|Casey's portrait of a frog used a variety of wet and dry media. The students were required to use at least four of the "recipes" from their color wheels when making their portraits. The other values could be invented on the spot as needed.|
Friday, December 30, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
|A photo of Native American women taken by photographer Edward S. Curtis.|
Sunday, December 4, 2011
The fabrics are done! I hope you enjoy looking at samples of some of the great batik designs that my students created during this fun activity. We learned so much about the process of gel batik and I will definitely try this again during another semester.
|Samantha used a limited color palette to create a feeling of unity throughout her work. The large area of concentric circles seems to radiate toward the smaller ones. Maybe she was thinking about waves moving across the sand!|
|Vanessa was worried that she had too much going on in this composition: I think it has everything! Lots of variety, movement, repetition, color, pattern and fun!|
|Brian used circles and ovals in his composition. There is a tremendous amount of overlapping throughout the design. I really think it looks like an owl! Can you see it? The eyes are at the top and the blue concentric circles help the viewer to look right at them!|
|Leah used symmetry to divide up the space in her circle composition. I especially like the way she used different values of yellow in the background area. Good work!|
Thursday, December 1, 2011
So here is a summary of the first parts of the process of making our amazing batik fabrics. This lesson was a lot of fun, but it was also a lot of work for all of us. In the end, the pay off was BIG since everyone got to create a unique piece of fabric art. The kids were psyched to see the great results of their hard work. Soon I'll be sharing lots of pictures of the finished work!
The students worked from a pencil sketch of their best circle composition. They used the glue to freehand draw onto the white fabric. Some students were nervous about "messing up" but everyone soon realized that if they made a mistake the only option was to turn it into something else. In the end, there were no major catastrophes and everyone tried their best to concentrate on their work during this part of the process. It was important to remember that the glue would spread as it dried; lines couldn't be placed too close to each other or they would blend together.
|Drawing with gel glue takes concentration and a steady hand!|
|Katelyn painted her fabric with acrylic paints in different values of pink, orange and green.|
The glued dried in a couple of hours, so when the students came to class the next day the fabrics were ready for paint. We used Crayola Portfolio acrylic paints and we diluted them so that the paint was applied in a medium consistency. It was okay if some of the paint went on the dried glue, but I encouraged everyone not to paint right over the glue. Eventually we would need to scrub off the dried areas of glue to reveal the white fabric that was protected underneath. We all thought it would be easier to rinse if we didn't seal in the glue with a layer of acrylic paints.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
|Donita's work demonstrates her understanding of repetition, pattern, movement and variety. She masterfully drew this composition with a drippy bottle of gel glue! Talk about excellent craftsmanship!|
This lesson was inspired by a wonderful tutorial on how to create beautiful fabric art using washable gel glue. I learned about how to use the glue to make a design that looks very similar to traditional hot wax batik. Check out her blog at www.that artist woman.blogspot.com. In her tutorial, Gail showed an example of gel glue batik that was a colorful wall hanging of autumn trees. I was very inspired by her results and decided to gather the supplies I would need to have my 8th grade art students try this method!
I was very fortunate that on the day I visited the Rhode Island Recycles for Education center there was a mountain of pre-cut white cotton blend fabric! I had planned on having to cut up old bed sheets, so this was a great find that certainly made my prep work much easier! I purchased enough fabric for all of my students for under five dollars. I had some money left from a fundraiser from last year so I purchased the gel glue for about thirty dollars and it was time to teach the lesson. I made a handout with biographical information about the artists Sonia and Robert Delaunay. This husband and wife team of artists both made many paintings using circles as the main motif. They greatly influenced each other and it was interesting for the students to try to guess which artist painted each of the exemplar paintings that we looked at. An example of one of Robert Delaunay's circle paintings is below.
For this lesson, I asked my students to make an original composition with a variety of circles and in contrasting colors. I also stressed the importance of creating movement when they designed their image; the viewer's eye would need to travel throughout the picture. They completed a series of pencil sketches using overlapping circles, concentric circles, partial circles and repeating circles. When we were all on the verge of being overwhelmed with all these circles it was time to select our favorites and move on to using glue on the fabric. Stay posted for some incredible circle compositions done in gel glue batik!
Sunday, November 20, 2011
This image was painted by a male student in the 8th grade. His work explored his discomfort with time. He painted the figures inside a close-up view of an hourglass to show that time is constantly bringing us closer to the end of our lives. He did a great job using different tints and shades of blue in this image. I still can't believe the level of sincerity, originality and thoughtfulness my students put into this assignment! All of the images for this lesson are painted on 12 x 18 paper with tempera paints.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Expressionism is an art movement that is all about showing deep feelings and emotions. For this assignment I challenged students to be more reflective about choosing subject matter; they should be connected to it on a personal level. We had some great discussions about many social, political and global concerns in today's world. We looked at the art of German Expressionists Kathe Kollwitz and Edward Munch and it wasn't long before students were able to recognize the charged and thought-provoking themes in the work.
|"The Scream" by Edward Munch|
I also showed them the work of a contemporary expressionist painter named Joseph Minton. His work uses a range of colors that are similar to the colors of the cake tempera paints we would use. I think it is important to show work from contemporary artists, not just artists who are famous or deceased. The students enjoyed reading Minton's statements about the themes, inspirations and process of making his paintings.
|A work by contemporary expressionist artist Joseph Minton|
It was important for the students to make personal choices about their subject matter since the ultimate goal of the assignment would be to show "raw emotion" in their image. The students took this assignment seriously, and their responses are layered, detailed and personal. Because of this, I will not be listing each student's name in the captions. Instead, I will give a brief summary about the work as explained by the student artist who created it. Check back soon to see their paintings!
Monday, October 31, 2011
|The crayon coloring needed to be hard enough to deposit a thick layer of wax. Watered down tempera paint was applied right over the drawing to create these wonderful crayon resist pictures!|
Every October I hear, " Can we do a Halloween lesson?" and my usual answer is "probably not". Instead of fighting the urge, this year I compromised and decided to combine a cultural theme with halloween imagery that my students were familiar with and motivated by. The results are spooky, highly detailed and fun to look at!
I made several handouts with a variety of photographs of Native American totem poles, most of which are located in British Columbia. We also read about the process of carving a totem pole as well as the meanings and traditions associated with the display of the poles. I was primarily concerned with the overall design that was evident: Students would be asked to make a stack of characters that had visual impact, strong connections between each part and a variety of details. .
These halloween stacks are twenty-four inches tall and nine inches wide. We drew a rough draft first, made revisions and went on to final drafts on white paper. Students drew each part with a regular pencil and outlined with a black sharpie marker. I asked them to use many types of crayons including metallic glitter crayons and construction paper crayons. They needed to color heavily because we would be applying diluted purple tempera paint over the entire picture. This process is called crayon resist. The purple paint toned down the colors of the crayons just enough to add to that spooky effect that we were going for!
|Who says that skulls can only be white? This lime green skull looks amazing!|
|Coloring heavily with the crayons paid off when it came time to see how the paint beaded off the picture as the wax resisted it!|
|Nicole was very motivated to use characters from the movie "The Nigthmare Before Christmas". Don't you think she did a great job?|
|Awesome colors and a variety of interesting details are sure to keep the viewer's attention!|
If you enjoyed viewing these images we would love to hear your feedback!
Saturday, October 22, 2011
|Ethan M. added an amazing amount of detail to his sequence. The eyes are especially life-like and his use of pencil shading to create highlights and shadows adds to the illusion of form and roundness of the monster. Beautiful and creative work!|
Friday, October 14, 2011
Erin's picture makes strong connections to her Irish heritage.
The stained glass project was a great success! The students came away with a stronger connection to their personal heritage as well as improved watercolor pencil technique. I would recommend that anyone who wants to teach this lesson takes the time to allow the students to do the research about their names during one class period. I was unsure about how they would respond to actually using an art class to do research on the computers, but I was pleasantly surprised by their interest level and enthusiasm. I hope you enjoy viewing these finished pictures!
|Sakari found out that her name means "Sweet One". Check out how she showed that in her work!|
|Sydney's last name means "to chase". Oh! Suddenly the fox chasing the rabbit makes more sense!|
|Arianna used bright colors to go with her "loud" (see the musical notes)and outgoing personality.|