Thursday, October 19, 2017

lines with m&m.

I recently wrapped up my first 2 week rotation with our first graders. They explored line direction, pattern, and color value while being inspired by the work of Monty Montgomery and Minhau. Students discovered that an artist can use similar types of lines to make works of art that look a lot different than each other.

I shared the work of Monty the first week. (Monty was kind enough to visit with some students while this was going on... I'll share more on that wonderful experience later:) He paints intensely colored, hard edged abstract pieces and I used his work to introduce students to horizontal, vertical, and diagonal straight lines. After making the lines with our bodies, we looked at a few of his pieces to see how he used those lines in his paintings. We also discovered that he creates patterns with lines and colors.

We then made a couple practice sketches that were inspired by his abstract compositions. We did the first one together and then I asked the kids to try a second one and encouraged them to place their lines in different places than their first sketch. They picked one they liked more and shared their reasoning with a buddy. "I chose my first drawing because..."

We then drew the composition on a larger sheet and I reminded them that their drawing could change a bit- they could revise it and they could add more detail if they felt like their drawing needed it.

Before adding color, we practiced pressing hard and soft, so they could use that technique to create patterns in their work. When done, we wrote a sentence about the process. I encouraged them to use line vocab in their sentence.

The next week we looked at the work of Brazilian artist Minhau. We discovered that she has a thing for cats and these cats use the same kinds of lines Monty uses. Plus, she uses curved lines. Minhau also plays with thick and thin lines to emphasize certain parts of her painted subjects.

After sharing a couple of her paintings, we practiced in the same way we did for our Monty inspired drawings. Students chose, reasoned their choice, revised and refined it on larger paper. To emphasize thick and thin, we used chisel tip markers and tried to make our big shapes have thick outlines and the detailed parts have thin lines.

When we colored, I encouraged pattern making with hard and soft, as well as multiple colors.

Kids were very engaged with both lessons and are taking to the preliminary sketch part without much of a hitch.