The top project is from Krokotak Art, called: To Sweep the Leaves
The bottom project is from Art For Kids Hub, called:Coloring An Autumn Leaf With Oil Pastels
Out of the two projects I allowed the most freedom for was, “To Sweep The Leaves”. Whenever possible, I allow students the artistic freedom to express themselves with their art. When there is room for this, which there often is, I look out of a few key things. One of which I mostly focus on is did they follow the main directions of how to do the project while adding their own spin or twist. Does the piece still follow the main theme of the project? Does the piece looked rushed and was there little care put into how they produced their work? If things do go a bit sideways, or a student became overly silly with their new spin, I always make sure to make this a teachable moment with the student to ensure they know how they could improve upon the next piece. Even if you feel a student really was rushing or being careless, for them they may have felt it was really good and we want to be careful to not be overly critical or upset with them but instead try to point out what they can improve upon. For many students art can be a huge source of anxiety and negative feelings as they do not feel like the are “good” at it and for these reasons we still want to be as positive as possible, while still allowing creative freedom when possible.
The Autumn Leaf with oil Pastels, was a project that introduced students the concept of shading, using oil pastels. I used the Crayola Oil Pastels, as they are harder and not as soft allowing the students a bit more control while learning how to use pastels. The only real downside to this is that it is a lot harder for the pastels to blend as they are not as soft as ones like Pentel Pastals. However, I like to use the Crayola Pastels because I also reinforce the idea of why it is extremely important to take care of our art supplies and if students are unable to care properly for them, then they will not be allowed to use the better quality ones, as a result of the behaviour they have demonstrated in class.
The main concept with the shading/blending of the autumn leaf is to show/demonstrate to the students that you layer your colours from lightest to darkest. As you add a new colour on top the darker colour will therefore cover up the lighter colour and only some of that colour will come up from the bottom. This will helps give that effect of the leaf transitioning through its beautiful fall colours. So in this case it went, yellow, orange red. I found this to be really helpful as the students were super surprised that we first coloured in the entire leaf yellow and from there we layered on the orange and red. Once students started to see the final product they were very impressed with their work they had accomplished. This is also a good lesson to see which students are listening and paying attention and which are following their own plan. It does show up in the results of their work. For this lesson I focused on students following the directions of the video and how and their understanding of how the blending worked through layering the colours. Again, those who listened did very well even if their drawing ability is low it is still visible what they were trying to accomplish.
Overall, these are two very fun projects which take about a full period 45 minutes to do. Sometimes the leaf sweeping activity can extend a bit longer, where students can easily finish it up the next morning before the day begins. This is the second year I have done the Sweeping art project, since I discovered the KroKotak site last year and the 4th year that I have done the Autumn Pastel Leaf, from Art Hub.
Stay tuned for my fall art projects we have been doing in class and updated and pics of this current project below with better details!