Pop Art Birds- James Rizzi lesson

Timeframe: Four 45 minute sessions
Grade Level: 4th

I just recently learned about the American pop artist, James Rizzi. While searching Deep Space Sparkle's wonderful website for lesson ideas, I came across a lesson entitled, "James Rizzi Birds Art Lesson". I thought the idea of an art project involving pop art and birds was a great idea. So I began researching James Rizzi. I found "Birds in a Junkyard", and thought my students would absolutely love the idea of a junkyard in art. However, I didn't want to copy Rizzi's exact birds. I wanted to use his artwork to introduce pop art AND do a different type of pop art project with birds.

Here's what we did:

I developed a PPT to introduce the students to pop art and James Rizzi. I was right, they LOVED "Birds in a Junkyard". It is just so interesting and fun to view! The students used 11X14 white tag board and torn newspaper to create a collage. They simply tore newspaper and glued the pieces to the tag board. This took about one 45 minute session.

I love the idea of using newspaper in our art projects. Reusing materials that would normally be thrown away is becoming important to me, and I try to instill that in my students as well.

After they had the entire tag board covered with newspaper, they painted over it with liquid condensed watercolors, diluted with water.

The next step was to use acrylic paint to paint polka dots over the watercolor. I told students to use the same color acrylic as watercolor so that the emphasis of the artwork would be on the birds, not the background. So, this student used magenta watercolor AND magenta acrylic.

And this student used green for both. The painting of the background took about one 45 minute session.

The next step was to draw the birds. They used construction paper crayons to draw the "U" shaped feathers and black oil pastels to outline and draw the eye. They used liquid condensed watercolors again to paint the bird, sprinkling salt onto the paint as they worked to create texture.

You can see the effects of those last steps in this photo. I love the way the salt makes it look more like feathers. This also took about one 45 minute session.

At the last 45 minute session, students cut out and glued the birds to their background. They drew wings on scrapbook paper and cut those out. They outlined the wing in black oil pastel as well. They glued cardboard behind the wing to create depth.

Here's another finished project:

 Copyright 2012 Amanda Koonlaba-There's a Party in the Art Room