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.