“When is the special guest model coming? Is it your dad?”

Over the past few weeks, Sunflower and Fern groups have been continuing to study the figure in a variety of ways.  Children began by modeling for their peers, who quickly sketched their poses.  The following week, we reviewed figure drawing by reading a book called Louise Loves Art.  Friends immediately made connections between the book and our figure drawing exercises from the previous week.

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Ra’Maya: We did some poses like the kitty.

Luke: Last week we were the models and we were drawing the poses.  I like drawing models very much.

Nneka: The cat is staying like a statue so she can draw him.

Selwyn: The cat is posing like we did on the stage.

Next, I shared with friends that a very special guest was going to come and model for us!  Children were so excited and many had ideas of who the guest was going to be.

Zavier: When is the special guest model coming?  Is it your dad?

Elliott: Is it your mom?  Is your mom coming?

Trebor: Is the cat coming here?

In the future, maybe my parents can stop by to model!  Unfortunately, they couldn’t make it for those days, so Mel the wooden mannequin came by!  I showed friends that Mel could move his body in many ways to create all types of shapes.  Children noticed that he could hold very tricky poses that would have been too hard for us to do.

Mae: I really like Mel.  He’s so cool.  He can touch his toes to his head and put his arms behind his head at the same time.  His legs must hurt after.

Ryan: Mel looks like he’s kicking a soccer ball!

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Zoe: Is Mel short for Melvin?  When you said a model was coming I thought it was going to be your dad.

Justin: He arms look like he an airplane.

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Andres: Wow, you’re the greatest poser, Mel!  You stand so still.  I tickled his feet and I hear him laugh but not move.

Zeina: Mel is doing a pirouette.

 

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“It’s so hard to pose… it made my foot fall asleep!”

Sunflower yellow and Fern green art groups have just begun an exploration of gesture drawing, which has brought a whole new level of excitement and laughter to the Studio this winter!

To kick off this work, friends learned that they would have two very important jobs… to be an artist, and a model.  Children brainstormed with each other to try to figure out what those two words really meant.

Zavier: A model is like an action figure or a figure majiger.  A model is in a magazine.

Maia: A model is like a sculpture and a sculpture could be of a spider or a princess so that’s what the model is.

Miguel: A model is a person you draw.

Nneka: Artists make things that are really nice.

Trebor: If you want to be an artist, you have to think about your work.

Andres: Model is like a type of play dough.  Like Model Magic.

William: A model could look like a sculpture.

Destynee: Some people like artists hold their palettes.

Zoe: I want to be an artist when I grow up but I don’t know if I can because you have to work and practice so much.  Sometimes artists make things but they don’t know what it is for a long time.  You just make and make and then you decide.

Next, I shared that when it was your turn to be a model, you would carefully stand up on the stage (milk crate), and after a countdown, you would strike a pose that you could comfortably hold for 20 seconds.  We talked about different ways you could move your body to create shapes, curves and lines.  As you were modeling, the rest of the children were the artists in the audience, quickly drawing your pose.  (Side note: It was “Dress Like Your Favorite Character Day” and “Pajama Day” during these two classes, hence the costumes, which really added to the work!)

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Ra’Maya: It’s so hard to hold a long pose.

Zeina: I was smiling while friends were modeling so that they felt comfortable.

Nayeli: You got to stand still and the artists draw how your hands and legs look.

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Friends enjoyed posing for each other.  Most groups ended up doing three rounds, with 20, 40 and 60 second poses.  As they had more time, children added details to their gesture drawings, such as the stage, clothes, and background.

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Iris: Briana should be proud of herself because she was scared to model but then she was brave at the last round.

Andres: Mister Skinny Legs is a really good model, just like us.  He can stay really still, even more still then us when we pose.

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Zeina: It’s so hard to pose… it made my foot fall asleep!

Iris: I’m looking at Selwyn’s paper to focus so I don’t move.

After our gesture drawing rounds, Miguel and Selwyn were motivated to draw their own poses and then try to model from the illustration.  This sparked some interest that we might explore further in the coming weeks!

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“Is it a bag of snowballs?”

By this point in the year, all children in Pre-K have had an experience working with clay!  It is one of my favorite materials to work with and I always love introducing it to children.  We began by examining clay in a plastic bag… friends felt it, poked it and attempted to lift it.  There’s always a sense of mystery around it, and we brainstorm what we think is in the bag.

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Belen: It feels like softy.

Amal: I think it’s a ball that’s pretty.

Bennett: It feels cold.  Like snow or ice.

Cory: Is it a bag of yarn that can roll around the school?  It’s heavy, so that doesn’t make sense.  I don’t know what it is!

Naomi: Is it a bag of snowballs?

Victor: It sticky.

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Once friends learned that it was clay, they began to work on their clay sculptures!  We had some different tools available… rollers and hammers for making it flat, clay scissors for cutting, utensils for mark making, etc.  Many children chose to work with friends and created dinosaurs and monsters, while others pretended they were chefs in the kitchen.

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Christian: It’s hard to peel plastic off the clay.  It’s making my hands grey!  Hey, you can use the roller to make it flat like a sandwich.  Who wants a krabby patty?

Alli: That tool looks like that thing you use to flip with when you’re cooking.

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Elijah: I watched Master Chef Ramsey and he tells people to cook a lot and he uses tools that look like that.  I’m gonna pretend I’m on Master Chef Junior and make a duck.  I’m gonna make the duck feet but I have to cut off the nails before you pretend to eat it.

Siah: I made a dinosaur.  He’s a t-rex, but I forgot to make his teeth.  I can just add them now!

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“You have to look really hard. Diggers do that to find the bones.”

Before the Blizzard of 2016, friends were working on a collaborative weaving in the Studio!  All children in Pre-K contributed to our weaving over the course of two weeks.  After a substantial amount of work was done, children began observational resist paintings as they noticed how lines differed, based on the type of yarn that children selected.  Friends began by drawing different types of lines (straight, wavy, zig-zag, curly, etc.) with oil pastels, based on what they observed.  Next, children add liquid watercolors.  Some friends painted on top of their drawing, and were excited to see that the pastels were still visible.  Other children chose to paint between the lines, filling in the background.

As the year progresses, children will begin longer term projects.  When finished, children will be asked to create observational drawings and paintings of their work.

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What does it mean to observe an object?

Mae: You have to look really hard.  Diggers do that to find the bones.

Carlos: You take down what it looks like.

Selwyn: Observe is when you look and know more about what you’re looking at.

Florentina: You draw what you see!

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Ryan: When you paint on it, it looks like fire.  It shines.

Ra’Maya: I can see my drawing, but I don’t know why!

Douglas: I see yellow lines that go up and down.

Zeina: The red lines are wavy and the red brown is a curvy line.

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