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.