Chestnut Elementary School

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Spooky Silhouettes

A silhouette is an image or design in a single hue or tone. The art form dates back as far as the stone age and has been used across cultures to create unique images of people, places, and objects. From the pottery of ancient Greece to ancient Egyptian temples, silhouettes have appeared in many different eras. You may even recognize some of the same principles of creating silhouettes in modern Disney cartoons.

Chestnut Elementary Art Teacher Shawn Riley decided to take a seasonal approach to teach silhouette fundamentals. Using the fall season as her guide, she was able to educate her fourth graders about traditional silhouettes. This included reintroducing color family education. Students were retaught how to perceive colors which includes warm colors: Red, Orange, and Yellow. As well as Cool Colors: Green, Blue, and Purple. Understanding color perception and orientation is essential in art education. How students understand color can affect how they view and perceive art as well as the world.  

For this “Spooky Silhouettes” project, students created their very own silhouettes! However, instead of a traditional portrait, the fourth graders created haunted houses. Each student drew their own haunted houses in sharpie and then colored the background in marker. Once complete, each student sprayed their art work to make the colors bleed. What each student made was frightfully artistic.

Seasonal project-based learning is a great way to engage students’ interest and retention of knowledge! Ms. Riley is an expert in creating fun and educational projects. She understands the importance of incorporating critical Visual Arts standards into interactive projects. She is not just an expert in Art education, she is an expert in student development. She brings out the best in her students and being in her classroom is always a fun experience for our students. We are grateful to have Ms. Riley at Chestnut. She is a tremendous asset to our students and Painesville City Local Schools.