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. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Figure drawing & magazine page color collage

This was one of my first lessons of the year. I didn't know this group of 6th graders so it provided a strong opportunity for any ability and type of learner. 
The students began by doing figure drawing exercises and drawing one another in poses. 
We also did a class project cutting out colors from magazine and working as a class to create these cool color wheels. I did this with all of my class at the beginning of the year. 

Students chose a pose to draw the silhouette of. 
Then they filled in the silhouettes with a color palette/strategy of their choosing based on the color wheel making experience. 

I really wanted to take advantage of getting a fresh start at my new school and with new students. 
So this year I have been having the kids do their own grading sheets at the end of each project.
That way they are able to see all of the objectives they met and how much they just accomplished and learned through the lesson.
Now they are in the practice of learning how to write artist statements and reflect on their art-making process. It has also positively affected peer constructive criticism and classroom discussions with everyone participating willingly. I'm including the pdf in case you are interested. This process of assessment has been working out very well. Now that my sixth graders have done 4 of these grading sheets and writings with specific prompts they can are able to actually formulate thoughtful and more complete artist statements all on their own without prompts this specific.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I'm back! many projects are on the way... scratch art playing card portraits in this post

Well, it has been an embarrassingly long time since I last posted.
I feel guilty but it has been one of those things where the longer you put it off the longer it takes to face it again. Reason #1- I have switched jobs yet again... and moved... and become a home-owner. So I have been BUSSSYYYY and constantly trying to catch up on life. Reason #2- is that my side business creating painted & calligraphed seating cards and other wedding paper goods Strawberry Small Works Studio has been going well and any spare second I have I put towards that right now, and thus, this blog has suffered.

But, I love my new job and our new life in Rhode Island. We are hoping we are here for the long haul. I'm now teaching middle school and high school. So to my elementary-teaching followers my darling kinder and little ones lessons I am producing much less of and I apologize. However, I am VERY excited about the deeper projects I am now able to do with 6th-9th grade. I will try to post the scope of my projects from this year so far sooner rather than later. I'm still doing a handful of community based projects and work at museums so keep staying tuned.

Here is a taste of what I've been up to:

Playing Card Portraits

These were done with 7th grade. We made our own scratchboard by painting with tempera over clay coated paper I had hanging around. They had to include a portrait and set up their design so it matched up when they flipped the paper around.