Sunday, June 18, 2017

Personal Pop Art

Jim Dine is an American artist who doesn't agree with the label of Pop Artist that is often used to describe him. While Dine uses simple, recognizable imagery in his work, the images are personal. Jim Dine is probably best known for his paintings of hearts but when I was researching him a while back I found some beautiful drawings of tools and fell in love with them! I love the mark making, the quality of the lines, and the range of values. 
I also like the reason Dine chose to come back to tools again and again- his family owned a hardware store when he was a child so he grew up around tools. (If you want to learn more about Jim Dine, the Art Story has a good resource.)
Here is the lesson plan I eventually came up with inspired by Jim Dine, which I posted on the smARTteacher
10 sessions; 45 minutes per session

1. SWBAT participate in a discussion about Jim Dine's work.
2. SWBAT brainstorm people who are important to them and objects that represent them.
3. SWBAT create a 6 step value scale using drawing pencils.
4. SWBAT identify the differences between different types of drawing pencils (ex: 2B, 4H).
5. SWBAT create a symbolic observational still life graphite drawing of an object that represents someone important in their life.
6. SWBAT utilize graphite drawing techniques to create value and contrast in their drawings.
7. SWBAT reflect on their work and self-assess using a rubric and artist statement.

1. Paper (white drawing paper or I've used colored construction paper for upper elementary)
2. Variety of drawing pencils
3. Erasers
4. Objects to observe (students bring from home or find in the classroom)
5. Other black and white media such as charcoal, colored pencils, etc.

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Day 1
1. Introduction
-Lead presentation about Jim Dine's work and discuss with students
-Explain that he was identified as a pop artist but doesn't totally fit the bill since his work is more personal and about creating meaning
2. Brainstorm
-Students brainstorm at least 2-3 people important in their life
-Students brainstorm objects that could represent those people. Suggest thinking about the connection between them- what do they do together, what's special about them, why are they important to you, what do they enjoy, etc.
Day 2
3. Drawing from observation
-After students bring their objects from home they will create a line drawing from observation.
-Remind students to spend at least as much time looking at the object as they do looking at their drawings
-Draw light until you know it's right

Day 3
4. Creating value
-Talk about value creating contrast in drawings
-Demonstrate and then students create a 6 step value scale using a soft pencil and a harder pencil
-Review the differences between B and H pencils
-Practice blending and remind students to follow the contours when they shade.
5. Students begin to add value to their drawings after the line drawing is complete

Days 4-9
6. Students continue to work on drawings. The teacher provides assistance and feedback.

Day 10
7. When drawings are finished students will self assess with a rubric and write an artist statement about the work and the significance

I have taught this lesson to 5th and 8th graders, but I also think it would work well with high school. Last year I did it toward the beginning of the semester for 8th graders to give them kind of a warm up for observational drawing, practice shading, and to help them start thinking about the reasons artists choose their subject matter.
 This student made her drawing kind of a compilation of objects within the theme. She even brought in a real saddle to draw from! We didn't think she'd be allowed to bring in one of her horses so we went with a toy. :)

These two students made drawings that represented their fathers.

I only have a few photos of student work because I had a tiny class of only 6 8th graders last year. I am planning on doing it again next year and I hope it goes just as well.

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