Thursday, June 6, 2013


The kinders looked at the work of California artist Erik Abel this week. We checked out his website together and saw an old photo of him. It's a hoot:), and it does a great job of introducing his two loves- art and the water. We also saw more recent photos of him doing what he loves to do.

We then looked at the illustration portion of his site and to see some of his beautiful water and landscape images. He has a great way with shape, line, and color. We ended up focusing on the image below.

I love the combination of wave shape and seascape inside that shape. I asked the kids what they saw- water, a wave, lined, and colors. Also got some responses like hands, birds, dolphins due to the shape of the wave, too, which is cool because the simplicity of the abstract wave can lend itself to multiple reads.

Next, I talked about Erik's use of warm and cool colors. I then shared an example of what ours would look like. I emphasized the use of warm and cool and that we would be pressing hard and soft in different places to create bold and light colors like they did with the Kate Spain flowers from last week.

I started each student off with the inside of the wave already drawn on their paper. A backwards C shape. We used a dot to mark how tall we wanted the wave and another to the right side to mark how wide we wanted it. We then built the outline of the wave shape together.

Once the wave was drawn we created the land mass in the middle. Sky color lines came next and we added warm colors to the sky, pressing hard in parts and softly in others. We did a little mixing in the sky to create orange or yellow orange as well. The same process was followed for the water.

Even though the process was direct, I think there is still a lot of variety in the pieces when looking at a large group of them. With the past few lessons with the kinders, I wanted to emphasize hard and soft coloring so they could bring that to shading and 3d volumes in first grade.

Thanks for the inspiration, Erik!

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