Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How to be Polite- Power Words

Reminder! Being polite never goes out of style.

Most of my students are well mannered and very polite.  But it doesn't hurt to have a reminder every now and then. This is my Power Words posters to remind students how we should talk to each other.

How do you remind students that manners are important? Would something like this work in your class room? I'd like to hear from you.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Chinese Dragons- Oil Pastel and Watercolors

This is an example of an oil pastel and water color wash project that I do based on dragons. This lesson integrates with our 6th grade curriculum.

A comparison

I start off this lesson by comparing western dragons (symbols of warlike evil) to Eastern dragons (symbols of good fortune.) Here is my Prezi presentation that I show my students.

Symbol of Good Fortune

Next we talk more specifically about the Chinese dragon and its deep roots in the Chinese cultures. 

I discuss how the dragon is symbolic of the Emperor's imperial power and strength. I also get into how the Chinese peoples believe that the dragon is able to overcome obstacles until he brings success. The dragon is also viewed as benevolent giver of blessings and will bring rain to their crops. 

At the end of the discussion it is also fun to have the students guess the 9 animals that make up the Chinese dragon. The dragon is a combination of a- deer, camel, snake, hawk, tiger, cow, frog, carp and rabbit.

I let the students create their own dragon using  a combination of body parts from four animals of their choice.The students also have to add at least two textures to the dragon. Lastly, they must have a cool/warm background painted with the water colors. Adding the pearl is there choice, it's not required. A lot of students do add it though. Also, some students like to name their dragons combining the names of the 4 animals they chose. They come up with some very funny sounding names.

Extra Credit

I try to have extra credit options to the projects I do. There are always students who like to go above and beyond what is required. Here's how it's available with this project:

The students can combine more than 4 different animal body parts. Some will make their dragons out of 5 or more combinations of animals. 

They can also add more than two textures to the dragon.

What do you think about this project? Would it work in your art class? Let me know, I'd love to hear.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Reminder! Sign Your Work

It's not something I can always catch before it's too late. But it happens all the time. And it can turn into a problem.

Have you guessed? 

It's students who forget to sign their art work! Maybe this will help. :) It's now hanging above the "Finished Work" folders.

Hopefully, this will solve the problem!

Do you have a way to remind students to sign their art work? I would love to hear about it.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Pop Art Paintings- With a Twist

Comparing and Contrasting Art

 A State Art Standard

One aspect of our state art standards requires that we  compare and contrast art styles. Yikes! How do I handle that?  

Well, here's what I came up with. This is one way I approach that standard. 

A New Twist

After watching a short video about Pop Art and a discussion on Roy Lichtenstein; I let the students choose an old master which they will eventually recreate as Pop Art. After some research, the kids should find the Old Master painting they want to recreate. They then must isolate, and enlarge a section of it  and draw that section in pencil. 

They then begin re-interpreting it  with 'Pop Art' style- using bold, flat primary/secondary colors, thick black line and the Ben-day dots. 

Tempera paint and black Sharpies work well with this project.

Here are a few samples of finished re-interpreted 'Pop Art' paintings.


I'd love to know what you think about this project.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

More Self Portraits

Here are some black and white self portraits that a group of 8th grade students drew.

Albrecht Durer's self portrait, that he made when he was 13 years old, was our inspiration.

We practiced working out the proportions of the face first. Next, on a separate piece of paper we practiced a gradation scale of shading with our sketch pencils. 

When the students were comfortable with drawing different grades of shading, they were ready to start shading in their self portraits.

What do you think about these? How do you have your class make portraits? Would they work in your art room?