Friday, June 26, 2015

Lesson: Stencil Me Sketchbook Cover

This summer I am pleased to say that I am teaching summer school!  (#summaskool)
I'm teaching one Design Concepts class (like an art survey) and one Drawing 1.  They are 2 1/2 hours each, which I am LOVING!  Talk about some excellent studio time! 

I structured the the Design Concepts based on the same foundational curriculum that my colleague, Matt Milkowski, and I have developed over the years.  Using our amazing sketchbook setup that we've developed and now presented at NAEA NOLA this past spring, I start with our media exploration unit (see other posts on sketchbook covers) developing our first artwork, the sketchbook cover.  

In this unit, we practice a variety of media techniques as usual, however I've been wanting to do a stencil project for FOR-E-VER, and just haven't found the right "audience."  This time, I was inspired by the Art Teachers Facebook Page in which one teacher posted stencil artwork done in a middle school class.  In this, the teacher had posted photos of the work, and a link to the books of stencils he had used for layering patterns.  

So, I swiped that idea!  Of course I did!  But I also had my students create their own stencil and a media ground.  We brainstormed ways to show different emotions or feelings, (bored, angry, thoughtful, elated) and the students had their photo taken demonstrating a particular chosen emotion.  I then did a little research on the best way to make a stencil... thank you PINTEREST!  I found a link on how to change the photo in Photoshop (funny, because I'm pretty savvy with Photoshop, but did not think to use the threshold adjustment!), and so took a teensy bit of time displaying each kids' photo on the big screen while playing with the threshold.  The kids were mesmerized!  I then printed out their photo per the size requested, students graphite transferred the image onto tagboard.  Once transferred, the students cleaned it up and checked stability (i.e. bridges!).  I gave my usual exact knife tutorial and schpeel (don't put your hand HERE or I will be taking you to the ER and there will be lots of blood splurging EVERYWHERE and I will get fired.) and the students precisely cut out their stencils.  Then, based on their emotion, students create a media ground (their choice of watercolor techniques, text art, collage, color pencil, or mark making, etc.).  

Then, we go to town spray painting outside!  Making sure to work in partners, blue tape down their paper to cardboard, hold down the stencil, shake the can, spray at about 60 degree angle to the paper, about 8" away, and spray continuously and smoothly... not like spraying your hair!  

When completed, I had the students leave their artwork out for a day to "off gas" before laminating to their sketchbook with packing tape.  (I didn't want any weird science experiment happening between the freshly painted and the tape.)  

Here are the results!  Enjoy!

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