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.

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