Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lesson 9: Carnival Posters

Computer Art: Grades 9-12

In this project, I had students use their earlier developed Carnival Character that they created in Photoshop (they had to create a carnival sideshow character using themselves, and loosely basing it on their identity while exploring the Elements and Principles of Design). They embedded these Photoshop creations into Illustrator and using their new Illustrator skills, the students created a poster. Students explored visual communication with text and visual/decorative elements, as well as balance and focus in order to SELL us their character show.

Here are just a few of their posters. Enjoy!

Lesson 8: Coloring Books

Computer Art: Grades 9-12

Thanks to the previous Hannah Hoch Photomontage project, students already had
become familiar with using the pen tool to create paths in Photoshop. So, transitioning into Illustrator was fairly easy for these students! In this project, the students applied their skills with the pen tool to create closed paths to create a class coloring book. In each class, we brainstormed topics, then voted as a class. Students then chose a specific page of their own, signing up so there were no repeats. As you can see, we had a class that chose monsters, one that chose movies, and one that chose super heroes and villains. After an intense project on Socially Relevant topics, the class was pretty happy to be choosing something fun and silly. They learned how to divide paths, reflect and rotate, as well as learning about fill and stroke. We worked as a class for 2 days to draw and fill an illustrated Lion (for Lyons Township!) before the kids were set free to work on their coloring book pages. Requirements included having a background of some sort, using at least 3 different stroke weights, and a filled and no filled page.

Here are just a FEW- I'll post more later! Enjoy.

Lesson (UNIT) 7: Ceramic Scuplture: "Mini Totems" and "Retablos- personal shrines"

Introduction to Ceramics: Grades 11-12

In this class, I worked with the students to throw on the wheel and create coil and drape mold projects. However, I was able to develop my own unit on sculpture! This was a 3 week unit (which kind of went into 4, overlapping due to firing schedules) discussing 3 dimensional form, relief carving, additive and subtractive sculpting techniques, and also, of course, including a brief discussion on various types of sculpture.

The first project I gave them was to help them start to
think about ceramic sculpture in nonfunctional and symbolic terms. This first project was
inspired by the Totem Poles! In this, the students were to create a Miniature Totem Pole, using 5 characters that represent someone in their Clan. For example, they could
represent the members of their family, their friends, their classmates, etc. And of course, they needed to have one piece that represented themselves. In this project, students were introduced to some historical and
demographic information and images on Totem Poles as well as symbolism and design
qualities. In this practice project, students explored symbolism to represent the individual members, while practicing additive and subtractive sculpture.

For the BIG project, students applied their new knowledge and skills to create slab Retablos. These are portable altars reflecting each student's identity inspired by the Peruvian Retablos. Here, students used slab construction to create the "shell" and then used low and high relief carving as well as additive sculpture to convey their identity using symbolism or a narrative.

After they were fired once, we chose acrylics to paint the Retablos. Acrylics were difficult for most students- and we only had 2-3 days to paint the retablos because of timing at the end of the year. I could definitely see myself using this lesson again, but for a longer time line for students to really develop the conceptual side to these pieces.

Here's what some students created. Enjoy!

Lesson 6: Acrylic Collages


For the final
project,the students explored acrylic paints. For a quick exploratory study, I had the students create small candy still lifes, and then using CanvasPaper, they explored acrylics, techniques, and various acrylic medium (soft gel, pumice, molding paste, etc). They had 3 days to paint these quick studies.

Next, the students created collages from magazines or internet research. From these, the students gridded the collages, gridded their
canvases, and draw/paint from their references. The students had 2.5 weeks to complete
these paintings (16" x 20"). My biggest hurtle with this class was to get them to move FASTER! Some students brought the canvases home to work on, but the majority were not even drawing until 4 days in! YIKES! I had them bring in their collages by the end of their still life studies, but only about 3-4 had them ready to go. Unfortunately, this class wasn't too motivated by grades, so I kept on encouraging (and nagging) them to have their collages in, and to be drawing to really maximize the amount of time they'd have to paint, in order to create a fabulous work of art. Their collages, on the whole, were interesting. I had to work more individually with some to create a more interesting
composition. What I left my student teaching with (in this project) was a lot of incomplete canvases. My cooperating teacher offered them the opportunity to take it home this past weekend for more credit.... we'll see how many actually take her up on it. Another hurtle
with this class was getting them to actually work from their reference. Many students forgot to bring in their collages on a consistent basis, or just didn't pull it out. It took a lot of reminders from me to get them to "Not work from your mind!" I reiterated that even I, who have been painting for as long as they've been alive, need to have a reference in order to make the work cleaner, crisper, stronger. "Even when I work abstractly, I have references!" I told them. They often changed their collages on the canvas along the way, also. I tried to reinforce the idea that "Once you have a good strong drawing, you can then work the paint! You certainly don't want to be worrying about the drawing and composition once you're in the painting mode. You'll have enough to worry and think about while painting- like mixing colors, techniques, textures- that you don't want to clutter your mind with all the subsequent processes!" That only worked on some. :) Ahhh, students.

Here are some of the photos of the paintings from that class- some more finished than others, obviously. Enjoy!