Monday, February 2, 2015

Lesson: Recipe for Contours

some for me... some for the littles.
Recipe for Change?  Recipe for Disaster?  Nope... recipe for CONTOUR DRAWINGS!  Yeah, yeah... I'm a nerd.  (Small tangent... during my most recent interview I was asked to provide three words my students would use to describe me and "CHEESY" was one.)  

Coming up with something a little different for my contour drawings I headed back on over to dear ol' Pinterest for some inspiration.  I found this artwork (the one with the pepper/oliveoil/garlic) that I added to my "Today's Agenda."  I thought... hey!  Great idea!  Let's combine some contour still life action with our special family recipe!!  So... that's what we are going to do.  

We first practiced contour drawing in our sketchbooks.  Blind continuous of our neighbors... then contour drawings of our shoes (yes, I think that's something that every drawing teacher has done, but they are so cool!) on 12" x 18" paper.  In that, they practiced contour drawing, overlapping objects, using compositional techniques, applying line weight.  During this week of practice, we continued warm-ups through blind contour.  We filled a two-page spread of our hands and the next day filled the negative space with stream of conscious writing, and some shading.  
My unfinished example of
our two day warm-ups.  
By the end of the week, students were to bring in a family recipe (which of course makes their artwork so much more personal... but not all students want to participate in that... so of course I keep a cook book handy just in case.)  By the following Monday, students are to bring in 3 food items or cooking tools to create a still life. From that, they practice like crazy in their sketchbooks... and then time for the real thing!  I have some colored paper for them to choose from, or they could create their own ground.  The decide how they want to compose their recipe and contour drawing.  Remember to go back and include a variety of line weight, and maybe some other refinements to their piece (like maybe some shading, or other drawings, or text art... and definitely erasing of extraneous pencil marks!).  

Here are MY examples... I'll post theirs when they are finished this week!

Took a quick snapshot of the mini "still life."

Lesson: Sketchbook Covers: I AM HERE

Lesson:  I AM HERE (Cartography Sketchbook Covers)

I suppose one of the benefits to having semester long classes is that I get to now double-up my sketchbook covers.  Hmmm... well, maybe that's a plus. Currently I am teaching Drawing 1 and I've always wanted to do a map project.  So here I go... a Cartography Cover: I AM HERE!  (A two and a half week project... actually about three thanks to cold weather days off...)

I started out the semester discussing how I wanted to utilize the sketchbooks in this class.  Instead of using it as a super organizing tool, I wanted the kids to feel as though it was their journal, their space, to think and create and write, and draw.  This was to be their visual journal.  

Assessment Rubric;
Reflection on the back-
students have to explain the
steps they took to creating their
artwork, describe one success,
one challenge, and one
thing they'd do differently. 
In the first week we started out talking about exploration of media and types of drawing.  They explored watercolors to create a variety of grounds in their sketchbooks.  Then, they chose a watercolor method to create the ground for their map.  We talked about a types of maps:  topographic, constellation, population, precipitation, brain maps.  SO MANY MAPS!  The students researched maps that interested them both for informational and visual purposes.  Once they created their grounds, students were to explore lines (geometric, organic, dashed, dotted, line weight, etc.) to create their maps.  Then, they developed their work using shading and inking techniques, while including imagery and lettering.  Students chose a silhouette to graphite transfer and cut, and found an interesting and contrasting background for their silhouette.  We talked about possibilities for their artwork and their front/back covers of their sketchbooks playing with positive and negative space.  Finally, they quiet critiqued (a form of a moveable written critique) their in progress work and refined.  When finished, the students self assessed and reflected.  We laminated their work with packing tape (again, with the tape!!).  
Back Cover using the Negative Space
My Front Cover Example...

Here are some of the students'  finished works:

Front Cover
Back Cover

Front Cover
Back Cover

Lesson: Sketchbook Covers- Initial Reaction

My example... they keep getting crazier and crazier...
Check out my previous posts about sketchbook covers.  This time, I changed it up a little and added in a packing tape transfer.  The students were to interact with their letters or with themselves on the cover.  Teacher work: I had to take the photos of the kids, print out a specific size, which I had them specify in their thumbnail sketch handout.  More and more and more packing tape.  I just can't get enough!  Maybe I should buy some stock... 

Oh... and I changed up my media exploration to have them create their text art ON TOP of one of their watercolor pages.  They LOVED that... 

Student examples of the Text Art Watercolor Page

Student Sketchbook Cover Examples

Lesson: Contour Wire Sculptures

You know what?  I don't think I've ever had students applaud me after a demonstration.  But it happened.  It happened in both of my drawing classes this semester while demonstrating blind contour drawing.  I have the kids crowd around and I choose a student to draw.  While drawing, they are mes.mer.ized.  AND the kids want me to sign the artwork and keep it to hang on their walls at home.  Creepy?  Strange?  Whatever... I'll take it!
I'll be posting soon about my most recent contour project in drawing.  But for now, here are the wire contour sculptures I did with the Design Concepts class last semester.  The kids practiced continuous line contour drawing.  Then used a single wire to create the sculpture (as I think I posted previously about a similar project I taught at Kenwood Academy).  While some students were waiting to get wire cut for them, they used color pencils to emphasize their drawings through value.  Not the best, I'll admit.  I mean, I could have taken this further, and better, but for a small exercise, I think it was okay.  Here are the results (photos taken while grading at home...):