Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein is an American pop artist. Pop is short for popular. Pop Art uses images, ideas and people from popular culture. Comic books are from popular culture and Roy Lichtenstein often used the format of comic book art in his work. He used speech bubbles and onomatopoeias as well as primary and neutral colors.  Often his work featured some sort of drama as well.

Whaam! 1963 by Roy Lichtenstein 1923-1997Randall 5th graders chose an image from popular culture to create a comic book style drawing of their own. Craftsmanship was discussed often in this project. Students were careful to fill the entire space, use contrasting patterns and color neatly using solid lines.

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MMSD Art Standards:

Standard 1: Visual Memory and Knowledge

Students will know and remember information and ideas about art and design around them and throughout the world. 5th graders will identify the purposes, subject matter, stories, feelings or symbols communicated through art.

Standard 3: Designs

Students will design artwork organized by compositional principles. expressive features and sensory qualities. 5th graders will identify and use color, shape, line, texture, space and movement in works of art. 5th graders will identify and use contrast, repetition, emphasis, unity and variety.

Standard 4: Creates

Students will create images and object that communicate and express ideas using varied media, techniques and processes. 5th graders will recognize and use previously introduced elements, media, techniques, and processes and will continue to expand their knowledge which includes: Drawing as a planning tool to interpret and express personal thoughts, Drawing with contour line, textural elements, and value and figure drawing.

Standard 7: Interpreting

Students will interpret the visual experience with a range of subject matter, symbols and ideas. 5th graders will identify subject matter and feeling found in art, identify the narrative qualities of artwork and identify the purpose of various artworks. 5th graders will define, discover and understand symbols and emotional content used in specific artwork.

Standard 9: Making Connections

Students will make connections among the visual arts with other disciplines. 5th graders will recognize endless relationships between the visual arts and other arts and socials studies.

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3rd grade Labor Murals

3rd graders began this lesson with a close reading of Diego Rivera’s murals. Students got into groups and began sketching their plan for their own group mural. As they began painting, they needed to review how to mix for secondary colors. They also needed to know what kinds of brushes to use. It makes sense to say out loud that you would need a small brush for details and a large brush for the big areas, but it is something students needed to be reminded of to think about.

Students really started to learn what the word craftsmanship means through this project. At various stages, students needed to be on the lookout for different ways they could see in their murals that they were really doing their best work and not rushing things. In the painting stage, that meant being White Spot Inspectors. When they were finished painting, that meant getting out their black markers. If you click on the links, you can see the videos created by another art teacher that students watched on these craftsmanship concepts.

IMG_3849 IMG_3854 IMG_3853After painting the murals, students learned about gesture drawings to help them create the workers for their murals.

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After a month and a half of work, here are the results!

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Standards in this lesson-

MMSD Art Standards

Identify the subject matter or story communicated through art.

Identify and use color, shapes, line, texture, and space in works of art.

Recognize and use previously introduced elements, media, techniques, and processes and will continue to expand their knowledge which includes:

1. Drawing as a planning tool for later use with a variety of media.
2. Drawing with contour line.
3. The techniques and processes of color mixing which include secondary colors
Describe artwork and will continue to develop this skill.
Participate in group discussions describing artwork.
Identify subject matter and feeling found in art. Identify the narrative qualities of artwork, i.e. cultural meaning and illustrations.
Create artwork with various subject matter, symbols, and emotional content.
View styles and techniques of a limited number of artists, and/or cultures past and present.
Start recognizing the principles of art in various art disciplines
Recognize endless relationships between visual arts and other
disciplines, i.e. Observation drawing – social studies, science Landscape painting – science, social studies
MMSD Social Emotional Standards
Students will work cooperatively with partner and in small groups.
Students will identify and practice strategies for resolving conflicts constructively.
Students will recognize that they have choices in how to respond to situations.

Diego Rivera and Close Reading

Close reading is the new buzz word in our classrooms. It is traditionally associated with literacy, the close reading of text. But text can be many different things, not just a traditional book or article. Text can also be a painting, sculpture, piece of music or graphic. Close reading might be the new buzz word in our elementary classrooms but it is something we art and music teachers have been doing for decades.

Essentially, close reading means reading to uncover layers of meaning that lead to deep comprehension. A good example of close reading in the art room is the lesson third graders just finished. They began this lesson with a close reading of the text of Diego Rivera’s labor murals in Detroit.

In close reading, there is a focus on observing and analyzing. The same questions that classroom teachers use to probe for deeper understanding in reading are the same questions we art teachers use as well. Remember, the text is the murals.

  • Who is speaking in the text?
  • Who seems to be the main audience? (To whom is the artist speaking?)
  • What is the first thing that jumps out at me? Why?
  • What’s the next thing I notice? Are these two things connected? How? Do they seem to be saying different things?
  • What seems important here? Why?
  • What does the artist mean by ______? What parts of the mural lead me to this meaning?
  • Is the artist trying to convince me of something? What? How do I know?
  • Is there something missing from this mural that I expected to find? Why might the artist have left this out?
  • Is there anything that could have been explained more thoroughly for greater clarity?
  • Is there a message or main idea? What in the text led me to this conclusion?
  • How does this painting fit into the murals as a whole?
  • What symbols are present? Why did the artist choose these symbols?
  • What images(s) stand out? Why? (typically vivid images, unusual choices, or a contrast to what a reader expects)
  • How do particular images get us to look at characters or events in a particular way? Do they evoke an emotion?
  • Are there any images that could have more than one meaning? Why might the artist have played with images in this way?
  • What one word describes the tone?
  • Does an image here remind you of an image elsewhere in the mural? Where? What’s the connection?
  • How might this image fit into the pattern of the mural as a whole?
  • Is there any repetition within the mural? What is the effect of that repetition?

The questioning could go on forever. Once the students get started in this line of questioning, they get really excited about it. I’m also very excited because students start to see the artwork in a whole new way!

After an in depth discussion prompted by the close reading of the text, students brainstormed what labor they see in their own communities.

From here, students got into groups depending on which labor group they wanted to focus on and started brainstorming the people in those groups. Who collects our garbage? Who grows our food? Who delivers our mail? Who fixes our pipes? Who builds the buildings? etc.

The next class, students started sketches of murals they would then create in groups inspired by labor in their own communities and Deigo Rivera’s murals.

Standards in this lesson:

Common Core Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.3 Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.6 Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.7 Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)

MMSD Social Studies Standards

Examine Madison’s history (i.e.energy, transportation, communication, art, architecture).
Recognize and interpret how the “common good” can be strengthened through various forms of citizen action.\

Describe the ways people participate in the community in order to provide goods and services whether through paid or volunteer activities.
Explain why people specialize in different occupations and describe how that specialization leads to increasing interdependence between producers and consumers in a community.
Recognize systems that are developed to meet specific community needs: government, transportation, education, communications.
Define a community as an interdependent group of people living and working together.
Demonstrates an ability to interact within a group while performing various group roles (i.e. organizing, planning, and goal setting).
Apply and practice skills of conflict resolution (persuasion, compromise, debate, and negotiation).

MMSD Art Standards

Identify the subject matter or story communicated through art.

Identify and use color, shapes, line, texture, and space in works of art.

Recognize and use previously introduced elements, media, techniques, and processes and will continue to expand their knowledge which includes:

1. Drawing as a planning tool for later use with a variety of media.
2. Drawing with contour line.
3. The techniques and processes of color mixing which include secondary colors
Describe artwork and will continue to develop this skill.
Participate in group discussions describing artwork.
Identify subject matter and feeling found in art. Identify the narrative qualities of artwork, i.e. cultural meaning and illustrations.
Create artwork with various subject matter, symbols, and emotional content.
View styles and techniques of a limited number of artists, and/or cultures past and present.
Start recognizing the principles of art in various art disciplines
Recognize endless relationships between visual arts and other
disciplines, i.e. Observation drawing – social studies, science Landscape painting – science, social studies
MMSD Social Emotional Standards
Students will work cooperatively with partner and in small groups.
Students will identify and practice strategies for resolving conflicts constructively.
Students will recognize that they have choices in how to respond to situations.

Exquisite Corpse

Surrealism is the juxtaposition of fantastical images. For example, we looked at some paintings by Vladimir Kush. What do you see here? What images are juxtaposed together?

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How about in this painting by Salvador Dali?

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Exquisite Corpse is a game created by many Surrealism artists. A piece of paper is folded into thirds and each of the three artists starts with their own paper. On the first third, each artist draws a head and then folds it over so the next artist can’t see it then passes it to the left. The second round, each artist draws a body on the second third and then folds it over so no one can see the first or second third. The third round, each artist draws legs and feet and then opens the entire drawing. They turn out very silly. Lots of giggles during this class!!

We were also inspired by these hilarious exquisite corpse created by famous children’s illustrators.

This lesson is an introduction to what surrealism is. 3rd graders will learn more about surrealism in Wisconsin when they go to MMoCA on their field trip next semester to see The Mystery Beneath exhibit.

“Drawn from MMoCA’s permanent collection as a complementary show to Real/Surreal, this exhibition explores the flowering of surrealism and magical realism in Wisconsin from 1940 to 1975. The Mystery Beneath includes paintings, drawings, etchings, and prints by Aaron Bohrod, Duane Brisette, Karl Priebe, James Watrous, John Wilde, and Santos Zingale among others.

The Mystery Beneath will be on view in the museum’s State Street Gallery January 17, 2014 to April 13, 2014.”

MMSD Arts Standards

Standard Six: Reflects upon and assesses the characteristics and merits of own work and the work of others. The student will be able to: Recognize a limited number of artists and their styles, selected from the developing resource list, in conjunction with the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA), Chazen and MMSD.

Recognize a limited number of artists and their styles, selected from the developing resource list, in conjunction with the Madison Art Center, Chazen and MMSD.

Contour Line Self Portraits

Our first project of the year is underway! We are starting with all the grade levels doing the same thing, self portraits.

We began by looking at a drawing by Henri Matisse called Magnolia. magnolia

Students noticed that there was no color and it looked like a coloring book drawing. These lines are called contour lines. They define the edge of something or an outline. They also noticed some lines were thicker, some were thinner, some lighter and some darker. The differences in the lines is called line quality. Students were encouraged to use different line qualities with their contour line self portraits as well.

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Students started by drawing with pencils first. They learned to use light, sketchy lines from this interview with Mr. Pencil so they could trace their lines with Sharpie and erase their pencil marks later. Then they brainstormed words about themselves to use for the background of their drawings.

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IMG_2908Here is the finished project!

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MMSD Art Standards:

Designs: Identify and use color, shapes, line, texture, and space in works of art. Identify and use contrast, repetition, emphasis (center of interest).

Creates:  Use different media, processes, and techniques to communicate ideas, Take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance their art experiences, and stories. Drawing with contour line. The techniques and processes of color mixing which include secondary colors.

Reflecting:  Understand that there are various purposes for creating works of visual art. Understands that there are different responses to specific artworks.

Interpreting: Understand that different subject matter and ideas communicate meaning. Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning. Create artwork with various subject matter, symbols, and emotional content.

 

MMSD Social Emotional Standards:

Positive Self Identity: Students will identify and explore values. Students will reflect on their personal values.

5th Graders “Hired” in the Art Department on New Tim Burton Production

The last 5th grade unit that I was a part of was another that I designed and began teaching myself but was unable to finish as my time student teaching in the elementary came to a quick end and I had to move on to high school. I am a huge fan of mixed media art, printmaking, and movies so I decided to implement all of those elements into 1 unit and “hire” the 5th graders as my Art Department who would be working as character designers and developers, storyboard artists, and as printmakers.

Many people are familiar with the movie director, Tim Burton, who is famous for such films as Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Big Fish, Frakenweenie, as well as many others. What many people are unfamiliar with is that he is also an artist and that he designs all of his characters himself and develops his storyline from there. There is a featured article in The Scholastic Art magazine on Tim Burton’s artistic philosophy and process that inspired this unit.

http://www.art.scholastic.com/issues/11_01_12/book#/10

I believe that his artistic philosophy is extremely important to teach young artists and I posted some of his quotes around the room for students to see.

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And the quote that inspired the our lesson……

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We began our unit looking at, analyzing, and interpreting character drawings done by Tim Burton but I kept the fact that all of the drawings were done by Tim Burton a secret in the beginning. Some character drawings I showed the students included…

We discussed the common themes in how all of the characters were drawn/painted, the style that the artist used and we learned the terms disproportionate, elongated, fanciful, gestural, expressive, and surreal. I also asked the students to come up with a quick back story for each character just by looking at them and what they came up with was absolutely hysterical and very creative! I asked if they knew who the artist was that created all of these characters and the most common response I received was Pablo Picasso, so I showed them a few more characters done by the artist that they might recognize 🙂

I then congratulated them on being “hired” as the art department on an up and coming Tim Burton film and there job was to design and develop a character and create a storyboard to “present to Time Burton”. In order to make our art room seem more like the art department on a movie set I gave each day we worked a title.

Day 1 of Production – CHARACTER DESIGN

On the first day their task was to design and draw an interesting character using Tim Burton’s style of drawing as inspiration.

Day 2 of Production – CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

We finished designing and drawing our characters and then transferred those character drawings onto linoleum blocks and began carving out our blocks in preparation for printmaking. We discussed simplifying and negative space. Everyone had a great experience carving out linoleum blocks for the first time, just like professional printmakers. They will be using their character prints and cutting and pasting them into their storyboards rather than drawing out the character every single time in each frame.

Day 3 & 4 of Production – CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT AND STORYBOARDING

I showed the students a short video of how a professional storyboard corresponds to the actual movie and we discussed narration and storytelling through visuals. We were going to be doing a slightly shorter storyboard and I asked the students to sum up their character’s story in only 4 frames. They were given a variety of supplies and asked to draw out each of the 4 major scenes but not forgetting to leave room in each scene for their character print. The imaginations and creative ideas I witnessed working with the students was absolutely amazing.


Sadly I wasn’t able to be there when the students did the printmaking and finished their storyboards as my student teaching obligations took me to West High School but I can’t wait to see all of the finished products in upcoming blog posts!

Dr. Evermor Fantastical Machines

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This last lesson with the 4th graders while student teaching was a lesson that I designed and taught myself. We focused on one of my favorite Wisconsin artists, Tom Every, aka Dr. Evermor.
Many of you have probably seen some of his giant, metal bird sculptures on the roof of Madison’s Children’s Museum or on Patterson Street in between East Johnson Street and Williamson Street. A handful of the students even said that they have had a chance to visit his sculpture park, just South of Baraboo, WI.

Our first day, the students were given a picture of Dr. Evermor’s famous Forevertron sculpture, which happens to hold the Guiness World Record for largest scrap metal sculpture. I asked them to interpret and analyze the picture without giving them any previous information. They discussed with their classmates what they noticed about the picture, what they thought the item in the picture was made from, and what they thought the item in the picture was used for.


FOREVERTRON by Tom Every aka Dr. Evermor
http://www.worldofdrevermor.com

We then had a class discussion about their ideas and I introduced the artist Tom Every and his artwork. We discussed how he uses unaltered recycled scrap metal or “junk” in his sculptures, the importance of recycling, alter-egos, narration in artwork, storytelling, elements of a story, inventing, and the non-traditional art making process of generating the context behind the artwork after it is already made rather than the traditional process where ideas are generated first and turned then into final pieces of artwork. That last topic was something I really wanted to focus on in our initial discussion and following activity because that is exactly how Dr. Evermor works. He begins by welding various scrap metal together without knowing what type of sculpture he is making and lets the artwork itself help determine the content, concept, and story behind the sculpture. Then the students were given their own junk and were instructed to just start drawing using the “junk” as inspiration and begin creating a drawing without knowing what it was and to let the drawing itself decide what it is.

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Then the students were asked to create their own Dr. Evermor inspired fantastical machines based off their “junk” drawings and develop a story that explains their machines. The students were introduced to the various graphite pencils that artists use, blending/shading, hatching and cross-hatching drawing techniques, designing mechanical drawings, and even 1-point perspective!

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The student’s Fantastical Machines and stories behind them were absolutely AMAZING! The creative and inventive ideas that came from the minds of the 4th grades was absolutely inspiring and everyone one had a fun time inventing their own Fantastical Machines!

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