Monday, October 28, 2013

The Challenge is on...

Every year I am asked to name the "Artist of the Year" at the end of the year.  This is one of those tasks I dread.  Mostly because depending on the project every student has at least one or two amazing projects every year.  And then I really hate to choose when I have about 6 phenomenal artists and you can only pick one.

So this year I decided to let them fight it out themselves in a competition.  About once a month I will give out a "Challenge" project where they will be voted on by our staff and student body.  So it is kind of based on one of those competition shows where someone is eliminated, but we won't do the elimination.  Instead I am keeping points that will go all year long.  So if someone doesn't do well on one project they have a chance to redeem themselves on a later project.  In the end, the student with the highest total number of points will be my "Artist of the year."

For our first challenge we did a "Halloween Challenge."  I put everyone's name in a hat and I created a list of creatures they could create and only so many blanks under each creature.  So for instance, four people could create skeletons and five people could create frankensteins.  It just depended on the size of the class, and I am doing this with two different classes.  Next we drew names out of the hat and those people got to sign up for what monster they wanted to create.  So obviously you wanted your name drawn early because you had more to choose from.  Those towards the end kind of got stuck with what they had to use for inspiration.  The rest of this challenge was left fairly simple.  They could use any medium they wanted as long as their inspiration creature was the focus of the project, and they didn't copy and image from the internet.  Being the first challenge of the first year doing this, I didn't know what constraints I wanted to put on it, so I just didn't.  I will add more obstacles to future challenges.

But here are some of my best works.

Dylan E.  - Goblin

Hanna S.  - Scarecrow

Jozlynn P.  - Zombie

Kamber L.  - Mummy

KaSandra K. - Scarecrow

Kelsey C.  - Frankenstein

Maggie H.  - Jack o lantern

Mariah B.  - Dracula

Olivia M. - Werewolf

Sabrina L. - Skeleton

Sammy K.  - Werewolf
These are pretty good, but I am very excited about our next challenge "American Pride" which will be done in time for Veterns Day.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


So Art 1 made small sculptures out of plaster of paris.  Where did you think I was going with this???

We start by cutting the top off of a pop can and cleaning it out.  Then I fill all of those little jars and then they peel off of the can the next day and start sculpting their little images.  Before they start the sculpt we talk about how to see an image and how to bring it out of the shape.  I talk about having many plans since the first one will probably not work.

Lion by Malary M.

Teacup by Morgan B.

Duck by Yeva S.

Mouse by Karima H.

Elephant by Alasia J.

Oscar the Grouch by Emily H.
Sorry these are blurry.  I guess I should have checked them better before I posted this.

Metaling around

Art 1 was recently studying about early roman  people that were fleeing the country after the empire collapsed and the types of things that they would take with them.  We talked about how you would take small items that had value but you could carry.  The items they discussed were weapons, like a shield, jewelry, like a bracelet and perhaps a book if they could read.  So for our metal repousse project they were given the choice of creating a bracelet, shield or book cover.  Here are some of my better examples.

Madisyn V.

Eli H.

Mikayla R.

Aleah B.

Malary M.

Yeva S.

Sam S.

Alasia J.

Mykah W.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Breaking color

Art 1 has just finished up their color theory painting unit.  This year I decided to adjust the lesson requirements just a bit.  For reason I was hoping to get some better quality paintings in a fraction of the time.  I think I achieved my goal, at least for the most part.

This year after we made our color theory charts, and studied the color wheel and a variety of color schemes they then had to draw an image on a 12x18 paper.  They could do about anything as long as it wasn't logos, words or inappropriate.  They then had to find a creative way to divide the paper into 6 areas so that they could paint in 6 different color schemes.  The schemes that I required were; monochromatic, warm or cool, analogous, triadic, complimentary, and either split complimentary or double complimentary.  They then had to paint these color schemes using the 12 colors of the color wheel and mixing as many as they could.  Basically everytime they hit a line they had to change color or scheme.

I think overall they did a great job and I was really thrilled with some of the creative ways they divided up their picture.

Kaitlyn G.  Volleyball with a Chevron pattern

Mikayla R.  - butterfly broken up with a flower

Bree H. - Leopard broken with lines

Jaymon L. - Jack o lanterns in diagnol

Mykah W. - Each fish was a color scheme and her background was monochromatic

Alasia J. - Nautical in lines

Madisyn V. - flowers in squares

Bella J. - Sailboats in slants

Dylan B. - scissors in zigzag

Malary M. - Tom and Jerry in radial

One of those days

I am sure I am a normal teacher when I say yesterday was a crazy day in the art room.

In Art 1 we were reviewing for our Color Theory test today by making frosting color wheels on vanilla wafers.  It is one of the kids favorite lessons all year.  And who wouldn't love frosting cookies and eating your study guide when you are done.

Then art 1 also had to cut the tops off of pop cans so that i could fill them with plaster of paris.  I have to say, it takes forever to fill 60 pop cans when you can only mix enough plaster to fill about 2 cans at a time.

Along with a lockdown drill and a new Advance Art challenge given out yesterday.  It was a long day.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mixed pics

So several weeks ago, when i was trying hard not to pull my hair out, I decided that Art 2 and Art 3 can no longer do the same projects, at least not at the same time.  It was getting way too confusing trying to figure out who was turning in their project early from one class and late from the other.  Not to mention trying to blog and post pictures and figure out where everything belonged.  I am just not young enough to do all of that anymore.  Or at least my brain is not young enough to handle that stress.  

So I started giving different projects to each class.  Now I still don't have a perfect system because then i gave both classes drawing projects at the same time and that was still somewhat confusing.  But that is another story and I never said i was perfect.

Well I decided to give the Art 2 class one of my favorite drawing projects, two pictures are woven into one picture but one is shaded in pencil and the other in colored pencil.  The only issue was that some of my students, due to new titles of classes, had already done that project so I had to also offer another option for those kids.  So I decided to offer a 4-1 picture.  They had to pick either an actor/actress or musician that has lots of different characters or styles.  They then divided their person into 4 quarters and had to recreate 4 signature characters or looks in each quarter.

Courtney M.  recreated Jim Carrey's Characters

Sydney Haus. recreated Anne Hathaway characters

KaSandra K.  wove the two versions of Cheshire Cat together

Kelsey C.  recreate Nikki Minage's famous looks

Kiana K. wove a cow and a barn together

Maggie H. wove together Jasmine and Aladdin