Wednesday, November 17, 2010

High School Art Projects

Today was my third weekly art session with a local high school. Though I typically teach Kindergarten through 8th grade, my office has scheduled me to work with the upper grades for the past couple of years. What I like about sharing art with these grades is that I can be more flexible than with the lower grades and allow the students to pursue the projects in a more personal way. Other than offering advice on how to draw certain things, I find that my role in the classes is to simply guide the students to express themselves graphically.
This first drawing is a doodling assignment where students were to trace their hands three times on their paper, then for the rest of the duration of class, create patterns, doodles, scribbles, etc. in the negative space of the design. The challenge is to be creative for what may seem a long period of time for some.
In this second drawing, students learned that one way of drawing a landscape is to break the design to three sections, the foreground, middle ground, and the background. As a collaborative assignment, students lightly drew lines to separate the three sections and then for the first 10 minutes drew whatever idea they had for a landscape by only developing the foreground. After the time passed, the students (and their teacher) traded their pictures and then for another 10 minutes developed the mid ground. Again, after time passed we traded pictures and developed the background. Finally, after the time passed, we came back to our original picture and finished developing it for the remainder of class. In this picture I wanted to show that students didn't have to limit themselves to just drawing a barn on a hill with trees, but that they could do anything that came to mind. As you can tell, they had a lot of fun continuing my sci-fi idea.
In this third design, we discussed still life, collage and using mixed media. I walked them through the process of the assignment as we started the background with lots of graphite shading, then drawing a variety of objects in oil pastel. I drew a bunch of example that they could use in their designs but told them that they could use whatever came to mind in their work. After the objects were drawn we cut them out and pasted them onto the background. Then we added more color to the window and to the objects as desired.
One thing I enjoy about these classes is that I am able to work in media that I don't normally get to use in my own personal work. I think it keeps my creativity fresh, and hopefully carries over to my other work.

7 comments:

freebird said...

I think this is great. If this was what an art class had been like when I was in high school I probably wouldn't have taken the crafts class every year in lieu of art. Teaching that there are lots of ways to produce art is super. Good job!

Revelle said...

I love the idea of trading artwork from student to student! Never tried that. It forces them to see from all new perspectives and a variety of line styles. That awesome. I must share that with my friend who is an art teacher.

nanke's stuff said...

Very good ideas! I bet your students just love your class. nancy

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi David, These are terrific projects. I'm sort of thinking about negative shapes these days so am naturally taken by the first one. But, I think all three are exciting projects! Lucky students!

raena said...

These are wonderful!

phthaloblu said...

Great ideas and wonderful results!

Alex said...

Love the ideas!