Friday, May 8, 2015

Starry Night

Every Art teacher does some sort of Starry Night right? I try to switch between painting and heavy drawing projects (for my own sanity) so the kinders were ready for painting after designing super awesome cars. Here's how I do Starry night with kinders.

I start out with a Mati and Dada video on Van Gogh. I don't have any time between classes, one goes out one comes in, so the video is a good way to let me set up for the kindergartners. Plus they really relate to the video that talking alone doesn't do. If you haven't seen these videos, they are 7 minutes long and are about a little girl who loves art and just happens to have a robot who can go back in time to take Mati to see her favorite artists.

After the video, I show "my favorite" Vincent Van Gogh painting - Starry Night. I ask only one simple question to the kids and have them talk about the answer with partners and then pick kids to share their answer. I ask them "What is the weather like in the painting and how can you tell?" Such a simple question and they always come up with a windy cold night and talk about the lines and colors.

Next we start painting. I split it into two days. We paint the blue backgrounds the one day with swirly strokes. Then we use marker caps to make about 5 circles evenly across the page. I show them how to make swirls starting at the stamped circles with white paint. I know this will be a hard concept for some kinders so I also give them the option to make concentric circles (something we have used before successfully). Hello differentiation. The kids on the top chose to make the harder swirls and the kids on the bottom made concentric circles.

The second day we added the black and yellow bits. I decided to make it a starry night in our own town of Woodland. For discussion we compared the town where Starry Night is to our own town in Washington. We start the 2nd part of the painting with a black  wavy line (a common vocabulary in my room) for the hills. We added houses on the hills if we wanted to. Then I show them a simple way to make pine trees using some brushstroke skills. Last we add neon yellow paint (that pops) using short lines or dots on top of the White swirls.

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