Tuesday, April 21, 2015

In the Art Room: Fourth Grade Color-Mixing Landscapes

Hey, y'all! If you follow me on the Instagrams, then you've seen my oversharin' ways of this here fourth grade color-mixing, landscape-paintin' project. It's proven to be a super fun lesson that my students have really enjoyed (and learned a thangie or two which you just can't beat). But before I dive into the how's, why's and whutz-its of this here project, I'd like to share some exciting news with y'all...
The lovely Heidi Easley of theaccidentalartistonline.com recently interviewed me as apart of a free online summit. She's interviewed over twenty artist from all over the world to share their story of makerin' and their journey of creativitiness. I had so much fun chatting with Heidi and my lil chat will go live this Wednesday, April 22nd. So! Get yourself all signed up and I'll see you on Wednesday!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled post...
This lesson started with an intro to the Swiss-born, Mexican-raised artist Xavier Castellanos. You can check out the prezi I created and shared with my students here
After our chat, I told the kids they'd be using the following:

* 9" X 12" paper. This is small for us. But I wanted the kids to be able to really get into the details and not be overwhelmed by a massive piece of paper.
* Recycled styrofoam plates. These worked great for color mixing and could be rinsed off and reused the next day.
* Sax Versa Temp Paints. The kids were given the following: red, magenta, yellow, turquoise, blue and white. After a coupla days, they got some brown for trees. I know they coulda made it but they were longing for a rich brown. AND they totally spotted it on my paint shelf. Busted. 
* Royal Langnickel brushes in a variety of sizes. 
After our lil chat about Xavier, I covered what you see here in this clip. I really emphasized the color wheel and how to read it. They became pros at looking at my simple color wheel and mixing up their desired color. Sticking with my rule of only mixing two colors together (not including white) prevented the kids from entering Muddy Town. 
 By the end of the first day, we were about here. 
And, because I'm a talker, the end of the second day looked a lil like this. I did blow their minds a bit on the second day by telling them that you could in fact mix more than two colors together if, and only if, they were analogous. This opened a whole new realms of possibilities and kept 'em on the color-mixing toes. We did chat about creating patterns for fields as well. Here's another vid clip to give you an idea.
I do hope that makes a lic o' sense. If not, imagine how my poor students feel!
What I think the kids really enjoyed about this project was color mixing. It always seems magical when you create a color that is beautiful. The kids were convinced we should frame their palettes alongside their paintings which I kinda think woulda been a swell idea had I not needed them for my four fourth grade classes.
Once complete, some kids opted to add clouds to their skies, different patterns to their land. Some added trees and buildings while others did not. 
And others went the more evening-time, comet-zipping-through-the-sky-route. An artist after my own heart: in elementary school, I was obsessed with Haley's Comet (1985 was the year it was zipping my way and I still have all of the souvenirs, newspaper clippings and drawings to prove it). I love this painting so.
I love how each of the kid's personality's shined through these colorful and happy pieces.
The final optional stage was to outline each piece of land with a bold color. Many kids decided not to and I think their work looks lovely. 
But I do love how bold the outlined landscapes look as well. 
I must admit: usually when I teach landscape, it's in the form of a collage. That way the kids can literally see the difference between back, middle and foreground. Now, with this project, I'm a total convert. Especially with the heavy color-mixing element. 
 I love how each child's personality really shined through every piece. Doesn't this one have a Grandma Moses feel to you? Check out this detail...
That's a wee artist on the left working on a landscape painting at her easel. Swoon. 

I do hope you enjoy these lil video clips I've been posting lately. If so, I'll keep 'em coming. I'd love to hear from y'all!
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  1. I love these SO much. I would frame them and hang them in my living room. Every one of them! They make me SO happy!

  2. Anonymous4/21/2015

    Loving the videos! Please keep them coming!

  3. Loved the images. Great job your kids did.

  4. Loved the images. Great job your kids did.

  5. Beautiful Paintings! Thank you for the video too-great wording tips for explaining how smooth the paint (One Direction) & how to hold the paintbrush (like a ballerina on her tip-toes). LOVE your blog!!!

  6. I love this blog, huge congrats on being interviewed, it was a great video to watch. So happy to have signed up to the Accidental Artist, seems I am going to be introduced to some great people. Thankyou for the chance to enter for the book.

  7. I just listened to your interview with Heidi, and then I went to your blog and loved it! I was an elementary school teacher for 20 years and loved teaching art. I would have loved having a blog like yours to refer to. You do such inspiring projects with your students. I also found your clothes to be so colorful and joyful. I know you will continue to be an inspiration to me. Thank you for putting yourself out there for all of us to learn from!

  8. I love all the color. Thank you for the interview today, you sound so fun!

  9. As a former teacher, who still teaches quilting and the art of craft, I admire your creativity and boundless energy.

  10. Anonymous4/22/2015

    I just watched your video interview with Heidi Easley. It was such a pleasure to hear what you have to say about teaching children, art process, and fashion as creative expression. I love your What the Teacher Wore posts and have subscribed to your blog so I can be inspired by your living art. Your student's painting are beautiful! Please enter me in the drawing for the art book. Thank you for being part of The Accidental Artist series. -Kathleen from California

  11. I saw you on the accidental artist webinar and i must say i adore your fun style!!! Keep rocking you!!!
    ~Lisa Ann~

  12. I'm enjoying Heidi's Accidental Artist series...seeing so much inspiration!!! Keep up with the great work with kids!

  13. I enjoyed your interview with the Accidental Artist and love your advice! I would love to have my name put in the hat for the book you mentioned!! Thank you

  14. Cassie it is a blessing that you are inspire young creatives in your classroom with your charm, talent and imagination! I enjoyed your interview and would be thrilled to be included in your drawing. I just signed up to follow your blog and I am looking forward to your your continued journey of art and creativity.

    With joy and gratitude, Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko

  15. Anonymous4/24/2015

    I so look forward to your blog posts! I love seeing what you are wearing and teaching. Thanks for always having fun and for keeping it real! You inspire me to laugh more and look for creative ways to build others up! Enjoyed your interview on Heidi's Accidental Artist series!! --ShanV

  16. Sending some love and appreciation from the Czech Republic. There aren't many art teachers to collaborate with here, and I'm so thankful for the blog community for that. Seeing your work with your kids has been a great jumping point for some of my lessons (the kids loved the CD weaving!). This project is a great way for me to change up how I do landscape. Thanks for keeping this blog!

    1. Miss S! Thank you so much for READING this blog and for taking the time to comment :) Love to you and your lucky students in the Czech Republic! xox!!

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  17. Those are fantastic. I can't wait to try it with my art classes. Thanks!

  18. Cassie, these videos really make things clear. I've been watching most of the videos you post and I just have to say THANK YOU on behalf of myself and my students. Your awesome expertise and tremendous generosity travel throughout the world with your posts, enlightening and benefiting all of us seeking to become better educators. Cheers and thank you, thank you, thank you!

  19. Another winner of a lesson! thanks so much for sharing, my students love discovering the world of art with you. In Australia in the elementary years we teach all subjects so often need to be an expert in subjects that we don't have as much confidence in. Thanks to your lessons I can teach like a pro and engage my students quickly!


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