Exquisite Corpse

I always love watching the student’s excitement with it comes to the unveiling of the “Exquiste Corpse” project. In my first drawing class in college, we did this as a warm up activity.
Step 1: fold your paper I two thirds
Step 2: each student draws a head of any kind of creature in the top portion. It does not have to even be a living thing. The more create, the better turn out.
Step 3: each student must extend where their neck ends into the next section so that when you fold it, the head is hidden and all that remains in the middle section is two lines at the top. This helps students to know where to connect the torso and not see anything on the head portion. It’s very important to do this!
Step 4: shuffle all papers and fold them so all they see is the middle portion. Remind them constantly not to peek. (one still will) Have the students create any kind of torso imaginable. Make sure they then extend where the torso ends in the torso ends in the next section.
Step 5: Reshuffle and retold. Pass out and have student draw any kind of legs. One of my favorite turn outs was a student who drew a lamp with a genie tail coming out. It’s amazing what these kids come up with!
Last: unveil the masterpieces!





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“Outside of the box” Clay Box!

Although we are mid-summer, I wanted to reflect on an amazing turn out of a clay assignment for my advanced art students this past year. We introduced clay through tiles and cups. They focused on proper detail of the tools … Continue reading

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Watercolor Still Life!


Theres nothing better than learning the fundamentals of drawing and working with a new media by using a traditional still life! With great apple prices before break, the Art I students and I discussed setting up an interesting composition in our first step- our drawing.
The students drew lightly, focusing on space and placement. I always make sure my kids are aware of making a drawing interesting through cropping and off centering

We warmed up with watercolor next by practicing with layers of colors to form darker layers and maintain highlights. We created swatches of values for color mixing, practiced with salt and alcohol for added texture, and eventually practiced one apple on a separate paper and incorporated the 

20140103-201155.jpgtechniques taught. 

Many had a tendency to overwork their apple with their first start to using the paint. I find my best results are by constant process over product. Although its tedious and takes up a lot of time away from working, the outcome is so much more appreciated.  The students learned from their warm up to work very lightly


throughout their final composition page, moving from apple to apple.  We are able to let areas dry before working over it again, as well as see what areas are further away that need more versus another for a better perspective of space.  What a beautiful turnout!




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Image transfer!

I sent out an email to my coworkers asking if anyone had any clear transparencies. Within an hour my mailbox was full of unused boxes
of transparencies that were happy to leave a classroom storage! They are so useful in art!20140103-133607.jpg

My 8th graders and I created multiple sketches with these categories: a scientific specimen, shoes, and snacks. They had to create their sketches using just line and crosshatching in various sizes and positions. These drawings were then traced with thin and thick sharpies on the transparencies.
We created a back

ground of our collage with printmaking paper, acrylic paint, and old gift cards. We scraped various colors of paint with the gift card to spread thin layers across our paper. Bubble wrap and card board make for great printed textures, too!

Using matte medium we arranged our cut out drawings so various images overlapped then used it like paint and 

20140103-133618.jpgbrushed it underneath and on top of the transparency drawings to stick to the background surface. We painted an emphasis color with paint underneath a few images for an extra pop!

Another great way to transfer images is through a way I never expected. Draw in a sketchbook and make multiple copies witha copier machine. Cut the images and cover with stripes of overlapped clear packaging tape on top of the inked side. Soak the image in a bucket tray of water for a few minutes. You will see the paper of the image deteriorate. Rub the paper off and the ink stays on the tape!

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Wayne Thiebaud Painterly Paintings!

Wayne Thiebaud, an American painter, helped us to learn about Pop Art and a new palette knife painting technique for Advanced Art!
We reviewed and analyzed his various paintings on a Prezi presentation on Pop Art- http://prezi.com/cb-guvjbtoyw/present/?auth_key=p7s5nej&follow=rfozfeibi1tg&kw=present-cb-guvjbtoyw&rc=ref-48994887

Then, each student receieved a strawberry, a palette knife, palette, acrylic paint, and a small brush. They drew their strawberry on their painting and begin to incorporate the bumpy texture by lifting their palette knife on a small pool of paint, and spreading darker and lighter values without fully blending it in. This helps give the implied texture affect that Thiebaud incorporates in his desserts.
Below is an example:


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Native American History Month, Watercolor 8th Grade Assignment!


November has commenced along side Native American History month! 8th graders have been working on the process of watercolor before being set ‘flight’ to the feather watercolor study of our first watercolor project!

We started by dividing a half sheet of 18×24 watercolor paper and folding it until 8 equal squares are divided on the page.
With the ELMO as a technological demonstration device to project onto the screen, I led the class through wash, blending, graded wash, salt, rubbing alcohol, dry brush, lift, and resist techniques in each square.

The next day we worked more on blending and value with watercolors. For example, we applied red swatches near another primary color, yellow, then blended together on the paper to create orange. We did this to make each secondary color. We then reflected a value scale of various colors of choice, reflecting light to dark. Our last effect was to use the tip of the brush lightly to create thin, detailed lines.

For the next three days we will be practicing painted feathers from observation! The first one was a little, flat and fuzzy, but practice of the process makes for better work! More to follow!

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Going to do this for sure!

Please Don't Eat the Artwork

This project is a great S.T.E.M. connection. I was inspired by Artwithmsgram’s Tessellation Monsters.

We began by learning all about M. C. Escher and his famous tessellations. Students found inspiration in the bold, graphic quality of his work and began “sketching” on iPads using the wonderful app iOrnament. This app is really cool because there are options for colors and line thickness as well as many choices for tiling or tessellating. I had originally wanted to use another app which didn’t work out but thanks to iPad Art Room I was able to find another option. The kids came up with some really creative designs!

GetAttachment (21)

They took a screenshot of their favorite concept and emailed it to me. I have compiled all of the designs class by class into albums on Imgur. That way, the kids can access their work from any computer and check out what their classmates…

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