Posted by: MiniMonets | November 9, 2019

Discovering Sea Creatures

Welcome to Mini Monets. I’m super excited to be starting my 10th year with all your young artists. After we finish a project, I will be sending out an email to let you know more about the artists/techniques, the literature we read, and the math or science foundation we covered in class.

We started off the year with the book; I’m the Biggest thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry. It’s a colorful book about a giant squid that believes he is the biggest thing in the ocean, until he is eaten by a whale, and then decides he is the biggest thing in this whale. As he swims through the ocean, he says he is bigger than many sea creatures. We used this opportunity to compare and contrast the anatomy of the different creatures. As an example, crabs are crustaceans and have a shell with claws or how an octopus has a similar shape with a large head and arms with suckers. Then, we pretended to be marine biologists and hop into a submarine and travel into the ocean. We looked through our portholes and began to draw what we saw. It was at this point that the artists could take their work into 3 different directions. The first was to draw real sea creatures in the ocean. The second choice was to take different parts of the sea creatures we had seen in the book and make our own sea creatures. This was a great chance for them to “discover” new sea creatures since most of the ocean is unexplored. The third choice was a combination of the two. They could make their sea creatures anywhere between a shallow coral reef and the midnight zone at the bottom of the ocean. The artists drew in pencils and then traced their drawings using metallic sharpies.

For the second class, we watched part of the Mysteries episode of the Big Pacific Mini Series. I chose to show them about the white spotted puffer fish who lives off an island near Japan. The male is only 3 inches in size but creates a complex radial design in the sand for his nest to keep the ocean current from disturbing their eggs. It’s truly fascinating and if you would like to watch it yourself, it’s on Amazon Video, Ep 1 from the 10 – 15 min mark. Then we jumped right into creating. They were given metallic oil pastels to begin coloring in their creatures or the ocean. Then the students were given watercolor paint. The watercolor paint can mix does not mix with the oil pastels so it creates even more color variations than used alone. I encourage all artists to fill their entire paper with color. This can be a big task for some of my younger artists but you will see this improve throughout the year.

The objective of this project is to use sensory exploration of an underwater environment as a source of imagery.

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