Sunday, September 18, 2016

Walk the line...Klimt Patterns

My husband raided my car and took a bunch of our favorite CDs for his own car. It's had quite an impact on my drives to work. You need good tunes and coffee to start your day off right! Lucky for me he left behind a little Johnny Cash! And how appropriate that I have listened to "Walk the Line" so much lately on my drive in?!?! As kindergartners, these now first graders learned A LOT about lines. We know that a line is a dot that goes for a walk (Thanks "Harold and the Purple Crayon"!), we know many different types of lines ("Line's that Wiggle"), how to use lines as parts of a drawing, that overlapping lines make shapes, and that lines have direction. That's a whole lot of stuff to know about lines! 

This year we're looking more closely at how artists use lines in their work and we're applying lines that we know in new ways, with new art supplies, learning new techniques. Lines are SO IMPORTANT! They're part of the Elements of Art, the foundation for making cool stuff in art...

To dive into lines we looked at "Klimt and His Cat". Raise your hand if you have a cat! Or a bunch of cats! Not calling out any cat ladies here... just a show of hands...It's always exciting to learn that a famous artist was also a real person who did normal things like we do! Like have pets! It helps us connect to the artist. Kids with cats raised their hands, excited to have something in common with Klimt, a famous artist! Check out that art smock! After we shared our pet stories, we looked at examples of his artwork. We talked about the little details of his painting style and where some of his ideas came from. Klimt's father was a goldsmith that taught him how to work with gold as a young man. He also really loved byzantine mosaics (murals made with little tiles, bits of glass, and stones). 

Gustav Klimt 046.jpg

We focused on his Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. Check it out! Look really closely...We decided together that Klimt mushed together stuff he knew (goldsmith stuff) and stuff he really liked (mosaic murals) and it changed how he made his own art. We don't always realize it, but this happens to most folks who make things! His Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I is filled with gold! The line and shape patterns look like the little bits in the mosaic murals he loved!After reviewing all the lines we know, and all the shapes we know, and how to make a pattern, we tried our hand at making some fancy Klimt patterns! I found this nifty template through Pinterest at Art Projects for Kids. Kathy Barbro, art teacher and blogger, shared her template there and it was PERFECT for honing our line makin' skills! This Klimt line activity is going to help us with our next project...

We used straight lines, zig-zag lines, curvy lines, dotted lines, spiral lines, and swirls! We used circles, triangles, rectangles, ovals, and loads of other shapes we know! When we thought we were finished with our super fancy patterns we looked closer. And then we looked even closer...Is there any space that we could fill in somehow? Could we fit in a shape pattern or another line pattern between lines and shapes we've already drawn? Asking these questions is a way to critique our own work. Our choices are more thoughtful and purposeful. We pay closer attention to our neatness. Our art doesn't need to look like the famous artists, or the kids we're sitting next to, or mine, we all have our own ideas and likes, but our work should show our best effort.

Students used thicker and thinner Sharpies to create their patterns, filling in the blank shapes of Adele. The famous painting of her was projected at the front of the room to reference, along with our line and shape learning maps. Great resources for reminders and ideas!

Check out those thick and thin lines! You can tell students were really taking their time!

And those shapes! Looking for ways to jazz them up, adding dots....

After line and shape patterns, we added color with crayola markers. We worked on filling in our white spaces, staying in the lines, no scribbles. As students worked I walked around placing golden colored pencils next to them to add fancy golden Klimt-ish details to their patterns. THEY WENT BANANAS over the gold pencils! I told them that we haven't used them in school for a few years, and that using them was a very big deal. They took great care of them and were excited to see how brightly their new lines and shapes shone on their marker colors! Stay tuned to see how we apply all of this awesome new stuff to our next cool project!

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