What is art? How is it different than Art? What pieces make up art and how can we define those pieces?
Art is identified and discussed using terms that are universal. Line, shape, form, colour, value, texture, and space are all words that we can use to identify and describe art. Lets learn a little about these terms, and look at some examples of famous Art, as well as a few pieces of my own.
A line can be a mark, dot, or continuous line. It can be an actual line or an implied line. Lines appear in different ways- curvy, long, short, straight, thick, thin, dark, light, choppy, broken, textured, or coloured. The gallery below has some of my favorite examples of lines in art.
Draw your name over and over in different colours, with markers, crayons, pencil crayons, and watercolour pencils. Use different sizes and try handwriting if grade appropriate.
Trace your hand, draw many types of lines, squiggles, loops, angles, and zig zags. You can also show many examples of Coast Salish art and use the lines and forms to create a beautiful design in your hand outline.
There is a slight but important difference between shape and form. Form is anything that has a 'thickness' to it. It is the difference between a circle and a sphere, a triangle and a pyramid, or a square and a cube. Just like shape, you aren't required to have standard geometric areas, you can also have the shape of a woman's skirt be 'formed' by adding the thickness, shading, and size that implies the third dimension.
This is a great chance to bring play dough and clay into the classroom. Teach students to create pinch pots and coil pots. Allow for LOTS of time to create and play and experiment before keeping a final form and kiln firing the clay.
Teach students 3d lettering. Allow them to recreate logos of their favorite brands of food, clothing, and business' in the 3d letter forms.
Some people try to only see the world in black and white, what they are missing is the value of everything else. Artists use value to create distance and form, because generally dark values (closer to black) appear to be closer, while light values (closer to white) appear farther away.
Supply several ice cream scoop cutouts and allow students to paint or colour the levels of ice cream scoops with the darkest on the bottom and lightest on the top.
Allow students to create an ombre by painting a cape or piece of fabric to be made into a bag. Chevrons, ikat pattern, or lines are very popular with teens right now.
Space is what surrounds us. It can be two dimensional or three dimensional. It flows around and between forms and shapes, and gives vastness or tightness to an area. Space is one of the elements of art because it gives you depth and distance. Objects closer to you are distinct and bright, objects farther away are faded and blend into the background. The gallery below includes some of my favorite uses of space in Art.
Introduce Ted Harrison's beautiful illustrations in O Canada. Allow students to recreate images from the book, or create their own images based on his simple designs.
Create a grid of a famous painting (such as Starry Night), and allow each student to do one section of the grid. When the sections are assembled you will have a beautiful mural for your classroom!
Whenever line is used to inclose an area a shape is formed. Shapes can be as simple as triangles, circles, squares, and rectangles, or as complex and amorphous as abstract multi angled, rounded, and curvy areas. The gallery below has a few of my favorite examples of shape in art.
Read Eric Carle's "Very Hungry Caterpillar" and draw the fruits and vegetables that you would eat if you were a very hungry caterpillar.
Introduce Ted Harrison, and show students how to create overlapping simple lines to mimic mountains and snow layers. Create a house in the midground. This creates a great example of shape.
Colour stimulates the eye. It can be light and airy, dark and dreary, warm and cuddly, cold and barren. It can represent energy, motion, feelings, and can be used to over or under highlight a specific area of a picture.
Keep all the broken crayons all year and at the end, use duct tape to attach them to the top of a piece of posterboard or thick cardstock. Allow students to take turns holding a blow dryer and letting the crayons melt and drip down the page.
Show students a video of Jackson Pollock. Explain how the 'dance' of creation is part of the value of his art. Push all the desks aside and put down drop sheets. Allow students to drip, splosh, and throw paint on the sheets. Hang them after they dry and allow students to do a gallery walk to explore the work.
Texture is the surface of something. It is the rough, scratchy, glossy, dull, slick, soft, warm, or coldness of whatever you are touching or holding. Unfortunately you aren't allowed to touch most Art you see at museums, but you can still interpret what you see with how it would feel. Many artists utilize texture to evoke certain feelings.
Give students puffy paint and a variety of dry beans, rice, glitter, pipe cleaners, and puff balls. Allow students to develop pieces of art that include a variety of textures, shapes, and colours.
Give students white printer paper. Allow them to create shapes by cutting, tearing, or rolling. Students must only pick one type of texture. When all the students work is posted together it looks like a texture quilt. (Example)
Here is a link to a pretty amazing art page. http://www.westbranch.k12.oh.us/olc/page.aspx?id=2570&s=273
Here is another link to a pretty amazing art page: http://splitcomplementary.blogspot.ca/2012/08/new-and-improved-elements-and.html
Yet another fantastic Art site: http://www.deepspacesparkle.com/