April & May Wrap-Up

Third grade learned about Surrealism and discussed the artwork of Salvador Dali (“Persistence of Memory”) & Marc Chagall (“I & the Village”). Students thought about their own dreams, and used that as the inspiration for making rubbing templates out of tagboard. We then focused on the fine art of “frottage”, which is making rubbings, but using color layers, offsetting, and moving the plate around to improve the composition. This method (from French frotter, “to rub”) is a surrealist and “automatic” method of creative production developed by Max Ernst in 1925. Students wrote about their Surrealistic Dreams as their artists’ statements.
Fourth Grade used pattern in clay tiles decorated with engobe and finished off with a layer of acrylic “glitter glaze”, made paisley patterns with construction paper and colored pencils in addition to using Adobe Photoshop on the computers, and ended the year with one point perspective street scenes watercolored on Yupo. You can see many paisley patterns of both media types at our digital gallery on Artsonia.
5th grade made 2 point perspective treehouses using tempera paint and watercolor in April, continued their rotations to computers to design bus shelters using “Trimble Sketch-Up”, and spent well over a month creating art from discarded books for our “Altered Books” project. Great resources for making Altered Books is HERE. We ended our fifth grade art year (and I will miss all my students as the move on to middle school!!), with “Notan” (balancing light/dark, positive/negative) in a composition. Notan examples and a wonderful video we watched to get the students started is on Pinterest.


If you want to keep busy creating over the summer, here is my “Summer Symbaloo”, chock full of elementary age appropriate activities and websites that are free and do not require downloads (see screenshot below).

Posted in Fifth Grade, Fourth Grade, Helpful Links, Newsletters, Third Grade | Comments Off

April/May Art Gallery Samples

This gallery contains 5 photos.

More Galleries | Comments Off

Art Club Skypes with Paramount Pictures StoryBoard Artist

Skype Call with Storyboard Artist from TILDE Netcasts on Vimeo.

First, our art club brainstormed with our math Scratch programmers. Next, we sketched and collaborated via Edmodo. Then, we spent months drawing and refining our sprites using Bamboo tablets and Adobe Illustrator. The Scratch programmers made their instructional math games with them and our culminating activity was our Skype call! Here are just two of our sprite designs below…

Posted in Art Club | Comments Off

March Art News

Both Third Grade Art and Fifth Grade Art completed landscapes that used “pattern” as the selected principle of Art & Design we were developing. Third grade artists completed theirs with a different color marker and pattern in each area, and fifth grade artists “Zentangled” their landscape patterns. Zentangles are a form of thoughtful, meditative drawing that allows the artist to concentrate on mindful, careful placement of lines to create value, depth, and visual interest.These pieces are still being assessed and photographed for our digital Artsonia gallery, but will be sent home soon. Instructor examples are below:


Lastly, Fourth Grade art made clay tiles, with a central motif carved into the center, and (you guessed it :))a framing pattern around the outside of the tile. We added “engobe” which is colored slip (slip is a very wet clay body) before bisque-firing them, and now, students are putting the finishing touches on their tiles by brushing on a coat of “glitter glaze” (which is really an acrylic paint rather than a clay glaze that needs to be fired a second time). These tiles can be used for display, but not for food since they are not glaze-fired, but are quite beautiful! Monday through Wednesday classes are complete and have been sent home, Thursday and Friday classes are still being fired and will go home after break. Fun fact:a bisque-fire cycle takes 1 day to ramp up slowly to the selected temperature for that clay body and a second day to cool down (that is 48 hours for each kiln load, usually one class fits in a load at a time). If we try to rush the clay, they will break, but very soon, all 220+ tiles will be home. If you want to use display on a table, I would recommend adding a felt bottom to the underside of the tile.

Posted in Fifth Grade, Fourth Grade, Newsletters, Third Grade | Comments Off

February Art News

Third grade artists used their new knowledge of the landscape terms “foreground”, “middle ground”, “background”, and “horizon line” to create two types of landscapes, oil pastels (completed in Feb.) and “pattern” landscapes (completed in March). We discussed examples of those concepts in three American landscapes by Winslow Homer, Grant Woods, and Albert Bierstadt before doing rough drafts, then using water-soluble oil pastels. Many are currently in the hall leading down to third grade, and will be displayed until after break.

Fourth Grade art had a very busy month creating their “Flutter Books” (see http://digitalarts.bgsu.edu/faculty/bonniem/Fall06/artc331_2/bookBinding/flutterbook.pdf) and filling them with Manga-style cartoons based on their completed “plot mountains” This was a big integration with Language Arts to support our writing curriculum and vocabulary. These 3D books are currently in the large showcase leading down to the third grade hall and will be displayed through mid-April.


Fifth Grade artists had a lot of choice in designing their “Avatars”, which are images that generally are used to represent you online and protect your identity. Students could use the computers, do collage, but many chose to either paint their avatars or use colored pencils. The images were symbolic representations of the artists, so don’t be surprised to see “basketball heads” or “cupcake” cartoon people displayed in our hallways leading down to fifth grade very soon!

Posted in Fifth Grade, Fourth Grade, Newsletters, Third Grade | Comments Off

Dec./Jan. Art News

HI! We have been busy, busy at Leighton Art. Third grade three dimensional paper sculptures of soup cans (based on the Pop Art soup cans of Andy Warhol) came out really cool, and a large selection can be seen at our digital gallery on Artsonia. We also learned how to cartoon using simple shapes (circle, oval, square, rectangle, triangle) “Zonkey Style”, then did two sketches, leading to one completed watercolor cartoon. You can see a quick “Zonkey Zebra” tutorial HERE–>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6Xv9jKGtWY&feature=youtu.be. In fourth grade, we moved onto “The Wallet Project” based on Stanford University’s “Design Thinking” curriculum, and I really focused the concept with mindmaps being part of the project (a quarter of the grade, knowing that many of the fourth grade teachers have students do mindmaps as a form of note-taking). We also finished “flutter books” and are going to use them as the pages for our Anime/Manga cartooning unit. As far as that unit goes, many students are already familiar with Manga, so we are comparing the cartoon-y/cute style to the more realistic style. We have storyboarded our cartoon ideas first using the plot mountain, and are currently starting to draw the cartoon panels. Fifth grade artists seemed so good at 3D thinking this year (after slot shelters), that we squeezed in a two-point perspective drawing project (treehouses in watercolor and tempera) AND students are using Trimble SketchUp (formerly known as Google SketchUp) to design a bus shelter (this is CAD, but at a level students can work with). The Art Club is designing sprites for the Scratch programmers, using Illustrator and Bamboo tablets. It is all being facilitated online via the Edmodo platform. I love hearing pings on my iPad at home, as push notifications come in–students working together, online, outside of the school day! I highly recommend looking into MIT’s Scratch–it is a free download—> http://scratch.mit.edu/. Here is a screenshot of two of our sprites I recently uploaded:

The Wallet Project


The Wallet Project

Posted in Art Club, Fifth Grade, Fourth Grade, Newsletters, Third Grade | Comments Off

November Art News

It has been a very busy month at Leighton Art! Third grade finished their papier mache puppets, and because everyone was so excited about them, they all went home (although I really would have loved to display them). Then, we learned about the Pop artist, Andy Warhol and his silkscreen paintings, especially his “Campbell’s Soup Cans”. Students are currently working on their own 3D soup cans using construction paper, but most have very creative ingredients other than soup :).
Fourth grade finished a large geometry/art integration where we looked at the art of Charles Demuth:his “I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold” (a portrait of a friend). We reviewed color mixing, including primaries to make secondaries, and adding white (tints) or black (shades) to a color. Students chose a number that represented them, and divided their artwork in segments using a ruler. After several weeks of careful painting, we discussed geometry terms that are key for fourth grade math. Students then found 3 of those geometry terms in their art, traced them on tracing paper, labeled them, then wrote an artist’s reflection (“2 Stars and a Wish”). Many of these are currently displayed in the Leighton halls circling the media center.
Fifth grade completed their clay unit, using the pinch pot method to sculpt a gargoyle or dragon. Additionally, students used colored pencil to make “Op Art Shading Blobs”. We used the Smartboard to view the wonderful gargoyles (functioning downspouts) and “grotesques” (purely decorative) at The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Did you know that the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Etruscans and Romans all used animal-shaped waterspouts? In architecture, a gargoyle is a carved stone grotesque with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building. Preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls is important because running water erodes the mortar between the stone blocks. Additional places in the U.S.A. that you can see such sculptures are Princeton University and The Biltmore Hotel.

Fourth Grade Painting

Third Grade Puppet

Fifth Grade Clay

Fifth Grade Clay

Fifth Grade Clay

Posted in Fifth Grade, Fourth Grade, Helpful Links, Newsletters, Third Grade | Comments Off

Color Resource

We have been talking about Cubist art in 4th grade and mixing secondary colors from primary colors, plus learning about tints and shades. Here is the interactive color wheel that explains it all. And for those of you with Smart devices, there is an app for 99 cents called “Blendamaze”.

source for color wheel: http://www.artsconnected.org/toolkit/encyc_colorwheel.html

Posted in Fourth Grade, Helpful Links | Comments Off

September/October Art News

Third grade completed their Artist’ Trading Cards (A.T.C.’s) based on our mythology discussion. Each student collaged (careful cutting and gluing)on 5 cards, 2 were duplicates, which at the end of the unit, they traded with classmates. We also focused on writing 3 describing words for each card, which ties in nicely with the Language Arts concept of “character traits.”
Fourth grade completed their Linoleum Block Relief Prints, which were inspired by the woodblock print art of Walter Anderson. Each student chose an animal, and the letter that started the animal name. This way, they got more practice with the block carving and printing, with a focus on safety and careful balance of what is carved away and what prints.


Fifth grade students made radially designed “slot cards” with colored pencil and created rapid prototypes of a “slot shelter.” This project is based on a national design collaboration between artists, architects, and students to rethink what makes a good shelter. The rapid prototypes were a group effort in brainstorming and 3D building.

Rapid Prototypes Slot Shelters from L. Girbino on Vimeo.

Posted in Fifth Grade, Fourth Grade, Newsletters, Third Grade | Comments Off

2012/13 Off to a Great Start!

I am so excited about all the new students, familiar friends, and also the new projects planned. Although we are just one week in, I already have beautiful art from the students, including the third grade “Ninja Eggs” and collaborative, … Continue reading

More Galleries | Comments Off