This lesson was inspired by a project completed by a nonprofit organization called Fresh Artists. I was in awe of one of the projects involving young artists creating mosaics of fruits and vegetables to display in a local grocery market. The results were stunning and I knew I had to sculpt a lesson plan out of it!
Earlier this quarter, 6th graders learned about gridding and created mosaics. This project embellished a little bit on each of these concepts and introduced a new element of art: value. First, students learned about hues, tints, tones, and shades and mixed different values in their sketchbooks. Each student selected a fruit or vegetable to serve as the subject for this project. We printed off images and applied the gridding technique from project #1 to transfer our drawings onto our work surfaces.
Once these drawings were complete, students identified tints, tones, and shades (or highlights, mid-tones, and shadows/cast shadows) within their reference photos. Students began sifting through a box of paint chips I picked up from Home Depot and tried to match colors on the value scale.
We discussed various mosaic shapes to cut out and the importance of variety and contrast. 6th graders were given scissors, glue, and an assortment of paint chips to work with. I encouraged students to keep their sketchbooks open to their reference photos throughout the whole process.
I overheard a group of girls giggling over the various paint chip names (you know, “Blue Cornflower,” “Harvested Blue Pearl,” “Delicate Winter Melon”, “Tender String Bean”….) so I decided to make them title their mosaics. Each student selected a paint chip name of a color that was included in their mosaic for their title. It was silly, but fun. Some of the titles sounded like short stories!
They turned out really nice, don’t you think?! I really would have liked to get EVERYONE’S picture with their mosaic, but the bell rang in the middle of this impromptu photo-shoot and I had to settle with my normal ‘art-on-the-floor’ photography.
Hoping everyone has a refreshing and relaxing summer!