Please Don't Eat the Artwork


Compliments and Mistakes (2nd Grade Warhol Cats)

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The AP came in this morning to tell me how much she LOVES the 1st grade dragons that are flying through the hall. They look great hung up and really brighten up the building.

A Kindergarten assistant dropped by to say how much she appreciated the Ice Cream Sundae lesson because it incorporates concepts they are working on in class such as math and movement. She hung them all up outside of the classroom!

2nd graders are finishing up their Andy Warhol Pop Art Cats. This project was extremely successful as a process and somewhat of a disaster as a product. We began by talking about Pop Art. I showed the students examples of Andy Warhol’s work and related it to today. We looked at the famous Marilyn Monroe picture next to Selena Gomez and talked about how Pop Art changes over time.

Many of the students recognized this artwork:

These cats are from a series of prints Warhol made called 25 Cats Named Sam based on his actual pet cats all named Sam. We talked about the shapes one would use to draw cats and we added patterns of lines and shapes. Not all students chose to draw a cat, we had animals like turtles, dogs, snakes, and rabbits too.

The kids began by sketching their designs in a sketchbook. Then they drew their animal onto a big piece of paper and traced over their lines with a sharpie.

Next, we talked about the primary colors and how they mix to make all of the other colors. Students were encouraged to experiment with color mixing.

So far so good, right? Well, as it turns out, tempera cakes were not the best type of paint to use for this project. The paint ended up being way too thick and ultimately covered up the beautiful animals the kids had designed. Luckily, none of the kids seemed too bummed out about this or even noticed at all. They really enjoyed experimenting with mixing the colors and were able to successfully create secondary colors. Next time I do this project I will definitely have the students use thinner, more transparent paint. Here are some of the (most discernible)  results:

Overall, this project was truly a learning experience for both myself and the 2nd graders. I will not be discouraged — instead I will adapt, adjust, and be successful next time. 🙂

Author: artwithmsk

Hello! My name is Ms. Katzin and I am an art teacher at an elementary school near Atlanta, Georgia. Teaching art is my passion and I love what I do!

One thought on “Compliments and Mistakes (2nd Grade Warhol Cats)

  1. I love the reflections. Thanks for sharing both what went well and what you would do differently. I really enjoyed having my 1st graders draw their own pets this year and was shocked by the simple twist of having students draw what they have experienced. As artist’s we know this is true but after the concept the rest was just pure joy!

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