Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The VALUE of Tints and Shades

I hope you laughed at my art joke!  I started teaching this lesson plan last year...this semester I made some major changes...with pleasing results, finally!  Students in the past painted half the background and where we mixed 5 tints and 5 shades of any color, this time we mixed only 3 of each and used only pre-mixed secondary colors.   I really like the collage-only background, it pulls the composition together nicely:)
 This project was only 2-3 50 minutes sessions!  Each task- cutting shapes, mixing tints and shades, collaging the background, was doable for all but the most distracted IS spring after all!  Students seem to like projects with a "right or wrong" outcome like color mixing.  I think the concrete-ness is comfortable.
We used phonetics to help us remember what a tint was and what a shade was... tint and white both have "i" as the vowel, shade and black both have "a".

I originally adapted this from a dick blick lesson plan but eliminated/substituted the fancy-dancy materials for what I had...small pieces of cardstock donated by a local print shop (for the background) and tempera paint instead of acrylic!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Just a BASIC Saturday!

I am really enjoying the blogging process, BTW.  It's great to share the positive experiences I come upon while teaching. thing is missing.  YOUR COMMENTS:)  Please tell me what's on your mind!  Or just say hello.  Or whatever!  Better yet, follow the blog AND comment!  Ya' know, in between lesson planning, hanging artwork, and teaching...

Anywho,I just spent the BEST Saturday ever (well a close second, my wedding will be on a Saturday this summer, hopefully that will rock too!)  at the Cleveland Institute of Art taking part in their BASIC workshop... For a mere $50 I got to hang out with ART TEACHERS from the area was fed breakfast, lunch and wine/cheese! and learned about low relief tiles from one of CIA's finest:)  How cool is that?!  I met some great people, got to swap stories and make art on my day off.  I was really in 7th heaven.  Here are a couple pix, I am kicking myself that I didn't bring my camera to document the process!
The original clay tile.

The negative impression left once my tile popped out.  This sucker is HEAVY.  solid plaster!

The instructor, Amy, and Val were great, super approachable and down to earth!  Amy even offered to help me with firing up my kiln (I am a wee bit nervous of burning the school down).
I think the process of making low relief tiles in volume from a mold would really be a great set of skills for an upper level high school art class...Basically, you make a sandwich of 3 (ish) layers of clay : cutting into the clay exposing the lower layers to create a relief design.  Then you pour a plaster mold around it and pull the sandwich o'clay out reusing the mold for as many clay tiles as you care to pop out!  I didn't exactly follow the format of the layers, instead I did more carving.  Amy recommended the book Handmade Tiles by Frank Georgini for detailed information on the process.
Learned some tips for mold making and plaster pouring for sure!  I can't wait to attend the next workshop:)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Breaks are great...spring break, winter break, thanksgiving, we ALL need to recharge.  BUT returning from break can be something of an ordeal.  I think the transition from home to school after more than a weekend away is especially rough for my students.  Knowing this, I try to teach a lesson that is all things to all people...quickly presented, easily understood, focused yet purposeful.  I like a lead-in lesson before we get into the next big lesson.  This leaves me free to handle classroom management, doesn't stress students out and gets everyone back into the swing of things.  I decided on a review/assessment collage for all my classes, a welcome change from 5 classes all working on different projects!  I have taught collage before but stressing overlapping and coating with  a layer of Mod Podge really made this project a success this time. 

Students had to cut out pictures from magazines displaying Line, Color, Shape and Texture- all the elements we've covered so far.  Then they had to find a picture of something beautiful, something cool, and something that defines what Art is:)  We displayed them on the chalkboard and wrote a postcard evaluating another student's collage.  Some nice aestheticism and assessment thrown in there for ya.  I handed out copies of student directions so students could work at their own pace and didn't need to rely on me for direction.