Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Art 2 Paintings

Pictured here are the end results of the paintings my Art 2 students had been working on. I am extremely happy with the work, they painted their little hearts out. I had mentioned in a previous post that I regretted the size of the painting, but now that they are done I have to say that the size of the painting adds to the look of the pieces. Having said that I will probably not let Art 2 students do such large pieces again. I need to remember to reserve that size of paper for more advanced students. I'm looking forward to the next semester, I have some new ideas up my sleeve, hopefully they will work out.
Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Scratch Art

First I'd like to wish you a Merry Christmas. I've had a great time surrounded by family and now I'm sitting with my legs up relaxing in front of the computer.

I've had the scratch art pictures stored in my computer for a few weeks and I figured this was a good time to upload them. I ordered the scratch art paper a while back and wasn't sure what to do with them. I saw this project idea from a teacher at TAEA, he was very kind to share and I'm sorry I don't remember his name.
The kids liked the results and it was a perfect project right before the holiday.

The kids glued on the "skin part" of the images and scratched off the rest. I asked them to scratch patterns for their clothes and the background.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Virgen de Guadalupe Exhibit

Due to the fact that we live in the Border Region, much of the beautiful Mexican Culture is prevailant in our community. The Virgen de Guadalupe Competition and Exhibition is held every year this week. I am very fortunate to work for a school district that has its own gallery, actually my high school has its own gallery but this event was held in the district gallery.
There are two seperate competitions, one for the students and another for professional artists. I did not participate this year, although I have in the past and have won 2nd place with one of my pieces.This year three of my students participated in the competition and one of my students took 2nd place. The exhibit had a great turn out and the pieces were amazing. I apologize for not having pics of the gallery and exhibit, but the battery in my camera died as soon as I began to photograph the event. I had posted one of the pieces in an earlier post, but had not shown the other two. I think the kids did a great job, If I do say so myself.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Finally, they're done! Well....the majority of them are done, just a few more to go but they should all be done by Fri. You can view the instructions to this project below.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


For the final exam of my Adv. Class I gave the kids the task to create a modern interpretation of the Mexican Bingo Game, Loteria! The Loteria cards have various colorful images and it is a game that most of my students are familiar with. I played with this game as a child with my grandmother and other family members. I also play the game with my own kids.I brought the deck of Loteria cards to class and asked the kids to pick a card. The deck was face down and so the kids could not see the images on the cards. The kids picked a card and had one class period to create a modern work of art based on the image on their card.
You can do this particular project using many card games and childhood board games. Let me know if you do, I'd like to see the results.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peak at the latest Art 1 project. After I taught the kids how to cut the concentric circles (see below) I then had them apply it to their drawings. They had to create symbols for nature, geometric form and a human representation.
They then cut out the stencil using exacto knives. This takes about three days, depending on the intricacy of the piece.

Once the stencil was cut they traced it onto a black construction paper. They then took the stencil outside and spray painted it on a colored construction paper. They spray with black first, then shift the stencil a bit and apply white paint. Some of the results are amazing.

The kids then cut the black construction paper and apply cut magazine to the back. The one pictured is not completed yet.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Work in Progress

Well, after a week off we're back to work! I've come back energized and ready for the next three weeks of work before our next break.
My Art 2 kids are working on their first still life painting. They've been working on them for a few weeks already and I am so ready for them to be done. I usually keep their work relatively small but I don't know what got into me this time and I had them use a 24" x 18" format.
I set up two different stations and they were able to pick which still life they wanted to work from. Hopefully they will be able to finish these pieces in the next week or so, although I think I'll be lucky if they finish before Christmas.
Just to keep things fresh I think I will have them do something different this Fri. I better think of something quick.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Community Service

We were given an opportunity to give back to our community just recently by doing what we do best. ART!!! We are painting on mannequin heads that will be given to women that have lost their hair due to chemotherapy. There is a cancer foundation here in town that will be collecting the mannequin heads from us and will be presenting them to women from our community that are battling cancer. I am very proud of my kids, they have been working extra hard spending their lunch time and after school time working on these mannequins. I'm hoping to find a way to introduce some of these ladies to my kids so the kids can see for themselves the impact they are making in their community.

I work in a school where our visual art dept is over looked (a story for another day), even with all of the kid's accomplishments, scholarships and amazing art work. It will do the kids good to see that they do make a difference and that there are people that recognize their talent.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Something Different

I have a young lady in my Art 4 class that has been taking art "because she had nothing better to do". She came from another school and was ready to drop my class from the start when she realized what my expectations are for my students. She explained to me that she was not interested in drawing any realistic images and was mostly interested in color and movement. We talked about other types of art, artists and art movements. I asked her to create a page in her sketchbook that reflects her interests which should include favorite art pieces.

She then incorporated some of the images from her sketchbook into her art project. She is very pleased with herself and her confidence has gone through the roof!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cut Paper Project

I thought I would give my kids a reprieve from all of the drawing and shading and give them a more hands on project. I had done a cut paper project years ago when I was a middle school art teacher with great results so I figured I'd revisit this particular project. I honestly thought it would be a quick, painless process for them. WRONG!

The concept has completely gone over their heads, I'm not exaggerating when I say that I am completely shocked that they can't grasp the process. I gave them a practice paper and when I looked at the results it was clear they did not understand.
I have had to take a few steps back to help them understand the concept. One thing that I did was have them create this "bulls eye" design out of construction paper. The goal is to have one complete piece when they are done cutting. I want them to understand that everything has to be connected in order for it to work. Afterwards I had them paste a magazine page on the back for added interest.

Monday, November 15, 2010


My Art 1 kids are finally done with their shading projects. The majority of the pieces came out great and I do hope they grasped the idea of light and shadow, hopefully they will keep this in mind when we get into color.

I have now started a cut paper project and I am afraid I am expecting too much from them. They are not grasping the idea of how to cut the paper so that the outline of a shape stays behind. I am going to have to take this project slowly which is a shame because I was hoping to start on color right after Thanksgiving break.

Well, I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

TAEA Annual Conference

I went to the annual Texas Art Education Association Conference this past weekend ( Thurs.- Sun.) at Austin, TX. It was one of the best conferences I've ever been to. I attended many great workshops, learned tons of new techniques and met great teachers from all around the state.
One of the projects that I saw was this contour face drawing. The students create a modified contour drawing of the face. They then continue to fill in the face with contour lines inside of the face, not lifting the pen as they draw. I created this one in my hotel room around 1am. I shared my room with three other good friends and after our day at the conference we would go back to our room to go over what we had learned and created some art.
Isn't it great when you hang around with like minds?

I also saw these great cupcakes around the conference center where the workshops were held. If I'm not mistaken model magic was used for this project. You use a styrofoam cup for the bottom and a plastic bag for the top. You then cover with the model magic. I did not attend the workshop so I do not have all of the steps, but I will be keeping my eyes open for the lesson. Once I have it I promise to share
There were many other great lessons, I do not want to use the images that were given without consent so I will do my best to create my own and post as soon as possible.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sketchbook Homework/shoes

For their next homework assignment my students had to draw a pair of shoes in their sketchbooks. The majority of the kids did a good job, although I have to admit that I am still waiting to be pleasantly surprised. It is so hard to get them to experiment! I have tried putting out watercolors,paint and other things to get them to add backgrounds to their sketchbook pages but they just won't do it.

You are probably wondering why I don't just make them add something to their pages, but I am always talking about how a sketchbook is a personal representation, so I have basically shot myself in the foot. I will have to rethink this for next year.

I have also thought of bringing in my own book but I have so much personal writings in it. Perhaps downloading more images from the net would be helpful, hmmmm, I really have to think about this one.

Monday, November 8, 2010


My Art 2 students are beginning their first painting. Before they can start on their project they must freshen up on their painting techniques.
Do these shapes look familiar? They are the same ones used by my Art 1 students for their pencil shading assignment. I figured I might as well use them since they were already out.
I had the kids use three to four different color to paint the forms. The objective is to show lights and shadows.

I forgot to tell them to add one more thing, can you tell what it is?

The shadows on the table!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Love this face

I just love this face. Yes, it has several faults, but there's something about this face that appeals to me. The shading is actually done quite well, the colors he chose are questionable but they do seem to fit his expression, don't you think? I very rarely let them leave a white background, but I decided to let him leave this one alone. This one was a preliminary to another self-portrait that he did, I've sent it off to a competition and forgot to take a picture of it prior to sending it. Once I get it back I will photograph it and add it to this post.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chalk Art

I had our third annual Chalk Art Event at my high school and if I do say so myself, it was great. The weather had been great the whole week and the morning of the event the weather dipped into the 40's with a high of 75 late in the afternoon. I usually do this event in Feb. but I was asked by the powers that be to do it in Oct.

This time I invited a few alumni to participate and it sure was good to see them again.

One thing that bothers me every year is the lack of support from my administration. In the past three years not one (I have 5 principals) has ever gone out to view the work of the students and when they do say something it is to complain about a piece of trash left out, graffiti they want to blame on the participating students, or offensive language they heard from a window. I feel like yelling to them, "Look down, see what the students have done!!". Unfortunately none of the principals are interested in the arts, except band, of course.
Well, as I said before, the kids had a great day and we exposed the student body to art.
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