Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lesson: Monogrammed Sketchbook Cover

As mentioned in my Bad Hair Day post, the structure of this year's Art Survey curriculum changed.  We really wanted to make the sketchbook covers FIRST (last year we did them after the first quarter as mentioned in my post about the Elements and Identity Sketchbook Cover).  This was great because I got to see what my kids can do, how they follow directions, and they end up with a product that is their own style and protects their sketchbooks for the remainder of the year (hopefully)!  

We were inspired by this little find on the interwebs... but as I had already planned on the Bad Hair Day project, I didn't want to do something too similar.  We decided to use this as Unit 1:  Media!  We explored various types of media, compositional techniques, positive and negative space, and contrast.  

We devised this media exploration by making 2"x 2" mini samples of each technique that we discussed (markmaking, text, collage, watercolor- wash, graded wash, color bleed, ink blow, stamp/stipple, spatter), and then larger 12" x 9" for students to use to for their project (what I like to call the Media Pages).

This is my finished example...
Then, once we had all these Media Pages in our bank, students chose a font from a packet we gave them, and what initials or letters and size they wanted to use to create their cover.  I printed out the letters for the students, then showed them how to do a graphite transfer of their letters onto their media page of choice.  Students learned how to precisely cut out their letters using scissors and excellent craftsmanship.  They glued either the positive or negative space of pages together and included a border.  Lastly, we laminated the covers using packing tape.  (We also added their name plates from the beginning of the year as bookmarks, and little tabs to the sides of the pages for each unit... you might notice those too!)

Some challenges:  Contrast... even though we talked about contrast a TON (warm/cool colors, light/dark values, color/no color, texture, size, etc.), you will notice that not all students really applied that.  
Border:  not all students put in a border, but others adapted the idea of a border, which I also accepted.  

In general this was a great project and I would definitely do it again.  Students seemed really engaged in creating these.  

Here are some student examples!

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