The first and second grade students recently created styrofoam prints of cityscapes on backgrounds made out of watercolor crayon. We started the lesson by looking at cityscapes in artwork throughout time. We compared and contrasted what we saw in older paintings of cities to paintings of present day cities. We observed and noted the various kinds of lines and shapes that we see when we look at cityscapes. The students also learned about overlapping building to make some look closer and others farther away. After that, I showed them the process that we were going to take in making and printing our styrofoam prints. Many of the students thought the printing process seemed like magic.
The students got to experiment with watercolor crayons and a small piece of foam before beginning the project. When they were done experimenting, they started creating their background first using watercolor crayon. I showed them how to draw mountains in a more realistic way instead of using the triangle-like approach. We observed and discussed what we saw in different pictures of the sun and sky. Many students noted that the sky does not have to be blue and that often with a sunset we will see many colors.
After they created their backgrounds, they drew their cities onto a piece of foam. I told them that if they couldn't feel their lines then that means that you won't be able to see your design, so the students felt their piece of styrofoam as they drew. When they were finished, they cut their cities out and we printed them onto their backgrounds. It was really exciting to see their reactions as we pulled the foam off of their backgrounds. Many of them chose to draw and print Denver, but I also had students choose other cities that they have visited. Students had the choice of designing an imaginary city as well.
We are now getting ready to learn about glazing and to glaze our monster pinch pots.