Students worked on finishing up their Portfolios this week as we also transitioned into our first project theme of Identity. I am excited to see the innovative ways students used either substitution (finding objects that mimic letters), mosaic (combine multiple items to make a letter), or a combination of both to complete their names. Students first drew out multiple solutions before applying the design to their work, getting feedback from both their peers and me along the way. It was fun to see them use the design thinking process throughout this project and execute their ideas as a result of thoughtful planning in their sketchbooks.
Can you figure out the names below?
Earlier this week, students finished their collages and value drawings and turned them in on Artsonia. It was fun to see them experiment with methods that ranged in scope that included realism and abstraction.
For inspiration, we looked at the work of Chuck Close and Noli Novak. I also came across the work of David Lock, which is perfect for this assignment and I will make sure to reference again in the future with my students. Here are the works I saw last weekend from his Misfit series, currently on display at the GRAM:
I really enjoy discovering new artists when I go to a museum, especially when they are so connected to curriculum already being explored in the classroom. I immediately shared these works with my students as they finished up their collages. I have all kinds of ideas on how to connect this type of work together next year.
Speaking of making connections, I made sure to include Noli Novak in on the creative process by tweeting her some pictures of the students in action. She was gracious enough to respond, making my students feel encouraged and special.
Here are a few process pictures of the students working on each piece simultaneously. I find that when I am offering more than one process at a time, students move freely between them and make decisions on which they would like to spend more time on and which will be completed first.
Here are some completed works of both the collages and drawings. You can find more work on our class Artsonia gallery.
Katie H: I first found the features of the face: eyes, nose, mouth. and then I found skin and hair then I found colors for the background I pasted them in small strips. I like this a lot. what I really like about this work is the background because one that is what i took the longest on and that is also the thing that I think brings out the piece the most.
Porter S.: To make this artwork I used a variety of magazines and put them together to make a face that looks realistic. I think it turned out better then I thought it would. I think that because I thought it would be very plain and simple but I found out it was fun so I started having fun with it and experimented with it and mixed and matched until I was satisfied with my work.
Hannah L.: I think that my work is abstract as most of the pieces are but i suppose it is one of the more "realistic" pieces. So i first started off by finding different pieces for the background then glued them on. And then i began looking for skin tones to use for the face and the neck and glued that on top of the background. After i did that i found eyes, a nose, and a mouth and glued them on to the face on long with the hair.
Kaitlyn V.: I was inspired by Noli Novak and her idea for drawing with dots and not using lines. I had the opportunity of doing this and making in into this piece of art. For the background i did a new technique where I scrape oil pastels on water and it changes everything up. I think that this was a fun piece that I had the opportunity to make and was glad I could make it.
Jordan C.: In my artwork, I used value by having an imaginary light in the top left of my paper. I used darker shades for the spots that wouldn't be touching the light as much. I love this artwork, and the reason I did a colorful background is so it will make things pop out more. I think I did an amazing job at shading were I should have and should not have shaded as darkly, Overall I think it is fantastic.
Jewel R.: I used many different values in my work, Light dark, middle. The usage of a pencil can create so many different things, light, shadows, ext... I was looking forward to do a shading project and we finally did. ^-^ I really love this piece of art work and learned that shading with your pencil isn't the only way to show value. I will definitely try stippling again. Hopefully get as good as Noli Novak!
I have more 7th grade classes than 8th grade classes this term, which means that I am employing more traditional teaching methods than I did first semester. I am new to these students and learning where they are at both in skills and concepts.
Because I am still getting to know them and their abilities, it is always fun to throw a few collaborative drawing exercises that prove both anyone can draw and it is fun trying!
First, we had a portrait party where students created continuous blind contour line drawings. From there, students selected the one they liked most and then modified it on another sheet of paper, with oil pastels. Here are some results:
After experimenting with abstraction using oil pastels and drawing methods, students then applied those concepts to collaborative drawings on Photoshop where they combined several faces to create a new one, like these examples:
It is always fun to work on skills and concepts without the worry of it having to look "real." Abstraction is a fun way to experiment with line and color and we had a lot of laughs working on these portraits.
So many things have happened this week, it is kind of like the semester is just blurring right past me! First, I am excited to say that Empty Bowls is only three weeks away. We finished the big bowl to be auctioned off at the event to the highest bidder this week with signatures from the BCWMS team.
Students are also finally glazing their bowls, which will be given away at the event as a reminder of those we are helping.
Students also finished their videos and animations this week, in preparation for the Meijer Great Choices Film Festival and Digital ID PSA competitions. This project was funded as a result of a MACUL grant. Here are some of the student pieces:
7th grade students also worked on the computer this week, learning more about how to use Photoshop as they shared their interests and likes in their profile collages (see a full gallery of images here):
Nick: I used more than one brush tool with different colors because I thought that by doing that, I would make it unique. I tried to make my background different from anybody else's. I also used the stroke tool so I could make the outline of my face more prominent and so you could make it out better. I choose the things I did because they represent things that I like. I put some teams that I like, some foods that I like, and some things that I like to do. For example, I put a MSU logo because that's my favorite college and I put Kentucky because I know a kid on their boy's basketball team.
Nichole: I used a couple tools while working on this project. One of those tools is the quick select tool. You use this tool to select the background of an object. After you have selected want you need you can either change the background or delete the background. Another tool I used was the fill bucket tool. You use this tool to fill large empty spaces with a color of some sort in stead of taking a long time to use the paint brush tool to color it in. Ok so I put a lot of things in well "myself". First I put a picture of Nik Stauskas because he is my idol. I put a cross in me because I love going to church and learning about god. Then of corse I put a maroon 5 thing because they are my favorite band. Then my last one I put the quote "Teamwork makes the dream work" because this quote always keeps me going and It is so true too.
8th grade students started planning out their first major project on Identity this week by learning about artists who employ this theme, seeing past student work, and sketching out their own ideas. We also worked on some drawing methods that they could use, too.
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.
Today is the LAST day of the marking period. I am super proud of the work my students have accomplished this term and even more excited about what is to come in the next chapter we will start on Monday.
To finish out the semester, 8th grade students had the opportunity to earn the Skeleton Drawing badge and use their observational skills to create the following works:
Even though it was an "extra" activity, I was really impressed with the level of artistry from my students and their statements that are displayed along side of the work on Artsonia. So many students focused on the exploration of media and how they worked through the process of observational drawing. It was also neat to read some personal connections about why they selected various areas of the skeleton. You can see the full gallery here.
Students are continuing to work on their observational skills as we transition through different media while exploring skeletons. This project fits in perfectly because these same students are being tested on the layout of the skeleton in health class and it is only a few more days until Halloween. I also got to join in the fun and make art, too! Check out the way fab work below:
For project theme two, we worked on the concept of Environments, Spaces, and Places. It has been a rewarding experience for me to see the amount of creative ideas and variety of outcomes based on student interested and interpretation of the assignment. Before we move on from this completely, here are some final images created and posted to our online gallery on Artsonia.
Anna P: I chose to create a 3D perspective piece based on the ArtPrize 2014 entry "Michigan in Motion," by Dominic Pangborn. I was very intrigued by the illusion of depth and perspective created by his piece and wanted to create something similar. While this piece may look flat, it is actually 3D and as you walk the perspective changes. I used images from several different angles here. The center rectangle is supported up by the walls. I used cardboard, hot glue, and paint to make my composition because they seemed like the most sensible materials to use to make this easily and realistic-looking. I chose to checkerboard the floor and ceiling to make the illusion harder to see through by making them look like they are going back into space. There are two other sections, or hallways, to this composition that I was unable to finish in time. At the end of the middle hallway was going to be a city and the last panel was to depict a destroyed city. This progression is meant to represent the past, present, and future. I hope to be able to complete these panels with as much success as I did this first one.
Keegan D: In order to build this project I used Photoshop and some images from Google. It has many elements of design. One of which is the rule of thirds I tried to place my fav pictures in the places where the would be more noticeable. After doing this it is supposed to show that our environments are a reflection of us. I also alternated the way that the faces were pointing to try to create a small variation between each.
Jon Z:This piece was created out of silver wire placed on a rock and a pair of pliers (along with the mind of me, the artist). I choose this bright white rock as my base because it would contrast with the dark, spooky, and twisted, eery trees. The concept of halloween and the deforestation of trees to make this work. The piece communicates how ugly, and dead it would be without nature.
Harrison K: I Made this mask for two reasons- one is because I love masks, and the other is to show that the environment you are in can change who you are and your identity, and depending on the different environments you are in, your personality or behavior itself may change. Again I chose to use the idea and create it into a mask, because mask are the easiest way to represent identity, which was an important role in the idea.
Kat w: This projects theme evolved around our environment (space and place). As one of my projects I decided to do two clay faces. One face represents what nature would look like if we if we constantly took care of it and kept it clean. Therefore the other face represents what happens to nature when we treat it like trash. I wanted to use clay because I felt it makes it easier to show the textures and small details of the faces. I also thought that by using faces it would make the viewer realize that when we don’t take care of our outdoors it also affects us. If we keep harming the organisms that give us oxygen, food, water, and shelter…then what’s going to happen to us if they all go extinct, because of how poorly we took care of them. I used a new technique to give this face color. I used oil red, orange, and yellow oil pastels to color the face, and then I used, watered-down, black tempera paint to give the face a dirty, antique look and feel. I wanted the other face to, not be perfect, but look more clean and elegant. I used glaze and followed the carvings in the face. I wanted the messiness to portray that there are going to be things wrong with nature, but if we take care of it it’s still beautiful.
I used pen do draw this piece. I used pen because I wanted to be able to get all of the little details into my drawing. I used crosshatching to shade the shirt and the arms. I used lines to shade the tree and the roots. I think that this represents people as one with their environments. People need to get off of their phones and computers and go outside and enjoy nature sometimes.
Jordan C: For this project, I used photography and a window cling I created to represent the environment and how it can impact a person. I decided to use the window cling because it added a twist to my pictures. My mom and I drove around Byron Center and placed the cling on the car window so it appeared to be on signs, barns, and in so many more locations. This project was a lot of fun because I was able to explore different compositions and angles. I also had to experiment with the rule of thirds and many different perspectives. The window cling had to be placed in a certain way, so it fit into the picture just right. The techniques I used included using different positions and camera angles. When I was taking these pictures, I had to pay attention to space and unity. The window cling is reminiscent of where I’ve been and how Byron Center has impacted my life. In conclusion, this project made me realize how blessed I am to live in a town with so much scenery and such a small town atmosphere.
Nolan B:This perspective drawing of the front door of my house represents environment in a variety of ways. I decided to use a pencil to create my work because it allows me to make more of a realistic and dramatic effect on my art. When people think of old they think of black and white. The black and white of my pencil helped me show that houses are environments that go back to the beginning of human kind. A home is an environment that should be it's owner's safest place to go. Since the place you sleep in at night is your house, you better trust that it will keep you secure. I used value in my art to show the places in the image that aren't exposed to as much sun as others. This gives a real look to my drawing. Also, I put emphasis on my front door by making it in the center of my piece and slightly darker than the rest of my art. Overall, this image of my front door represents environment in many ways.
I cannot believe how quickly these first nine weeks of school have gone by! It seems like only yesterday that students were first entering the school and getting their hands dirty with clay and paint.
I am really excited with the progress students have made so far this year, but also sad because we are to the half-way point of our time together. Rather than start to cry over it now, here are some great process pictures from Friday and today along with some finished examples.
8th grade Environments, Spaces, and Places
8th grade Skeleton Extension Activity
7th grade Movie Making
When you look at a work of art, can you see the amount of thinking or prep work that goes into it? This is something we are working through as students move from the planning stages of their assignments and into applying their ideas to their projects.
Teaching Visual Arts since 2004 and making images since picking up a crayon.