Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2nd Grade Art Lesson: Value in Nature

I went into my daughter's 2nd Grade class room as an Art Docent today and shared with them a lesson on value.

We have been going over the 7 elements of art, and I was so happy to see that many of them remember the ones we've already covered this year (color, line and texture), and a few knew the ones that we haven't learned yet (shape, form and space).

We started our lesson on value by looking at some cherry blossom tree photos similar to this one.

I pointed out to the children how value deals with the lightness or darkness of a color.  Since we see objects and understand objects because of how dark or light they are, value is incredible important to art.

We looked at  a few more images of cherry blossom trees to study how light hits the blossoms in different directions.

I then showed them this image on an apple and presented them with a little test.

I asked the class to raise their hands if they thought this was a photo or a painting.  Only three of the 26 students guessed correctly that it was a painting.  Everyone else thought it was a photo.

I showed them how the artist used 8 ranges of value, both of the color red and white, together to create the illusion the apple was real.

I then spent a few minutes illustrating how the green on my shirt (Happy St. Patrick's Day!) looked different depending where I stood next to the window.  The side of me that faced the window looked lighter then the side of me that faced the hallway. Despite the shirt being the same color all over.

Feeling confident that the children got the concept, I handed out paper, brown markers and oil pastels. I had really wanted to do this lesson in watercolor, but alas, I didn't have extra hands to help and had to resort to a less messy lesson.

After making sure we all wrote our names on our paper, we turned them over.  Since cherry blossom branches don't go up and down, we want to make sure our main branch started on one side of our sheet.  We made two thick lines and darkened the side of the branch away from the sunlight with the brown marker.  We drew in lines to create the value of bark.

We then went in and drew in smaller branches, also by creating two lines that don't meet, coming off the main branch.  The final step was to add Ys at the end of our smaller branches to support our flowers.

Now the fun of coloring in the rest of our value of the branches and get started on the cherry blossoms.  We pulled out the red oil pastel and drew in five circles, since there is always five petals on a cherry blossom.

We drew radiating lines of white oil pastels coming out of each red petal, racing towards the center.  We then took our fingers and smudged the colors, three touches only, to blend the colors to make pink.

Here are a few of the masterpieces.  I did not put these up on the wall because I wanted the kids to take some spring home to their parents.

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