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Painted and Printed Pumpkins


This is a video I made to teach my elementary students how to make a painting of a pumpkin. What I love about this demo is painting a pumpkin helps to show kids how to blend colors and use value to make something look round but it also shows kids how repeating curved lines will create the illusion that they are wrapped around a curved form. This helps lay a little bit of a foundation to be used later when teaching linear perspective and for Op Art. For the background, I have students print using found objects as stamps. This can help to create a nice Pop Art type of feel particularly when kids add facial features. I encourage them to use cut shapes to create emoji type faces so they are practicing their cutting and gluing skills as well as making the composition a little more more expressive and unique. I did this with young students and it worked well to break up the activities. First, they painted just a circle focusing on creating a gradient. Next, they set that aside and printed the background (I used a small paper in the video because it fit the frame better but I recommend a larger paper for the background and if you look closely at my finished piece, you can see I glued more than one small paper together so my background would be visible behind my pumpkin). After printing the background, students go back to add details to the pumpkin (that way their painting is a little dry. I found that when they add details while it is wet, the lines get blurry because the pigment spreads through the water and kids get really frustrated, over correct and ruin their work in the process). I found this to be basically a 2-3 class period project. Day 1 I try to have them paint a circle and paint background. Day 2 they cut out a pumpkin shape, add details and glue it onto their background (some kids need to finish printing the backgrounds on day 2). Day 3 I give students time to personalize it adding facial features, framing their work. I also had a great experience having kids do a little gallery walk at the end of this project. I had them focus on looking for friends who made a unique and unexpected choice in their projects then they held up strong examples and gave feedback to their peers. the kids were super sweet in complimenting each other's projects, but they also gave good, clear and concrete feedback.

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