Saturday, March 30, 2013

More Collages! How to Make Collage Books

This is a student favorite- collage books. 

I do a couple of different versions of these books. But this is a sample of  a collage book that is about your favorite artist- musical or visual.

For this example, the student chose singer Bob Marley as the artist. It was required to have visual images and text related to the artist on each page. If you look closely, there are different pictures of Bob Marley and his homeland Jamaica in the book. There are also lines from some of his most famous songs.

We  do research on background information about the artists. Then find the images and text by doing a computer search in the computer lab. The images and text must be overlapped and juxtaposed. My school doesn't have a color printer, so the images can be colored in with marker or colored pencil.

The front cover is made from left over corrugated cardboard. The other pages are made of poster board cardboard. Different style scrap papers are provided to chose from to decorate each page. The books are only four pages long and are held together by binding rings from Staples.

Cover of book

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3
What do you think of the collage books? I'd love to hear about any books you make in art class. Or any favorite collages that you do.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Art of Romare Bearden- Making Collages

Using the art work of Harlem Renaissance artist Romare Bearden is a great way to introduce collage. My students view a Prezi  I created which  shows collages by Bearden that highlight two of his favorite themes- North Carolina farm life and the urban life of Harlem, New York City where he lived as an adult. 

The theme of this collage reflects on a student's love of dogs and flowers.

This collage has a USA/sports theme.

This collage was by a student hoping to become a chef.

The  art vocabulary I emphasis in this lesson is overlap and juxtaposition of objects. I point out to the students how Bearden used these to create depth and interest in his collages.  The students then have to pick one or two themes that reflects them for their collage. They also have to add words that will highlight their theme. 

How do you teach collage?  I'd love to hear what works when your students make collages.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Clay Grotesques- Mythical Medieval Creatures

Gargoyles vs Grotesques

I love making gargoyles with my students, but with my largest classes ever, and a small budget it just isn't possible. What I've been making lately are chimeras/grotesques. The one benefit to this is they don't have to use as much clay, but still get to learn about these mythical, Medieval creatures.

What's the Difference?

First of all, you may ask 'what is the difference between a gargoyle and a grotesque?' 

Gargoyles decorate buildings, but are actually are used as rain spouts to convey water away from buildings. They have form and function. Or as I explain to the students 'they have a job.' So when they make a gargoyle, it has to have 'a job'- a pencil holder, I Pod holder, ring holder. Their choice. In their 'artist statement' they explain what is the function of their gargoyle. Our grotesques are a little different, they are just decorative and ornamental.

To make our grotesques, we start by rolling out a slab. They cut out the shape from the slab. They then can add clay, subtract clay or do both to make the features. We make these with Sculpty.  The life skills teacher helps us out and has her class cooks them for us. We then use acrylic paint to paint them.

What do you think about our grotesques? Do you have a project similar to these and would like to share? I'd love to hear about it!

If you'd like to see another clay lesson, look here.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

How to Use a Graphic Organizer to Display Your Objectives

Do you get tired of repeating the same instructions over and over again? I do! Do you want a simple and clear way to convey information that's easy for the students to understand too? Make a graphic organizer of your lesson objectives!

For some of my lessons, after I have given the introduction of what we are going to be doing for a project I display a graphic organizer with the lesson objectives. Its a helpful reminder, it makes my objectives clear and always available to refer to. I display them on the board and the students can go up and check to see if they are on the right track with their project. Here are a few examples.

American Gothic

Above is the graphic organizer for a symbolism lesson I do using Grant Wood's American Gothic.  I have it organized to show how Wood used symbols to represents the three ideals in the painting- faith, family and hard work.  Each column represents one of the ideals symbolized in the painting.

Emphasis or Focal Point

Above is the graphic organizer I use for a lesson on emphasis or focal point. It is organized into the five columns that represent the 5 methods we've learned (Subordination of Accessories, Placement, Arrangement of Lines, Color Scheme and Organization of Accessories). Each column explains how to use that method in an art work.


Above is the graphic organizer I use for a lesson on Cubism. It is not as involved as the other two, it's more simplistic. It's a guide that shows how to recognize the characteristics of a Cubist painting.

Aboriginal Folk Art Lesson Objectives

Using these organizers encourages the students to be personally responsible.  If the students want reassurance their doing their work right, I can just say "Check the organizer on the board." It helps the kids to become more accountable for their work. I don't have to keep repeating the same instructions over and over again.

Would this work in your art room? I'd love to hear what you think about using a graphic organizer like these.