Wednesday, February 25, 2015

building bridges.

The 2nd graders are starting their color unit by learning about warm and cool colors this week. To help them with this, I'm using a piece of concept art from the Disney movie Big Hero 6. (the big bummer for me right now is that I can't figure out who the concept artist who made it actually is!)

Before starting with the day's work, we review what the kids learned in their last project- the abstract landscapes inspired by Jason Messinger's clay tiles. We talk about dark and light, hard and soft, and big and small. I tell the kids  that we are going to use all that stuff again today and that all of those are examples of contrast in art.

We then get into one more pair of contrasts- warm and cool colors. We identify them and I write them on the board. I also show the kids where they are located in my room, so if they aren't sure when they are working on their drawing, they can look at the list on the board and/or look at the visual examples posted in the back of the room.

When I share the bridge drawing from San Fransokyo, we talk about how it is an example of combining two places- San Francisco and Tokyo, Japan to make something new. The concept artist took the Golden Gate bridge and modified it with traditional Japanese architectural elements. We also identify that the sky is cool and the bridge is warm, that the sky is light and the bridge is bold. The bridge is big in the front and small in the back.

The project is done with both chalk pastels and oil pastels. Students pick warm or cool to use in the chalk background and use the opposite on the foreground bridge with their oil pastels. We do the sky first and then draw over it for the bridge. Students can add flair to their bridge and light posts if they wish to make it more unique.

This has been a very successful project in terms of correctly splitting their drawing into warm and cool parts, as well as creating a sense of 3d space.

I love the dragon head light posts!

look at baymax fly!


  1. You are one Cool art teacher! These look Fantastic! The kids must have loved doing San Fransokyo bridges. Perspective, shading, warm and cool ect... this has it all. I'd love to try this. (And I need to see Big Hero 6)

    1. the kids have had a good time with these. nothing like a current movie to hook them in:) looking forward to seeing what you do with them!

  2. I LOVE THESE!!! The strong verticals of the bridge against the horizontal horizon lines are fabulous!!

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