Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Monochromatic Trees with 5th Grade

Have you seen this project floating around in the Pinterest pages, or have you been to a paint party/wine and canvas?  I've pinned the project for awhile and started trying it out with my 5th grade students last school year.

At the 5th grade level, I feel that students are "responsible" enough to work with acrylic paint.  I explain to students that the paint does not wash out of clothes (even though it does to an extent, I want students to understand the responsibility with the paint).  My classroom is also tight with no sink, so I use fewer colors for a smoother pass-out/clean-up.

With paint parties being all the rage, I want students to have the experience of working with canvas! Since I have over 100+ 5th graders, I work with canvas boards.

This can be a winter project, so you have a range of time to work with!

9" x 12" canvas boards
Acrylic paint (blue, white, and black)
paint cups (with a table of 4 students, I pass out 2 cups of each color to share)
water containers
flat edge and fine point paint brushes

The students will be introduced to monochromatic colors.  They will practice mixing the blue and white paint to create tints and shades of blue for the nighttime sky.

This project takes approximately 3 40-minute class periods.

Day 1: Explain the element of value and how colors can be created with white/black to make tints/shades.  I recommend finding your way of introducing the class.  Maybe to want to warm them up with a value activity sheet?  The canvas is passed out and students are asked to draw 5 circles total, which expand to the edge of the canvas.  Students are only given blue and white paint to fill in the inner moon and outer edge.  If you have time, explain how to mix the blue and white in each space to paint.

Day 2: Depending on how far you have made it with the blue and white painting, explain the color mixing technique again.  If students finish the sky, have them use black paint to draw in the tree branches.

Day 3: All students should be done with the sky at this point.  Re-explain the tree branches, as well as the moon craters and snow drops.  I have students use a fine small brush to dot the snow instead of splattering...especially in my small art space!  Students also write in their artist statements, which include their thoughts on the project and what they had learned.

Here's a few finished projects!

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