Friday, April 30, 2010

Birds Mosaics

Grade level: 2nd grade , but as all my projects , it can be adapted for any grade level.

Art Concept and Skills : Artists have painted pictures of various kind of birds , both realistic and imaginary . They used oil . watercolor , prints to tell us how they feel about birds .

Color tissue paper can be adhered with starch to white paper to make a collage , showing the feather patterns of birds' wings and tails .

Material : *white paper (9" x 11")

* tissue paper of many different colors
* Vano liquid starch and small containers
* brushes
* photos of all sorts of birds

Resources : the lesson plan idea was inspired by a lesson plan from my child school district.

There are many kind of birds in the world , and the way the artists paint them are just as varied . Some of the birds are easily recognized and others are products of the artists imagination . Birds have been painted by artists in every land in every age . Here are the paintings we are
going to look at today :
(1) Feathers in Bloom by Marc Chagall (1887-1985) . This painting shows a pale blue and white hen with her head turned around looking at a blue horse . The horse is somewhat of a fairy tale figure because it has human feet . They are set off by the dark background of a sky at night . What is unusual about the moon ? (Seen low in the picture .) The most important element of this work is its dreamlike fantasy atmosphere . The animal seem to be floating through the sky and talking to each other .
Marc Chagall was born in Russia . He studied art in St-Petersburg , then went to Paris where he was influenced by the cubist style .

(2) Happy Family by Nathaniel Currier and James Ives (1875-1907) . Nathaniel Currier and James Ives were partners in printing business since 1857 . They produced not only news items scenes but also pictures of everyday life . This lithograph was made by Currier and Ives from a drawing by F.F. Palmer . It shows a family of turkey in the woods. The father is spreading his wings while the mother watches her chicks eating . They are protected by the forest and surrounded by a strawberry patch . The birds are drawn accurately with every feathers shown realistically . The warm browns and greens and the attention to the details show the artist's love for the woods . The bird family seems protected and safe and happy in their natural setting .
(3) Flying Geese by Max Ernst (1891-1976) . Flying Geese shows geese flying over the desert and Grand Canyon of Arizona . A cactus bush is also seen in the middle of the painting superimposed on the Grand Canyon walls . Can you see it ? What give the mountains their texture ? Ernst placed his paper over a piece of wood so that the wood's grain would show in the design . The gold tones , the gray , whites and dark areas along with the wood's grain truly suggest the Arizona desert landscape . What color is the sky ? Does it make you think of the hot desert and colorful sunset ?
Max Ernst was a German surrealist painter and sculptor . He had no formal art education . He was influenced by Picasso and the art of insane people .

(4) Child with Dove by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) . This painting shows a child with red hair in a bluish-white dress holding a white dove . The background seems to be the walls and floor of a room in red , yellow , and blue . These colors are repeated in the ball on the floor . Can you see the clean large masses of colors ? The paint was put on with heavy strong brushstrokes . The child is tenderly holding the dove . Do you think it could be her pet ?
Pablo Picasso was a Spanish artists . He is considered as the most prolific painter ever , producing paintings , prints , engravings , book illustrations and sculptures . He was known to push the envelope .

Motivation : Birds have different body shapes . Some have crests , some have long tails . They may have different colors . Feathers overlap and create beautiful pattern .
Vocabulary :
Imaginary : existing in the imagination and not in the real world .

Foliage : leaves .

Crest : a comb or tuft of feathers on a bird's head .

Claws : a hard , curved nail on the foot of a animal or bird .

Collage : a picture made by fixing different things on a surface , such as pieces of cloth onto paper .

Overlap : to cover part of something .

Mosaic : a pattern of picture made up of small pieces of colored stone , tile or glass . ( In this case of colored tissue paper .)

Pattern : a repeating arrangement of colors , shapes , and figures .

Crumple : if you crumple a piece of paper , you crush it into wrinkles and folds .

Fantasy : something you imagine happening that is not likely to happen in real life .

Texture : the look and feel of something , especially its roughness or smoothness .
Wood's grain : small particules of the wood .

Activity :
(1) Think about the real or imaginary birds you want to make . Close your eyes and imagine your picture large on your paper .

(2) Choose several colors of tissue paper . Place tissue
paper and cut or tear pieces for each part of the birds' body . Make multiple cuts to make a lot of feathers at one time . To do this , cut several thickness of paper at once .

(3) Brush starch on white paper . Place tissue paper onto starch area and brush on a little more starch , to hold it flat . Too much brushing will cause some colors to "bleed".

(4) Add more pieces of tissue overlapping the shapes .The overlapped areas make different darken colors .

(5) For a variety of texture try crumpling some of the paper before adhering it .

(6) Exaggerate the tail feathers . Think about the bird gesture or movement .
(7) Fill in the background with small pieces of tissue paper in a mosaic-like fashion .

(8) Let dry .

Examples :