"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, June 30, 2012

Klimt Gold Patterns Collage

I found this lesson, by Art teacher Kris Fontes from Union City High School, on the Incredible Art Department site and it's since become one of my all-time favourite lessons to teach. I find that all students have a high success rate with this project.

In this project, students create an elegant drawing in the ornamental, decorative and luxurious style of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt. Instead of gold scratchboard, as used in the original lesson on the IAD site, we simply used gold markers and gel pens on black paper.

You need fairly simple materials for this: magazines and/or printer, scissors, glue sticks, black paper, and gold pens/markers and books/images of Klimt's work.

I start off by showing a slideshow of Klimt's work and talk a bit about the Art Nouveau movement. Have students describe the patterns and colours used.

From Wikipedia:

Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) was an Austrian Symbolist painter. His major works include paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects. Klimt's primary subject was the female body. He is most famous for his “Golden Phase” where he used gold leaf in his paintings. 

The Kiss, 1907-08
 "Whoever wants to know something about me – as an artist which alone is significant – they should look attentively at my pictures and there seek to recognize what I am and what I want." (Gustav Klimt)

Adele Bloch-Bauer's Portrait, 1907  
(sold for a record $135 million in 2006)

First find a nice large picture in a magazine of a figure that has some flesh showing- a head and arms, or whatever. I told the students to look for lots of photos and then choose the best from the bunch. It does take some time to find just the right image.
Some students wanted a particular person, so they found a photo on the internet and printed it out. The quality wasn't as nice as a magazine photo, though.

Carefully cut out the figure from the background:

Place your figure on the black paper and carefully and lightly trace around it with a pencil.

This is so you'll know where to re-glue the parts in the next step.

Now, cut away all the clothing.

Then glue down, using a glue stick, all the 'flesh' parts. Use your traced guidelines 
to help place all the pieces in the right spot.

Now, students are going to design patterns for the clothing and patterns for the background.
One pattern needed to be quite dense and complex, while the other could be simpler, so as to create contrast. Students designed their patterns first in their sketchbooks.

For the good copy, we used two types of gold pens: one thin (Staedtler brand) and a thick one (I bought a bunch from the Dollar store- they were surprisingly good quality I have to say!). 

Here are some Grade 9 results:

And some Grade 10 results:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sliced Fruit Drawings

Here's a sketchbook assignment from a Grade 10 class- they had to draw, from direct observation, any type of fruit which had been sliced in some manner. They could use any medium to draw with but most chose either coloured pencils or pencil. Oranges and apples were the most popular fruits to draw. 
Fruit still life's are such a classic subject matter to draw.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Faith Ringgold Style Story Quilts

This is a project based on the art of contemporary American artist Faith Ringgold.  I based this project loosely on the lesson plan posted here on the Project ARTiculate website.

My Grade 7 classes first looked at photo examples of Faith's story quilts and then looked at her book "Tar Beach".  She creates folk-art style acrylic paintings with a quilted fabric border which illustrate her childhood memories growing up in Harlem.
She also includes words in her artwork by writing on her quilt with black Sharpies.

Faith Ringgold, "Tar Beach"

Students were asked to think of a childhood memory- something they would be able to draw- it could be anything- a favourite holiday, vacation, a simple family event or tradition, etc. 
They practiced drawing their composition first in their sketchbooks.

I had pre-photocopied large paper (11x17") with a thick border. It just saves time, but you could also have students measure their own border if you want to use thicker paper. The border is for the faux quilt part.

Student first drew their stories inside the border with pencil.

Then coloured then with either markers or pencil crayons (press hard!)

I had pre-cut squares (1 per student) of tagboard to be used as tracers for the patterned border.

To create their quilt-like border, students went through magazines and looked for interesting textures/patterns/ etc and traced around the square template and cut them out. Most students just chose random photos, but you could encourage a colour theme (only warm or cool colours, for example)
I'm wondering if you could do this with actual fabrics, but in my experience you need really sharp scissors to cut fabric, and then it frays, etc, etc. Maybe with colored felt??
Patterned scrapbook paper would look pretty, too.

Glue these onto your border- use white glue with a paintbrush because I found those that used a gluestick (which I originally told them to do), well, those tended to peel off easily.

When the border's all glued down and dried, use a fine point Sharpie and draw on little "stitch" marks to make it all look quilt-y. Students were also asked (some forgot) to write a sentence around the inside border describing what is happening in their story quilt.  It adds a lovely, personal touch. Some of the stories are really funny and cute. Finally, students mounted them to larger colored construction paper for a nice border. 

Ta da!

"Me punching a clown when I was 6!" lol
An encounter with a creepy clown at a carnival. That's always traumatizing.

A family vacation to Venice and being lost.

Driving in his uncle's Lamborghini in Los Angeles.

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