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To complement the fourth grade social studies Missions unit, students made tin foil artwork based on pictures of California missions, noting the influence of religious groups on architecture. They added texture to their art by gluing down string and pressing foil over the designs. Students decorated the buildings in colors that contrasted with the background by using colors of different values, or by placing complementary colors next to one another.

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Students studied the abstract portraits of Pablo Picasso and Sandra Silberzweig and created self-portraits inspired by these styles. Students tried to communicate personal qualities through their artwork, either through symbols, color choices, or style. Each portrait is truly one of a kind, just like the artist who created it!

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We learned about Op Art, a type of art that involves optical illusions, and looked at the work of artists including M. C. Escher and Bridget Riley. Students practiced making their own Op Art, using curved lines and shading (value changes) to make their 2-dimensional artwork appear to be 3-dimensional.

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Students studied Paul Klee and used oil pastels to create cityscapes in the abstract, geometric style of this artist. They used color choices to create contrast between positive space (buildings) and negative space (sky). Students practiced placing either complementary colors or colors of different values next to one another for greater contrast. Some produced reflections in the water by using a smudging technique with the oil pastels.

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Students learned the importance of using value and contrast to give dimension to a flat image, while being aware of positive and negative space. Students used chalk pastels on black paper to practice additive and subtractive techniques--coloring, smudging, and erasing--and create these adorable polar bears!

After exploring symmetry in nature, students created a design with radial symmetry by placing coins and popsicle sticks into a repeating pattern around a central point. Then the messy fun began--we sprayed watercolor paints (in primary colors) over the designs. When the objects were removed, the colorful negative space created unique patterns of radial symmetry.

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Students observed how artists use value to show light, shadows, and dimension, and then they tried it for themselves. After drawing 2-dimensional shapes, students used shading to transform their shapes into 3-dimensional forms, being aware of the direction of the light source as it affects value and shadows.

After practicing with pencil shading, students were ready to use chalk pastels to create value gradients and transform 2-dimensional circles into 3-dimensional spheres. To add contrast, backgrounds were colored in with black marker to make the spheres "pop" out of the page.

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Thank you for viewing our gallery! The featured artwork was created by 4th grade artists from 2016 to present. 

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