Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ashalim: ART III

This week, we learned about a new type of art from the far east. We looked at photographs of Japan's cherry blossom trees and talked about the ancient history of Japanese ink painting. Then we made Japanese Sakura paintings by applying a small spot of watered down black paint to a piece of paper and blowing with a straw. The beauty of it is that we don't get to choose where the paint will go; the paper and the paint direct us. The children had to come to terms that they couldn't control everything and had to just go with the flow. They also had to deal with turning a "mistake" into part of the composition. And what we come out with are incredible trees. We talked about painting real branches instead of the typical "lollipop tree" (anyone who went to elementary school with me will know what I'm referring to!) and how we can use line to create the winding patterns you see below. The more paint, the thicker the line, the less paint the thinner the line and more of a likelihood that there will be a splitting off effect. We also discussed how Japanese art typically hints at the whole picture by showing one aspect of an object that is cut off at the edge of the page. The children experimented by adding spots of paint and adding layers upon layers of intricate lines. Then they made balls of tissue paper and glued them down to capture the blossoms.

The best part was that there was a child from the moadonit whose parents are from Japan and he explained the culture of Japanese tree painting, cherry blossoms, and different festivals to the other children!

Check out the gorgeous work products:

The paint is watered down and goes where it wants

Adding cherry blossoms

The work in action

The finished product!

After the project, the kids went back to finish the pointillism landscapes they had begun weeks before. They enjoyed it so much that they have been taking their time to fill their pages with thoughtful, colorful dots. Here, we learned about patience, color, density of the dots to create spots of light and shadow, and composition. We learned that things can be represented in many different ways and that the space, volume, and substance can be captured with color just as much as the typical lines and shading in they are used to. They had to plan ahead about what color they wanted to stand out in each section but also take into account all the other colors that could add to the effect of the piece. They did a great job and love it so much that some even began a second piece!

I am SO proud of them and their finished work! These children are 6 to 9 years old and just look at the gorgeous artwork they have produced:


And after!!! Drawn by a SEVEN year old!!!!

Our finished display

Look at the bands of shadow!

Great choice of color!


A close up of the sky and sun
 And there are still more to come....

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