Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Directed Drawing Turkeys!

I really never do directed drawing lessons, but we were done with our unit and I didn't want to start anything new before the thanksgiving holiday week, so I looked up some turkey drawing lessons and found this one to do with my first graders. They drew directly with Sharpies so that they couldn't erase or have to retrace their lines then used oil pastels to color them in. They loved it and their drawings came out so great! Thanks to Art Projects for Kids for posting!

Andy Warhol Inspired Contour and Color Studies Project

My middle school artists learned about Andy Warhol's life and artwork. They found him to be fascinating, especially how he was so shy but became so famous. They were interested in his strange illness, how he stayed in bed for a long time as a child, and how he at one time owned 26 cats all named "Sam". They did have a hard time understanding how drawing a picture of a soup can constitutes "art", but then they did their own drawing of packaged and manmade objects, and I think related a little better to his work.

For their projects they had to choose 4 objects that they owned or used, divide their drawing paper into 4 rectangles, and then draw one object in each rectangle using the contour drawing skills they had just learned. Once they finished drawing they outlined with Sharpie.

I talked to them about color schemes, and they were to apply the following 4 schemes to their drawing, one in each of the rectangles, but in any order they desired: 1) primary colors, 2) secondary colors, 3) complementary colors, and 4) analogous colors. They used colored pencils to complete them. I think they turned out fantastic!










Our beautiful board!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Beginning Drawing Still Lifes Are Awesome!

This year my drawing students are not allowed to rub and blend their pencil to do shading. They must use cross-hatching and other line work to show the different values in their drawings. After only a few weeks of learning drawing these total beginners belted out these beauties! I love how each one really shows the hand of the individual artist. Take a look:

Water Safety Poster Contest

All my elementary and middle school students are participating this year in California's annual Water Safety Poster contest (see details here). After a lesson on some important things to know about water safety, here are the results! I hope at least one of my students gets their artwork in the annual calendar.

Middle School:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Drawing With Scissors - Matisse Name Collages

For our first project this year I taught my middle school art class about Henri Matisse and his collages. Matisse was a prolific painter whose work is well known. Later in his life he was confined to a wheelchair and was unable to stand and paint. He started to "draw with scissors", making beautiful collages with the help of assistants.

My students made their own collages combining their names with three or more objects that describe them using construction paper. When they were finished we mounted them on a colored background frame and then on black foam core. Thanks to incredibleart.org for the inspiring lesson plan - They turned out great!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Rayographs - A Great Way to Enjoy the Outdoors While Making Art

For our final elementary school art project this year I chose the artist Man Ray. We learned about his life and work and particularly about his Rayographs. He made these by placing objects directly on photo paper and exposing it to light. Then he developed the paper using darkroom chemicals.

I wanted the students to have a similar experience, but without all the toxins, so I bought Nature Print paper. Its a little pricey so I was only able to get them 5 x 7 inch paper, but I do believe it comes in larger sizes if you have the budget. I asked them to bring in small object that they could arrange on their paper to create an interesting composition. They put the objects on the paper and exposed it to the sun for about two minutes, then submerged the paper in water (in the shade) as a "stop" step. Once they dried they were fully developed.

Here are some of the most interesting ones:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

One-Point Perspective in the Hallways

One of the concepts we want our middle and high school art students to learn in the beginning classes is perspective. This can be a tough one for even the best artist to master. For this concept I had them take their art pads into the hallways and draw what they saw in one-point perspective. To prepare them I talked about the horizon line (always at eye-level), the vanishing point (where you are on the horizon line), and how all lines moving away from you in space converge on the vanishing point. They also had to keep in mind that any line that is perpendicular to the viewer will not be effected by perspective.

I had them start by drawing the far wall in the hallway (usually with the doorway to the staircase), then find their vanishing point. After that they could draw in the information on the ceiling, floor and side walls. I did end up helping with some of the drawing until they got the idea, but many of them came out pretty well!

Here are some great examples:

Rousseau Collages are Fierce!

The latest project I did with my elementary school students was based on Henri Rousseau's jungle paintings. They learned all about how Rousseau was self-taught and made his paintings of jungles without ever having visited one, but through visiting zoos, botanical gardens, and using his imagination. They saw how he filled up his canvases with a lot of imagery:

For homework the students needed to bring in pictures of animals that they wanted to portray. They had to cut out shapes to make their animals and plants, and were instructed not to rely on drawing for any of the details (although some could just not help themselves!). Once the project was nearing its end I brought in shiny colored paper for them to add details. I think some of them turned out pretty great!