Celebrating International Dot Day – session 2

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During the second (one hour and half) session the students use larger background squares – 12″x12″. It is the same idea, with a different space. As many – or as few – circles can be created by cutting them directly in colored paper or traced with a pencil first. One or more colors can be used.

At the end, we took the time to look at what was created, to talk about what the students found interesting, surprising. Great session!

Celebrating International Dot Day – first session

Celebrating International Dot Day – session 1

 

A first short exercise (about an hour) with my Sunnyvale elementary class (combo 4th and 5th grade). The teacher talked to me about the International Dot Day which was created after the book “The Dot” by  Peter H. Reynolds. International Dot Day is celebrated September 15 around the world.

A good occasion to make the students work on something [apparently] very simple. I propose to them to create a composition with circles only, cut in colored paper(s).
Full circles, donuts-like circles, small, large, using one color or more, using one circle or plenty, making clusters of circles, overlapping them, making them concentric. Every combination is welcome, the possibilities are endless.
This first exercise is made on pre-cut colored cardboard paper 6″x6″. The students can cut their circles directly or use a pencil. They can make as many 6″x6″ compositions they wish to make.

Once all the tries are together on the floor, it is interesting for the students to see and compare all the different compositions and the different way to use the space of the 6″x6″ square.

 

Do More With less: Wonders with small means – circles (B&W)

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This exercise is about using limited material and only cutting circles. The students start cutting (without tracing) and then grow a cluster of different circles, adding by proximity. They can glue right away or wait and see what happens with the composition. Some students are more comfortable with gluing right away “and not loosing any circles”. The table becomes pretty messy so yes, the circles can disappear!

Some students, very quickly cut other shapes than circles, which is fine, although I am asking them to try to “only” use circles and to see what happens. It is about finding out that a lot of things are possible with very simple means. They can play with the size of the circles, they can cut the center and leave a thick or thin contour, they can make concentric circles. The possibilities are endless. In the process I am asking the students to pay attention to the paper, and to avoid discarding paper which is still usable.

The exercise which follows is: Wonders with small means – circles (color).

Material
12×18″ black paper, white paper, scissors, glue.

Do More With less: Wonders with small Means – circles (color)

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This exercise follows the previous one: Wonders with small Means – circles (B&W), but this time with colors. It is all about circles again: small, large, full or just the outline, concentric: the possibilities are endless. It is also about rhythm: how do the colors play together, how do they play with the different sizes of circles and with the space of the background. The students start cutting (without tracing) a circle and grow a cluster of circles. And see what happens.
They can glue the circles as they cut them, or wait until they think their composition is done.

Colored paper is available on a separate desk and students are welcome to pick the colors they want. I am asking them to pay attention to the way they cut the sheets, to share if possible.

Material
12×18″ colored paper, good quality colored construction paper, scissors, glue.

Do More With less: Wonders with small Means – strips

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This is the third exercise with “small means” the students worked on and it is also about finding rhythms, using only one shape. This time using paper scraps that I always keep when I cut paper for the art classes. The paper scraps/strips come in many colors and different length and width. The students are welcome to take all the colors they want or only one or two, to cut the strips and to compose any combination.

Some of the students worked on two different propositions for this exercise.

See also
Do More With less: Wonders with small Means – circles (B&W)

Do More With less: Wonders with small Means – circles (color)

Material
12×18″ colored Canson paper, stripes of colored paper, scissors, glue.

Collage Workshop at Kaleid Gallery

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The workshop took place Tuesday, February 21, on the occasion of Two Bucks Tuesdays at Kaleid Gallery in San Jose.
The workshop was open to anyone and free, from 7 to 10pm.
I brought a stack of white cardstock paper (5.5″ x 7.5″), bright colored origami paper, tissue paper, liquid Liquitex matte medium, brushes, scissors and rags.

The workshop was about experimenting freely with transparencies, superpositions and play with colors. I showed some examples, like how to work a background first and to finish with a black element. People could make as many collages as they wanted to.

On the table, there were photos of landscapes – for inspiration (if needed!). Photos are great to start a collage. See “Interpretation of a landscape“, workshop I did with a class of 5th graders.

Interpretation of a landscape (this session with the 5th graders)

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One session – one hour

material
– a photo of a landscape for each student
– colored paper, magazines
– glue (Liquitex fluid acrylic medium works really well)

The idea is to look at the photo of a landscape, to SEE the structure of the photo: main lines, main features: mountains, forests, lakes, etc… And then to make an interpretation of the landscape with torn pieces of paper. The accuracy of the colors are not important in this exercise, the structure is. Some students chose to work with the structure and the colors.

Colored squares – shapes – swaping colors – contrast (this session with the 3rd graders)

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One session – one hour
Material
– 2 sets of colored paper squares.
– Scissors, glue.

Each students gets 2 sets of six colored paper squares. The students arrange the first set as they wish and glue the squares. They then cut shapes directly in the second set of squares and organize them. I encourage them to try as much as possible different combinations. Once they like the result, they glue the shapes.

Colored squares – shapes – swaping colors – contrast (this session with the 5th graders)

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One session – one hour
Material
2 sets of colored paper squares.
Scissors, glue.

Each students gets 2 sets of six colored paper squares. The students arrange the first set as they wish and glue the squares. They then cut shapes directly in the second set of squares and organize them. I encourage them to try as much as possible different combinations. Once they like the result, they glue the shapes.

Collage (this session with the 3rd graders)

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One session – one hour
Material:
– a selection of colored paper (solid colors origami paper works great for collage. That day I gave them black, dark purple, dark orange and light yellow)
– pieces of printed brown bags from grocery stores (that day: Trader Joe’s recyclable bags)
– a photo (landscape) from a magazine
– a page from a paperback book. That day I gave each of them a page from the French version of “Girl with a Pearl Earring”, about Johannes Vermeer.
– a low quality brush,
– liquid acrylic medium (the glue),
– containers for the medium – one for two students (the number needed depends on the way the tables are laid out in the classroom).
No scissors.

Because the sessions are short, I prepare as much as I can before each session. In this case I gave each student an ensemble of papers they could use as they wish. I cut the brown bags into pieces because the students’ tables are so small, not many things can fit at the same time on them.

I encourage the students to tear the papers, see what happens, to start composing on their page without gluing, to make changes and so on. Once they feel like starting gluing, they use the brush and the medium. The medium is applied first on the paper, then the piece of torn paper is applied on top and then another coat of medium is applied on top of the piece. And so on.

This session creates an enjoyable mess and the students love it! Tearing the paper is a very nice part of the exercise. At the end of the session, we carefully put all the collages on the floor next to each other to look at them. Seeing the various results obtained by the students by using the same limited materials is always a nice surprise.