Monday, May 24, 2010

Developing a Personal Art Series for a Portfolio

The basic idea of this ongoing series of art is to show growth and development in drawing and composition skills over a period of several years in elementary school.

My colleague and I have been involved in collecting a piece of art work from each child and compiling it until the end of 6th grade. Each student should include the following subjects in his or her art: plants, animals, buildings, vehicles, and people. They may find it more exciting to set the scene either indoors, or out. It can take place in a specific place or an imaginary place. The young artists start out drawing in #2 pencils.

We keep the drawings simple in 1st and 2nd grades by not coloring them. It is easier to see the forms and the students have more time to add details, without the complications of color.

By 3rd grade some students have time and patience to add the color and they really get finished as a full piece of art. We work in pencil first, go over the lines in permanent black marker and then use various colored material to finish the entire composition.

In 4th grade and above, I require each student to complete the personal art with more thought and planning about the subjects, to overlap the images, and to fully color or shade the images.

By the time we do this assignment in 5th and 6th grade the children often have a topic or idea in mind for the subject and are prepared to create. They can concentrate on the art skills needed to compose a full piece of art.