Tuesday, February 12, 2013

enough with this heart stuff;)

Valentine's Day projects are so last week:)

Time to move on.

We are spoiled in SoCal with our weather. That said, it has been cold the past week... and rainy. Sigh.
The cold snap we have been experiencing reminded me of an image by Lisa Congdon. She has a whole Nordic series that I quite enjoy, but there were two iceberg paintings that spoke to me due to their simplicity and calm. I thought these would lend themselves nicely to a lesson on 3d space and warm and cool colors.

 When I introduced Lisa and her work to the classes via her website, I mentioned that she did not become an artist until she was 31. I did this to reinforce the idea that you can become an artist at any point. You don't have to be a certain age, or have a certain amount of schooling. Lisa is primarily self taught, so I told the kids if you love art, work hard at your art, you can become an artist at any point. You can't say this about all careers.

When the students and I looked at these images we identified that the shadow areas helped make the icebergs look 3d and jagged. We also talked about  Lisa's use of overlapping in the top painting to show that one iceberg was in front of the other.

I then showed the students a sample I had made, and with that we identified cool colors in the icebergs and water and warm colors in the sky and sun. I also pointed out how things get higher up as they go back and they also get lighter in color value.

We drew out our icebergs together. Main shape followed by adding the shadow lines. We repeated this for the other 2 icebergs, moving up the bottoms of each one as we went.

When students colored their shadows, they could use any cool color to do so. They followed an ABAB pattern. The main change I wanted them to make with each iceberg was to press more softly on each one to make hte far away ones look lighter.

They added cool colors to the water and warm colors to the sky. With each of these areas I demonstrated how to hold the colorstick on its side to fill in a large area. If they held it on its side and pressed harder on the end they could get detail parts colored as well as filling larger areas. Handling the colors this way also created a different type of texture that was rough compared to the smooth areas of the icebergs.

This is not the first time that Lisa's work has inspired a lesson I have done my students. Last year I did a popsicle project that was inspired by an abstract collage she created. These pieces were on display at a local store, Viva Pops, for an extended period:)


  1. Nice pieces! Your students did a great job! Just out of curiosity , how cold was cold for SoCal? It was 45 degrees here in Jersey today and we were commenting it felt like a heat wave! :)

  2. Yeah, I was wondering the same thing, from here in the Adirondack Mountians in Northeast NY.

    Thanks for the break from all those hearts!

  3. Ladies, it has been "freezing"! Lows in the mid 30s and highs in the upper 50s:) I know it pales in comparison to back east, and that's why I moved out here from philly 13 years ago.