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Art teachers were STEAM-ing before STEAM was cool!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winter Silhouette Landscapes

WOW! This is one of those projects where I think, "Yeah, this will be a good one to do with the kids," but then I do it and, WOW. I was so happy with the way these came out and the creativity my students showed when making these pieces.

Look at that sky! Beautiful!

My homeschool art class just finished up a two-week session on Chinese New Year and we had a class to go before starting African art. I wanted to do a winter-related project that taught them a skill (such as color-mixing) but also tied in some elements of art such as value, etc.

I found this project for a moon-lit landscape in the book, "Using Color in Your Art," by Sandi Henry. It's published by Williamson Books and I LOVE their art books for children.

I also tied in another favorite book of mine, "The Day the Babies Crawled Away," by Peggy Rathmann. It's a great book that has striking skies offset with detailed silhouettes. The story is about a boy who notices the babies in his neighborhood crawling away from a neighborhood celebration (unbeknownst to their parents). He follows the babies to keep an eye on them and the images are hilarious! Oh yeah, and it illustrates the whole "beautiful background/silhouette landscape-thing I'm trying to teach with this project!

This project teaches a whole bunch of concepts to children, here's the info:

We started by talking about landscapes and what that meant. Then we discussed how there can be different values (lights and darks) of colors. When a painter mixed white with a color, it gets lighter. The values that are made by mixing white with a color are called tints. When a painter mixes black with a color, it gets darker. The values that are made by mixing black with a color are called shades.

In the first part of this project, we are going to make the sky (or background) for our Winter Silhouette Landscapes.

Supplies Needed to make the SKY:

  • 11" x 14" White Heavyweight Paper (I used bristol, but you could use posterboard)
  • Pencil
  • Blue tempera paint
  • White tempera paint
  • Disposable plate for a palette
  • Paint brush or piece of sponge
  • Water, paper towels & newspapers

Directions to make the SKY:

1. Using your finger, locate the center of the white piece of paper. Move your finger up about 2" and then over to the right about 2." This is where your moon will be. Use the pencil to make a little dot to mark the place.

2. Put some white and blue paint on the palette. Paint a 2" circle with white paint onto the dot you marked as the "moon" on your paper.

3. With your brush, get a dab of blue and mix it into the entire blob of white paint on your palette (not in your paper!). Use this brush or the sponge to paint this light blue paint in a ring around the moon on your paper.

4. Keep repeating the process (adding blue paint to make the paint on your palette darker and then painting a ring of color onto your paper) until the entire page is filled with rings of color. It's OK if some of the rings go off your paper. Just keep going and continue filling the page.

5. Let this dry. I brought a fan in to speed up the process since I wanted to send this project home today.

Supplies needed to make the SILHOUETTE-LANDSCAPE:

  • 1 Piece of 9" x 12" black construction paper
  • Bits of yellow construction paper, optional
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick

Directions to make the SILHOUETTE-LANDSCAPE:

1. I started by talking with the children about what they'd see if we went walking in their yard at night. We discussed not only what we'd see (houses, snowmen), but what we'd smell (trees, smoke from a chimney). Then I asked them what we'd hear (crunching snow, dogs barking, children playing). I also showed them the book by Peggy Rathmann and we discussed a few things we saw in there.

2. Draw a ground line on the black construction paper. Add a house, trees, etc. using the pencil making sure that the elements touch the ground and are large enough and simple enough to be recognized and easy enough to cut out with scissors.

3. Cut out the silhouette with scissors.

4. Glue the silhouette to the background/sky painting using a glue stick. The silhouette becomes the foreground of the picture. The moon makes a nice focal point.

5. Using bits of yellow construction paper and the glue stick, add a window or two to your house.

ENJOY the warm, inviting night-time winter landscapes!

This piece shows one of the babies from the book
getting into trouble by hanging upside from a tree limb!





1 comment:

  1. These are beautiful! I recently did the same monochromatic lesson I did with my 5th grades last year with my 2nds this year and the results were great! The kids were so proud of their results! The adults in the building were impressed also when they saw them displayed! Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

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