Sunday, December 28, 2014

Lesson: Color Scheme Selfies

This semester I teach Design Concepts, which touches on a variety of art forms for students to "try out."  I developed the curriculum around the sketchbook model that Matt Milkowski and I have created (and will be presenting at the NAEA convention this year 2015). 
This particular project demonstrates the use of a selected Color Scheme to create a self portrait using torn collage (practiced in the media exploration unit).  
*I've seen different ways to do something like this.  This is a great project for students in a painting class... they can back paint the clear acetate.  Also, I did a watercolor version for my daughter's sketchbook cover.  So, there are a lot of possibilities for this simple and fun project.


1.  Students use my laptop (I walked it around to each table) to take Selfies using the Photo Booth Application.   *Next time I might incorporate the idea of PHOTO BOMBING (because many students did that anyway) and encourage them to include those in their final collages.  I asked them to consider expression, pushing them to be goofy.  Apparently only a few were feeling goofy that day.   *Again, next time I might focus on compositional techniques as practiced from Unit 1.  I think that the students would focus on that more IF they did include the PhotoBombers in their composition (i.e. cropping, rule of thirds, off center, etc.)

2.  I printed out the photos in grayscale to save on ink.  Students place their portraits inside the clear sleeve protector.  Of course, you could ideally use acetate.  Being new this year, I didn't have anything purchased for my assignments.  I found a large pack of the sheet protectors, so I used those. *Later I trimmed off the binder part of the sleeve.  
3.  Students used contour lines to draw out their portraits, hopefully focusing on small details.  We had already completed a unit on contour line drawings.  When I mentioned the idea of contour, students immediately thought, "Oh no!  I have to use one continuous line?!  Without looking???"  So there we go- I guess I need to be a little clearer as to what contour really is... not just the assignment we had completed (continuous contour and blind contour drawings with wire sculptures.  See other post).   We used fine point sharpies.  The ultra fine point are too light of line weight for this project.  

4.  Students then placed a blank white sheet of paper on top of their contour drawings and traced onto the paper.  This paper was then used as the sheet to loosely collage.

5.  Students choose a color scheme.  We talked about using emphasis to distinguish background from foreground.  We talked about using values in the colors to differentiate areas of the image that might use the same color (i.e. light orange versus burnt orange).  I chose complementary color scheme of blue and orange and noticed many of my students chose that one.  I originally thought it was because I had chosen it, but I think most kids actually chose it because they are our school colors.  

6.  Collage, collage, collage!  Use the clear protector every once in a while on top to check that you are happy with progress and placement.  

7.  Place finished collage inside the clear protector.  WA-LA!  

Made a COOL COLOR SCHEME (or monochromatic)
version to show a different way to create this.
The purple in the background is actually
a lap desk I used at home to work on.  

What?  Sun in the corner???  Still successful, right??!

"To be, or not to be..."
We had just finished Dia de los Muertos Pinch Pot Skulls.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Lesson: Embroidered Printmaking

This student made a drawing, then scanned the drawing, and printed it onto the transparency
(and eventually we ended up with the iron-on transfers for best quality.
Credit: Inspired by these really cool embroidered artworks... and INKODYE

Summary:  Students explore printmaking through light sensitive ink combined with embroidery.

  1. Engage with a brief history on embroidery art (craft vs. art debate- totally fun with my mixed media kids!), and printmaking. 
  2. Students submit a variety of photographs (that ideally they took themselves!!!) onto google drive.  Some  time is taken to manipulate photos as well.
  3. Students print out their favorite images in black and white and glue into sketchbook. 
  4. In the meantime, students practice embroidery stitches.  For this, I put all of the tables together and we all sat together as we threaded a needle and practiced stitches on a strip of muslin.  I prepared packets of embroidery stitch resource images for students to reference and explore.  This strip was later attached into sketchbook and stitches were labeled by students.  
  5. Students used color pencils to "draw" in their stitches they were considering on their b/w images.  
  6. Images were inverted via Photoshop, and printed onto transparencies.  
  7. Inkodye was painted onto canvas (originally had planned on making t-shirts, pillows, and pencil cases) that was masking taped to cardboard boxes.  Oye... this is not the best... Would probably been better to stretch the canvas in a more traditional fashion.  Time and mula are preventative sometimes... live and learn.  Oh, and we did this in the office that has no windows.  Did I mention that the Inkodye is light sensitive?
  8. Once dry, (also possibly not the best... might work better if slightly damp?), placed negatives on top and exposed to light.  In my original samples, I brought them outside.  Of course, the week I did this with my kiddos, it rained.  The entire week.  So, luckily my colleague had received a special light box thing with a timer (what is this thing actually called?) and so we used that.  Some of these were complete duds.  Only about two of them worked out great.  Sigh... Also, note that you definitely have to wash your fabric in inkowash or detergent to stop the developing process.  I did this, but as you can see from my sample, it still continued to darken throughout time.  Same happened for that blue one with the K on it below- looked AMAZING after first exposure, but over time just got too dark.  I guess I should maybe have brought the fabric home and wash it in my washer instead of hand washing we did in class... )
  9. Plan B:  Printable Iron-on transfers.  Ok, not truly printmaking, but I really wanted them to have a great product, and didn't have time or money to invest in more attempts of the inkodye or other means.  This is something I plan on exploring and hopefully perfecting more over the next year.  
  10. Embroidery over the image using embroidery hoops.  Also not so great for the iron-ons.  The images cracked under the pressure of the hoops.  Sigh... again.  
Here are a few process pics of my sample...

Here's what the kids did, regardless of our trials and errors!!  
Really, an awesome project that I plan on reworking this year.  I will post when those pop up!

Lesson: Photo Silhouettes (Traditional Meets Contemporary)

Credit: This was a joint effort (as pretty much all of the amazing stuff on here is) with my colleague.  This time, I credit Elizabeth Osborne for working together to create this really great culminating Photo 1 project.  

Summary:  Students create their own silhouettes inspired by victorian images as well as contemporary artists (such as Kara Walker) to combine traditional photographic techniques with contemporary. 

  1. Engage with a silhouette history PPT.  
  2. Students create a variety of "backgrounds" or small artworks to be used later when creating their silhouettes.  This includes Darkroom (texture photograms, enlargements, magazine prints, zentangle photograms), Digital (altered images using filters and adjustments, wallpaper patterns, etc), and traditional art techniques (magazine collage, zentangle drawings).  
  3. Students take digital profile photos and digital full body portraits, erase the background in Photoshop, use a variety of selection tools, and combine the layers.  

Here are some of the final projects!