Sunday, December 14, 2014

Unusual Mediums for Usual Subjects

Portrait drawing...ugh.
Most students have this reaction when they learn of our unit on portraits because they feel incapable when it comes to drawing a human face realistically. So...we practice...and practice some more. We draw together, we draw with YouTube videos and we use step-by-step drawing portraits tutorials. Never mind the fact that most students have practiced portraits one way or another since 3rd grade. Still, it's not a favorite subject of most kids. Even when I mix up the mediums we use, students are still timid and unsure of their work.

This quarter, I was reintroduced to the work of Cheeming Boey. Although his cup drawings have been around for a while, I felt like his work was being pinned liked crazy lately and the more I dug into researching him, the more I wanted to connect his style and medium choices to our portrait unit. Videos showcasing his work distinctly encompass the 8 Studio Habits of Mind, and I had to share with his process with 8th grade art students.

Great videos of Boey here and here.

We began these works with sketching entire portraits using the typical method (head shape first, draw lines to mark the middle of the face, add eyes, etc). However, once we felt OK with drawing portraits in the typical way, we moved on to starting with just one eye. Boey mentions in his interviews that he doesn't necessary start with the large shapes first. We decided to do that same. We began with a detailed eye on the cup and then rest of the portrait (what we could fit anyway) fell into place.
A bordered band completed the top of the cup. We found some great inspiration here
So much fun...

The stands were created with a dowel and a small wooden circle to act as the base.  We basically punched holes in the cups and strung them on. Tissue paper adds a pop of color.

Come back soon to check out our next installment of "unusual materials for usual subjects"- Picasso Pop Can Portraits!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Picasso Pop Can Portraits- More to see!

Today, one of our favorite projects was posted on the Art of Ed. Check here for the complete lesson plan and project description. 

This unique project is a lot like middle schoolers themselves- wild, fun and unexpected! Not only are students excited to bring an empty can of their favorite soda, but they love to crush the cans into abstract face shapes. This engaging lesson easily brings together multiple facets of art making: portrait drawing, abstraction, recycled materials, perspective, pattern, and emphasis. It’s a jam-packed activity that the students love. Check out our process and finished examples below!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Moonlighting with The Art of Ed

I am very excited and honored to share the link below.

It's my first blog contribution to The Art of Ed, a site I have always admired and looked to for great ideas, practices and advice in the field of art education.


I can't wait to continue to add a middle school voice to this valuable resource. Please check out The Art of Ed if you haven't already!

There is a great online art ed conference coming up as well if you haven't registered yet...hint, hint!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Completed Calaca Collages (Day of the Dead)

Our Calaca Collage Collaboration is complete! (That's a mouthful...)

4th graders did a fabulous job starting this project off and 8th graders did a great job wrapping it up.
See completed works below.

In case you missed it, here is the outline of what we did.