"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.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Exercises

Millions of people around the world have learned to draw using the methods outlined in Dr. Betty Edwards’s groundbreaking book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Betty Edwards (born 1926 in San Francisco, California) is an American art teacher.

Edwards's method of drawing and teaching was revolutionary when she published it in 1979. It received an immediate positive response, and is now widely accepted by artists, teachers, and others around the world. Underlying the method is the notion that the brain has two ways of perceiving and processing reality – one verbal and analytic, the other visual and perceptual. Edwards' method advocates suppressing the former in favor of the latter. It focuses on disregarding preconceived notions of what the drawn object should look like, and on individually "seeing". Drawing, says Edwards, has five component skills of perception and drawing:

Edges and lines (includes copying drawings and contour drawing exercises)
Negative space (i.e. space between items)
Relationships (i.e. perspective and proportion between things)
Light and shadows (shading)
The whole: gestalt which emerges as the first four are taught 

I bought the workbook as I was interested to see if I could use these methods to teach my students. 
We did the following exercises and I was really surprised at how well they turned out!  
This was Grades 7-9 students. 

One exercise is a simple observational drawing of the hand holding an object. 
First they used a black marker:

Then in pencil

Chair drawing
FOCUS: Understanding Relationships: Positive and Negative Spaces:

Try it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybS_GreHWm4&ab_channel=LeviJones

Exercise One: Drawing Upside Down

One of the exercises in Betty Edwards' wonderful book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is to copy a sketch of Picasso's "Portrait of Igor Stravinsky" but draw it upside down. The point of the exercise is to draw what we actually see and to discourage us from om focusing on recognizable shapes that our brain interprets from its stored concept of that shape. 

Before you can draw accurately, you have to observe accurately.

One of Ms. Edwards’ teaching methods is to simply flip a picture upside down.

This creates a minor disruption in our left brain’s ability to insert assumptions, “OH THAT’S A FACE!" and we’re more apt to actually SEE the shapes in front of us. And tah dah! Students draw with more accuracy.
These were all drawn upside down!

Another upside down drawing exercise:

"Man Reading the Bible" by Van Gogh


Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Christmas Watercolour Cards for Animal Shelter

One of my Grade 12 art students runs a watercolour cards class with me. She's a very talented watercolour painter and wanted to give back to the younger grades and the community by co-teaching this class with me. It's called "Watercolor Cards for the Community." We make painted cards for different groups in our community. For December, we chose a cat rescue organization located in a small town just outside our city. 

Here are some of the cute cards that our Grade 7 - 9 students made: 

Here are some of the rescue cats I volunteer with after work!

More cat pics because they are just so darn cute!


Thursday, December 22, 2022

Puffy Paint Christmas Art

I had my current Grade 8 class way back when they were in Grade 2. Back then, we did the puffy paint ghost project (see HERE). To this day, they bring up this project and beg to do it again. So this week, they begged to do puffy paint Christmas art. Being the last week before break, I, along with other teachers, am utterly exhausted. I gave them the ingredients and told them to go for it themselves. So they organized themselves, mixed up batches, colored them with liquid watercolours, and created these charming artworks. 

Puffy paint recipe: 50/50 parts shaving cream and white glue. Mix together in a bowl. That's it!


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