"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.
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LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I acknowledge, with deep respect, that I am gathered on Treaty 7 territory. I acknowledge the many First Nations, M├ętis and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands for generations. I respect the histories, languages and cultures all the Indigenous peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our community.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Warm/Cool Watercolour Grid

This is a watercolour project I recently taught to a Grade 8 class.  It is useful for reviewing warm and cool colours as well as for learning how to use watercolours in a controlled way.  Here's how we made these:

First, students measured a grid onto their white paper- I think I encouraged a 3cm size square, but to accomodate students who need more help, they can use a larger size.  Some students chose to go smaller. So measure out the lines with a ruler in one direction....

Then the same size in the other direction and you have a nice grid.

Draw a design on top- I encouraged fairly simple shapes (or a shape) that filled the paper nicely.

This student chose more than one shape.

Then, using watercolours, students needed to decide on either warm or cool colours for the background and then the opposite for the shape(s).  Colours need to be transparent, so add lots of water when you mix them.  Move around the paper- don't work on squares side-by-side as you run the risk of having colours 'bleed' into each other.

For the watercolour brands, I use two types to get an even wider variety of colours: Prang and the Russian brand Yarka (student grade).  I prefer the Prang brand, though, and they are much cheaper.

Here are some of the results: Ta da!

This student chose a methodical pattern of colours.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Face Drawing

I recently finished a face drawing project with my Grade 8's. This is the first year I've taught this class, so I started from the basics and had students copy facial features from magazine photos. We started with eyes, (I did a demo on the board for each feature), then the nose, then the mouth and finally ears and hair. 
I then go through the basics of proportions.

For the photos to use as reference, we went to to the computer lab to choose portraits to print off.  I encourage kids to choose front facing photos with fairly neutral expressions- this is easier for beginners, in my opinion.
Print out full size photos so kids can really observe the details of the face and understand the proportions.

I find this age group is really ready to draw realistic faces are are very engaged with this project.
We drew the good copies in pencil and tortillons (blending stumps) were available for students who like to blend with these.

Here's some sketchbooks showing facial features practice:

Noses- less is more.

Working on their good copies...

I was really happy with the results- the class really worked hard on these.
Ta da!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cubist Drawings

This is a fun Cubism lesson that I modified from the lesson found on The Art Fairy's blog.

My Grade 9 students chose their own subject matter and used colored pencils for the media. First, we looked at examples of Analytical Cubism by Picasso and discussed his use of fracturing and gradations of colour from light to dark.

Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Wilhelm Uhde, 1910

Students started by drawing a large, fairly simple image in the center of their paper.

Then they cut out a simple shape, which may or may not be somehow related to their chosen subject,
out of cardstock.

They traced this shape all over their design in order to break-up or 'fracture' the image.
Below you can see this student used a skull for her main subject, and a bone shape to break it up.

Then, using coloured pencils, students chose their colours and practiced creating gradations from light to dark- simply vary the pressure of the coloured pencil.

Testing colours out to see which look good together.

Then start colouring each section- change colours when you encounter a line.

This takes time and patience but the results are well worth it.
Ta da!

Friday, April 22, 2011

'Zoomed' Abstract Drawing

This is a new art lesson I recently did with my Grade 10/11 class.  It's an introduction to creating abstract art through the use of a viewfinder to 'zoom' in and crop an element of a doodle. 
I found the lesson plan, by Art teacher Robyn Briggs, here.

So first I had students create a detailed and elaborate 'doodle' page in their sketchbook in Sharpie.

Finished doodle...

Then students cut out a little viewfinder from an index card and looked around their doodle for an interesting composition that they would later enlarge to create their abstract design.
When they found the perfect spot, they taped down the viewfinder.

Here's a close-up:

They drew these designs onto a larger sheet of good quality, smooth, black paper. It's essential to have smooth paper as the oil pastels just work better on paper with no 'tooth' or texture.
Students were told to mix colors and create blended gradations (going from light to dark). As well, they were encouraged to lay down the oil pastel in a thick layer in order to be able to more easily blend colors together. I found the kids either liked or hated the oil pastels- some found them really difficult to control, others just seemed to get a handle on the medium much more easily. 

Here are some finished results: Ta da!

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