Sunday, March 9, 2014

Impressionist ocean paintings and ipads



This lesson successfully tackled monochromatic color mixing, interpreting light and nature, impressionism, and expressionist painting. 

I did this lesson at the very beginning of the year with seventh grade. I was just starting at my new school and wasn't sure where my students skills were at- this lesson worked really well as it gave me a chance to see what they knew and were comfortable with but gave them a more open ended way of working. Tempera paint was all we used. It would be great for 4th through 7th grade. 

We have a one-to-one Ipad program at my school. It has been incredible for my art teaching, opening up so many possibilities for my lessons. This was the first lesson I used them for.


My students went down to the waterfront with me [in the ten minutes it rained that day of course] and took photos of the ripples in the bay from the docks. (I know, I know, I'm living a dream right now...) but seriously... the students cropped the image down and translated them into paintings. I provided a slide show of Van Gogh, Monet, and Homer's paintings that all included water before they began painting.

References to Van Gogh, Monet, & Homer











Wednesday, March 5, 2014

4 part still life project - middle school

4 Part Still Life Exploration with 8th grade
on 18x24 paper split into 4 9x12 sections

Students chose their still life object.
It had to be bigger than their hand with limited text.
I steered them away from stuffed animals and fuzzy/furry textures. 

I would absolutely do this project again and keep the order in which I introduced the parts. 

This was wonderful for differentiation-
it allowed all levels of students to learn a lot, better their skills, and feel comfortable. 



1. Realistic pencil drawing of the entire object with shading. 
(2-3 class periods)

2. In the style of Romero Britto. 
(3 class periods with introduction/quick slide show)
Students must zoom in on the object, with the option to abstract it. 
Using marker they broke the section down and filled it in with bright color to make it pop. 

(toaster abstraction)

3. Collage
(3-4 class periods depending on type of collage they chose, with slide show)
Students could choose the composition for this section- with the option to zoom & crop or showcase the entire object. 
I showed LOTS of examples of different types of collages. 
They could choose their materials- I suggested magazine cut outs, newspaper, or tissue paper. 
They had to include a background. 








4. Acrylic painting
(2 class periods with introduction to painting/demonstration)
This was the final section of the four.
Students had to look at their image as a whole and figure out what type of composition was needed in order to make the entire paper feel balanced. 
Most of them have never used acrylic paint before. 
Color options and backgrounds were up to the them. 
Students decided if they wanted to paint the object in colors true to life or not.



Suggestions if you are limited on time:
- you can cut down squares & stripes ahead of time
to collage for stripe or checkerboard backgrounds
- select the objects ahead of time and limit the objects they can choose 

More finished examples to come!

Apply this week!

The Power of Art
at the Lab School of Washington
put on by the amazing Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. 

Did you know Robert Rauschenberg was dyslexic?
As were many other famous and important artists. 
This program is dedicated to the power that art education has on different types of learners. 

The deadline for applications to this program is this weekend, however if you can get your materials together I HIGHLY recommend sending in an application! ...
"You nevah evah know!" as one my favorite mother-figures would always say.

I had the honor of attending this two years ago and it was the most incredible experience. It was the most appreciated I have ever felt for the work that I do. 
Here is a post I did after I attended (and I'm just realizing I never really posted the full amount of awesomeness and resources I experienced).

Information and the application can be found here.
Feel free to ask me any questions!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Polar Bears - drawing with charcoal, shading things that are white


A common request I get from students is to learn how to draw animals, so I decided to fulfill it. 
This lesson served a variety of purposes (i.e. exposing students to new drawing tools and shading white objects) and providing the students structured freedom. 
The great amount of the choice the students led them to take great care
and pride in their picture right up to the end.
I did this with 6th grade but I would recommend it for 4th-6th.
Some of the introductory images I provided the students can be found on my pinterest board here


The requirements were:
-to work from a photograph with a full polar bear
-choose white or grey paper to work on
-start with pencil
-demonstrate shading & texture
-it needs to be apparent the bear is on a ground and not flying

The options were:
-drawing pencils
-charcoal pencil
-pressed charcoal
-white colored pencil
-white chalk


Most of the students tried out the charcoal at least minimally. This lesson worked great because the more adventurous students were able to be more experimental and the more apprehensive students were able to work more cautiously. 




Some of the introductory images I provided the students can be found on my pinterest board here

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Drawing clothing with middle school



 
My sixth graders produced these wonderful drawings in the fall. 
It was an introduction to drawing pencils, shading, value, drawing from life/observational drawing. To get them engaged right off the bat, students could bring in an article of clothing they wanted to draw (I discouraged ones with large logos/cartoons, or complicated patterning). 
We then hung them from the ceiling! 



The focus was on drawing the folds, wrinkles, and nuances of the fabric. 
I emphasized that clothing without a human body inside of it will look different than if someone was wearing the garment so it was important to draw what they see rather than what they think it should look like. 


Lastly, to add a bit of color, but to continue with the pencil train- the kids used watercolor pencils to fill in the background. They had to choose colors that would blend together.