Friday, December 19, 2014

Gyotaku Fish Print

Fifth Grade Art
3 Class Periods
Gyotaku Fish Print, Fifth Grade Art Lesson

Gyotaku History
Gyotaku is a Japanese word.  "Gyo" means fish and "taku" means rubbing.  Gyotaku is a traditional form of Japanese fish printing dated from the mid 19th century.

Japanese fishermen would use this technique to record the size of their catches.  In order to make a Gyotaku print, one places the fish, crab or scallop on a wooden bench and paints the fish with ink. Next, a piece of paper or cloth is laid over the ink-covered fish.  Finally, one rubs (burnish) the materials until there is the image of the fish left on it.

Day 1:
I have done this lesson in two different styles.  The first style is to have students prep their paper by painting it using different watercolor techniques.

The second style involves leaving the paper white.

The intro day for this lesson involves a brief history lesson about Gyotaku, a video clip that I think is amazing even though it overall is an advertisement for visiting Florida, and a demonstration on how to create a fish print using our fish molds.

Link to video clip:

Day 2:
Stations are set up around the classroom for students to print at.

For the first style of this lesson, students use India ink to print with.  After the ink is rolled onto the fish it is then placed onto the paper that was prepped with watercolor paint.

Rolling ink on the fish molds.

Burnishing the paper to create the print.

Example of fish printed after burnishing process.
The second style of doing this lesson, involves the students painting their fish with tempera paints.  Students are allowed to used any color of their choice.  After painting, the white paper is placed on the fish and then burnished by hand to create the print.
Painting fish with tempera paint.
Day 3: 
During this class period, no matter the style used to create the print we use as an embellishment day.  If style one is created, students use oil pastels to add details such as the eye, speckles or lines to the fins of the fish.  If style two is created students use colored pencils to incorporate those details.

For both projects I have students mat the piece to black tag board. For style two I have students write their name in Japanese on the front of their composition.

I found this great name translator that works well for learning how to write your name in Japanese.

Student Examples for Style Two:

Student Examples for Style One:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Progress on Our New School

As I drove by the construction site of our new building this morning, I was amazed to see how much work has been done just within the last two weeks.  I was even more excited to see a wall up where the new art room will be.  I am lucky enough to have my room be in the peak area of the school (currently the triangle part).  I will have vaulted ceilings and...count them...3 WINDOWS.  My current room currently has no windows.  I am so excited, I am trembling with excitement.  So looking forward to starting next school year in our new building in my new space.  We are so fortunate at Cameron.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Winter Value Landscapes

Fourth Grade Art Lesson
3 Class Periods

Students identified and reviewed the four parts of a landscape:  background, middle ground, foreground and horizon line.  Together we reviewed how to create a tint (white + color) and a shade (color + black).

Students were given three color choices for this project: blue, green and black.  Upon choosing their color students were instructed through follow along demonstration on to mix the tint, create the horizon line, paint a tree and add branches to their trees.

Day 2: 
On the second day of instruction students created another tint with the same color.  This tint needed to be slightly darker than the first color mixed during the last art class.  Students once again, created a horizon line, tree trunks and branches. 

The third color mixed was a shade of their original color.  If students chose black as their main color, they did not have to mix a shade, they used black by itself.  Once again the process of creating a horizon line, tree trunks and branches were repeated.  Each time we discussed proper brush size, how to hold on to the brush for the best control and the amount of pressure to apply to the brush while painting.

Day 3:
The last step for this lesson required students to draw a little red cardinal on one of the branches of the trees.  We discussed emphasis and how our eye would be drawn to the pop of red in the composition.  The final touch was a sprinkling of snow created by using a dry brush and liquid tempera paint.

Examples of Student Work:

Monday, December 1, 2014

Match the Artist

This is my newest bulletin board for the month of December and January.  I saw an idea very similar to this on Pintrest, but had to put my own spin on it.  :)  The artists I used are Piet Mondrian, Keith Haring, Edvard Munch and Pablo Picasso.  I have a photograph of the artists floating in each snowflake. 
To check out some of my other ideas you can check out my page labeled Art Room Bulletin Board Ideas.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

This Norman Rockwell painting has many parodies.  Can you remember what a parody is based off by my example?

Wishing all my students a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded my family, friends, food, fun and laughter.

I am THANKFUL for each of you for bringing so much joy, creativity, adventure and great art to my life in the classroom.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Abstract Watercolor Design

Abstract Watercolor Design
We had another great night at ArT cLuB!  Our task for the evening was an Abstract Watercolor Design.  Students broke up the space of their paper into organic or geometric shapes.  The spaces were outlined with a black sharpie marker.  Students then painted their paper using watercolor paint or tempera cakes.  After the pieces dried, India Ink was placed on various points of the sharpie marker.  Students took a straw and blew out the ink to create unique lines.

Our next art club meeting will be on December 4th, 2014.  Topic adventured will be Parabola Drawing.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Fish Mobiles

Fourth graders are starting their fish mobiles this week. I can't even begin to tell you about the buzz of excitement that took place once hearing the news about the project they would be working on in art for the next few weeks. We begin this lesson by tracing our fish stencil and then planning our design on the body of the fish.
Helping a student make the perfect mouth on their pattern.