Thursday, July 23, 2015

Lesson: Linear Perspective MONSTER ROOMS!

Have I mentioned before that I LOOOOOOVE monsters?  No?  Well, then you must not have read my previous monster posts here, here, or here.  Shame on you!  Go visit them after you read this one.  You'll be happy you did.  

Taylor's example
Okay, so I have taught Drawing 1 this past semester and again in summa skool.  One topic I really hate teaching is ONE POINT LINEAR PERSPECTIVE!  You might ask yourself, "I know, it's the math, isn't it?"  Nope.  "Is it the streets and houses and rooms you get bored of?"  Wrong again.  "Is it the sword fighting that happens when metal rulers are brought out?"  Hmm, actually, no I like that part.  In fact, I usually give my students 30 seconds to get that outta' their systems.  Then, done.  No more.  What?  You didn't get to spear your classmate or poke out an eye?  Too bad for you!  You were too slow.  It's over.  

NO!  It's the cheesiness.  The tackiness.  The rudimentary elementary looking artwork that I get from this.  Maybe I'm not a good teacher when it comes to linear perspective, and THAT'S WHY!  Or maybe I just don't like to give a huge amount of time that truly is needed to get the details just right.  I don't know.  It just seems that it's just so easy to mess up.  Even the most skilled student who really understands the concepts can quickly and easily draw one line wrong and the whole things just looks "off."  UGH!  

So, instead of fighting it (totally and completely), I try to make it as silly as possible.  Last semester I had the students create a B Movie Poster using one point perspective.  That was fun, and the kids enjoyed it.  Still not my FAVORITE, but okay, I did like it.  I'll post on that one later.  Right now, I'm in my monster kick (if you couldn't tell) and so I'll show you what my students did for Drawing 1 in summa skool this summer.  

MONSTER ROOMS, of course!  I ended class one day with a collaborative game.  I had students first draw a shape (any shape will do!) in their sketchbooks.  Then, they passed their sketchbooks.  Then another set of instructions (draw eyes).  Then pass.  And so on and so forth.  When finally passed back to the original owner, they received a silly collaborative MONSTER!  yay.  Love it!  

Student uses his brainstorm sketches in his
sketchbook to create his artwork.  
The next day, when the students came in, we talked about Linear Perspective (MY FAVORITE! gag).  We practiced drawing streets with buildings and then a room of choice.  Then, I told them that they had to create an environment, a room perhaps, for their monster (with the option of making a new monster instead of sticking with the one from the collaborative game).  

They had to create a 1/2" border (on a 5" x 7" paper I provided), pencil in the drawing, ink the drawing using line weight, and add pencil shading to enhance.  Lastly, of course add a signature and a title.  Here is what we came away with:  ENJOY!

Lesson: Color Scheme Value Minis

I have to attach this to the previous post about textured monsters, specifically this one, because I plopped this little mini lesson right in the middle of that lesson.  We were ready to paint our monsters, but I HAD to teach the kiddos how to mix paint... and create tints and shades... and so here is what I did:

In the middle of it all, we started a new unit on color and value.  I gave the students a crash course on color theory (this is summa skool, member?  we have soooo little time):  we created a color wheel together, labeled primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.  Then wrote down some color schemes and labeled examples of those.  Then, students colored their monsters in their sketchbook using a variety of color schemes.  Once happy with the color choices, students learned how to mix acrylic paint to make a "sophisticated" color (i.e. not right outta' the tube).  I then showed students how to create tints and shades of that one color using white and black respectively.  Each time they mixed a new tint or shade, they plopped that into their notes and painted a square of paper I gave them.  Once all completed (white, black, 2 tints, 2 shades, and original sophisticated color), we let the squares dry.  

While waiting, students created 3 thumbnail sketches using ORGANIC or GEOMETRIC lines to create a 7 shape landscape.  They decided on one, then cut their paper and glued according to value (which was a fantastic transition into SPACE!).  We mounted onto white paper, and students had to embellish the border per value and color choices.  

(Below is my example with some example borders I made to help them start.)

Here are their little mini artworks!  (Yep, I credit Pinterest again for this little tidy idea:  perfect for middle school and excellent for HS mini project!)  Enjoy!

Interestingly enough, I just noticed how many purple and green landscapes happened... hmmm...

Lesson: Visually Textured Monsters become PHYSICALLY 3D

Didn't I already say how much I love these monster projects?  Well, here's where I take it even further (who knew?)!  Get ready for the FORM part of this unit.  Annnnd, some physical texture.  

If you haven't seen the Visually Textured Monsters post, check it out first.  Then, have fun with my Make a Noise post.  THEN... come back here.  Please.  You won't regret it.  

Taylor's example
Okay!  So, once we have made our drawn monsters, I have the students choose ONE of THOSE textured monster to create a 3D version.  Yep, a form.  At this point, I basically gave them some pointers on how to do this.  We used cardboard construction and I began brainstorming and sketching out MY monster to model how I think when I create.  I showed them a few different ways I could start with the overall form of my monster, using SHAPES out of cardboard. (This is also the point when I say, in a quiet higher pitched voice "Oh my god!  Mrs. Taylor is the best teacher ever!  We JUST learned about SHAPES!  And now we get to see how SHAPES TURN INTO FORMS!  Everything just builds on top of everything else!  Wow.  I'm so lucky to be in her class!"  Okay, so maybe I don't go on for that long, but you get the point. And sometimes I can get a chuckle out of a few students.  And hopefully the ones who didn't originally make the connection... now do.  And, well, some just stare blankly at me.  At least no one threw a pencil at my face?)  

During construction;
Taylor's skeleton
I let the students begin drawing out some ideas of construction, some start drawing and cutting out cardboard, and while that is happening I am basically just shouting out ways that I have problem solved my monster construction.  For example, I might shout out a "Hey, I was constructing my pieces and they seemed a bit flimsy.  So, I just cut out some extra supports to add here and there to really make sure my monster structure is super strong!"  Or I might even use another student as an example, "SOANDSO just realized that this wasn't working!  So she did XYZ and look at it now!  It's so awesome!!!"  

Once cardboard construction was moving along, I grabbed my few students who were ready and I started demonstrating papier mache with newspaper and watered down elmer's.  I talked, again, about crumpling up newspapers or whatnot to help develop the structure inside so that the skeleton wasn't so apparent once covering with newspaper.  And away they went!  Then those students helped others and really... I just got to enjoy watching them figure this all out on their own.  The one biggie that I had to keep saying about the papier mache process was to make sure to SQUEEGEE the newspaper (already dipped in glue) a LOT.  Many kids just kept on slopping it on, and their poor monsters just got soggy.  Other than that, they did a great job!

Taylor's monster papier machined standing next to student monster.

Once that structure was complete, students painted their monsters white and attached a PHYSICAL TEXTURE to their monster.  This texture could really be made out of anything.  I used paper pieces, some kids rolled up newspaper, some cut up construction paper, some used tape, etc.  It was completely up to them.  I even had a student bring in wax and apply, melt crayons, or add on sand!

Taylor's completed monster
with hat made by student.

Then we took a mini break and I we made a UNIT and VALUE unit in their sketchbooks. Check out here for the crash course in color theory and mini project I gave them in preparation for painting their monsters.

After making their mini tints and shades artwork (see unit above), students were allowed to paint their monsters using acrylic and watercolor.  I wish we had more time available on this, because it seemed a bit rushed at the end.  I would have given them a lot more painting tips and ideas.  Unfortunately, it was the end of the class and so there was a rush to get the monsters painted (because, of course, we then made an animation!).  

Let's not forget the self assessment and reflection!

At this point, we have already done a LOT of reflections in
which everything has been broken down in steps.
Now, I am asking the students to write as a full critique of their work. 

 Here is each individual monster!  Enjoy!