Teaching the Elements of Art: Texture

Our art instructor has encouraged us to find a mentor artist to refer back to as we explore each of the elements of art. For studying texture I’ve examined two artists who both arrange objects in order to form their own creation; Andy Goldsworthy arranged nature to form his own original pieces, while Bernard Pras uses “trash” to remake classic or well known images (see video below).

In class, we did several texture based exercises. For the first exercise, we walked around the school gathering several crayon rubbings of different textures.

14489634_10157534832105387_55820871_oOnce we had several different textures, our instructor asked us to cut up the textures and arrange them however we wanted to on half of a small piece of paper. We were then asked to attempt to draw our texture arrangement on the other side of the page.

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Before we began our next activity, our instructor quickly flipped through The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle to show us how he cuts and arranges his finger paintings into a collaged story. Then, we took our finger paintings from last week and looked for specific shapes and textures in the pages. We then cut out any spots that stood out to us and arranged them on a piece of construction paper (of any size).

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While in many ways this activity wasn’t much different from the typical ladybug craft many teachers will do after reading Carle’s work, our instructor prompted us to allow kids to create their own problems, rather than just just giving them a problem and asking them to solve it.

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