name. Anything round, such as a door knob or the bush in Fiona's name can be used for a letter "O". Students were also allowed to plan their photo shoots by arranging something from nature into the shape of a letter as you see in Ava's name.

The first part of this project was learning how to use the camera, framing the picture and holding it steady as we capture the image. (Scroll down to see my earlier post for tips on using a digital camera.)


Photo by Alexa
Photo by Melanie

Photo by Alden

Photo by Maya























Once we took enough images to spell out our names, these photos were uploaded to the computer. In Adobe Photoshop students opened each image and checked that it was a sharp photograph and included all of the letter that we needed to see. Then we adjusted each photo for our project. Here are some of the tools we used...

  • The Cropping tool cuts off any part of the photo we don't need. It works by clicking with the tool on the image and scrolling down to include all that we want to show. By pressing down with the Shift key on the keyboard we were able to constrain the cropping image to a perfect square. 
  • Under the Image Menu, we can re-size the image. We selected 4" x 4" for each photograph. This pull down menu also lets us rotate the image. Perhaps we want the image to be upside down or sideways. We did whatever was needed to see the image as a letter.
  • Photoshop also allows us to adjust the brightness or the color of the image, and with special tools like the clone stamp tool, we could further adjust the image so that it really does look like the letter we need. 
  • There is so much to learn in Photoshop and often professional artists aren't even aware of all the tools available for altering an image. We should never afraid to just click on a new tool and see what it does to our image. Playing around with special effects and different tools is the best way to learn new techniques, and with Photoshop, you can always undo what does not look good.
To complete this project, students learned how to merge all their retouched images together to spell out their names. When you see these wonderful name photos in our art exhibition next month, I hope you enjoy how recognizable the names are, even though the letters are made up of trees and door knobs! I also hope you notice how beautiful and well composed each photograph is that makes up each name.

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 blevine@ranneyschool.org. 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 Artsonia.com.  http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

FIRST GRADE . . . What is the subject and what is the background?

First graders continued to work on their portraits based on the pose of Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa." We drew our faces, shoulders and folded hands just like in the famous portrait by da Vinci, and colored them in with a color palette that best represents each of us.

In the "Mona Lisa," the subject of the painting is the portrait. The background is the area behind the subject, represented as a soft landscape that seems to be very far away.




Back of portraits
To make the distinction between the subject and the background in our pictures, we created two separate works of art. The subject of our pictures is a portrait drawn with bright colors and fine detail. The background was created as a landscape painted with watercolors in softer, more muted tones.

Our portraits were cut out of the paper they were drawn on. On the back of these portraits, I glued down Styrofoam strips so that the portraits would look 3D when we attach them to the backgrounds, creating a feeling of depth between the subject and the background.


Background by Mara 
Background by Jonathan
On a new sheet of paper, we painted watercolor backgrounds. Many of these backgrounds look like a landscape such as Mara's amazing sunset painting shown here on the left. Jonathan's background appears more abstract as the colors of paint mixed with each other, creating soft blends and beautifully spontaneous impressions. I was thrilled with how both styles turned out!

To put it all together, we simply glued the other side of the Styrofoam strips to the watercolor landscapes. Here are a few examples of how they turned out... To see all of our Mona Lisa style portraits, visit our home page on Artsonia.com and scroll through the list of exhibits to first grade portraits.   http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839

Artwork by Judy
Artwork by Herbani
Artwork by William K.
Artwork by Jonah














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 blevine@ranneyschool.org. 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 Artsonia.com.  http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=114839