Thursday, February 24, 2011
My 6th grade artists have been working on wonderful value drawings of insects. We looked at the Maman spiders of Louise Bourgeios and a great ant piece that M.C. Escher did.
Then we jumped in and created our own insect value drawings. Many great artists have used insects as inspiration for their work over the years.
The students used their observational skills and looked an insect photographs and then recreated their own insects using the value scale that I taught them in the first few weeks of our new semester. They are also really building their drawing skills with their sketchbooks they are working in.
Next up are paper mache insect sculptures. We are going to make these wonderful drawings come to life, larger than life as Bourgeios did, not exactly of her scale... wink, wink... but of a little more classroom friendly size. We have just begun these fun works and pictures are sure to follow!
For now, enjoy this insect invasion! Our hall certainly has many creatures crawling around it now!
Be Well and Enjoy!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Each and every day I have my young artists enter my room and sketch. Sketching is such an important aspect of art. It is a basic principle that is undeniably a great skill to obtain. Many people make doodles and sketches without ever being conscious of it.
The first thing I do with all of my students when they enter my class is to have them create their own value scale 1-10. Then they learn how to use a ruler, measure and handle their pencils. Pencil control is so important in sketching. They then use that value scale for the rest of the course. We refer back to it all the time as it is the basis we build everything upon. Above the value scale we create value drawings of simple objects such as an egg, a hand or even a fun surreal object or two.
From there, values are part of our conversation every day. I set up a still life and give my kids a "do now" each and every day. Sometimes I give them two or three days in a row the same still life so they can really observe, appreciate and master the still life. Plus by looking at something that is the same days apart it really makes you notice and observe things better. Drawing from observation is one tool that is so important in art. It really helps build ability in all levels, styles and types of artists.
My students have been observing a series of bottles. They began with some great antique empty bottles and they have moved on to a mason jar filled with crayons. Then today they began a water misting bottle. The glassy translucent quality is a wonderful surface that plays with the light and really allows them to capture values.
Also by showing some items within it really helps them to look for values. Their drawings are evolving after only three weeks (really less with all the snow days... wink, wink) and both the students and I are so pleased to see their skills building.
Be Well and Enjoy!
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
I have always really loved bees and been a long time collector because my husband's name is Brian and we all call him B. Then both he and my father-in-law began keeping bees and gathering yummy honey that is both great for plants and allergy sufferers such as myself.
I also really enjoy bugs and have a real interest in all things small and crawling. While creeper crawlers scare some away they always draw me in. So whenever I can find a great bug that has seen the end of its days I collect it and keep it in a great little shadow box.
Then I really started seeing birds in a new light and I really fell head over heals inlove with birds..... all birds.
I believe animals come into your life for a reason and a killdeer bird came into my life and gave me a message of strength and I have had a strong connection and adoration of these brave little animals.
I even shared my love and interest in birds with my students last month as you saw my post about the bird paintings that my 7th grade artists created.
So as my love for small creatures grows as does the collection around our house. They are found in my husband's office, on the end table in our family room, even next to my laptop as I type now. In so many places you can find a charming little birdie singing a song of spring to come which makes me smile on a cold wintry snow day like today.
Enjoy this sneak peak around our home of just a small taste of our feathered friends and take note of any small wonders around your home... inside and out. Also if you know of any great leads on birds let me know.... wink, wink!
Enjoy and Be Well! tweet... tweet...