Friday, April 28, 2017

FOURTH GRADE . . . Painting nature

Painting by Bianca

If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for a moment." - Georgia O'Keeffe

Fourth graders paused in their busy schedules at school to admire the beautiful work of Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986), an American artist, best known for her studies of nature. She often zoomed in on her subjects, getting us all to slow down and notice the beauty she captured in the world around her. She did not paint an entire field of flowers, but instead focused on the shapes and colors of just one blossom.

As well as inspiring us to admire the details in a single flower, a sea shell, or even an animal skull, Georgia O'Keeffe was also a master of color and blending. To follow her example, we each chose a photograph of something from nature and drew the image very large on our canvases. Then, we selected our color palette, considering carefully how to create the best blends.

To make two colors blend together, we referred to the color wheel. Colors that are close to each other on the wheel will make the most natural blends. Adding white will create a tint of the color and adding darker hues will create a shade of the color. Any of these color choices would work well. To blend the colors directly on the canvas, we worked in one area at a time, letting our paintbrushes do the blending. For a flower with many petals, that meant applying wet colors and blending them together before they dry, one petal at a time. In Bianca's painting above, not only does the flower show a blend from light pink to darker pink, but her background also shows a blend of different shades of blue. The blending of green to yellow on her leaf really pops and gets us to take notice of the shape and color.

These fourth grade nature paintings are a highlight of our art show in Panther Hall Gallery and I am just as proud for them to grace the screen of my art blog. Bravo to all my artists! To see everyone's paintings, follow this link to our home page on

Painting by Elle

Painting by Gabriel

Painting by Courtney
Painting by Anthony

Painting by Sabrina

FIRST GRADE . . . David Hockney Landscapes

Landscape by Amrita
David Hockney
First Graders worked on completing their colorful landscape paintings this week. Inspired by the vivid artwork of David Hockney's large painted scenes, we first created a drawing of a landscape with rolling hills and tall trees that stretch from the bottom of the page all the way up to the top. Each area of land was then defined by a specific pattern, a technique that David Hockney often used. We drew stripes, circles, and wavy lines to create our patterns. A very bright color palette of paint was used to complete our scenes.

To see all of our finished projects, follow this link to our first grade art exhibits on

Landscape by Alina

Landscape by Sadie

Landscape by Elijah

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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

GRAPHIC ARTS . . . Pixelating Post-It Notes!

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. Most of our artists chose to do a cartoon figure or a bold looking logo, as these images would be easiest to recognize, even in a pixelated format.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

ART SHOW . . . a view of the gallery

5th grade Illusions
Graphic Arts
Logo Designs and Shopping Bags
After School Art Club
Paper Mache animals
"If I take my Mouse to Ranney School!"
Eric Carle, "The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse"
1st grade
Joan Miro Whimiscal Animals
4th grade Wildlife Studies
2nd grade Cavemen Paintings
Pre-K Bunnies
Beginner Butterflies

3rd grade
Henri Rousseau Jungles
4th grade
Georgia O'Keeffe Paintings

Monday, April 24, 2017

LS ART EXHIBIT . . . All about animals!

Our Spring art show in Panther Hall Gallery is filled with colorful animals! All the grades focused on their favorite animals and used a variety of materials to represent them in art. Second graders went all the way back in time to cave paintings for their fun images and the fifth graders brought us back to the modern age, creating animal sculptures in the style of Pablo Picasso. In the gallery, we have animal paintings, collages, illustrations with stories, and realistic pencil studies. Even our art club contributed to the show with their amazing paper mache animals. The lower school art show will be on display in Panther Hall Gallery through Parents' Day in May. 
The artwork for our poster was created by Zaid in Pre-Kindergarten. Congratulation to Zaid!