Sunday, February 21, 2016

The African Safari: African Landscape Silhouettes

4th Grade has been working on their landscape unit the past 2 months. We just recently completed Austrian Landscapes and are now moving onto Africa. Students used warm colors to create their blended background sky and we then went into exploring silhouettes and the effects of light. Students created their own stencils and looked at a variety of African Silhouette images. We explored the various animals that live in African and the types of trees and plant life there. They then created these beautiful painted landscapes! Enjoy!

 We explored the various animals that live in African and the types of trees and plant life there. They then created these beautiful painted landscapes! Enjoy!
Vocabulary: Silhouette, Blending, Warm Colors, Landscape

Here are a few of the examples we took a look at.

Functional Art: African Calabash Bowls


The Calabash is also called a bottle gourd or white gourd. It is a vine grown for its fruit which can either be harvested young and used a s a vegetable, or harvested, mature, dried, and used as a bottle, utensil or pipe. The fresh fruit has a light-green smooth ski and white flesh. Rounder varieties are called calabash gourds. They grow in a variety of shapes. Hollowed out and dried calabashes are a very typical utensil in households across West Africa. They are used to clean rice, carry water, and as food containers. Smaller sizes are used to drink from. They are used in West African culture to make a Kora, which is a harp lute.

Resources for this Lesson:

Steps for the Art Lesson:
You need a bowl of some sort, a small yogurt cup, some art paste and aluminum foil. You can also use flower and water to make a paper mache' paste instead of using art paste. Whatever you have on hand works great! Below is an image of what the paper mache' shape looks like using the red bowl shape and yogurt container that I used. 

First you need to wrap the red bowl in aluminum foil. You will then place it upside down and paper mache' this bowl. Let dry. You then will tape the yogurt cup with three pieces of masking tape to the bottom of the bowl when it is dry. You will then cut off and unwrap the bowl, take it out and then finish paper mache' in the inside of the bowl. 

I had to cut off the aluminum foil that the bowl original was wrapped in to take it out and have a nice rounded shape. I took the bowls out and only used it as a mold because they were heavy and I could reuse them again. If you find a light weight dish like a cool whip container or something that is light weight you can just paper mache' on top of that and not have to remove the bowl. 
Here is the final pieces. We used white and black as contrast using African animals and authentic shapes and patterns of calabash bowls. 
These are the bowls drying and completed.We painted them white first and let them dry, then we used black paint for the patterns. We used acrylic paint for these as the tempera paint would have chipped off. 

These are a few of my FAVORITE Things! My Favorite Art Supplies

These are a few of my favorite things! Every Art Teacher or individual out there looking for great, affordable art supplies sometimes needs an insight on what materials are great for children when creating art. If you are experienced or are doing this for the first time, here is a helpful list that will get you started!

My favorite place to shop for art supplies!

I love shopping at Dick Blick Art Supplies online. They are a great art supply company that I have loved purchasing from for years! I started off back in art school when I would visit their shop often in my home town. 

Paint Brushes- Kids need to have the right paint brush when creating a painting or it could end up a mess in terms of fine motor skills for kids! Check out these beautiful brushes that have great handles and the right bristles for any painting project!

Oil Pastels-Crayola makes THE BEST oil pastels. Soft, great for blending and come in an array of colors. They are affordable and come in class pack size for big classrooms to individual size for smaller art instruction.

Construction Paper-  You can't go wrong with Tru-Ray construction paper. It is great with fade resistance and is thick enough for any art medium! Oil pastels, paints or collage, these papers are vibrant and ready for your artistic creations!

Liquid Watercolor Paints- Can I just say WOW! These are fabulous. I used these a few years back when they just came out at the Baltimore NAEA conference and they were such fun! Vibrant colors with just a few drops in water you can create an endless amount of watercolor paints for your students. 

Chalk Pastels- I LOVE Prismacolor NuPastel Color Sticks.They are vibrant and great quality BUT do have a bit of an expense to them. If you are on the affordable end of purchasing chalk pastels, order these awesome chalk sticks. They are Sargent Art Square Chalk Pastels. Colorful, affordable and great for kids. 

Pan Pastels- These are AMAZING! They are a bit pricy but create some beautiful color. They look like make up, especially the tools and product, but they are such fun and the kids love them. They are erasable too and there are many techniques that can be applied. I worked with this company during my Master's degree experimenting and researching the materials with my students and they absolutely LOVED THEM. They were created in Kutztown, PA and I have a few lessons you can check out using this amazing product. Like chalk pastels but cleaner and high quality pigments!

Drawing Paper- 90lb White Drawing paper is great for pastel, pencil, charcoal or pen. 

Tempera Paint- Crayola Artista II Liquid Washable Tempera Paint is what I live by! These are awesome, come in a variety of colors, are washable which we love for kids AND they are affordable!!!

Great place for art supplies as well. I often shop here too. You can order a catalog for your personal use or classrooms needs! Sax Art Supplies