Grade 9 students have finally completed their first unit on observational drawing. Their goal was to create and draw realistic, interesting compositions in pencil using measured proportions, values and tones. View the slideshow below or directly through Flickr here. You can also see the unit breakdown here if interested.
Grade 7 students have recently finished their second art unit entitled “Make Your Mark.” The unit question was “How can we communicate visually?” and our significant concept was “Line can be used to convey shape, texture and tone.” After exploring mark making & line drawing techniques to create texture and tone by Vincent Van Gogh, Albrecht Durer & Rembrandt, students then created their own drawings based on their Field Studies trip. The compositions included a background, middle-ground and foreground, which were then combined in relief. Combining the different grounds in relief was a new element started this year. View the full Flickr set here. (Additional drawings will be added this week.)
My grade 9 students investigated pastel techniques and created a final composition based on their field studies trip in Japan, where they were required to consider how to implement colour, various pastel techniques and methods into a well balanced and attractive landscape composition. Students were given the choice of soft or oil pastel. You can view the work via Flickr here. You can also view the week by week breakdown of what was done in class here if interested. One thing that I did do differently this year was to assign students into groups to conduct their own research on pastel techniques. Here is also an example of a student reflection.
Grade 9 just finished their first unit on observational drawing. Students were asked to focus on composition, proportion, tonal range and gradation. Student work may be viewed on Flickr here and if interested, you can view the unit lesson breakdown here as well.
My grade 7 students are continuing with their visual journals. For their first main task, students were asked to journal and answer “Who am I?” Below are some strong examples, which utilised composition, layout, colour scheme etc. Underneath the pictures you may read the task outline. Click the photo to view larger.
The task was described as: Who am I? This seems like a very easy and straight-forward question, but when was the last time that you really tried to articulate an answer? You may have thought that you figured that out a long time ago, or perhaps you feel like you are still figuring it out. What better way to start this challenge. No matter what type of art you make it is always a reflection of you. The journal is no different. Heck, it might even be more true of the journal.
Take some time to ponder and journal about all the aspects of your “self,” and create a response that introduces you to the world.
Who are you? What is important to you? Where do you come from? How does your inner identity compare to your outer identity? Do you have a hidden identity? If you are not who you want to be, what is stopping you? Feel free to brainstorm or mind-map your ideas to help yourself out.
Your page must include imagery, text and colour. Imagery can consist of collage or hand drawn elements, or both. Your text could also be done by hand, by stencil or through recycled resources. Try to vary your lettering techniques and styles so as not to simply use your normal handwriting. You may use any type of drawing style done in class or combine elements.
(Task taken from the Journal Fodder Junkies site)
I recently just finished Drawing Projects: An Exploration of the Language of Drawing. I have a lot of art books that I buy with the best intentions, but often, they collect dust on the bookshelf after a quick initial browse. I find this one a little different as it explores the fundamentals and meaning of drawing with 15 drawing activities that may interest students a bit more, as well as including work by some contemporary artists where you see the concepts in action. It’s not really a tutorial book but may help some to view drawing and expressing line and shape in a different light. Simply, the act of mark making instead of attempting to draw photo-realistically.
In the book, the authors recommend beginners avoid drawing symmetrical man-made objects as more often than not, students will fail to master the precise symmetry. I must say, as a teacher, I am guilty of giving my students bottles the second week of drawing class. I may now change this. One of my favourite activities offered was superimposed drawings (poor quality picture below). Students are to redraw the same subject five times seen from different points of view and superimpose/overlap each drawing. A lot of the activities should help students to get away from drawing with those small hair-like lines that they all start off with (and that drive me crazy) and begin to express themselves and their subject matter more.
As an experiment, I decided to try making a travel journal for my holiday in Thailand, as I may consider making this a new grade 7 art unit for my students. With it, there could be a lot of potential for mixing different mediums and styles and would result in a summative assessment visual journal for their one week field studies excursion. You can view the other pictures via Flickr here. Sorry, I am having a lot of difficulty with Edublogs and Paypal and am currently unable to embed.
Some of my grade 8 students are finishing off their last project where they were to design and create a character illustration personifying a font using Adobe Illustrator. We were running out of time so I decided to simply use the live trace and live paint options. We began the unit by looking at stereotypes, brainstorming ideas for the font and then making plans to develop the character. You can see the lesson plans here if interested. Feel free to look at the student creations via Flickr here. More will be added next week.
(pictured student work: Kei O.)