The Open Art Room provides opportunities to discover things about both art and yourself. One of the best ways to engage in these discoveries is to try something new for the first time. Perhaps there is a technique that hasn't been explored yet. Or maybe there is a medium that is totally new. Maybe you'll be good at it! You never know till you try. Here's a look at a few Firsts happening this week. Several of these works are still in progress.
Above: This is her first attempt at using Oil Paints.
She never tried Digital Art before so we lent her an iPad.
After she drew this image, she asked if she could try Screen Printing it onto a t-shirt.
Carving into a block of Plaster is a first not only for him but also the first time we've introduced this medium in class.
A first attempt at Paper Quilling.
Uhm...... It's the first time we've had a ceiling tile with a hand hanging out of it holding a lunchbox
First time using Multi Stencils with spray paint.
Last year we sat together and worked through a few water color tutorials. This week she brought this into my class and said, "Look Mr Sands, I did a water color on my own". She's not even in my class :)
We kicked off our new unit, Artists Collect & Synthesize, with a one day challenge. Groups of students had 15 minutes to go into the world and collect stuff in a bag. They didn't know why they were collecting stuff, just told to get stuff.
Upon returning, the students were given the challenge. Create a work of art using the stuff you collect. And you have one day in which to do so. Each group got straight to work, first planning and agreeing on what to make and then constructing their project.
The group above found a wire fence, a beach umbrella and other interesting objects. They decided to construct a dog cage including self feeding and drinking tubes. they even found a wolf pup to go into the cage.
Seen above: The team assembling their dog cage artwork.
Meet Sylvia. single mom, recently widowed. This team wrote out a whole story to go along with Sylvia. In fact, the reason her husband is dead is because he became the paper that they used to write the story on.
Putting the finishing touches on Sylvia.
The Skate Broom received a lot of attention. Poorly constructed out of several rocks, sticks, and a wheel, it still was one of the hottest items in the art room.
Kick flips and ollies!! Actually, none of that happened. Its rocks attached to a broom.
Ready for the Hot Seat?
An island complete with sewer drainage pipe draining sewerage into the beautiful blue sea.
Wrapped up our last part of our first animation unit with a walk cycle tutorial. Instead of going completely digital, we took a walk back to the art room to create some traditional drawings. Students had the option to either draw the eight frames necessary to complete the walk cycle or the could create a movable puppet.
An art teacher asked the question, "What are Some Art Skills you wish your students had, coming in to high school?"
Send me students who understand the art room is a laboratory that has every tool they could ever need to build anything they can imagine. All they need to do is Bring an Idea and we can help them with the tools, techniques or materials to bring their idea to fruition.
A student in our beginner art class noticed that the back of her pen and ink drawing was picking up color off a page behind it. She decided to experiment with her discovery by creating colored sheets, placing blank paper on top and drawing with ink on top of that.
As art teachers, we can and should teach art skills but we also need to leave room for students to create their own techniques.
Above: The first image is the pen drawing. The second image shows the colored page. The third image is the result of the transfer.
Our Open Art Room is student directed. That means, students decide which direction they want to take the art they are creating. Many students come to class with ideas and are ready to jump in. However, some students are looking for new ideas, new opportunities, new techniques that they might not have known or thought about.
That's where The Tables come in.
For this week's Table, we explored plaster of paris. We mixed and poured plaster into boxes then waited for it to dry over night. The next day, we began the process of carving wit ha variety of different tools. There is a learning curve involved when try to carve a square into a 3D object. We had a few fails, but also a few successes.
Meanwhile back in the beginning class, we open an ugly doll Table. Other students were exploring non-representational art, while others took a look at juxtaposition. In the second image above, the student is working on a combination of the two concepts working with both non representational images and images that demonstrate juxtaposition.
Maybe Not Every Tool...
Even though our art room is fairly well stocked with supplies, it's not uncommon for student's to bring their own art supplies to class. Usually they bring their own set of prisma colors or copic markers but some have even better toys. When I said the art room was a factory that had every tool I was lying. We don't have some of the advanced technology so we have no problem with students BYOD.
In an open art room there need not be a separation between traditional and digital art. Rather, there can be a seamless merge between the two.
For example, the image of the sunflowers at the top of the page started with the student designing the sun flower stencil in Photoshop. It was then created with a non digital can of spray paint.
The crow image above started as a traditional acrylic painting. Then the student imported the image into Photoshop to see how her work would be affected by the application of different modes and filters.
Bring an Idea and we can help with the tools, techniques or materials to Bring Your Idea to Fruition.
We started our first unit in animation in our Computer Art & Animation class here at South Brunswick High School. Then we had a hurricane. We were out of school for a few days (19 to be exact). Then we regrouped and restarted our unit in animation in our Computer Art & Animation class here at South Brunswick High School... then we had another hurricane!
So here we are, back at South Brunswick High School in the Computer Art & Animation class completing our first week of our animation unit! Let's take a look at where we are so far...
To begin our unit, we learned about the Photoshop timeline and frame animation. This first project was to create a simple frame by frame animation to show evidence in understanding the concept by demonstrate the technique.
Our second animation project was to incorporate some of the previous learned skills from the 2D photo manipulation techniques into a frame by frame animation. To do this, we created cinemagraphs. The concept of the cinemagraph is that one part of the image moves while the rest remains still.
Next steps, we will be taking a look at the walk cycle (ha, that was a pun!). From there we intend to incorporate sound... as long as there aren't any more hurricanes!
Art of South B
Artwork by students at
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!