Thursday, October 30, 2014

Day of the Dead Skull Design

October 31

We are plunging in to some multi cultural lessons now that we are done with our unit of study on the elements of art.  My intention is to create lessons that connect  to the  cultural backgrounds of my students (Mexico, Vietnam, Africa, India).  I decided to start with Mexico because it is Day of the Dead season.  There is a large Mexican American population at my school  and several students were willing to share their families traditions.  

To start this lesson off, I shared a you tube video to provide some additional background info on the holiday.  We saw some good pictures of authentic ofrendas with pan de muerto, marigolds, sugar skulls, and pictures of loved ones.  Students got a sense of how the holiday is celebrated in Mexico.  Some meaningful conversations came up in small groups as students talked about people they knew that had passed on.

First, students sketched skulls in their skettchbooks.  I provided several handouts to help guide them. Then they drew a large skull on drawing paper and decorated it in the style of  a sugar skull.  Again, I provided handouts to help inspire.  I encouraged them to use their imagination and be original.  They outlined their designs in sharpie and then painted them with water color.  Finally, they added glitter highlights, cut it out, and glued it on to a black and white patterned paper.

I love the subtle expressions in every skull.  

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Elements Cube

Element focus: form

This project was a review of the 6 elements we have been learning about.  It also covered the last element of form.  The students have now been exposed to all seven.  I think this project really helped the information and vocabulary get into their brain.

I printed a cube template for each student on heavy drawing paper.  They were to write the name of each element in each square and draw something to represent it.  They made a little mini Repousse square for texture.  They used a glue stick to assemble it and  I helped them glue the final side with the glue gun.

They came out great and they had a lot of fun making something 3d.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Repousse Art

October 2014

Art Element focus: Texture

Students learned a bit about the Repousse technique, also known as metal tooling.  We learned that Repousse comes from the French word pouser which means to push.  The students were very excited about this lesson because no one had ever worked with the foil before.  I think they were also attracted to the shiny nature of the metal.  These projects are indeed eye catching.  The students did an amazing job with this one!

Here is the process:

Step 1:  Students planned a line drawing on a 6" square piece of paper.  I asked them to make 5 sections with a different design in each.

Step 2:  When the drawing was finished students taped it to a 6" square piece of metal.  Then the transferred the drawing to the metal  by pressing gently.  IMPORTANT:  give students a piece of cardboard  to put under the metal when they are pressing into it.

Step 3:  When the drawing is transferred they should take the paper off and press as hard as they can into the metal a second time.  A blunt pencil works well.

Step 4:  Next, they worked the metal on the reverse side by pressing gently with the pencil right NEXT to the popped out line.  This really helped the work look finished.

Step 5:  When finished working the metal, students rubbed done black paint into the cracks to get some contrast.  I gave them the option to use sharpie for this step but most chose  the paint which I think worked better.

Step 6:  Glue the metal square to an 11" inch square.  A glue gun works great for this step.  

Step 7:  Students extended their lines and patterns on to the large square.  I had some silver sharpies available to trace the lines.  They colored the rest with colored pencil.

Whew!  This project took about 6 days to complete.  Good one for increasing attention span and proving the point that hard work creates beauty!!!