MS: Single-Line Contour Drawing

Students continued their unit based in fundamental drawing skills by creating another series of contour drawings.

The rule for this contour drawing was simple: use only one line. To force students to stick to this rule, each was given a single, 2-foot piece of wire. With the limited amount of wire, students had to consider which features were most important to include. Students created several revisions, chose their most successful, then glued them to a paper background.

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MS: Modified Contour Drawings

Students began their next unit based in fundamental drawing skills by creating a series of contour drawings.

The first contour drawing activity was designed to force students into making mistakes then work with those mistakes. Students chose a series of images that they tried to recreate using black glue drippings from a bottle. Students had limited control of the glue, which encouraged students to focus on large details and proportion, rather than small details.

 

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6th: Adinkra Cloth Designs

6th grade has been learning even more about cultures and what influences them in their development. Tradition is one such influence on the development of culture. Students have been exploring many different kinds of traditions that take place in different cultures around the world. For this project, students learned about the artisans of the Adinkra cloths in Ghana, which are made from the designs of hand-carved stamps.

Starting from sketches, students had to design 4, 3″ x 3″stamps. The goal of the students was to create abstract stamps that utilized the positive and negative space of their whole square. The designs were then used to create their stamps from foam paper.

Each of these square stamps was used to create a larger design, inspired by the Adinkra cloths.

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MS: Stereotype Bobbleheads

Students in the Fall Middle School elective class finished their semester of exploring their own identities and their communities by creating self-portrait bobbleheads. The bobbleheads were constructed with Model Magic, wire, and acrylic paint.

Each student’s task was to address a stereotype they face through the creation of their bobblehead. Each bobblehead was later combined with text and additional visuals to debunk this stereotype. This project got students talking about why stereotypes exist and how each member of a community can affect change, particularly through artmaking and visual literacy.

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“I wear glasses and can still be a hero.”
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“Girls can be strong too.”
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“I can be messy and still get good grades.”
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“Nobody can be perfect.”
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“Just because I have good grades, doesn’t mean I don’t have a life.”
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“I’m a girl and play sports.”
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“I’m thin – society says I have to be a model.”

6A: Chalk Installation

To complete our unit on community, students collaborated to create an art installation.

Students learned about pixels, optical color mixing, and artmaking through grids. Inspired by artists such as Chuck Close, students had to choose an image representative of the community that would be viewing it. Then, students were led through the process of grid creation.

It is through this grid and collaboration that we were able to perform a temporary art installation for the school community from chalk.

How amazing it was to see the hard work of each student! Next to the piece, it is nearly impossible to see what the image contains. From above, however, we were able to cheer and high-five over our beautiful accomplishment!

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Mural Arts Club

Since early in the semester, students in the Mural Arts Club have been learning painting techniques and paint-mixing strategies to aid them in their creative works.

Some of the many ways they have accomplished this is through their own exploration in making color wheel mandalas and paint scrapings.

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6th: Community Printmaking

6th graders have been challenged to create self portraits in various formats throughout the semester. Most recently, students learned about the processes of printmaking through the creation of a styrofoam printing plate.

While we have been talking about symbolism in art for the entire semester, we discussed how the items we own say something about who we are as a person. Students were asked to think critically while shown a variety of pictures of bedrooms: based on what is in the bedrooms, what can we infer about the person who inhabits it?

With these considerations in mind, students were to choose an object from their own bedrooms to represent some aspect of their personality. This object was then reduced to a simple line sketch and translated into the printing plate.

Each student had to generate a series of 4 differently colored prints from this plate.

Finally, students had to collaborate in the creation of one large print that incorporated all of their individual objects. From the portraits of each student, we were able to generate a portrait of their entire classroom community.

 

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MS: Exploring Values

We are able to see and experience the world through light and values: they create form, depth, and allow us to identify where one object ends and another begins.

Students in the Middle School elective are exploring this concept by using values to transform a flat line drawing to something with form.

To loosen students up, we worked on large pieces of paper to create a contour drawing of something found in the room. Each student was only given about 5 minutes to accomplish this!

Then, we added values to this line drawing in two ways: the first using a single-colored value scale while the second was through a mixed-color value scale.

Students had to finish both large-scale drawings within the 45 minute class time which was a great way to get students to worry less about making mistakes. For some, this ended up being a favorite product to date!

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MS: Self Portraits

Middle school has been learning about the differences between using lines to create shape, and then using values to create form. They are attempting both through recreating the proportions of the human face. Students were asked to draw themselves through the observation of a selfie by creating a contour (line) drawing of their faces, taking particular care in making sure the features of the face were accurately sized.

These will be used as the base for a future project.

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MS: Critique

Yesterday there was a pleasant surprise waiting for the middle school elective students: an art critique battle!

This past week, each student has been diligently working to understand the Elements and Principles of design while finishing their latest project. Then yesterday, the entire class was divided into two teams to test them on their knowledge.

Every student work was put up on display with a corresponding number. Then, each student was required to write a small, formal critique about one work of their choosing. For this part, students were encouraged to work in pairs at their tables so that their critiques could be as accurate and focused as possible.

Then the battle began!

Each student who shared their critique with the class earned their team 5 points. One extra point was earned for each use of an element or principle of design vocabulary word. But all students had to listen carefully: the opposing team could challenge the critique if the vocabulary wasn’t used correctly, or if there was a disagreement in opinion. If the opposing team made a good argument and supported their differing opinion with factual evidence, they could cause the critiquing team to lose points!