I have always been inspired by the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Even more, still, in the illustrations of Sir John Tenniel within this whimsical tale. This inspiration led me to the whimsy of another great artist, Pablo Picasso. After seeing the Picasso Monsters created in Mrs. Picasso’s Art Room, I jumped on the opportunity with my fourth grade students. BrainPOP, as I have mentioned a few times, is a great resource to introduce an artist, art technique, or even make an interdisciplinary connection. These fabulous people have created a short video on Cubism and its origins.
After my students explore Cubism, they compare, contrast, and analyze the work of Picasso and Tenniel. We also discuss distortion, point of view, proportion, analogous colors, and portraiture. The students begin their collage by creating the cat face. We chose a set of analogous colors, and start on our way. The majority of the first day is spent on the construction of the head. On day two and three we create the body and tail, and add details (eyes, nose, etc). Finally, students use similar colors of gel markers to add patterns onto their collage. The last day is when they students weave paper to create their background and assemble their collage. To add a bit of “flash” I have students weave using metallic paper. This project is a wonderful chance to delve into literature and math through the lens of the visual arts.