My third graders have talked all about horizons, landscapes, and fractures. This is because for the first two days I have them, we design a landscape and fracture it! Why, you say? Because then we introduce a vocabulary word into art that isn’t always heard of and have GREAT discussions surrounding abstract art. I’ve seen a project like what I do – it’s similar, but not exactly the same.
I have students draw a horizon line and sun setting into the ground with black crayon. I insist they press as hard as they can so that the crayon is extra waxy.
Then, I have students discuss what fractures are. We define the word and look at examples of fractures. From there, we take the same black crayon and fracture our drawing. This is always fun because students love to “break things” and here I am, giving them permission!
After we fracture the space, we visit our color wheel and talk about how it can be divided into warm and cool colors – warm being what reminds us of warm things and cool, well you get the idea. It is a general agreement that the ground should be cool and the sky warm because of the sun and grass. This leads us to our next step.
After a demonstration on using liquid watercolors. I talk about how you don’t need any water to make the color, just to clean your brush. And because a lot of water can ruin paper, to move our brushes quickly while our mind thinks carefully. This guidance helps students know that it’s not a rush – but that if our brush sits too long in one spot, our paper could tear. The black crayon works as a resist that keeps the paint in separate sections. Just like oil pastels might.
Students are given cool colors to work with and instructed to stay below their horizon. Mistakes will happen but once they see how you can mix and blend colors and how the bottom looks like a scene with cool grass, they stay under their horizon line. I am impressed with today’s results. The liquid watercolors create a nice soft set of colors and the “oo”s and “ah”s from students once they finish is very rewarding.
Next time: WARM COLORS! 🙂