Thursday, August 15, 2013

Going to School: 1st Grade Drawings with William H. Johnson

                                             "Going to Church" by William H. Johnson

William Henry Johnson was an African-American painter from Florence, South Carolina.  Johnson created paintings that characterized African-American culture, traditions and folk art.

In the beginning of the school year, I like to have my 1st grade students dive into drawing.  In their previous year as kindergarteners, I work on having students drawing bodies with shapes instead of sticks and backgrounds fully colored (instead of the blue line at the top of the page).

-depending on the time, 9" x 12" white paper or 10.5" x 16" white paper
-12" x 14" colored paper or 12" x 18" colored paper for frames
-thin black markers
-glue (for gluing project to frame paper)

The point of the project is to have students revisit their previous skills learned in kindergarten.  Since they had a summer off, I like to jump into their drawing skills right away.

I also look at how shapes can be used to create a composition, and with using William H. Johnson's "Going to Church" as an example, I show students how shapes do not have to be perfect, but help us to create simple pictures.

Day 1 (40 minute class) is for the introduction into the painting and demonstration of the drawing and tracing with markers.

Day 2 is for coloring.  I have students use markers, including multicultural colors, and crayons for the grass and sky.  Once the pictures are finished, the students glue a frame paper to the back of their projects.

Sometimes, depending on the class, a third day is needed for finishing.

                                                Here are some of the finished products!

                      Here's a youtube video found with images of William H. Johnson's work!

1 comment:

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