Behind The Mask: Hand Building With Clay

Behind The Mask: Hand Building With Clay

I had the opportunity to teach “Hand Building With Clay” to students in grades K – 4 for the City of Santa Monica’s  CREST Enrichment program.

After learning the pinch pot, coil and slab techniques, students had the opportunity to use slabs (pancakes of gently flattened out clay) in a different way, by laying the slab of clay over a sort of armature of loosely balled up up newspaper, so that it would harden in a shallow bowl form, and create a mask.

As the forms dried, and the clay hardened, the newspaper was removed, and the clay became ready to paint, embellish and add to.

Some students chose to use the convex surface of their half spheres or hemispheres as a place to create symbolic forms and shapes such as stars and hearts, rather than a face or character.

Students played with using the paint pens by working on paper first.

The paint pens allowed them freedom from choosing and washing  brushes, adding water, and controlling “loose” acrylic paints. They could use the paint pens to create intricate patterns like a drawing tool.

Students learned to pounce or “stipple” with the paint pens, using their tips to apply paint to creases and crevices in the clay.

Students could then add feathers, beads, pipe cleaners and other embellishments to their masks, to further develop their characters, designs, forms and images.

Some chose to focus on color through painting, adding a carefully chosen addition to enhance their character.

This young artists has incised, or drawn into the clay to create they eyes, and added clay to build out the nose. The mouth uses both techniques.

Students used foam plates to mix new colors on, as well as for palettes.

Mixing all the colors together was a popular choice, and helped the students to understand some of the principles of color mixing.

Detail and focus ruled, even with the younger children.

This young artist has mixed the secondary colors of green and orange, from his palette of primary colors, red blue and yellow.

We used both grey and red air dry clay.

Here a young artist mixes green…after painting the outside of the pot blue, and the inside yellow.

These two kindergarteners had a wonderful time painting and creating together!

There is something about painting that seems to clear out irritability, and at least temporarily suspend human anxiety.

It is wonderful to see creative”flow” in action!

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Building Work

Building Work

In a recent after-school enrichment class, entitled aptly enough, “Art, Artists and Art History”, students created their own “built environments“, then painted mini-murals on them, inspired by artist / muralist Diego Rivera.

WebS.In the process, they learned about color mixing…

WebD.composition…

Web1. WebE.two and three-dimensional art,

WebQ.painting  techniques and how to cover a surface,

WebI.planning, drawing and imagination,

WebL.their color preferences, (“I like purple!” declared this 6 year-old artist),

WebP.how to create “windows and doors”,

WEB_04.and look through them,

WEB_03.and best of all, how to create their own special world, through color, imagery, texture, openings and space.

We celebrate this!

Tertiaries: Color Fusion

Tertiaries: Color Fusion

Color Wheel

Recent post explored and celebrated the  Primary Colors and the Secondary Colors.  Today, we play with  those magical fusions of hue, the Tertiary Colors.

Tertiary1Red-orange

Tertiary2Red-violet

Tertiary3Blue-violet

Tertiary4Blue-green

Tertiary5Yellow-green

Tertiary6Yellow-orange

Tertiary colors are created by mixing one primary color, with one secondary color. The names of these mixtures describe their components: Red-orange, Red-Violet, Blue-violet, Blue-green, Yellow-green, Yellow-orange, as depicted above.

The Tertiary color star below lays them all out beautifully and clearly, expressing and elucidating the Traditional painting (RYB, or “Red, Yellow, Blue”) color relationships and mixtures.

File:Color star-en.svg

TertiaryCThe Tertiaries play out in nature…red-orange leaves show the glory of Fall.

TertiaryDThis exterior palette showcases hues of both red and blue-violet.

TertiaryEBlue-green expresses fresh and clean…fused as it is, from the colors of grass, new growth,  water and sky.

TertiaryB2Gradations of yellow-green look like the green grass was mixed with sunlight.

TertiaryAThis yellow-orange garage door brilliantly punctuates its gray exterior, creating an accent as powerful as the sun.

What tertiary colors have You used? I hope this post has illuminated these hues for You, and shown You their important place in the RYB color pantheon.