Saturday, September 13, 2014

Kinderhaus Day 2: Self Portraits

I LOVE teaching self portraits to Kindergarteners. Mostly because I love seeing them looking in the mirrors and recording how they see themselves.

I start by defining and comparing. "If a portrait is picture of a person, then a self portrait is a picture I make of me." Mona Lisa is a portrait by Leonardo Da Vinci, but this picture of me that I drew is not only a portrait, but my self portrait.

Of course technology has sort of helped us redefine self portraiture... a student raised his hand and said a self portrait is a "selfie." So yes, today we drew selfies.

To help show the proportions of the face, I like to actually take a selfie of me that day (same clothes!) and print out a few copies.

Color is SO much better, but only the B&W printer was working today. 
I keep one copy as is.

I keep another to be able to draw on.

And the fun part: I cut out my head in the last copy. This enables me to fold it along my eyes to prove that eyes are actually in the center of one's face!  You can also fold it vertically to show the symmetry. I once had a college professor literally draw charcoal lines on her face and it BLEW MY MIND. I didn't do that for kindergarten, but it's something to consider. Instead, I draw on this picture.
a little wrinkled by day's end
I think cutting and folding my head really helps illustrate how our eyes, ears, noses and mouth line up on our face. We all look unique, yet this map is pretty much the same on everyone.

I drew my face on a blank sheet of paper for all of them to see my thinking as I mapped it out on paper.
[I'll update this page on Monday with my drawing-- I forgot to take a picture of it!]

I showed a couple of well known examples: Frida Kahlo, Rembrant, and Beauford Delaney.

Self-PortraitBefore we left the rug, we looked at the different colors of the skin in Delaney's painting... blue, green, red. Not just the typical "skin color" we think we see.

I showed how you can blend colors with color pencils (advanced, I know!) The drawing choice materials that I put out were pencils, color pencils, markers, and crayons. 

Some students drew a bust like my example and this one of Delaney. Others drew full bodies. I love seeing the differences. 

Here are some examples of student work:

Prop a mirror on a mini easel. This student also asked for my hand drawn self portrait example to look at. 

Sharing materials. Student at right literally drew in her horizontal center "eye line"

Full body with fingers and toes.
Mapping out proportions of a body. (What does it mean that it's not connected, I wonder.)

"I drew numbers in my brain because I'm good at math."

"I'm facing that way, but I'm looking this way."
At the demo, I talked about how hair comes over the top of the head even without bangs.
I pointed out this girl's bangs and drew them into my drawing. She tried it in her drawing.

Finding proportions and practicing blending with color pencil. Yes, he's five! 

Amazing work, huh!? And it's only day 2 in art!!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Kinderhaus Day 1: Leonardo Da Vinci's Journals, and Meet Mona Lisa!

What to do with this clean slate of a Kindergartener!? Let's be honest, I want it to be a grand idea, with easy materials. We're just meeting each other for the first time and establishing basic normalcy.

Here's what I did:

Pre-made journals for them-- 20 per class, including extras. Easily stapled blank sheets with a class color-coded title page. (Some pages I put an idea at them top like "My favorite activity," but I realized I probably didn't need to do that.)

They can draw on the cover!

I also brought out my artist sketchbook to show them how you can doodle, paste in pictures, and write all over the pages.

I even had out books on my lesson table about Da Vinci to show pictures of Mona Lisa.
Why is Mona Lisa Such a good role model for lessons? She's sitting, hands in lap, looking and listening to the viewer-- or teacher!

Our words of the week: 
   -Leonardo Da Vinci  (yes, there's also a turtle named after him!)
   -Mona Lisa
   -artist journal

The book I read to them: Leonardo and the Flying Boy by Laurence Anholt. This book is better suited for an older age, so I picked out sections of pages to establish the idea of who this artist was, why Mona Lisa is our role model, and the importance of keeping a journal and coming up with radical ideas.

inspiration and wonder from the world around us
sketches of inventions

practice of drawing faces

excitement and patience for making art

Mona Lisa! 

After our lesson at the rug, we went to draw in our journals. At each table, I had markers, crayons, pencils, and stencils. This week, every center is the same.

As some students finished early, they were invited back to the rug to share their work with other early finishers. I have students for 1 hour blocks, and even this filled the time well. As the year unfolds, I will add more centers like dough and stamping. By the last five minutes of class, we were all at the rug, listening to whoever wanted to share.

We had some great inventions, like a missing sock replacer, and other fabulous illustrations.
Things I love: rainy beach days

Journals were placed in their class bins, and off we went!

Next week: Self portraits!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Thank you, Carol!

I had the amazing fortune of helping a former art teacher "clean out her closet." I am so grateful! Here are some pictures to show her some of the amazing things kids made with her donations. 

Olympic Rings with masking tape over wooden loops
Bread tie skiier
Olympic stand 
Gymnast hoops
Gold medal!
Dream catcher 1
Op art - two students made opposite panels 
Mom necklace 
Carol gave us the brushes and ink 
Basket weaving
Den-den daiko - Asian pellet drum! 

Abstract wind sculpture 
Weaving with Pom poms 
Sculpture made with "stain glass" lid, paper strips.

Dress forms! (Or future dolls?) The shirt was hand sewn. 
Musical instruments - shakers and drums.

Halfway done basket
paper bowl weaving

Bear card

Hair net hats...

Thank you so much, Carol Hollis!

"Happy" Drawings

I was given a task to find an image for our Grandparent's Day invitation. It needed to be a typical  happy, rainbow, smilie faced kid art image. And I couldn't find one! Apparently I don't keep records the typical... until today. My goal was to get the happiest pictures I could.

Here's what I did with kinderhaus:

Displayed the Renior painting, "Bal du moulin de la Galette",  and talked about the movement (opposite of "still life" that we did last week) and the joyous activities: dancing, eating, being with family and friends.

Next we watched this great little video to learn more about how Renoir painted:

When we went off to draw and paint, we played the song "Happy" by Pharrel Williams , which they loved listening to (over and over).

Here are some of the images that were drawn! Hopefully one or two of the dancers will make it on the invite!

(He's tasting a flower...)

(He's drinking hot chocolate...)

I'll share the official invite after the designers choose an image!