Wednesday, November 18, 2015

8th Grade Color Scheme Paintings

After my 8th graders finished observational drawing at the beginning of the year we eased into a bit more choice. We went over different color schemes as well as tints and shades, and then the students each chose a color scheme, subject matter, and type of paint (tempera or water color).

This is the color information we covered. Students took a Pre-Test before we started and I haven't gotten around to doing the Post-Test yet. You know, showing growth and all that jazz.

Here are some of the paintings. It was interesting to see what the students chose and a good way to start to get to know them. I posted the description and images on my school blog with added numbers by the paintings. We'll use the post to review color schemes before the test.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

2D Boot Camp: Collage and Monoprinting

After painting in my high school 2D Boot Camp, students also tried out collage and printmaking. For collage, I had each student make a small torn paper work. I was inspired to try out torn paper collage a couple years ago when I came across the work of Elizabeth St. Hilaire who is known for her "paper paintings". It was kind of a refreshing way to approach collage since it was so different than what I'd done before. I gave students the option of doing a collage on paper that was around 5x7 inches or doing something more involved on larger paper. Most of the small collages were completed in a couple days. Students had access to a tub of magazines, construction paper scraps, sheet music, and other found papers.
 For the next boot camp, I demonstrated a few mono printing techniques using the 5x5 inch student gelli plates I ordered. I had a box of texture tools, several different colors of acrylic craft paint, and a few stencils/masks I'd made. Some students created their own masks and got really cool results. I didn't require the students to make their own masks or stencils since the purpose of this was to just try out mono printing and get used to the process.
The antlers and fish were masks created by a student.
I like to show the positive and negative result of prints. This one was a peacock feather first used as a mask then the feather was removed and the ghost which shows the texture was printed on top of a solid color.
Students have been making two dimensional projects in the medium of their choice and we'll be starting 3D boot camp soon!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Painting Boot Camp

I did lots of thinking over the summer. LOTS of thinking. I knew I wanted to stick with TAB, but I hadn't ever used the approach with high school students. I was torn until I read about Apex's idea of "boot camp". Brilliant! Students spend time doing activities to get acquainted with new media so they know what they want to use for their choices later on. The first month of school was basically 2D boot camp in my graphics classes. We covered observational drawing, pencil rendering, ink techniques, acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil, mono printing, and collage! Soon, we will do a 3D boot camp and later on, digital media.
Our painting boot camp started with a color mixing challenge. Students were divided into teams, given a sheet with numbered paint sample swatches, tempera paint in primary and neutral colors, and worked together to mix paint to match the colors as close as possible.

The next task was to complete a one day acrylic painting of fruit. I gave the students small pieces of poster board to paint on and did not allow them to draw the fruit ahead of time. I wanted to see how they would do starting directly with paint.

 After acrylic, students completed one day watercolor paintings. I suggested a landscape, but it could have been something else. No reference photos, just see what you can come up with out of your head.
Students were much more comfortable with acrylic than watercolor, so one of my goals for the year is to win some more over to team watercolor!

The next post, some day, when I'm once again caught up on grad work, will cover mono printing and collage boot camps. If you want to see what we're up to in closer to real time, follow @JHArtClass on Instagram!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Artists Observe

One of the first assignments for the year after reviewing the Elements of Art, was to spend some time practicing observation with 8th grade and high school graphics students. Students chose from any of the still life objects I brought from home or anything they could find or set up in the classroom. We probably spent about a week on these drawings starting with a contour drawing and then developing value through shading with pencil. This straight forward real life drawing helped me to gauge the students' observational skills, drawing abilities, and persistence. Allowing the students to choose WHAT they wanted to observe (real objects for this project, not photos) helped some be more engaged and was very practical as my classroom does not have a good set up for a central still life that all could observe.
An old cowboy boot was one of the most popular items to draw. It was set up in the middle of a crowded 8th grade table so it was drawn from many angles.
The lines may have been a bit warped on the tin can above, but I was impressed with the shading.
We had live models for part of the project- black swallowtail caterpillars!
Two students drew a stuffed animal Cat in the Hat.

Some dried starfish were great for practicing texture.
A few students set up blocks to draw.

Glass jars are always a challenge. A thermos from my collection was shaded with cross hatching.
Art tools and supplies can make good models for observation.
Another popular model was a deer skull I borrowed from a friend. There are a lot of challenges involved but students handled it pretty well.

What is your favorite way to handle still lifes?