Thursday, August 8, 2019

Fused Glass

We have supplies for glass fusing but haven't used them all that much in the past as it is just pretty expensive. At the end of the school year my seniors went to a workshop at League Art and then came back ready to apply what they'd learned and try some new things.

This student went for an animal eye fusing small pieces of glass onto a blank sheet.

This student fused glass together, used scraps she found, and create an abstract face that we mounted to a board.

After this student fused glass into a gold fish design, we tried slumping it. She made a shallow bowl and we brushed on mold release before putting her fused sheet on top. I have now officially gotten over my anxiety about programming the kiln!

I ordered a bit more glass for the new school year to make up for colors we didn't have so I look forward to offering the option to my advanced class.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

2019 Nature/Science Projects

Here are some of this year's Nature themed artworks. It is my favorite theme to start with when we have completed bootcamps because it is "safe" enough for students to feel comfortable but broad enough for everyone to come up with a different solution. You can see a post from a previous year here: 
If students don't have an idea they complete a work based on the guidelines for the Jr Duck Stamp Program or State Fish Art Contest. Of course some students choose to do it just because they want the challenge or like the idea! Both of the students' whose work is shown above placed in this year's contest.
Here are a few more duck artworks as well as a fishing picture and a model of a creek.
These two sculptures were created by a very mechanically minded freshman. It is so interesting to me to watch how he builds.
This student wove together a drawing of a flower and a drawing of a flower cell.
Colored pencils are always a popular choice with my students.
Agate inspired watercolor painting. The student made two, one with warmer colors and one with cooler colors.
Half human, half animal.
Painted batik
Mixed media depiction of a galaxy. Watercolor, acrylic, and colored pencil.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Digital Paintings with ProCreate

In the last couple of years we were able to acquire some iPads and apple pencils for my art program. The first one was purchased with our Art Club account and the others were purchased with a grant. I currently have 3 that the students take turns using. ProCreate is one of our favorite apps. I've been trying to use it to create my own digital paintings so I understand it better and have examples to show the students. For about a month I completed a digital artwork for the prompt and I hope to do that again when school starts.
Here is a video of one of the first digital paintings I made. There is no sound but you can see a sped up version of the process I used.

Here are a few other illustrations I created.
I think this one was something fairytale-ish but I can't remember the exact word
I encouraged students who wanted to learn to start by drawing on top of one of their photographs. Here is the process:
1. Line Drawing
-create a new canvas in ProCreate
-import photo and resize/arrange in place
-create a new layer on top of the photo
-under the "inking" brushes, select technical pen or studio pen
-change color to white or something that will show up on top of the photo
-"trace" the image, creating a line drawing with important shapes and details
2. Begin to paint
-create a layer BEHIND your line drawing and ON TOP OF the photo
-select a brush and a color that match your image and begin to paint in the shapes
-you can either start with a more textured brush or something simple like the round brush- it just depends on the look you want
-adjust the brush size to something appropriate for the shape
-turning the opacity down can yield a more "painterly" effect
3. Layers
-it's a good idea to make different layers for different sections of your painting
-every once in a while, turn off the photo layer by clicking the checkmark on the right side of the layer so you can see what you have really created
-you can make layers of solid color behind layers of texture
-layers can be used to adjust the look of colors like an underpainting
4. Blending
-you can use the tool that looks like a finger to smudge or blend colors
5. Brushes
-there are a variety of brushes in different categories for different textures and patterns
-you can use brushes to achieve realistic textures that match your picture or you can use them to create a more illustrated style
-brushes can be created for special effects
-to create a brush hit the plus sign at the top of the brushes panel
-import a photo that has the texture you want as the "grain source" and select a brush shape
-adjust the settings on the brush you created (or any brush by tapping on it twice) to get the look you want
6. Background
-make a layer behind the others you have painted and work on the background
-it can match your photo, just be colors and textures, or whatever style you want
-hide the photo to check and if it looks good, delete the photo layer by sliding right and hitting delete
7. Share/Export
-decide if you want to keep your sketch layer visible or not then you are done!
-go back to gallery
-select your image and hit the share button
-choose the file type you need to export as- jpeg works fine
-save image to camera roll, email, etc.
-we turn in through email or classroom once the image is added to photos

After students felt comfortable with a photo as a guide they got more creative, using a photo as a guide for one element or just drawing directly on a blank canvas in the app.

The students really enjoyed learning ProCreate. Some utilized it for their tool of choice in themed projects in my intro class and the computer graphics students were required to create one project using the app. Thankfully it was a small class so they just took turns and worked on an alternate project while waiting.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Artists Innovate

One of the Artist Behavior units we tried out in my advanced class 2nd semester was about artists using nontraditional materials or methods. I called it “Artists Innovate” because though less descriptive it was a lot shorter!

Here is part of the lesson plan:
  1. The students will view and discuss work by relevant artists.
  2. The students will apply paint or ink with non-traditional tools.
  3. The students will explore creating a traditional image with non-traditional materials.
  4. The students will explore creating sculpture with found objects and non-traditional materials.
  5. The students will plan and implement a project that is created with a non-traditional process or materials.

Day 1: Look at Chuck Close’s fingerprint portraits- layering prints to create different values- and discuss. Look at images of Matisse doing gestural drawing using a pole and discuss- why did he use that approach? Next, students will make a picture of a plant from observation either using their fingerprints or a paintbrush on a stick.
Day 2: Continue plant pictures, try the opposite of fingerprints or paintbrush on a stick.
Day 3: Look collage/fiber artists Mickalene Thomas, Bryan Grove, etc. Students make small traditional image with nontraditional media.
Day 4: Look at found object/assemblage artists. Explore available materials and play/experiment.
Day 5: Come up with a proposal and present to teacher. Work on project!
Days 6-20: Work on assignments.
Here are two examples of the traditional subject, nontraditional approach exercise. Plants made with a paintbrush on a stick and with fingerprints.
This student turned a broken hair dryer into a drawing machine. He melted crayons on the blades and figured out how to still make the fan run with a little help from our technology teacher.

This student wanted to make jewelry out of found objects. She started with forks and ended up exploring nontraditional jewelry the whole time.

She got scraps of glass from our local hot glass shop and fused them before making a wire wrapped necklace inspired by Alexander Calder.
This student used fabric scraps to create an abstracted kite piece.

This was the unit where I saw the most exploration from my students. Some didn’t have a finished product and others had multiple. Since I grade mostly based on the Artistic Thinking Process that worked out just fine!