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.
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.
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.
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!
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!