"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Half a Face Drawing


This was a lesson I did with my high school class while they were online. They had to find a photo, cut in in half vertically and then re-create the other side by hand. They quite enjoyed this and it was a good warm up exercise to their next big project which involved drawing a portrait of an influential person from history. 
This project is a classic face practice drawing lesson and I do think it's really effective.
Some finished Grade 10 - 12 drawings below:

Monday, June 7, 2021

Whimsical Flower Garden Painting

I found a photo inspiration for the project on Pinterest eons ago so I don't have the direct link .
I thought it was a perfect colourful project for Spring.

Grade 6 students started by paintings a stripep background on heavy white 
paper using liquid watercolours. 

Let these dry for the next class. 

Using acrylic  paint, students paint simply stylized colourful flowers of a 
variety sizes using circle shapes.

Use dark paint to add some swirly stems and leaves and voila!


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Spring Themed Styrofoam Prints

I finally managed to get around to doing a printmaking lesson this year. I admit, it's not my favourite medium/techniques and I remember vividly it was my least favourite course in Art school (lithography and intaglio- *shudder*). Too many steps, so many materials- not my cup of tea!

But since I discovered marker styro printing, I enjoy teaching it (compared to using a brayer and ink).

For this project, each student got a small piece of styrofoam (about 4 x 6"). They traced the shape onto copy paper and drew their spring themed design on the paper. Then they cut out the paper and taped it to the Styrofoam. They traced over all the lines using a ball point pen. They remove the paper and then re-traced the incised lines to make them even deeper.

Then they coloured the piece using Crayola markers. 
They use a damp sponge and wet their printing paper (regular copy paper worked the best for us), then place their styrofoam on top and massage it really well. This will transfer the marker print. This process is trail and error, especially for Grade 4 students. You need the paper just the right dampness so it definitely takes practice.

We watched THIS tutorial in class and it was super helpful!!

Some finished Grade 4 - 6 prints:


Monday, May 17, 2021

Norval Morrisseau Style X-Ray Paintings

Norval Morrisseau, (1932 – 2007), also known as Copper Thunderbird, was an Indigenous Canadian artist from the Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek First Nation. Known as the "Picasso of the North", Morrisseau created works depicting the legends of his people, the cultural and political tensions between native Canadian and European traditions, his existential struggles, and his deep spirituality and mysticism. His style is characterized by thick black outlines and bright colors. He founded the Woodlands School of Canadian art and was a prominent member of the “Indian Group of Seven”.

Here are a couple of videos I show my students. 
I love the confident and fearless way Morrisseau worked!


Morrisseau “reveals” the souls of humans and animals through his unique “x-ray” style of imaging: Sinewy black “spirit” lines emanate, surround, and link the figures. Skeletal elements and internal organs are visible within the figures’ delineated segments.

I start off this lesson by showing Grade 6 students examples of his artwork. We discuss the subject matter, use of colour and line. We then discuss the symbolism used. 

Some examples of symbols in Morrisseau's work:
Circle - The circles in Morrisseau's work tell us about the life cycle, the sun, the moon and directions (North, South, East, West). 
Energy Lines - You can see them extending from the hand or the body of a figure. Sometimes they are connected ... sometimes they are alone or isolated.
Eyes - Large eyes that see all can be found in Morrisseau's work. These eyes are a symbol of a shaman or medicine man.
X-Ray - This is a style attributed to Morrisseau. The X-Ray technique shows the interior as well as the exterior of a figure. The various parts of a body for example are expressed with different colors and lines. 

 Have your students choose a subject for their painting - a fish, a bird, a turtle, etc. You could have them choose animals native to your local region. Students then sketch the outline of their subject on their paper. Next, students should think about the interior of their subject - the energy and emotion inside. Students can then draw lines (using ink, crayons, oil sticks, oil pastels etc), colors (using paint, oil pastels, cut up paper etc.) and shapes inside the subject ... the more the better. Let imagination take over as the paper is filled with paint. 

*You can also try this lesson using crayons, markers or pencil crayons instead of paint.

"Family of Birds", Norval Morrisseau  

Because of time constraints, we made our versions using dark brown tempera paint. Morriseau did some black and white paintings, so I showed these as well. 
Next year I will try full on colour versions. 


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