Friday, October 29, 2010

Brilliant solution!

I was super excited when I read artprojectgirl's post on using Comic Life as a way to teach and assess her students' learning. How much more fun would learning be if your notes were presented in comic strips? And why did I never discover this on my mac until now? I am definitely going to apply this tool to my own teaching! Thanks artprojectgirl! :-)

MS: Escher Eye Drawings




Max L.

If your eyes were the window to your soul, what would people see? This is what we discussed as we looked at Rene Magritte and M. C. Escher's work. We use our eyes to communicate how we feel, to look at someone or something we love, to fixate on a goal or a dream we hope to accomplish one day. Whatever it is we're looking at, it (literally) reflects a significant part of ourselves. Students asked themselves this question as they thought of what to draw in their eye. We first sketched out an eye as a class. While I was demonstrating on a larger sheet of paper I did my best to explain the reason behind each step. Shading was key in order to give the illusion of three-dimensionality. After students got a good sense of how to draw the basic shapes of an eye, they each got a mirror and added more detail and also adjusted their drawing according to their own eye.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

UE: Calavera Necklaces

To commemorate The Day of the Dead coming up on Nov. 2nd, students made calavera (skull in spanish) necklaces out of clay. We first discussed that The Day of the Dead should not be confused with Halloween. It's a special day where people in Mexico celebrate and honor lost loved ones. They believe that the spirits of their lost loves ones visit earth on this day and they welcome them with festivities, food and prayer. Sugar skulls and skeletal sculptures are popular decorations. Although skulls and skeletans are normally associated with Halloween, Day of the Dead calaveras are adorned with colorful clothing, flowers and bright festive patterns. After our discussion and a quick demo, students made a basic skull shape out of clay and painted it with acrylic.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

LE: Art at the Zoo






LE went to the zoo today and I joined them for art class. We were only able to draw the giraffes and Harbor seals, but it was a wonderful experience to be right in front of the action! I tried (more like failed) to teach students about gesture drawing since we were looking at moving subjects, but eventually I just stopped talking and let them draw however they wanted as long as they were observing the animals and not forgetting to draw key details (like the giraffes' spots and the seals' whiskers).

Monday, October 18, 2010

UE: Lines and Patterns


Kevin C.



This was a preliminary lesson on lines and patterns that I'll be applying to other projects throughout the year. We first discussed what lines and patterns were and students came up and drew examples on the board. They were squiggly, zig-zag, straight, swirly, etc. Students drew nine different patterns in pencil and traced over with pen before gluing them side by side. For references, we looked at a collaborative drawing done by Quest MS students in the past as well as objects in the room. I hope this lesson broadened students' understanding of the potential of lines.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

LE: Leaf prints


Zach R.


I got this wonderful lesson from Deep Space Sparkle. It was perfect for combining nature and art and also very quick, which isn't usually a priority but it was today! Students painted the back side of the leaf where the veins stood out, pressed them down on black paper and filled in the background with oil pastels.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

UE: Castle and Sun




Kevin C.

UE drew their own castle inspired by Paul Klee's Castle and Sun painting. We first discussed what made his painting Cubist and Expressionist, like his flat geometric shapes, intersected surface, and lack of depth. Students were already familiar with Cubist work from their abstract still life lesson and applied the same technique of dividing up their castle and using bold colors.

Friday, October 1, 2010

MS: Van Gogh Landscapes

Maxx B.




Middle school's first project was based on Van Gogh's field paintings. He was a Post-Impressionist and to better understand what Post-Impressionism was about, we looked at Impressionism and discussed the similarities and differences between the two. To put it in a nutshell (and I'm no expert BTW!), Post-Impressionists still applied thick brushstrokes, but were not limited to capturing light like the Impressionists were and used color more expressively. Van Gogh was a great example because in some of his work you can sense the psychological turmoil he was going through just by looking at his vivid color palette. After our discussion, I showed several different references of Van Gogh's paintings and encouraged students to take different elements into their own landscape drawing, but I also gave them the option of focusing on one specific painting. I demonstrated how to color multiple layers of oil pastels as the foundation and then how to add strokes on top of that. When they were done, I had students go outside and do their own interpetation. I think every student was successful with this project and I hope they'll submit these for the Original Works fundraiser!