Thursday, February 15, 2018

Graffiti Color Wheels

Color theory and mixing is vital for art students but can become very tedious and boring. This lesson was a fun and different way to teach color mixing and give students the chance to experiment with different lettering styles as well. We started with drawing out names in any chosen font- I gave my students the choice of bubble letters, block, graffiti or three-dimensional.Next, students divided the paper up into 12 sections. These 12 sections would include all 12 colors on the color wheel (primary, secondary and intermediates). They would have each color appear twice- once around as the letter and its complement as the background. This was a great lesson that got students to understand color theory but also put their own style and creativity into the lesson.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Expressive Self-Portraits

Middle School students began their first project of the new semester after completing one week of drawing exercises. During the first week, one of the activities we practiced was contour line drawings of hands. I extended this lesson to include a contour line self-portrait. Students used mirrors and were free to do contour line or continuous contour. Once complete, these were outlined with sharpie and then students could use watercolor paint in a variety of ways. We discussed how artists can use color to portray personality and make the portrait more expressive. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Value Landscapes

Students in grades 4-6 created these beautiful winter landscapes exploring value and depth. We began by painting the sky. We learned about value- the lightness or darkness of a color. Students chose a cool color to paint the sky and needed to create a minimum of five values with at least two tints and two shades. We attached tissue paper to another white paper with glue water and cut that into triangles for winter trees. We talked about how artists use space in their artworks- objects that are closer are large and towards the bottom of the composition while things that are far away are smaller and higher towards the horizon line. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Owls in Different Values

This project began with a lesson in values. We started by watching "The Value Song" video on YouTube. It's a fun and catchy song that goes over all the different vocabulary associated with value like shade, tone and tint. After watching the video, students divided a paper into five sections and mixed colors to create 5 different values of a color. During the second class, we discussed depth and texture. Students cut or tore paper to create a snow covered landscape and textured trees with branches. For the final class, students were able to design their own owls and place them into their trees. 

Friday, February 2, 2018

African Mask Sgraffito

I love trying out new techniques with my students! This was a new twist on an old favorite- African masks with some sgraffito patterns! We began by working out sketches of African masks- we looked at different examples of masks from Africa and talked about why they looked the way they do. We examined the materials used and the different ceremonies the masks are used for as well. Students then drew half the mask on a folded paper and rubbed it out to transfer to the other half. After the mask was drawn and completely symmetrical, students colored them in using oil pastels. I gave students the option of using a color scheme or using any colors they wanted. The final step was to use a pick to etch patterns into the pastels. This created a cool sgraffito effect that the kids loved. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Surrealist Scratchboards

After learning about the Surrealist art movement, students created these vibrant Surreal worlds using handmade scratchboards. We started by coloring a board with oil pastels. The entire space needs to be colored in or else the paint will stick to the board and the scratching will not work. I encourage students to color in lines and to switch off their colors as much as possible. Next, the board is painted over with black tempera paint with a little dish soap added. Once the board is dry, students attached a magazine cutout of a person to the front of the board. Then, students were able to create a vibrantly colored world of their own creation! I gave students the option of scratching out a landscape or to just include intricate patterns and designs. This is a project I do every semester because all students love the results!


Students in grades 1-3 created their very own robots! We began by looking at many examples of robots, from cartoons to real life models. Students then sketched several different types of robots while being encouraged to include a lot of details. For the next class, students chose their favorite design and drew it out large on a colored paper. They painted the entire shape gray and had to make sure each side of the robot came close to every edge of the page. During the final class, students drew in the details with black crayon, painted highlights on one side with white paint and a shadow on the other side with black paint. We also added a bit of color to the robots, some aluminum foil for shine and rubbed a texture into the background. The students were very proud of these and each robot has so much personality!