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Re: Wallpaper ideas -What grade levels?

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lindwood_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Sat Nov 15 2003 - 07:39:31 PST


I'm doing a really cool collage idea with my second graders right now.
It could be any age, though, and would be so much better than they can
do it, but they ARE doing a really great job and it's very creative.
ALso a great color lesson. They feel like interior designers. I'm
calling it "View Through A Window". I started by showing them lots of
images of artists paintings through a window...Matisse, Picasso,
Bonheur, and Thomas McKnight. We discussed the depth in these
paintings, what you see outside, how things fade away and get smaller in
the distance, what was on the windowsills in some of them, what
overlapped the windows (chairbacks in the corner of a window, someone
standing or sitting there, etc. The final assignment involves painting
a small watercolor landscape. The landscape will serve as a window in
the collage of an interior space. Students were to paint the landscapes
seasonally. I have some lovely wintery paintings, some very springy
ones, fall paintings, etc. They also had to put themselves into their
landscape. So ideally, it was a place they would like to be/have been.
Some were on the water, as if you would be looking out a hotel room
window. When they were finished painting the landscape, they made
window frames from white or colored paper. Some were arched, others
were rectangle. Following this, they took their painting to the paper
rack to select a color that would look great as their wall color. It
had to be a color that was an accent color in the painting of their
landscape. They selected two pieces of 12x18 colored construction paper
and glued them to an 18x24 white sheet to make the wall. Once they
glued the wall together, they glued the window near the top, but it did
not have to be centered horizontally. They selected a carpet color
(again, having to do with colors in their landscape and wall) to glue to
the bottom of the 18x24 wall. THe carpet is 5 inches wide, and extends
about an inch and a half further to the sides than the wall. (wall is
18 wide, carpet is about 21 inches wide) We put a bead of glue at the
very bottom of the wall before sticking the edge of the carpet to the
wall, so it also made the whole thing longer at this point. Keep in
mind that there is also a white 24x30 inch piece of white paper that
will be going behind all of this later to serve as a matt. Once the
wall and carpet were ready, they set that part aside and began creating
Eric Carle type of painted texture and pattern paper for fabrics to add
to their collage via furniture, curtains, stepstools, tables,
lampshades, people's clothes, etc. Once again, they were to select
colors that had something to do with their room to use in the patterns
and textures for fabric. Many tried complementary colors with an accent
of one of the wall, carpet, or landscape colors. Others worked more
harmoniously, but darkened or lightened values previously used. We used
crayon/texture sheets and watercolors for the painted paper, as well as
sponges for dragging paint in stripes to make plaids. I showed them how
to make a chair seat in perspective, and they are to make up their own
chairbacks, but they must overlap the window a bit on ones side and the
chairs are about 2 feet tall. The fabrics they make will be for seat
cushions and backs. They can make anything else they want...add animals
curled up in the chair, on the floor, a person, vases of flowers on the
windowsill or a table, a woven throw rug, books, etc. Anything in an
interior. We let the chair legs extend an inch or so below the edge of
the carpet and they could also be glued a little wider than the wall, as
the large white paper matt will catch the extension and add an extra
dimension. These are really cool looking...very graphic. I'll send a
few pics when we are nearly done. I sort of made this project up as we
went along. Some kids are collaging pets, birdcages on stands, random
things on the table, such as a purse, a beverage or dessert plate, etc.
They are enjoying working large, and I think they are learning a lot
about color selection as you continue working on a piece of art. Also,
they are learning more about depth and how important overlapping is. To
have the big chair overlapping the corner of the window with something
small on the window ledge, landscape in the background, has been easy
for them to understand and fun to think about. Painting the landscape
window background first insured interesting backgrounds rather than
afterthoughts!

Linda Woods

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