Art Teacher Lucy Leyland


Fifth Grade Mixed Media Peacocks

Elephants for Diwali
Students learned about India and the Festival of Lights, or Diwali, by listening to the story Elephant Dance.  In the story a grandfather recalls the celebration in his small village many years ago.  He recalls the scents and sounds as well as the processions of elephants decorated for the holiday.

Fourth graders learned how to drawn an elephant by breaking it down into simple shapes.  We discussed the proportions of the Asian elephant and how it differs from the African elephant.

After creating their image they transfered it to a metal plate and, using a wooden stylus, created a relief on its surface. They enhanced their elephants with decorations.  Some students opted to add a howdah as well.  The finished piece was colored with sharpie.   

1 Leaf Falling

Fifth graders were asked to imagine how they would convey the look and feel of autumn to someone who had never experienced it.  We discussed the vibrant warm colors, the leaves falling and the brisk wind.

Students selected one leaf and decided they could make it look as if it were falling by changing the angle, shifting the colors and cropping the image.  They applied different colors of tempera paint to their leaf and made multiple prints, thinking carefully about the composition.

After completing the prints, we examined the work of sidewalk artist Julian Beever.  We discussed how he used light and shadow to create his remarkable optical illusions. Students then colored the backgrounds of their work with cool pastel colors and shaded them to create the illusion of space. 

As a final step, we viewed the finished pieces through 3-D glasses and discovered that warm colors really do advance and cool colors recede.  Cool!

Fifth Grade Fall Leaves

Fifth grade students selected a single leaf and then examined its shape, texture, line. color (hue),and form.  What better way to explore the elements of art, also known as the tools of the artist?

Students arranged a number of leaves, in a thoughful composition, on a cardboard backing.  After tacking them down, they covered the surface with aluminum foil and gently rubbed it.  This created a relief.  The relief was covered with black liquid shoepolish, anded and then burnished with steel wool.  Students were asked to work slowlyy to create a range of values (lights and darks) that would enhance their design.

Fourth grade Art + Science
Using printmaking, observational drawing, metal engraving, watercolor and design, students were able to make an in-depth exploration of ferns.  Samples were gathered from the trails behind Woodland school and examined through loupes in art class.  Each fourth grader made an accordion book that became a journal of their explorations.  One fourth grade teacher said it was a great unit that "widened the scope of what we were doing in class."

Fifth Grade Monarch Butterflies
We watched a utube video documenting the fall migration of Monarch butterflies to the Sierra Madre Mts. of Mexico.  Some travel as far as 3,000 miles from the Northeast!  We discussed their rapidly diminishing numbers, due to loss of habitat.  We also talked about artists, like Maya Lin, who use their work to raise environmental awareness.
Students selected a Monarch image they liked and carefully studied the symmetry of the butterfly, it's proportions, the branching pattern in it's wings and it's coloration. They made a pencil rendering of their image, outlined it in black oil pastel and finished their work with liquid watercolor.

Fourth Grade Yellow Spotted Salamanders 

Fourth graders looked at images of Yellow Spotted Salamanders discovered in Weston last  year. We discussed their birth in vernal pools and their life on land. We looked at their  camouflaged bodies and talked about their hidden lives beneath leaves and logs. Later in  the school year Fourth graders will be studying salamanders in depth but we decided to get  a head start by looking at them closely in art and learning how to draw their sleek bodies  and long tails! 
Students began with a rough draft of the amphibian after learning about it's  proportions. Wax resist and liquid watercolor were used to complete the work. Look for  these great artworks coming home soon in an envelope for our annual WEEFC fundraiser.

Fifth Grade Mondrian Portfolios 
Fifth grade students began the year with portfolio designs based on the work of Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. They listened to the Boogie Woogie music that inspired his N.Y. pieces and discussed his well known painting, Boogie Woogie Broadway (Museum of Modern Art New York).  Using black electrical tape students created an asymmetrical grid. Like the artist, they used blocks of primary colors to create a rhythm and pulse.  They were also challenged to incorporate patterned primary blocks filled with initials from their names. Finally, students were encouraged to critique the work among themselves to determine if it was "balanced" and "harmonious."

Take a look online at contemporary artist Devorah Sperber's "After Mondrian (Fashion 26)" to see how Mondrian is still inspiring artists!

Fourth Grade Collaborative Dot Designs

Field School fourth grade students "made their mark" on International  Dot Day by creating these collaborative design pieces.  After hearing the beloved children's story The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds, the young artists used pencil, craypas and pastels to make these vibrant works.  Each young artist worked on a portion of the dot and enjoyed the unpredictable arrangements that came together at the end of class.