A group of artists here at South B are trying their hand at digital art. Unfortunately, technology at our school isn't as easily accessible as we might like. Many websites, online programs as well as apps are blocked. This makes teaching digital art difficult, but not impossible.
Despite, these roadblocks, our artists are finding ways to produce some incredible works. They are learning new tools and techniques for working with the technology we have. BYOD is another alternative for students. This option allows the students the freedom to create in the program they choose and also the ability to work on their art at anytime or place.
Above: Kamyrn downloaded Photoshop 3.0 onto her laptop. She has been experimenting with digital imagery.
Nyssa created this work on her iPad. She created this with her finger. Since then, she has borrowed a stylus. It will be interesting to see how much more detail she'll now produce, not that it was lacking before.
Grayson has been working in Photoshop, I have it installed on the teacher desktop. That makes it hard to take attendance sometimes but we work it out. :) This is a mix of his puppy and his friend Andy. i'm not sure which part is which.
Jelonnie has been working digitally for a while now. In her recent work, she is exploring the idea of purposely omitting parts of the portrait. The above piece is a work in process but you can get the idea.
Max has a tablet but some students are creating similar works on their phones. I have fat fingers and have a hard time sending a text, let alone creating a work of art. I'm impressed by the detail they are able to create on such small devices.
Katie Susan borrowed my iPad. She worked several different images on the iPad then combined them in Photoshop to create the image below. Halfway through her project, I updated the iPad and the program she was using, Sketchpad Pro, became obsolete! I paid five bucks for that app! She had to switch apps mid progress.
This is the final piece, with the iPad images combined in Photoshop.
What is Art?
It's an age old question. The question has been debated and the reason for the debate might be because the answer is so hard to nail down. Perhaps it should be hard to nail down. Who gets to decide what art is? In the Open Art Room, the student gets to decide. When the student decides, they might not come up with the answer we expect. That's what makes it so fun. Here is a look at some of the happenings this week at South B. Definitely an interesting collection of art.
It's a flower. its a lamp. it's a lamp flower. She brought in the lamp and presented it as a gift for another teacher at our school. However, the light bulb was mine. Where is my light bulb?!
The window frame was just sitting there in the back of the room. Morgan had been working as some illustrations that looked like stain glass. So why not paint on glass?
For the background texture, she applied gloss medium in thick layers with a old brush. When it dried, it gave the look of old glass which is exactly what Morgan was going for.
Your Head is our Canvas
You can't sit around on your phone in the art room. if you do, it's possible the other students will mistake you for a canvas.
He was good sport about it and even posed for the photo. Is it art? You decide..
I didn't know it but it turns out the nurse's office has shampoo bottles. Back in the art room, we dunked him under the sink for a hair washing. We also have a blow dryer. He was back to normal before the end of class.
The other Morgan has been working on these large pastel drawings. I think this is one of his best works so far. Very sophisticated. Hunter, who is really good with wood working, built the frame. This is a large piece, about four feet tall.
Meanwhile, Jo Jo appropriated several different stencils and combined them into one to create this work titled, Dandelion. Again, Hunter was there to create another frame.
Inspired by a Snack
Ace brought in some chips which we ate. The empty bag soon became the inspiration for Tim who decided to paint the label. The label then became the inspiration for Tim and Luke to create the giant bag. The giant bag became the inspiration for the giant chips.
Landon had been trying his hand a light painting. The guitar was drawn first, then he combined his photo with the guitar light painting with some help from Photoshop.
Two Days Later....
I showed the class a presentation on Buff Diss. He's a graffiti tape artist. Then Skye asked if she, and a few of her classmates could go look at something in the hallway. The didn't come back for two days.
Now every locker in school is covered in a skyline tape mural.
3D projects are like a box of chocolate. There is such variety of materials which can take any number of different shapes. You truly never know what you'll get. Over the last few weeks a number of sculpture type artworks have taken shape here at South B. Here is a look at just a few of those works.
Above: Cactus of Lights. The photo of this art work was taken wit hthe lights out but with the lights on it is equally as interesting. Note the hand painted flower pot. I found the drips reminiscent of Ai Wee Wee dynasty vases.
This photo was taken before the work was completed but who has the patience to wait to take a pic of a cowtar! Yes, strings were added and yes, it is playable. OK, when played it sounds more like a cow than a guitar but still, playable is playable. Hey, its a poor musician who blames his instrument!
Let's blame Clyde Caw. He got me started on the idea of the marble drop. When you have a few students who are better at problem solving than sitting in a chair, designing a marble drop is fine idea. OK, this one isn't much to look at. No form over function but we were going for a working model. This is the mid section of the drop. It starts much higher and ends much lower. It also took up an very large amount of space in the studio. For that reason the project's end was time sensitive.
Yes, the marble drop had a loop and yes, the loop worked! Don't ask me how but they figured it out.
This is a straight forward copy of what Ross Bonfanti creates when he stuffs wet cement into a plush toy,waits for it to dry, then rips it off. Still the results are always unexpected. Its both creepy and cute. It's also sitting in the display case. No one at school (except for the artists who created it) understands it.
This is also in progress and doesn't do the final work justice. Its all newspaper and in the end had a dress and head gear and is painted and has jewelry.
Ok I know we don't have many canvas boards left but i refuse to believe the students can't find anything else to paint on.
There is always so much beautiful work that is created in color that it sometimes overshadows the incredible work that is created in black and white. the following post is a shout out to all the artists at South B that are focusing on line and value.
Above: This is an engraving, scratched out of plastic and run through the print roller thingy. Yes, that rolly thingy serves a purpose besides crushing crayons.
Pencil drawing with both some nice line as well as shading being added.
This work was probably created as a sketch for a future color piece but there enough good stuff going on to stand alone.
This drawing (still in progress) is part of a concentration work about answering questions. The question was, what would you keep or change about yourself?
This is another engraving. the artists swapped out the faces of Mount Rushmore for the students in her art class. This is a photo of the plastic sheet, not the final printing.
its a drawing of an apple. Only one apple. not like that book where the art teacher makes the students draw an apple every day for a hundred days. I would never do that ;)
Stencil of a wolf, spray paint on paper.
Painting on canvas is a traditional art making process and it happens a lot in art classrooms across the world. But working off the canvas is also very popular but is often overlooked. This blog post is dedicated to some of the happenings at South B that are off the canvas.
For starters, the painting above is happening on the whiteboard. It's ok, I'm sure it will wash off... maybe, probably. I'm sure. The project involves combining traditional painting with digital photography. Actually, this artwork is a test to see if the idea would work as part of an AP Studio Art concentration.
It was an interesting concept and I thought it had potential but in the end the student wasn't in love with the process. He decided to move on to all digital and what he has is coming along well.
Morgan found the roll of roof felting and decided to have a go with the pastels. He started off in color, playing with movement and abstract shapes.
This is one of his more recent ones, black and white. I think there is a maturity to it. It's exciting to watch his progress.
Not just off the canvas but become the canvas. Keely decided to give make up a try as a medium and needed a canvas. Luckily Reagan was willing to offer up her face.
The idea was to make it look like her face was melting. In the photo, the make up is still wet so it looks like the make up is melting. But once it dried it looked pretty good.
Them "What are you gonna do with those bottle caps?"
Me "I don't know. You want them for something?"
The bulletin board hadn't been redone since last semester. It was time for an update so I suggested they consider that as their canvas. They quickly enlisted the help of several other students who worked under their creative authority ;)
When they were done, they hung a sharpie from a string and wrote a note...
"Pick a cap, write your name."
Everyone in the school has been stopping by to write their names in the caps. From students to staff to the admin and even someone named "Drip."
How does one start a new semester when you want all the students to know to retrieve, use and store work created in any media? Well maybe not all but a good foundation.... The Media Bootcamp!
We kicked off day one of the second semester with our first day of the Media Bootcamp. For day one we entertained charcoal, color pencil and pen and ink. We set up the Chromebooks so students could run through some simple tutorials. We created water drops in charcoal and bubbles in color pencil. Just simple stuff, not to make great art but rather to get a feel for the material.
This is one of the students working on a bubble tutorial. I should mention that we broke the class into sections. For day one, we rotated through a different material every 25 minutes or so. This gave everyone a chance to use each of the three media.
The second day we tried a few different media. In particular, we did oil and chalk pastel. These tutorials took a little longer so I think we only did those two that day.
See the tutorial? Bubbles again.
The chalk pastel tutorial in progress.
Day three we did a watercolor tutorials. We also did an acrylic tutorial but we didn't use a tutorial for that. I hand taught that lesson, teaching some basic tippy tappy trees, Bob Ross style.
Another tutorial included a simple block printing demo but that one didn't go over so well cause we only had the hard linoleum and students don't much like using it.
After the Media Bootcamp I felt students had a decent enough amount of info to work in those materials. Next, we went right into the first three subjects of The Nine. You can read more about The Nine in this month's SchoolArts Magazine!
Art of South B
Artwork by students at
Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB) is a student-directed art education pedagogy that directs students to think and work as artists.
Making Artists picks up where The Open Art Room left off, covering issues and situations choice teachers encounter as they design their program.
The Open Art Room provides a student-centered approach to art instruction that is inspirational, practical, and classroom-tested.
Click Here to read the March SchoolArts Article, Student-Directed Answers to Five Frequently Ask Questions
Click Here to Read the April SchoolArts Magazine Article Tracking Student Progress with the Burn Book!
Click Here to Read the February SchoolArts Article, Build A Dynamic Art Program with Modular Teaching!