Tuesday, January 20, 2015

abstract landscaping.

And we're back!

Right before winter break, the 2nd graders started their value unit. They used value to create 3d solids and 3d space in a drawing inspired the topiaries of Pearl Fryar. They tried to make their drawings look as realistic as they could. With this week's project, inspired by the modular clay tile works of Jason Messinger, I wanted to give them a chance to play with some simple landscape shapes, while still exploring how value contrast and shape size can create space and visual interest.

Jason likes to walk the line between representation and abstraction in his work and I wanted the 2nd graders to gain some experience in this too. I've had this image pinned for a while, so was/am excited to break out a lesson inspired by it:)

Versailles, France modular clay mural by Jason Messinger

I had the students do some preliminary work before starting their final drawings. First, they created color value scales. One with just green and another with yellow and green. We talked about pressing hard and soft to create the different values. They then drew a few simple landscape elements- pine tree, cypress tree, setting sun/bush, stream/path. The 3rd step was to put them together in an interesting way in 2 sketches. They needed to overlap at least once and change sizes from big to small somewhere.

They then got an 8x8" white square to draw on. When they had their chosen composition drawn, they could color it with any of the color values they made in their scales. The one rule was that shapes that shared a side could not be the same color.

On their exit slips, students had to identify how their new landscape was different than their Pearl Fryar ones. I also had them come up with a question to ask Jason. I will be collecting these and sharing some with him later this week.

My plan is to have different classes do different color schemes. I'm thinking blues for tomorrow. When we display them, I'd like to group them like Jason does and have the students help with the placement of the individual panels.

It's great to be back working with the kiddos!