Monday, December 12, 2016

Just making "sweet" art!

So after our plaster project where we subtract material to make a sculptural item, I switch gears and do a clay project where we have to hand build a piece.  And in this case we are hand building a "Piece" of pie or cake.

I have always like the art of Wayne Thiebaud.  I think his cleverly whimsical paintings of desserts is sweet and touching.  Okay I will try to lay off of the "sweet" comments, but it is really hard for me since they come so delicious to use.  :)

Anyways, we took a look at his works and then I gave them a 10 question rapid think quiz.  I read these questions as quickly as possible, and they have to respond with the first thought that comes to their mind.  Feel free to play along:
1. Chocolate or Vanilla
2. Favorite fruit
3. Favorite non-dessert food
4. Thick or thin frosting
5. Favorite holiday
6. Favorite toy when you were a child
7. Cake or Pie
8. Sweet or Salty
9. Favorite color
10. Favorite candy

After the quiz, we talk about making clay cake or pie boxes.  I then ask them to circle three of their quiz answers that they then have to use in their final project.  They will have to make a lid for it that is detachable in some way.   Then we talk about all of the clay terms and I demo how to build walls and add pieces.  

Andrew C.

Carter W.

Erika L.

Damaris W.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Magical 2pt lands

Okay so this is kind of a confusing post.  Because the post that will follow after this is actually the project we did first, but since it was clay I needed to do a project in the middle while I got all of those projects fired and then while they were glazing they needed something to work on when they finished that.  Did you catch all of that?

Anyways, we learned how to draw in 2 pt. perspective.  Now every year I learn how to improve this lesson and this year was no different.  We start by drawing a very basic city in out sketchbooks.  We learn how to make a corner building, how to add sidewalks and alleys, how to make bigger buildings beside the front one and how to make windows and doors.  All of the basics to making a 2 pt city.

Well last year I had had enough with getting multiple Wal-mart stores for buildings,  apparently no body goes anywhere else in the world, so I added the element where they all came up and spun for a different genre or location.  So some of my themes are apocolyptic, forest, fairytale, alien, utopian, and horror just to name a few.  From there they can use that inspiration any way they want.  They can use a little of it or they can use a lot.  Basically I am just trying to get them to think outside of the walmart box, if you know what I mean.

This year to improve the project I had them draw and shade it in black pen.  The main thought behind this is that their shading and drawings are so light I often can't see what they have done. So I wanted to make it more photogentic.  In the end it was great to give them another challenge and to use those shading techniques that I introduced to them a long time ago.

Damaris W.

Andrew C.

Dylin K.

Anna B.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Crazy when plastered

So after you have been painting for what seems like forever, you really want to mix up the medium and try something new.  So why not try sculpting plaster of paris that has been set up in pop cans?  It seems like a logical jump, right?

So the first step in this lesson is to have every student cut the top off of a pop can, wash it out and put their names on it.  I then take a day or two and fill all of those pop cans with plaster of paris.  I know it is something I should teach the students to do, but I feel we would waste so much plaster when they fill their containers too full or they don't mix fast enough that I have just decided I will do this step.  Sometimes it is just easier to do than to teach.  I know I fail.  :(

After they have set up, which usually takes a couple of hours, we then peel off the pop can and throw that away.  We now look at our plain white chunk of plaster and figure out what they are going to carve into it.  I did have them draw some cylinders in their sketchbook and try to figure out how to fit a specific shape or design inside of those cylinders like they have fit in a pop can.  We look at some small toys and other things that could fit in that shape.  I also show them Michelangelos unfinished sculptures to show how to see the image emerging from the solid chunk of white.

I then give them carving tools and paper clips to start carving their masterpiece.  Here's a tip; carve on a papertowel so that you can just throw the mess away at the end of the class period.  Make sure you are working on all sides and not just focusing on one.

Damaris W.

Jaizen H.

Kimi K.

Andrew C.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Painting with knives

Oops, I sort of forgot about this blog for the last month or so.  I guess that means I have been just a little bit busy with other things.  But that doesn't mean I don't want to talk about this fun art technique.

This is a very small and short lesson on how to paint with palette knives.  We look at simple landscapes that have at least one thing in them (a boat, a barn, a car, a tree, etc.) and then they have to paint with acrylic paints and only palette knives.  We do these on a 4x6 piece of foam board so that it won't warp as bad when they are applying the paint.   I then try to challenge them to use as little of black paint as possible.  As you can see from the first example that doesn't always work, but I do try to encourage them to think outside of their normal color box.

This project usually takes us about 2 to 2 and 1/2 days to complete.  Enjoy!!
Samara T

Cassie H.

Damaris W.

Friday, November 11, 2016

One sided art

So the title of this one doesn't really tell you much about the type of art we have been created until you dig a little deeper into it.  See we have been working with Monochromatic paintings in art one, and since monochromatic is the study of one color it is kind of seeing the world in a one sided way.  What if we only saw the world in one color?  I suppose these paintings are what it would look like.  I was really impressed with some of the studies my students did this year.  I really think they got into this project.

Damaris W.

Cassie H.

Abby K.

Zach H.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Hot Glue and paint

Sorry I couldn't come up with a more interesting title, but that pretty much sums up this assignment.  I asked Art 3 to create a work of art where they had to apply hot glue to a canvas and then paint over top.  One of the reasons we did this was because I have an over abundance of canvas from Creative Spirits.  She needed a place to recycle used canvas and I was happy to help.

John S.

Mikayla R.

Nikole K.

Paige Q.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Can you find the animal?

I'm not sure where I got the idea for this project, probably from something I saw on Pinterest, but I think it is one that I will keep and do again.

I called it hidden animal.  My Art 3 students were required to draw or paint an image but they had to find a way to hide an animal in the image.  I am sure I got the idea from seeing other works of art, like the painted horses where the horse color and snow create multiple images.  But at the same time I liked the idea of challenging my students to figure out how you would do that.

I think overall they did a pretty good job.

Emily H. - Spider

Jaikob D. - wolf

Jaymon L - turtle

Madisyn V. - Butterfly

Paige Q. - Cat
The words after their names is what they tried to hide.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Why not melt some more

So maybe I was not sure where to start the year, and maybe I was lazy, but I gave both of my advanced classes melted crayon projects.  The difference with this Art 3 class is that I asked them to take theirs up a notch and do more than just melt crayons with silhouettes.  So here is what they came up with.  I think they did a good job for the first project of the year.

Emily H.

Jaikob D.

Madisyn V.

Mikayla R.

Nikole K.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Bring it "Forth"

I don't know why but I love foreshortening drawings.  I also love when  I have a group of kids that are willing to step outside of the normal box and come up with some really interesting ways to look at foreshortening.

Bridget B.

Emily H.

Jaikob D.

Jaymon L.

Mikayla R.

Nitanga S.

Will S.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


It is amazing how we get smarter the longer we do this job.  Instead of doing cyanotype in the spring when we are fighting wind and rain, I decided to offer it in the fall when the weather is much more cooperative.  Amazing, huh!!

If you have never tried cyanotype I highly recommend it.  It is so easy and so much fun.  This time I had the students download free brushes ( and create something in photoshop that they then go to print with the technique.

Here are a few examples.

Summer B.

Emily H.

Jaymon L.

John S.

Madisyn V.

Mikayla R.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Challenge

Alright it's back, my Halloween Challenge.  This year I was inspired by the following image that I found on Pinterest.

I did make a couple of changes to it though.  I didn't like "the blue" for October so I switched that to
"The Mischievous", and I switched orange to the "the Desert", and 
 purple to "the Skies", and white to "the tundra", and I switched black and yellow meanings.  

I then put this into a powerpoint for the students and had them write their inspiration on a big sheet of paper.  They then could create anything with that inspiration.  Here are a few of my favorites.
Emily A. 

Jonah L.

Micah A. - The Red King of the Mountains

Jaikob D.  "Something" of the Desert

Jaymon L.  - The Savage Spirit of the Seas

Mikayla R. - The King of the Dead
Sorry I couldn't remember all of their inspirations.