Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Painting with chalk

As we move through the history of art in Art 1 we have to stop and take note of the styles of Vincent Van Gogh and Edvard Munch.  We note how they were post-impressionism artists with some expressionism in their work.  We look at how color can affect the mood of a painting.  So we started by making a simple tree, dividing it in half and then chalk painting one side with bright colors and the other side with depressing dark colors.

This is also  great way for students to get the hang of chalk painting.  I don't know where I came up with this a few years ago, but we do is take colored chalk and we mix it with colorful paint.  The rules are simple.
1. You have to have the paint and chalk combine, so you can't just cover the paper with chalk.  This means you have to do the short choppy brush-like strokes of van Gogh and Munch because the paint doesn't spread very far off of the chalk.
2. You also can't use the same color paint as chalk.  So you can't use a blue chalk with a blue paint, their is no color change when you do that.  The more you mix it up the more beautiful and interesting that the painting will get.
3.  And lastly, make sure that you wipe off the chalk when you are done painting with it.  The paint will ruin the chalk and you can't wash chalk.  You can let the paint dry and then clean it with an xacto knife though.

Here are some of my favorites this year.  I tried to get them to create a mood with their final project.  
Paige S.

Kayley R.

Drea B.

Jacob K.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A possible shipwreck

So before Christmas I was asked by a gal in town if I could fix her painting's frame.  I asked her to bring it in and I would take a look at it.  She brought me a Ferdinand Worms lithograph on tin print.  I had never even heard about this type of artwork, let alone seen or touch one before.

She could tell me that the painting was of the ship that her father had come over to this country on and had been purchased a long time ago.  Basically she said her dad had it hanging on his wall as long as she could remember and then it went to a family member, then her sister and now she was the owner of it.  But she didn't know anything about the artist.  So I had to do some research.

The reason she was bringing it to me is that she had tried to clean it with oven cleaner.  And that had caused the paint to strip around the edge of the frame.  But I was scared to death to touch it.

I started with my research.  I learned that is was painted by Ferdinand Worms in about 1913 and then put onto these tin lithographs with this faux wood grain frame.  It was all on one painting and from what I learned could be worth up to $1500 if it was in mint condition.  Hers was anything but mint condition but could still be worth about $300.  But she was determined to just have the frame redone and that it would be a family piece from here on out.

This is the painting in mint condition.

This was what hers looked like.  If you look in the upper left corner you can see the destruction the oven cleaner had on the tin frame.  Also this image gives you a pretty good look at the faux wood grain.

This is my final restoration.  I picked a flat metal spray paint to match the ship and I hand painted in all of the letters and the bronze trim by the letters and the edging.
She finally had to call me to give me the push to finish it, but once I got started I learned that it was not that difficult to do and was actually kind of fun.  It took about 3 -4 coats of paint to cover up the oven cleaner damage.  In the end it didn't take me very long either, so it just goes to show you shouldn't be scared of a project.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Let's get to the point!

So i love the impressionism artists, and I love teaching their styles, but my students are never really fond of Georges Seurat and his dots.  I guess I can't blame them, its not that he has a hard or difficult technique, but it is time consuming.  I love this project because it makes them slow down and take their time with a project.  It also forces them to pay attention and to step back from their work from time to time and see if they are getting the shading right.

This year I let them have the choice of doing it all black and white or in colored markers with no black.  I see that most of my favorites were the ones done in black and white.  Maybe I will need to just do the project in that next year, but when you see the colored one at the bottom you will know why I am hesitant to take away that possibility. 

Abby K.

Jaikob D.

Nikole K.

Hannah S.

Drea B.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Watercolor kingdom

What a better way to examine animals and their coloring than through a watercolor project.  And even better than that we were studying impressionism and how they looked at color and watercolor is the perfect medium for that too.

We started by looking at impressionist artists and comparing their different styles. There are a couple of great Youtube videos that have slideshows set to music montages and they show basically all of the works that that artist has created.  I am attaching the video link for the Claude Monet video.  The rest of the videos are under the name of if you are interested in checking them out.    After we watched the videos (we did it over the course of several days) we then compared the styles and then had a quiz where I put random artwork on the board and they had to figure out which artist had created it.

After studying the impressionists when then dive into watercolor painting.  We start by doing a couple of small samples at the same time.  The reason being that watercolor needs some time to dry and we can work on two things at once so we don't have to sit and watch it dry,

The first one is using the colors of the color wheel in shades of dark, medium and light to create a color pallet that they can use as reference when they do their final watercolor painting.  This hopefully shows them what colors will mix well and what they will look like when they mix.

This is our other small sample, the city scene.  We start by painting the background with a wet on wet technique.  This picture will be done in monochromatic and so they need to think of that when they pick a paint color.  We then slowly build the city and get it darker as we work our way down to the bottom of the paper.  They also have to add details as we work down, like windows, streets or towers on buildings.

Our next group practice project is this water color boat.  I have tried in the past some other examples, but I always come back to my boat because it uses the most techniques.  We do wet on wet, wet on dry, watercolor pencil and crayon, salt, and resist.

Finally I give them an opportunity to pick an animal, insect, fish or bird and have them draw it on a 9 x 12 piece of watercolor paper.  After they draw the animal and their surroundings I have them draw a box 2" in from the outside.  This gives a box in the middle of the paper where they will paint a watercolor background, but if the animal goes outside of the box it trumps the box line.   So in other words they have to paint all of their animal and then whatever is left on the inside of the box.  On the outside of the box I have them use ultra fine marker to outline the surroundings.  This gives them a mixed media, a border and a chance to really evaluate their project from a different perspective.

This is the second year I have done this project this way.  I don't know if I am sold on it and I am thinking next year I would like to try to teach them how to fade out the edges of the project for a more dramatic treatment.

Jaikob D. 

Drea B.

Paige S.

Nikole K. - sorry I couldn't get it to rotate back.