Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Rhythm & design with acrylic, inspired by multicultural fabrics

Gessoed masonite (9x12)
Acrylic Paint

For the raised parts:
Mat Board scraps & cardboard squares - glue gunned 

This lesson focused on the PRINCIPLES of DESIGN, 
and specifically RHYTHM. 
It was also a wonderful way to introduce the kids to acrylic paint. 

Resource for rhythm:
I can't say enough great things about this post from the Helpful Art Teacher
And I HIGHLY recommend showing the short video to your students if you are trying to get across how to abstract nature or create designs that are inspired by an object but shouldn't look like the object. (I used this resource for an eighth grade abstracted nature project.)

For this project:
I supplied students with the following list of keywords and they did google image searches. 
They could google as they pleased, and had to find
three sources of inspiration before creating their design. 

Indian block printing, Adinkra printed cloth, Kente woven cloth
Mudcloth from Mali, javanese batik, Tapa cloth,
Quilts of Gee's Bend, Quilts by Eleanor McCain

They planned their design out in pencil. 
It had to be inspired by their three sources convey rhythm and repetition. 
Raised painted shapes were optional,
and I did my best to deter them from creating a centered design. 

For IPAD teachers!
My students created a slide show illustrating their inspiration and process in Explain Everything. 
I had them save each slide as an image and email the images to me. 
Then I popped all of the slides into imovie so I have a slide show of their design process to display at the art show. 
Here is one great example:

Friday, May 9, 2014

Chinese Brush Painting and Perspective

My seventh graders are in the middle of an Asian-influenced unit. 
To begin the unit I introduced them to Chinese Brush Painting. 
My school has lower, middle, and upper school are all on the same campus.
So I was very lucky to have the chance to have one of the high school Chinese students,
who had learned traditional brush painting when he was younger, came and did a demonstration for my classes. 

Before we started the main project, for one class session I cut down small 6 x 6 pieces of rice paper for the kids to practice on. They practiced bamboo, trees, mountains, for the most part. I have a few Chinese students, and they showed the kids how to write their names in Chinese characters as well, which they loved. 

I had inexpensive chinese brushes on hand but most of us liked to use these size 6 and 8 round white nylon watercolor brushes by Sax instead. 
The ink can be watered down with a little water on a small palette to get dark grey in addition to black. Most of the kids shared a tiny cup of ink and a tiny cup of water. 

The project:

From there we took a break from brush painting and the students learned how 2-point perspective works. After practicing this new concept, they each had to select a photo of Chinese or Japanese inspired architecture that demonstrated 2-point perspective to draw. 
They drew the buildings on 9 x 12 paper. 

Then they placed the rice paper over their drawing and traced the drawing in ink. 
This part of the process was the least time consuming and only took 1 to 2 class periods. 

To give them a finished look, we back them with construction paper and popped them in pre-cut mats. They look awesome and the kids learned so much!