Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Scream- What's Your Fear?

What's your fear? This is the question I start out asking the kids for this crayon resist lesson on Edvard Munch mysterious picture 'The Scream'. 

Distorting Your Fear

Their fear can be of anything, (real or imagined) as long as they use our vocabulary word 'distortion' in the depiction of their fear. Could it be bacon, a Pop Tart, Skittles? As long as the kids have somehow 
altered or twisted the original shape, so it is a distortion of the thing they are afraid of, it'll work.

A fear of bacon

Crayon Resist

We started out drawing our 'fear' using oil pastels. Making sure they press down hard to get a thick layer of color.

Starting with oil pastels

A fear of dolls

Using Color Families

After the oil pastel colors have been added the kids then can start painting with watercolors to create a resist effect. I have them paint a section of warm, cool and earth tone colors. For the 'Scream' the kids use neutral colored oil crayons.

Painting warm colors in the sky

A fear of Pop Tarts

A fear of Skittles

A fear of a mouse

A fear of Siri

 If you want to see my 'how to' on drawing My 'Scream' here it is- My 'Scream'

What do you think of our 'Scream' paintings? Do you use "The Scream" in your art class? You can comment below.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Working With Patterns- Drawing The Taj Mahal

Architecture From Around The World

We've recently been working on an 'Architecture from Around the World" unit in my 6th grade art history classes.   The first building we've worked with is the Taj Mahal.

Islamic Art

The students first start off learning about the historical and cultural influences of Islam on the building. For example, besides learning about the history of the building and  they also learn about the meaning of the different parts of the building, such as the minarets and the onion domes. They also see examples of Islamic patterns and design.

Measuring With Rulers- Math Connections

When we begin our Taj Mahals we start off using rulers to measure and to draw out the basic shapes. We start measuring out the center section first and work our way outwards to the outer set of minarets. Students have to keep in mind the the design of the building is symmetric.

Creating Patterns

When the building sections are drawn out the students then have to design a minimum of 10 patterns to put into their drawing. Some of the patterns can be lines, some shapes and some  a combination of both.

We use ultra fine and fine point sharpies to draw in all the patterns. They're good when working with watercolors, because they don't run.

Once all the patterns are drawn in, the kids then can start painting in the watercolor sky.  The sky should be a blend of two analogous colors. For these paintings we used   watercolor pencils for the backgrounds. But you can also use the watercolors in a tray too.

What do you think about our Taj Mahal project? Do you have any art projects to share that involve architecture? 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Clay Slab Birds

We recently made these Sculpty clay slab birds. They were fun to make and all were sooo unique.

Clay Slabs

First, we rolled out the clay into slabs. The kids had previously made tracers for the body and cut out the shape using clay tools. They then rolled out more slabs and cut out a head, beak and wings, etc.  We also made sure to poke out holes using a pencil for tail feathers and legs.

After all the birds were cooked we then began to paint them with acrylics. The kids can mix together any colors they want.

The 'extras'

Our next step was to then add our 'extras'.

The 'extras' we added were glitter, button eyes, jewels, yarn, pipe cleaners and ribbons tail feathers. The holes we made by the tail was a good place to add the ribbons and pipe cleaners. You can add anything else you can think of.

What do you think of our birds? Have you ever tried making clay birds? I'd love to hear about it!
 photo 9e84b6d2-019e-470a-9ca9-82a655aa6864_zps685b7350.png

Monday, November 4, 2013

How to Help Kids Interpret Art Work

The Art Critique 

Describing, analyzing, interpreting and judging a work of art 

The first two steps of a critique is to have your students describe and analyse a work of art using the Principles and Elements of Design.

The next step is to have the kids interpret the art work using the knowledge they've discovered in the description and analysis; along with their own knowledge of art and life.

Understanding the Emotional Content

One thing that will help kids to interpret art more deeply is, if they can recognize and understand the emotional content they are looking at in an art work. I have this poster displayed in my room that lists quite a few emotions and a visual to go with it.  

The Questions to Ask

After getting some understanding about the emotions of the art work, they should move along and ask themselves a few more questions.

-What do you think the artist is trying to say?

-Why do you think the artist made the art work?

-What do you think is the meaning of the art work?

-Do you think there are things in the art work that are symbols that have a special meaning?

-What is a possible message the artist is making with this art work?

After the students have gotten a handle on an interpretation of the art work, they can then move on to evaluating or judging the art.

How do you handle the different critique steps in your art class? I'd love to hear what other art teachers do. Let me know.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Life and Death- Drawing With Symbolism

Do you want your students to have an understanding of how to create symbols/ symbolism in a picture? Take a look at this lesson.

This is a lesson that will  get kids  thinking about symbols of 'life and death'.

First, the kids will draw the back of a truck cab- tires, mud flaps, license plate, latches, doors etc. 

Then they need to think of an idea they can represent as something that has life or positivity. Next they need to think how they can represent the same idea as death or negativity. 

On the left side of the cab they put the 'life' symbol. On the right side they put the 'death' symbol.

Here's an example of what I mean. The picture below is a work in progress, not finished yet.  But you'll get the idea of the symbolic 'life and death' ideas the kids can come up with.

It shows a pencil drawing and a pencil erasing. You also get to see all the details of the truck cab.

A Work In Progress

Here are some samples of finished projects. With various interpretations of symbols of 'life and death'.

Finished Projects

A pig and bacon

 A Romeo and Juliette themed idea

A boy and a tree struck by lightening

A growing tree  and a tree hit by lightening

You can see there are so many ways for the kids to show their individuality in these pictures.

Let me know what you think about this lesson on 'Life and Death'. Would it work in your classroom?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Parents NIght-Finding Out What We Do In Art Class

Parents Night 

A few days ago we had our beginning of the year Parents Night. You know, the beginning of the year introductions. Where we have a meet & greet and tell the parents all about our classes. 

I'm sharing with you my Parents Night Prezi. This is what I use to communicate to parents what their children do in art class and why they do it.

My presentation last about 10 minutes and is an overview of all the facets of my art program. It includes my Design Process, the art critique, how I set up my lessons, samples of art lessons and my behavior program etc.

Parents Night Prezi

Take a look at it and let me know what you think.

Oh yea, one more thing. Do you need a bulletin board that will really showcase the teachers in your school on Parents Night? Check this out!

Would something like this work for you? Would you add some thing else that I didn't include? I'd love to hear your ideas about a Parents Night presentations.

Friday, August 16, 2013

An App That Helps Create Great Art Class Demonstrations

Educreations- Another Helpful Teaching App

I've found another useful iPad app that works well in art class. It's called Educreations and it's great to use for class demonstrations. You can make your demonstrations at home and then you can either email them to your school address, put in Dropbox or link it to a website/weebly for future use.

The demonstration I've linked below is about facial proportions for portrait drawing. I first imported a photo of a face. Then while I'm marking out the proportions I record my instructions. You have 4 different drawing colors  available to chose from and the capability to type in text.

Check out the demonstration I made with Educreations below.

Demonstration- Portrait Proportions

Another good thing about Educreations is that they have a lot of samples available, so you can see what other teachers have created. They are organized by subject which makes it even more user friendly.

Let me know what you think about this app. How would you use it in art class?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

How to Draw 3D Boxes

Getting Ready for 1 Point Perspective

This is a lesson I use to introduce perspective, my 'go to' project before we get into 1 Point Perspective. The students get an understanding of height, width and depth from this lesson. 

What to Review

You first need to review the definition of  vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines.  Every box will include at least one of each of these. Two other vocabulary word you need to review are deep and shallow. The length of the diagonal line in each box will determine the depth of the boxes. You also may want to review working with a ruler. There is some measuring with this lesson.

Here'a another student sample for you to see.

Prezi Demonstration- Step by Step

Here is a Prezi I have made to explain the lesson. It might be easier for you to see the steps than have me write out all of the steps.

How to Draw 3-D Boxes

Do you have a way to introduce perspective? I'd love to hear about it. You can comment below.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How to Make a Classroom Avatar with Tellagami

An Easy to Use App- Tellagami

Hey guys! Here's my introduction for you to a fun app that I found while taking the iPad in the Art Room  on-line class this summer with AOE.  You might like it. In fact, you probably will like it! The app is called Tellagami. What it does is- create an avatar!

The avatar can be male or female. You get to chose the avatar's eye color, hair color and clothes. Your background can come from your camera roll or a pre-programmed one provided by Telligami.

Below, you see my avatar in front of the Egyptian pyramids. It's my way to introduce the kids to ancient Egyptian art in my 6th grade art class.

Once you've created the look of your avatar, create your script and  type in your text. You can chose to record your voice or use a pre-programmed male or female voice. 

You can also choose the emotion that you want your avatar to reflect- happy, sad, surprised, angry etc.

So Many Uses!

It's that simple! Now all you have to do is figure out how you'll use it in your classroom.

You'll probably think of many uses for Tellagami in the art room. You can introduce a lesson. Explain a concept in a painting. Use it at Meet the Teachers Night. Or have your students create an avatar to critique an art project.

Take a look at what I've done with Tellagami. It's my introduction on the first day of art class.

Can you think of a use for Tellagami? Do you know any other great apps to use in the classroom?

Also, if you travel as an art teacher, here are a few other apps I've found that may be helpful to you.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Secret to Collaborating on a Mural

Are you looking for a project where you can collaborate with another class? I was. And I found a way to do a project with the Life Skills class at my school.

The Idea

The Life Skills class has a program where they runs a cafe in my school.  Teachers and staff can buy a snack and have a cup of coffee there. The Life Skills teacher and I came up with a plan to how we were going to re- design the cafe.

The Support

 I had a 'Foster Grandmother'  volunteer and a teacher assistant (who wan't afraid to climb ladders) in my 7th grade art class. So I decided with those extra hands in class, that would be the group to work with the Life Skills class on this project.  My principal fully supported the collaboration  and bought all the paint/supplies for the project!

Our Cafe

The Steps

 After we cleaned and primed the walls, I sketched in the basics- where the chair rail would be, the curtains/tassels and the medallions. Then I just let the kids paint, starting with the stripes. The stripes were the easiest to paint. The kids who were not as confident about helping out with the more creative/detailed aspects were chosen to help paint  the stripes. After the stripes went in, the enthusiasm just continued to grow.

The Chair Rail

 After the stripes, we moved onto the chair rail. I showed the kids samples of easy flowers, leaves and vines to paint. But I was open to any flower design the kids could come up with. The chair rail was a good place to start for those kids who felt confident in their creativity. I just let them go after my demonstration. They were free to paint their flowers.

 Next, we painted the curtains. That was one of the more challenging parts of the project.   Luckily, my Teacher Assistant was happy to go up on the ladder to work on those. A few kids did go up, but I was very selective as to who helped out with the curtains. There was a lot of us standing around (even the janitor) ready to help out if some one was losing their footing or getting dizzy up on the ladder.

Have a cup of coffee while you grade papers!
 Lastly, we painted the medallions on the wall on each side of the doors. The kids who were very confident in their painting ability were chosen to help out with the medallions.  Again, my Teacher Assistant came in handy here. She would go up on the ladder with the kids who helped out in the painting of the medallions.

 One of the medallians
RMS Cafe Medallion

The Secret to a Successful Mural

All the kids in the two classes got to take part in the painting in the area they felt most confident. 
That is one of the secrets in painting any kind of mural.  Find out who feels confident in doing what. Some kids just want to do the basics. Other kids want to take on the challenge of the heavy lifting and show their creativity. Use that knowledge in choosing who does what on the mural.

At the end, our last step was signing our initials.   Those who wanted to, added their initials in an inconspicuous place near the door as you walk into the room did.

Our Initials
Have you ever done a collaborative painting project. I'd love to hear about it!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Drawing Hands

Do you need an idea to challenge kids to draw their hands? Here it is!

Drawing hands can be very challenging. (Whoa! Even for some of us adults!) There's a lot there- wrinkles, knuckles, nails, maybe even a hangnail. But what if your students are up to the challenge? Here's a good project to try. You won't be sorry!

When we start this project, the kids practice drawing their hand in many different positions on rough draft paper- pointing, fists, peace signs and open hand. Taking the time to look carefully. Your hands have a lot of detail.

My one secret I tell them- is to draw what ever is largest first. So the kids know, when it comes to hands, draw the palms/wrist first, then the fingers.

They then practice blending skin tones with colored pencils using the cross cross hatch method. On the finished project they will have to do a lot of shading along each finger, the palm and the wrist on the side they want the shadow on. (One problem- Just make sure they are consistent on the side they are drawing the shadows on. Finger, palm and wrist shadows should all be on the same side. It can get confusing for them.) The colors we use range from light peach to darker browns depending on their skin tone. 

American Sign Language

Next,  the kids get a  work sheet that has a copy of American Sign Language alphabet symbols. The kids then have to pick a word that's important to them and draw it using the hand symbols,  spelling it out with ASL.

The sample that is shown at the top of the post is a drawing of the student's name, but they don't have to draw their name. The kids have drawn many other words such as peace, love, laugh, football, soccer, Red Sox, Patriots, etc. Any thing that means something special to them.

Along with the hands, the kids have to draw symbols that go along with the word they have chosen. You can see a 'peace symbol' in the picture above; along with the word peace spelled out in sign language.

 Do you have your students draw their hands? I'd love to hear about it! You can comment below.

Ps. Here's another art project that involves hands.