I hope everyone is enjoying their time with family this Holiday season. Even though there is not a spec of snow on the ground in my neck of the woods, I challenged students to create some snow inspired Photoshop works before we left for break. Here is a video highlighting their efforts.
You can see the full gallery of work on our Artsonia gallery.
7th grade students studied Greek and Pop Art this week with a look at how contemporary Artists are inspired by the past. First, we looked at work in the following Prezi that showed some contemporary connections to Ancient Greek and Roman Art:
Students then worked on prints based of off activities they like and included at least 3 designs around the figure.
After working with printmaking on paper with ink, students moved to a digital work in the style of Andy Warhol. It was fun to see students take the concept and apply it in a new way.
Since I am mostly teaching 8th graders this semester, I have not spent much time blogging about what 7th grade students have been creating during our one class together (next semester will be the opposite of this semester). So, as to not forget about the great work these guys are doing, here is an overview of the ways in which we explored perspective for the last project.
I have been teaching perspective for a while now. It can be a tough concept to teach at times because it is very rule-based and I always tell my students that in order to be successful at it, you kind of have to turn your brain off and accept that you are limited to the rules of drawing either vertical, horizontal, or orthogonal lines. I also try and reinforce those concepts using more than one kind of method. So, here are some of the works we did while playing around with the concept of perspective, but you can always view the full gallery here.
When we do this drawing exercise, I have students go into the hall to pick their point of view. Beforehand we go through various ways to use perspective by creating a generic hallway. Here are the results of putting that practice to work:
Students were also asked to use perspective to draw their name. Here are some of the results.
The last way students were asked to explore perspective is through digital means. They used images I had taken of the various hallways and using the pen and brush tools in Photoshop, they outlined the vertical, horizontal, and orthogonal lines. They then used various fill tools to complete the pieces.
8th grade students are still exploring the theme of Environments/Spaces/Places this week and will be wrapping up their efforts tomorrow by publishing all of their work to our online gallery on Artsonia. As you can see from the process images above, there are some very exciting progress being made by students engaged in a variety of media and methods.
The images below are some examples of work that has been posted online, along with their artist statements:
Blake H.: My photoshop picture is a part of Africa, the bottom, and Chicago, the top, to show what we live in and what Africa has to live in. I used my materials as pictures and objects by composing them together and making a whole new picture. I used this technique to show what we live like and what people live like but into one picture as if they are in the same country. The principles of photoshop that i used are to show a statement of what people don't get that they need our help.
Austin W. : In this picture, I like how the sun is seeping through in the corner of the photograph. I laid on the ground and took the picture even with the ground. The little seedling is blurred, making the piece look so intricate and detailed. I used a camera with high pixels to take this picture showing all the little details and the beautiful look of all of the little green plants just sprouting in the fall sunset.
Thursday and Friday and Monday was spent away from my students. When this happens, I feel bad, but I was hard at work each day working on educational issues important to my field.
Thursday and Friday was spent in Lansing. For the past two years, I have been working with a team of Visual Arts Educators in the State of Michigan on the Michigan Arts Education Instruction and Assessment Project. This project is offered to Arts teachers as a solution for implementing and developing high quality programs and assessing those programs and students within. I am very proud of the work I have been able to do, although it does require some time away from my students to work in Lansing with the other teachers and project management involved.
On Monday, I had the honor to present to Student Teachers at the Fire Up! conference at Aquinas College. It was really fun to share the amazing things my students do with the power of technology and how we integrate our learning in many ways and break down classroom walls to engage globally. Here is a picture of one of the groups I had the pleasure to present to on Monday (and as you can see, they were a fun bunch):
Even though I was away, students have been hard at work making loads of art. My 7th graders have finished two major projects in the past few days and my 8th graders are starting to wrap up their Environment/Space/Place projects. Here are some pictures of what has been accomplished since last time:
7th grade Space Projects
Ian Sands (a High School teacher in NC) posted this tutorial a while back and it has been an amazing resource for my students and I in learning new ways to use basic Photoshop tools. Thanks again, Ian - I owe you another scone at NAEA in March. You can see a full gallery of results on Artsonia, but here are few:
7th grade Knots
Students have been working on these colorful knots for the past week or so. they have learned about line, symmetry, color, and various application techniques of colored pencil, watercolor, and Sharpie. It was fun to see the results as students made choices about how to construct their design, color it, and add finishing details.
8th grade process pictures
Each of the following students is working with similar subject matter (home, interior/exterior space), but attacking the visual representation in very diverse ways. It has been fun to see how students interpret this assignment and the plans they have made in their sketchbooks be realized in their work.
I am getting really excited and a little nervous as we finish up this theme; nervous because I am worried about time and some students waiting until the last minute to get their work in and excited to see if this all turns out as amazing as I know it can be! I will post some finished examples tomorrow and as they start to roll in from students.
One of the best parts of teaching Art, especially at the middle school, is the amount of time dedicated to discovery. Students worked through media today to figure out what could happen when different scenarios arose. Here are the results from another day of work.
7th grade students primarily worked with paint to start this week as we filled in the space of their knots. I showed them basic methods and color theory before challenging them to explore color and media in their own way. The results have been exciting, as you can see from close up images below.
8th grade students are still working on their environmental works today.
The image to the right was created through the use of a print block that was carved out.
I encouraged the student to create the slab print before moving onto more traditional means of printmaking with ink.
The student below was inspired by Fiddle Oak, the teenaged Photoshop sensation. He took pictures of his classmates and decided to use the power of Photoshop to shrink them down like the movie, "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids."
I think the bottom image says it all for today - you know it has been a good day in the Art room when your hands end up looking like this. It means you were in the mess and a part of the making. No sitting on the sidelines when it comes to making discoveries or art - you must get your hands dirty at some point.
I have been posting a lot about the TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behavior) model that I use with my 8th grade students. For 7th grade this year, I have kept the curriculum pretty traditional and allow for some choice and variation as we learn how to use tools and methods for making art during the semester. 7th grade students got their first real dose of Photoshop skill building this week as we worked on and finished our Profile Collages, seen below. This assignment is a great way to get to know students and learn basic tool functions while working with Photoshop.
Here is a sample of a Graffiti Name project we did earlier in the week as well as an abstract portrait project that stemmed from the portrait party that occurred last week.
Don't forget to help 7th grade student, Arminda, and vote for her work as Artist of the Week!
One of the neatest things to come out of the 1:1 work with students is their ability to continue working on things when I am out of the classroom. I had the great honor and privilege to not only attend the MACUL (Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning) at the end of this week, but I also got to be a part of three presentations while there. Even though this meant spending time away from my students to get and share insight in best educational practices, my students did not miss a beat and here are some of the pieces students submitted while I was away:
7th grade Portraits
7th grade students finished their portraits this week using Chuck Close and Noli Novak as inspiration. After drawing their faces in a neutral value scheme, they selected a material for their background and filled it with color. They then experimented with collage as they cut and pasted a portrait using their reference photo as a guide. Using Artsonia classroom mode, I was able to see these works get done in real time as students turned them in on the computer Thursday and Friday.
8th grade Portraits
In addition to studying the artists mentioned in the 7th grade unit, 8th grade students also examine the work of Shepard Fairey and Rob Kelly before making decisions on how they want their portraits to look. Students have complete control over the pose, material, and execution of these works. After completing their portraits in real space, they went digital and (with the help of Ian Sands) created the pixelated versions of themselves.
8th grade students have spent the last week exploring the possibilities with Photoshop in their choice of surreal images. It was quite fitting that the sample Scholastic Art Magazine that came in the mail last week was on Rene Magritte and that the featured project was quite similar to the work we had planned. Students were able to use that additional information and inspiration when finalizing their works over the weekend and today. You can see the full gallery of works on Artsonia. The image below has gotten a lot of response from other students in class due to the nature of the composition. How exactly did she manage to get the picture without the camera in the mirror r
Before we left for Winter Break, students learned about the concept of perspective and spent some time in the hallways to see that concept in action. 7th grade students used 1-point perspective, while 8th graders used 2-point. It was neat to see the variance in outcomes based on where students decided to sit out in the hall. You can see the full gallery here.
In addition to seeing how space can be shown using perspective, 7th grade students created some space-like images with a little help from my friend and fellow art teacher,Ian Sands. If you are interested in making images like those shown below, check out the video Mr. Sands created that goes through the process.
Students also had a chance to take their perspective drawings skills and adapt them to a new situation where they created a 3D name like the examples below.
Teaching Visual Arts since 2004 and making images since picking up a crayon.