Space…the Final Frontier?

A lot of times when we hear the word space – we think of outer space.  In Art however, space means something a tad bit different.  I have been really focusing on the elements of art this week with 5th-7th grade.  5th and 6th grades have been learning about the element of Space and what that means in Art.  They have learned about background, foreground, mid-ground, horizon lines and vanishing points.  One of the biggest concepts I’ve been teaching them is how objects appear smaller in the background and larger in the foreground.

I showed the 5th and 6th grade students how to illustrate a sun-set desert scenery with cacti that get smaller in the distance.  I also showed them how to illustrate a bedroom using perspective.  This always get the students tremendously excited because they can design their own rooms.

Here are examples of what the kids have been doing:

3rd and 4th grade have been working on one of my most favorite lessons to teach: Matisse Mugs.  If you’ve read my first entry, you would have seen that Matisse is my favorite painter.  I love his use of patterns and bright colors.  Although they may seem amatuer to someone who’s not familiar with art – Matisse was actually an incredible painter.

Students viewed a few of his pieces that are very patterned.



They noticed the warm colors and cool colors (and pointed out it appears to be the same woman in both paintings) and identified patterns.  Then they got to work creating a still-life mug, using either warm or cool colors, followed by illustrating Matisse-inspired patterns.  **Fun Fact- the painting on the right sold for $33 million dollars**

Here are a few of the beautiful results.  Parents: you might want to frame some of these and hang them in your kitchen…especially if you are an avid coffee drinker like myself.

Finally, we have been doing rainy day wax resists in nursery school – 2nd grade.  Students start off by illustrating rain with white crayon on white paper (last week).  When they first do this – they’re a little confused because they can’t see anything.  But then the “magic” part happens (as I call it).  We paint over the white rain with variations of blue paint and the rain “magically” appears.  They love it.

This week we made umbrellas to glue onto our rainy day paintings.

I also seized the opportunity to teach them about the colors of the rainbow, however they already knew them – so I was pleasantly surprised…