News from the Art Room

September 28 - October 2

Welcome back to the Art Room--errr, the Art Studio!

Kicking off our school year in the new Riverview Art Studio we've adorned each of the walls with our names--ALL of our names. Every student at Riverview is hanging a name-tag up on the wall in the Art Studio in a symbolic gesture. The goal in doing this is to help our students in understanding that they have a degree of ownership of their education. Students are accustomed to putting their name on things of importance to them; my hope is that they'll connect that process with our introduction into Art this year.

Apps for Art

Google Drive - Students in grades 3-5 will be using Google Drive extensively to host their digital Art Portfolio. Please make sure that your iPad is able to connect to WiFi and has Google Drive installed as soon as possible!

Snapseed - Snapseed is a powerful photo editing app that doesn't rely solely on filters to create photo effects. - is a great sketchbook app that has a fair deal of content for free. I encourage students (and parents!) who frequently use their digital devices to regularly draw for leisure--there are strong positive effects of regular drawing and doodling on the developing brain!

iMotion - iMotion is a video editing app for time-lapse photography and stop-motion animation.

Sketchbook Challenge!

This is the first Sketchbook Challenge of the school year so let's take a second to talk about what a Sketchbook Challenge is. A Sketchbook Challenge is an opportunity to challenge yourself artistically. That's it. Students and parents alike are invited to join me in practicing and creating in their own sketchbook. I'll give you something to try and you set aside a few minutes throughout your week to try it. That's all.

Do I need to own a sketchbook to do this?

Nope! I encourage you to find one or make one to keep all of your drawings in one place, though! It doesn't matter what kind of paper or materials you're using; lined spiral-bound paper will work as well as fancy-pants watercolor paper.

Is this homework?

Yes and no. Yes in that it's "assigned" to be done outside of the classroom, but no in that it is not required in any way whatsoever. It's meant to be something that you can do for fun and for relaxation; not something that you feel you "have" to do. This could, in theory, be a family activity, too!

Okay, so what do we do?

For our first sketchbook challenge you are challenged to:

1. Track down a sketchbook/notepad/notebook/pile-of-paper/stack-of-napkins to serve as your sketchbook for future challenges.

2. Set aside a few minutes to color/draw on/decorate/design a cover for your sketchbook. Something that will give it some personality. The goal here is to make something that you are excited to spend time in each week.

3. If you're feeling daring, send a picture of your sketchbook to Mr. Stanley and I'll post it next time!


The Kindergarteners are haphazardly learning their way around the art studio as the school year takes off. Like the other grades, Kindergarteners started by making name tags and hanging them up. Our next adventure is learning the basic operations of the art studio--how to get supplies, how to care for them, and how to put them back. This week we practiced "monkey-see-monkey-do" as students watched Mr. Stanley draw up front and then they followed along on their whiteboards.

At the end of this week Kindergarteners will be introduced to their first art project--a mixed-material drawing & painting that will expose them to a couple of new materials.

1st Grade

The first graders are beginning a series of firsts in Art, beginning with their first color wheel. We use the color wheel to show students that color has an element of organization to it--that certain colors have connections to other colors and that by combining them we can create additional colors. You can look forward to seeing these beauties a little later in the month.

2nd Grade

The 2nd graders are beginning their year in the art studio using the Painting Station. We're beginning the process of learning the similarities and differences between each type of paint. To start, students are exploring different watercolor techniques. Next week students will learn some tips and tricks to working with watercolor pencils and tempera before doing their first painting of the year.

3rd Grade

The 3rd graders are kicking off their year in the Art Studio using the blendable materials in the Drawing Station. Students are learning some shading and blending techniques using different kinds of charcoal, chalk, and pastels. It's a messy job, but someone's got to do it!

4th Grade

The 4th graders are beginning their year in Art with a still-life drawing for which they will be looking for interesting objects or images of objects to draw in the coming weeks. Students are welcome to bring their still-life object(s) into class with them on the days that they have Art and if their object(s) are labelled with their name and teacher's name they can be left here in the art room. Alternatively, students may also find/take images of their still-life object(s) and save them to their iPads.

This drawing is being used to emphasize the difference to the 4th graders between subject matter and medium; that is, the content of the artwork and the material(s) used to create it.

5th Grade

The 5th graders' are getting philosophical in the start of their year in Art by creating a work of art to answer the question, "Art is..."

The purpose of this activity is to refamiliarize students with a number of the materials in class, as well as to give them an easy start to using their digital portfolios via Google Drive.

Riverview Minecraft Club Information--Click Here!

I run the Minecraft Club here at Riverview. If you're interested in registering your child or are curious and would like more information, click the button above!

Mr. Stanley

Paul Stanley is the Art teacher at Riverview, but you probably already knew that by now. His son, Cedar, is the cutest thing he's ever seen and he watches tons of cat videos.