Mixing digital media with traditional art to communicate a message

To conclude their recent How We Express Ourselves unit of inquiry (UOI), our grade 3 students were asked to create a piece of artwork. In that artwork they were expected to be able explain the form and style of artwork they had chosen as well as to express an idea, feeling, belief, etc through their artwork

Anyone who has been to an art gallery and tried to interpret the artists’ meaning behind their work will know how hard this can be. So, to help the gallery viewers understand each piece of art, the artists (students) made a video reflection of themselves explaining their art form and idea that they were communicating. After uploading the videos from our iPads to YouTube as unlisted videos, we attached a QR code (at www.qrstuff.com) to the video link, printed the code and stuck it alongside each piece of artwork.

Parent and student visitors to the gallery were able to then scan each code with an iPad or smartphone and hear from the artist, without needing the artist to be present. This allowed us to keep the gallery open all week for classes and parents to visit at any time.

 

Kindergarten Computer Art

People share ideas through visual art. This is the understanding that our Senior Kindergarten (SK) teachers and students are working towards. Using the design process of experimenting, planning, creating and evaluating, the students have been exposed to a range of artistic medium including paint, watercolours, crayons, coloured sand over a light box, clay etc.

We have also been exploring various forms of digital art using the computers in our learning pod. Initially, we explored a variety of websites (www.3x3links.com/skart). Some of these focus on mixing colours, others on composing art pieces in the style of famous artists such as Picasso, and others more open to freeform artworks.

Students using Curious George Mix n Paint

After being introduced to the websites, the students had time to explore the variety amongst them. Many children gravitated to the Curious George Mix n Paint website which was terrific for helping students learn various colour mixes. Others loved the freedom they had to make ‘silly’ looking faces using PicassoHead, while others enjoyed the freedom of being able to paint what they wanted to in Kerpoof and ArtPad. When their art pieces were completed, the students shared their ideas and inspiration with the teacher who was able to transcribe their thoughts on to the page for them. Students were very proud to hold their final artwork in their hands after printing them out.

The Way I Feel, by Janan Cain

Stretching our thinking and understandings further, we began to explore how colours can allow us to express emotions, thoughts and feelings. With the assistance of the wonderful picture book, ‘The Way I Feel’, by Janan Cain, we learned how happy colours are bright and colourful, sad colours are dark and blue, angry colours are red and fiery, while scared colours were black and grey. After choosing an emotion to share through art, the students used Paint to create emotion based digital art work. When finished, some students typed the colours they had used and again shared their thoughts with the teacher who was able to record these for the student.

As with any technology integration, the students have not only gained a richer understanding of their central idea, but developed some key technology skills such as mouse control, keyboarding, manipulating images through software and navigating the internet.