Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lesson 5: Lino Prints and Illuminated Letters

Intermediate Drawing and Painting, grades 9-10

This project was a short "unit" on Block Printmaking. The students first practiced cutting and
printing with very small pieces of old linoleum blocks. Then, they were to draw a letter using decorative linework or a creative/narrative scene based on their letter. They then transfer these to their blocks, and carve. Once carved, the students would print a practice print, then 3 prints each. Their best print, they would then "Illuminate" using a medium of their choice to create emphasis on their letter. Students were assessed on their carving quality, their printing quality, their illumination quality, as well as their design to create unified, balanced piece that emphasized their letter.

When creating this lesson, I had high hopes. However, due to time constraints, I don't feel that the students really took their time with this project. Much of the printing quality was below par simply because I feel that they rushed the process. If I felt under time pressure next time around, I would let the project linger on longer, overlapping another project and keeping the students in groups to print. Their blocks were also larger than I would have used in this time constraint. Good to know for next time! (Their small practice prints came out much better, and I hope to have photos of those to post!)

Regardless, students had about 5 days to draw, print, and illuminate. Here's what they came up with!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


COMPUTER ART: Grades 9-12

Again, I borrowed the premise of this lesson from my professor at DePaul University (Thanks
again, Prof. Sikes!). In this assignment, the students learned how to use the pen tool in
Photoshop to create specific selections. This project turned out the be an excellent jumping off point into Illustrator for the Coloring Book Project (I will post this one very soon!). I worked with the students introducing the pen tool, demonstrating a few easy techniques, and
then I worked on the big screen as students practiced along on their own, creating a rubber ducky scene. (I forgot my audience, however, and many asked if they could use a White Sox hat instead! Oops!)

After two days of learning and practicing the pen tool and all the cool basics that we can do with paths, I introduced our larger project: SOCIAL DADA! We discussed the Dada movement, saw various types of artwork from that period, and then explored what it means to have a topic that is SOCIALLY RELEVANT. I thought that the students would struggle with the Pen tool and creating Paths- on the contrary, they seemed to have a little more difficulty understanding what a socially relevant theme could be. Once we brainstormed and specified that idea, students had a better understanding to be able to choose a topic of their choice to create a Computer Collage in the Dada style. We specifically looked at Hannah Hoch for inspiration; her work lended itself to great discussions on symbolism and meaning as we tried to pick apart some of her pieces.

Along with this project, I had students write a two page, double spaced reflection paper in which they needed to discuss their theme, who it affects, how they personally feel about the topic, all the while describing their visual images they chose and how they put them together to create meaning, using the Elements and Principles of Design. Although there was moaning and groaning, I found this to be an incredibly beneficial piece to add into this assignment. It not only helped clarify the artwork for the students' sakes, but also gave me important insight into their ideas, allowing me to gain perspective as well as being able to give helpful feedback on how to visually convey their thoughts more clearly.

All in all, the students had about two weeks to create their artwork, and I believe they did a really fabulous job!

Photos to come!