2nd Grade: Poppin’ Art Patterns

My fabulous second graders are exploring the work of artist Romero Britto.  His bright, vibrant colors, exquisite patterns, and bold lines are such a great way to set the tone for a new school year.  I was also inspired by the fabulous Kathy Barbro.

It was especially inspiring for students to observe how he represented his home country of Brazil whilst carrying the torch during the Olympics a few weeks ago and check out his current art that he is creating on his Instagram.


For the past couple years I have had my students create a self-portrait inspired by the art of Gustav Klimt…however, it was time for somethings new.  In addition, as I gradually move towards more choice in the art room, I have provided a few examples to help inspire students as they organize their compositions.  These are easily accessible for my students so they can work at their own pace — pause and rewind some of the instruction. This allows me to more easily move around to their small groups and work individually with them.  It’s nice to be in two (or three or four) places at once.

After the students organize their compositions, they are going to add patterns and color.  I hope to have some examples of their progress for you soon!

Here are some resources to help you and your students get to know Romero Britto and his amazing art!

UPDATE (as of 10/21): Some finished products:

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4th Grade Cubist Cat Collage

Cubist Cat CollageI 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.

2nd Grade Paper Flower Relief Sculptures

Paper Flower Relief SculptureWhat’s a great way to merge science connections into art?  Plant life.  In the early spring, my second grade students explore the characteristics of plants and flowers and the importance of photosynthesis.  Students refine their manipulative skills as they create petals using brightly colored paper to create the petals.  To kick it up a notch, students use gel markers to invent patterns onto their petals.  I encourage the students to used analogous colors.  Students then glue their petals in a radial fashion to the center of another piece of brightly colored construction paper.  Next, student use orange or yellow paper to tear or cut and implement basic quilling techniques to curl and create the part of the flower integral for pollination.  Students also add leaves by created a football shape and creasing the center.   They glue three under the flower.  Finally, student quill and curl the ends of the petals to create depth.