art is all around us. here i will share my personal experiences and passion for all things art! thanks for stopping by, feel free to share a post and check in again! xo

Monday, December 19, 2011

portrait of an animal

As this is my second year teaching at the middle school level and ninth year teaching I know that lessons are always a "work in progress." As teachers our work is never done. Even when we find a successful lesson we still can find ways to tweak and change it from year to year and the groups of students always dictate what the results will be as well.
My husband just graduated on Friday with a degree in Elementary Education and during his student teaching placements he found the same thing, that even when you are at your best teaching a lesson it may not always produce the result you were hoping for and so work needs to be done to either change what your expectations are or change what you are doing as a teacher. It really is so worth the work at the end of the day seeing your students pleased with their work!

So I decided to change things up and ditch a few lessons from last year and one of my new lessons for 8th grade is teaching an animal portrait lesson.I thought it would be a great continuation from the value portrait studies of a human face and the clay portrait mug. It was a unit of portraiture! I was not sure how my students would handle this because admittedly animals are hard to capture but I figured why not try.
I first talked about overlapping elements in all three portrait styles and showed them a Smartboard presentation of animal portraits. We then sketched a few days from photographs to get a feel for sketching animals and the character of the faces. Then we sketched on our final copy paper and I used 12" x 12" paper however for some portraits we had to trim to find a more complimentary composition. Then the students used watercolors with white tempera to create these animal portraits.

During one of the work days my principal came in to see what the students were working on and even he commented on the success of these portraits as he confirmed with the students that "watercolors are challenging" as are "drawing and painting animals." My students appreciated the recognition that what they were doing was challenging yet they were successful and boy am I ever impressed with their work too!
I hung the animal portraits in the hall and my students have really been so excited to see them. My teaching partner even took his students on a mini "field trip" of sorts just to show his students the work of my fine young artists. I am so proud and could not be more excited or pleased with the outcome!

Please click here to see all of the portraits because they are all really just stunning!

Be Well and Enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2011

what a "MUG" on that mug...

My 8th grade students just completed wonderful functional works of art. They made slab mugs with coil handles first. They perfected the shape and handle and then attached facial features. We had oodles of fun making different facial expressions.

Each one certainly has its own personality. Some of them really say a lot about their creator I think as 8th grade students have their own mood changes, feelings and expressions from moment to moment these are almost the modern day "mood rings."

They are ever changing and truly have so much to say. Each face tells its own story.
This lesson is timeless and the students really enjoyed making them.

As soon as I hand them back the students want to fill them up and begin drinking from them which I love. I have made several of these MUG mugs.... a cup or "mug" with a facial expression or "MUG" on it and I enjoy using them and sharing them with friends.

To view the entire collection please click here for my website and scroll down the to mug lesson

Be Well and Enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2011

dessert boxes

My 7th grade students have completed their dessert boxes. I changed up the lesson a little this year because I wanted to have some more diverse results. I allowed the students to make either cake or pie slices which resulted in creative colorful slices.
The students created paper templates and then traced them onto the clay. They put their slices together and formed a functional clay box with lid.They then attached a decorative handle.
The results are fun and quite colorful! They are being displayed in the case across from my room and lots of attention is being paid to these delicious and delightful desserts.

To see all of the results please click here.

Being a gluten free gal I find these to be some of my most favorite desserts around... wink... wink! Be Well and Enjoy!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

coloring the creation of masks

My 6th grade artists just completed a new lesson for me, colorful carved masks. It was my first time teaching this lesson but I have seen it done many times and many different ways so I found my own interpretation and put in into action!


The first thing I had my students do was fold a piece of paper and draw the outside of half the mask. They then drew half noses and mouths and one eye on the folded side of the paper. We cut out our templates and traced them onto 18" x24" white paper, LARGE PAPER! I really wanted these masks to make an impact.
After the students traced their templates in pencil they began using crayons to color in the symmetrical shapes on the masks. I taught them how to color fade and create bright bold compositions or color schemed compositions. We talked about masks and looked at a variety of different cultural masks.
After days of really hard crayon coloring using dark marks we covered the masks with a black india ink wash. The crayons were so dark that they resisted the ink. The kids really enjoyed watching the crayons pop up under ink too. We then used sponges to wipe away excess ink.
We cut the masks out of the large white paper after the ink dried. The masks were really coming into their own and the students were excited. I really enjoyed how excited the students were about this project.We then used carving tools to carve into the crayons and the masks came out stunning! I am very pleased with the results as were the students. I hung the beautiful masks in the hall.

To see more of the results please visit my website by clicking here. Be well and Enjoy!