Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Hundertwasser Architecture

Each year our fifth graders learn about the art of painter and architect: Friedrich Hundertwasser.  Hundertwasser is a whimsical artist who really is amazingly creative.  Some classes were able to learn more about Hundertwasser through the book  Hundertwasser for Kids: Harvesting Dreams. This book gives a playful peak into the mind of the artist!

After looking at artwork created by Hundertwasser, we came up with a list of common characteristic: colorful, buildings, faces, and lollypop trees.  We used these characteristics to help guide our designs.

Learning Goals: I can...
- Tell about Hundertwasser
- Balance color
- Use etching lines to create texture
- Explain what architecture is

3D Names

Fifth graders began the year by using perspective to create 3D names.  This was a great project for learning not only one-point perspective but also different color concepts.

Learning Goal: I can...
- Use a horizon line, vanishing point and perspective lines to create the illusion of form.
- Use watercolor pencils to blend analogous colors
- Use complementary colors to make my name stand out

Biggby Art Show

We just finished the Biggby art contest! Here are some pictures! The art was from three Hudsonville elementary schools. Bauer, Forest Grove and South Elementary!

Monday, October 31, 2016


At Bauer all of the teachers were Emojis for Halloween!

Today in art class the kids learned a bit about the history of emojis! The younger kids focused more on emotions and how to draw an emotional face. The older kids pulled together their creative ideas to create their own unique emojis!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Klimt Trees

Fourth graders read the book "Klimt and his Cat" and looked at the artwork of Gustav Klimt. They discovered that he makes his trees with interesting spiral branches.

Image result for klimt and his cat

First we talked about what a landscape is and then we painted our own landscapes using the cool color family (blue, green and purple) for the land and the warm color family (red, yellow, and orange) for the sky.  We used a loose watercolor technique which involved blending colors and bending our paper to cause the colors to drip.

Next, we practiced our brush technique for getting smooth edges as we painted our trees.  Finally, it was time for embellishments.  We used gold paint and jewels to embellish our Klimt trees.  Klimt is well known for his use of gold paint!

Learning Goals: I can...
- Create a tree in the style of Klimt
- Tell about Klimt
- Blend analogous (neighbor) colors using watercolor paint
- Paint smooth spiraling lines

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Perspective Farm Fields

First graders talked about perspective using this farm field project. We talked about how objects that are close look big and things that are far away look small even if they are the same size in real life. We used a vanishing point and perspective lines to make our gardens look like they are going off into the distance.

Learning Goals: I can...
- Use perspective lines and size to show distance

The idea for this lesson came from here!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Welcome Back!

This year all of my art classes will be starting with an all school project! We will be reading the story "The Crayon Boxed that Talked," by Shane DeRolf. Each student will design and individualize their own crayon with a self-portrait and some personal favorites!

Next, we will work on a graphic design project designing our own merchandise! This is a fundraiser for the art room. To learn more you can visit . Look for ordering info in November!

Wearing the right clothes to art can help reduce stains!  I highly recommend sending your kids to art in a dark short sleeved shirt that is not a favorite or brand new.  While we do wear paint shirts every time we paint, accidents still happen when there are 20-30 kids all painting at the same time!  (...and it's not always your own child's fault).  The kids all know that if they have a sweater or sweatshirt on over their t-shirt it's a good idea to take it off and leave it on the table by the door before class starts!  Please especially avoid wearing long sleeved white button down shirts on art day! 

If your child does come home with a stain encourage them to tell you right away so that you can use a Spray'n Wash product on it!!

Here is the schedule for art!

Day 1 Art Classes:         Day 2 Art Classes:         Day 3 Art Classes:
Lloyd                                Mills                                 Cramer
Chatfield                          Sparks                              Vandenburg
Rich                                 Mulder                              McManus
Farrell                              Boss                                 Laansma
Basinger                          Strelecki                           Morren
DeGram                          Veldhuizen                        Rivera
Boes (with Mrs. Jagger)                        

Friday, June 3, 2016

Fifth Grade Murals

Each year the fifth grade students at Forest Grove Elementary create a collaborative work of art to leave behind in our school's permanent collection. This year, fifth graders completed a huge mural project that is on display in the library and media center! 

Ocean Mural -Mrs. Cramer's Class

Farm Mural - Mrs. Mills' Class

My favorite thing about this project is that it was almost entirely a student driven project.  Here is how we did it:

First, each class voted to select the theme. Next, we looked at other murals that also used the same theme. We critiqued them and talked about things that worked well on each, as well as some compositional pit falls that we wanted to avoid. This critique helped us to come up with some guidelines for our own drawings.

Next, each student created a small scale sketch of what they would like to see on one of the mural panels. Students voted on which students should become leaders for each painting. After spending time sketching independently, the small groups (around 6 kids) got together to talk about their practice sketches. They picked their favorite parts to combine into one final group sketch. Each student drew their own part onto the final paper. (We had another project going during this process).

After the final sketch was completed, it was projected and traced onto a 3 x 6 foot roll of canvas...

We used acrylic paint to paint it in...

After the project was completed, students evaluated each other on attitude, responsibility and teamwork!

Learning Goals: I can...
- Work collaboratively
- Be a responsible teammate with a helpful attitude
- Create a mural
- Create depth using size and placement in space
- Create unity using color and style
- Create variety using color and unique subjects

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Thank You Volunteers!

Thanks for all your help this year with the kids! Second graders painted theses murals to help thank all of our volunteers that make our school such a special place!

Thank you volunteers for all your thyme!

P.S. I also want to offer up my personal gratitude to all the volunteers who have helped hang the kids' art in the hallways! Wow it's a big job!!!
Learning Goals: I can...
- Explain what a mural is
- Work well with others on a collaborative art project

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Chinese Dragons

Fourth graders are so enthusiastic about creating these Chinese dragons.  We talked about the difference between the European dragon and the Chinese dragon. The Chinese dragon is a symbol of good luck and wisdom. It is a symbol of power for people who are worthy of it and a creature to be feared by fools and evildoers. The European dragon on the other hand is typically an unruly dreadful beast feared by all for its ruthlessness.

We talked about how the appearance of the Chinese dragon has changed over time. It has become a creature that flies with a serpent's body, hawk claws, cow ears and the whiskers and scales of a carp (koi).

We also learned the Chinese Waterfall Legend. It tells if the koi fish that swam up the Yellow river against the current and tried for 100 years to jump up the waterfall. When he finally made it, he became a dragon that chases pearls of wisdom.  We talked about the life lessons that this story teaches us such as perseverance.

The dragon is a huge part of Chinese culture and makes many appearances at celebrations. We also watched some dragon dance videos while we worked. Notice that it is chasing a pearl of wisdom!

The main art concept that we talked about during this project was color blending. We talked about how to layer colors to blend, and we talked about using water to help colors to smoothly transition on our papers.

Does it Blend Well?
YES: 2 Primary Colors, 2 Analogous Colors (next door neighbors on the color wheel)
NO: 3 Primary Colors, Complementary Colors (opposites on the color wheel), Secondary Colors

When we talk about blending, I explain that our goal is to use vibrant rainbow colors on our artwork, so it's important to know how to avoid brown.

Next, we do some color math. I explain that to make brown, you combine all 3 primary colors.  I write out this basic equation on the board...

Red+Yellow+Blue = Brown

Then, we simplify the equation a variety of ways:
If, R+Y=O, and Y+B=G, and R+B=P, and R+Y+B= Brown then...
(R+Y)+B= O+B = Brown ...or...
(Y+B)+R= G+R = Brown ...or...
(R+B)+Y= P+Y = Brown

As it turns out, when we simplify the equation we end up with complementary pairs: (notice that these are on the "NO" list).

Orange and Blue
Green and Red
Purple and Yellow

Why can't we blend secondary colors together Mrs. Seitz? To answer this question we expand the equations and discover that all 3 of the primary colors are present in the mixtures.

Orange + Green = (R+Y)+(B+Y)
Green + Purple = (Y+B)+(R+B)
Purple + Orange = (B+R)+(R+Y)

The color math really helps the kids understand the reasons behind what works and what doesn't. It also gives them a way to figure it out if they haven't memorized what works. When I teach it this way, it creates an ah-ha moment for many of the kids. At this point in the year, my 4th graders are really quite good with color concepts because we have already done our Kandinsky color mixing lesson with fractions!

Learning Goals: I can...
- Explain the difference between Chinese and European dragons
- Tell about Chinese dragons
- Blend using analogous colors (next door neighbors)
- Give examples of colors that do and do not blend well