40 minutes? Oh, we will get a project done! I made sure to emphasize to the kids when they came in that they needed to stay on task and move quickly through the lesson. No time for excessive chit chat. We would not rush to get done, but we needed to be economical with every task we did, to complete the project. By and large, the classes did a fantastic job with this. I do not think a class earned a yellow card all week! All greens, baby!
Anyway, the lesson I choose for the 3rd graders was inspired by Baptiste Lucas. He works as an art director for cartoons over in France. He comes up with the settings and the look of the backgrounds that the characters inhabit. Pretty cool gig.
Baptiste has a wonderful way with shape and color in his landscape settings.
Half of the 3rd grade classes created landscapes the week before with me, so I thought this project would be a good review of creating 3d space in their image. To add a new layer to the concept of making a landscape the students worked with colored pencils instead of oil pastels and the style of their drawings would be different as well.
For the classes that did not make landscapes with me due to the Veteran's Day holiday, this lesson served as a quick introduction to making 3d space with shape and color.
We looked at a couple of backgrounds that Baptiste had posted on his blog and identified the ways he made the foreground, middleground, and background. All the classes did a great job recognizing the overlapping, size change, and color value changes that Baptiste employed in his landscapes. These are elements that I revisit each year with all grade levels, so it is great to see many of the students being able to identify them in an artwork. Its good to see your instruction validated across the different classes and grade levels like this:)
The lesson was done with direct instruction. We worked from the image below to create our 3d space studies. It has a castle in it, so the classes responded pretty excitedly to using it as the inspiration for their drawings.
We drew out our landscape in pencil together. We noted the symmetry present in Baptiste's castle and I asked students to be aware of the symmetry or asymmetry they were creating when designing their own castles.
When it came to adding color with the colored pencils I demonstrated how to hold the tool when pressing hard to make dark colors in the foreground. I showed the students how to hold the pencil more upright so it would not snap. When students moved on to the middle and background they could tilt the pencil more because they would be pressing more lightly. The pencils I have the students use are woodless koh-i-noor ones. I love the intense colors, but they need more care from the students, so they don't break into a bunch of small pieces.
Students could use any colors they liked on the different parts of their landscapes, as long as they applied the correct amount of pressure to make dark, medium, and light color values.
A project done (in most cases) in 40 minutes. Well done boys and girls! The students that didn't finish are welcome to come in at recess and lunch recess when we get back after the Thanksgiving holiday.