Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Doodle 4 Google

This is the one entry I sent in this year.  Best of luck Samantha.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Mixing art and language

It is not very often that we can find ways to say things without saying them in art.  It is also not very often that we push kids out of their comfort zone and make them learn a new language, but that is exactly what this project is.  It is a short lesson in the sign language alphabet and a short lesson in DaVinci and his famous pointing finger that appears in several paintings.

My criteria is that is has to be a 5 letter word, with a visual image.  So they are not allowed to do their names or a logo.  It needs to be something like the word "money," and then they would need to draw both bills and coins so that the hint is understood.  Also the visual hint needs to be in color with 3-5 hints around the paper.  I also ask that they finish the wrists and not decapitate the hands.

Dylan M. - table

Sommer B. - summer

Morgan L. - Peace

Blake B. - beard

Monday, December 7, 2015

Thiebaud Yummys

I have been wanting to do this project for a couple of years, but I finally found a way to get it into my Art 1 curriculum.  The only thing that would have made it "sweeter" is if the Foods class could have been doing cakes at the same time and we could have looked (and eaten) real cakes.  Maybe next year.

Anyways, for my clay unit this year we looked at the works of Wayne Thiebaud and all of his yummy looking pop art paintings.  I knew we were going to do this in clay so it was fun to see the students translate his 2D works into 3D boxes.  Yes all of these cakes are actually hallow boxes where the lids can come off.  That alone was a challenge for some of them, especially the ones that wanted some sort of sauce to look like it was draping over the edge of the cake.

So the criteria I gave them was this.  They needed to make either a cake or a pie box.  It needed to be between 5-8 inches in any direction and it needed to have some clues as to what was their flavor.  To help them think outside of that box (do you see that I use this concept a lot, maybe I need to get an actual box for them to step outside of.  Now that would be a site, but I digress) I gave a short 10 question speed quiz.  If you have never given your students a speed quiz I highly recommend it.  This is where you throw out random questions and they have to write down the first thought that comes to mind.  So here were my questions; you can play along if you want to, but remember to answer as fast as you can.  Don't think!!

1. Favorite fruit
2. chocolate or vanilla
3. Favorite holiday
4. Favorite toy when little
5. Frosting - thick or thin
6. Favorite candy
7. Favorite food - no sweets
8. Salty or Sweet
9.  Favorite color
10. Cake or Pie

So how did you do?  Are you questioning my sanity like some of my students?  A few were confused about why I asked about toys, but I thought maybe they would remember a decoration from one of their own birthday cakes when they were little.  Same with holiday, maybe they love pumpkin pie at thanksgiving.  Again, the purpose is getting them to think.  Also I don't require them to use anything from this list.  I just usually hope that it shows them that they don't all have to make a piece of chocolate cake.

I did ask them to do a drawing in their sketchbook of a rough drawing of what they wanted to make in clay.  And then we started.  Like any clay project it took about a week to make, a week to fire all of them and then a few days to glaze and then another 2 weeks to glaze fire them all.  I hope you enjoy my favorites.

Austin M.

Katelyn S.

Lane E. 

The plate was an optional item that they could make.  It was not an requirement.

Friday, December 4, 2015

2 pt world

It seems that a right of passage in Art 1 is a 2 pt. perspective drawing.  Well this year was no different, but at the same time it was different.  How you ask?  I added a little challenge to the assignment.
Like every other year I introduced how to do a 2 pt perspective drawing and we did an example together in their sketchbooks.  We talk about how to make the buildings, the alleys, the sidewalk and the roads.  We talk about shading and finding a light source and that details will help with the realism factor.

But this year I decided to throw in a curve ball...  How you ask?  Keep reading.

I decided that I was tired of seeing 50 projects that all featured Wal-Mart/Cabelas/Hyvee.  Seriously these kids need to get out and explore the world, because these were the only buildings I was getting.  I couldn't take it anymore and decided I wanted to up the creativity and push them outside of their comfort zone.  So how did I do this??? I threw out a challenge to anyone that was willing to accept it.

Okay, so I still haven't really been clear, but I will explain.  I don't know if you have found the site called, but it is really fun.  They have a bunch of pre-made wheels or you can make your own.  I chose to make my own.  I typed in all sorts of different genres and situations and then put it on my promethean board and had any student who wanted to take the challenge spin for their fate.  I did give them the option, and I did let them know that I would give them extra creativity points for stepping out of their comfort zone.  I also told those that didn't want to take the challenge, that if I say a Wal-Mart I would take points away.  Did I mention I was tired of seeing that story in this project!

My list of genres included: Apolcolyptic, Alien, Fairytale, Historical, Mythical, Mystery, Utopian, Horror, Futuristic, Military, Steampunk and Forest.  Some of these could go any which way, but I hoped to get them thinking.  And for most of them it worked.  Some didn't even take the challenge, but came up with their own place and time.   Here are some of my favorites.  The rest are on my website.

Marissa J. - Old West

Madysen B. - Fairytale

Blake B. - Forest

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Plastered Art

I probably pick a hard project when I start Art 1's sculpture unit, but I love these little white plaster sculptures.

So first we start by looking at works by Constantin Brancusi.  We talk about how he simplified shapes, but still shows you what he wants you to see.  I then have them cut the top off of an empty pop can, wash it out, and put their names on them.  I then spend the afternoon filling about 52 (I always make a few extras) pop cans with plaster.  I let the students fill them once and they used way more plaster than was needed or they had the opposite problem and didn't use enough and they ended up not working.  Since then I have just done it for them, and I will teach them to make plaster when they get to an advanced class.

I then have them draw 3 cylinders in their sketchbook and draw an object in the middle of each cylinder.  I tell them that if parts of it can't fit inside of their cylinder than that object is not going to work for this project.  I also them to be careful of pieces that stick out, because if it breaks off it is not going to glue back on.

The next day they peel the can away from the plaster and they start carving.  This is always stressful and comical at the same time, because it is amazing how many of these kids can not think 3 dimensionally.  It is impossible for them to envision what they need to carve.  I usually try to have them refer back to their drawings.  I also put small toys on the tables and tell them to pretend that came out of the pop can, how would you see the pieces come out of the pop can shape.

Here are some of the best that appear out of pop can plaster chunks.

John S.

Sommer B.

Abbie B.

Lane H.

Blake B.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Can you find the face?

This has always been one of my favorite projects.  Students create a mask out of plaster of paris strips and then they glue it onto a canvas and the either hide it or accentuate it.  I always love the ones that hide them, but some of these are really interesting.

Brandon S.

Lexi B.

Morgan H.

Sydney Hau.

Will S.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Origami into art

I have seen this image on pinterest for quite a while and I wanted to see if my students could create work that was just as interesting.

I mean these are really neat, right?  Well I put the challenge in front of my students.  I asked them to create an origami shape that they would repeat on top of a simple cardboard shape.  I'm not sure if it is a project that I will do again, but here are some of the results.

Austin L.

Brandon S.

Devin W.

Holly S.

Morgan H.

Sydney Hau.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Multiple animal evolution

What would an animal look like if it mated with completely different animals?  Have you ever wondered?  Well I challenged by Art 3 class to create drawings of multiple animals.  They had to use at least 3 different animals and combine them into a new species.

Emily H.

Sydney Hau.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Turning quotes into art

This year I started by putting up about 50 quotes around my classroom.  I knew I wanted to have my Art 3 class turn them into works of art but I also wanted to give them some time to wander my room and try to read some of them.  Some of the students noticed the quotes right away, and some didn't see them at all until I gave it as an assignment.

I asked them to find a quote that inspired them, to write their name on the quote to claim it as their own, and then to create something that made them think of that quote.  It was fun to give them the challenge and to see how each student approached the problem completely different.

Unfortunately I can't not remember all of the quotes and a few have disappeared.  But I will try, luckily most of them have put the quotes on their blogs.

Bree H. - "I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream"-Vincent Van Gogh

Courtney M. - I'm afraid so You're entirely bonkers. But I'll too you a secret all the best people are. 

Danica H. - "We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, 
or rejoice because thorn bushes and roses."- Abraham Lincoln

Hannah S. - She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.

Mikayla R. - 

Paige Q. - "nothing haunts us more then the things we don't say" 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Amazing Monochromatics

In keeping with the color theory lessons, Art 1 looked at creating monochromatic paintings.  I let them do anything that they wanted as long as it had highlights and shadows.  We found these by putting the image into photoshop and changing the brightness and contrast and then posterizing the image into 5-7 layers.  From there they printed it off and then painted with one color and tints and shades of that color.

John S.

Hannah M.

Sommer B.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Oh Leonid, how you inspire us so...

So as I rewrite my Art 1 curriculum I am trying to incorporate new artists and projects that I have never tried with Art 1 students.  One artist that I have been in love with is Leonid Afremov.  I will bet you have never heard his name, but you have probably seen his work.  If you google the word "color" his work is the first to appear.

Leonid Afremov
Well I was very interested to know that he paints all of his work with palette knives.  I have done palette knife paintings with my advanced students, but I have never considered it as an Art 1 project. I'm not sure why I didn't think they could handle it, knives are easier to clean than brushes, and everybody knows teenagers struggle with washing a brush.  

Anyways, we gave it a try.  And I am thrilled with the results.  This is a project where they have to pretty much test the knife techniques on their own and find a rhythm that works for each student.  But if they get the hang of it, they can create incredible art.  

The only requirements I set for this project were; it had to be a landscape, they had to put at least 3 colors in any area, and they couldn't use black until the very end and even then I tried to prevent it as much as possible.

Jonah L.

Marissa J.

Baylee B.

Morgan L.

Bailey B.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Color theory in action

Art 1 put our color theory lessons into action with these interesting works of art.  Most of the students love this project because I let them draw cartoon characters or anything else that they want.  Then they have to divide it into 6 areas any way that they want.  Then in each area they have to paint it with one of the 6 color schemes that we have been studying.  The schemes we covered were; warm, cool, complimentary, double complimentary, triadic, and analogous.

Hannah C.

Brock N.

Katelyn S.

Samantha F.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Concentric circle magic

So I have been really excited to create art again with Junior High students.  This was one of my projects that I was so excited to bring back. It is called concentric circles.

To start this project, I have them work on practice paper.  We start by finding the center of the paper with a dot and then they have to use a compass and make about 12 circles that come out from that center point and get bigger and bigger, hence the name concentric circles.  After, they make all of these circles they then put perpendicular lines through the center dot.  Then then add an "x" over that so that the circles have been divided into 8 equal or fairly equal parts.  I should have pointed out that this all needs to be done very lightly because you will be erasing most of it.

Once all of the circles and lines are done, you use this as a grid/measuring system.  Now you are going to start creating patterns that cut into the circles.  So you might start at the outer circle and use a ruler to make a line to the third circle where it meets the next line over.  Then you would repeat that or switch directions, basically the possibilities are endless.  It is just a matter of keeping things symmetrical and/or in patterns.

After you have created shapes in the circles, you erase the extra parts that you don't want and then you add patterns in sharpie.  

Andrew C.

Leysa S.

Sidney B.