Thursday, February 15, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 2/15

Please come get the daily sketchbook "assessment" thing from me and use the info on the board to fill it out.
I will have one question for you to answer on the back of this piece of paper as well.
When you are finished, please turn it in to me and continue work on your acrylic painting.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 2/13

Set yourself up with your sketchbook and pencil across from a peer. Yes, you may need to move to be directly across from them.
You each need to situate yourselves across from one another in such a way that both of your hands are relatively near each other.
I know one will be drawing, but the other one should be in close proximity.
Your task is to draw the hands of the person across from you.
Remember that context may be helpful.
Remember that being done in a very rushed looking manner isn't of primary importance. If you can get some good drawing quantity, cool, but balance quantity with quality.
If you are really focusing you won't be involved in discourse or logging in to listen to music.
Please just be present and focused.
And have fun.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Notes on class and sketchbooks from today (Art 1 version): 2/12/18

I'm in a bit of a conundrum lately and this post is an attempt to try to communicate and figure it out all at the same time.

First, today was a great day in class.
I have mentioned to some of my colleagues and friends that I am thoroughly enjoying my Art 1 class this year. I'm not sure that you realize it, but every class is different - not just from one period to another, but from one year to another. I would say that the combination of personalities, diligence, ability to work together, kindness, etc. are all strong with my first period this yay for you. For real!

Second, as an educator I am always trying to give you experiences that are interesting and valuable.
I am trying to challenge you and get you to see the world in a way that is different from how you typically would. I truly believe this is part of my job. Challenging what you know should be something you strive to experience throughout your life (#lifelesson)
Even more than that I try to build a community with (and for) you. I want to get to know you and have you get to know each other. It might sound cheesy, but I do care about you.

None of these things we do in class are difficult per se, but in truth, they aren't easy either.
They aren't easy in that it requires thoughtfulness and willingness and attention.

I know you have the time, and here I will again mention the use of tutorial and after school - both of which are underutilized by too many of you. I have heard some of you say how busy you are from other teachers at tutorial, but you should be giving equal weight to all of your courses. Sometimes "time" is the only magic you need. Well, time without distraction. And yes, this is when I mention the negative nature of the mobile and wireless devices we are surrounded with on the daily.

But I digress...

One of the things some of us teachers have noticed in recent years is that there seems to be a higher percentage of students that just want to get the work done. They just want to move on to the next thing so they can be finished. "What do I need to do to get an 'A'?"
Oh man have we heard that a lot.
Hopefully you know me well enough to know that this isn't an appropriate question. It's about the learning, not about the grade.

Let's talk about that learning.
Let's talk about those sketchbooks.
I have tried to express how valuable those sketchbooks are, and how much of the actual learning comes in them.
I have tried to express that the frequency of the sketchbooks allow us to stay sharp with our skills while also increasing the proficiency of those skills. I don't need you to be perfect, but I need you to chase the idea of being better.

Now it's time for an illustration.
Pen and ink. This is one of my favorite media, and if you follow me on instagram you would see this. The techniques we learned at the beginning of the year (hatch, stipple, fill-in) all need practice. If I am asking for a pen and ink drawing - or to have pen and ink to be combined with something like watercolor - I should see you practicing those techniques.

To illustrate further, one of the things I definitely said was that when we are using stipple or hatch we should NOT be outlining in ink.
Additionally, one of your Ch. 4 entries was to get more practice with watercolor (a media we just used in a project) and pen and ink (a media many of you will want to use in your next project - even though you may not realize it yet).
This is what we call practice, right?
This is where we get better so that the pieces which wind up on display have sophistication and improvement shown.

I was surprised at how many of those entries really didn't show a sophisticated use of shading. I just wonder, "why not?"

What kind of stands out even more, though, was the portrait of a human or animal that asked you to work from a photograph, print out that photo reference, and attach it to the facing page.
Remember, a photograph comes from a camera and is not a reproduction of a drawing/painting.
Also, if you are asked to print it out, why wouldn't you?
You should never tell your teacher, "My printer ran out of ink." This is an excuse (and only shows you do not feel the need to hold yourself accountable). If you have five weeks to work on an assignment, why would you (presumably) wait until the night before to print out your image? This just doesn't make any sense.
If you're like me and you don't have a printer at home, do you need to ask a friend for help? Do you need to go to Kinko's? Or Walgreens? Maybe a parent can print it at work?
Problem solving is key to success, and waiting to the last minute doesn't allow you to be as successful as you could be.

Fortunately you are not dinged for bringing something in late, but I will mark something as incomplete if you haven't followed the very explicit directions. I will reassess later - after you have made corrections/completions.

For myself though, separate from the physical act of drawing from a photograph being, at times, better than drawing from a screen, what is there to learn from printing out the image?
Yes, I question what I ask you to do. (I try to do the same things I ask of you.)
Well, there is follow through - which you need in order to be successful in life, and there is accountability.
If you can just not do something and there is no adverse affect, why do it?
Well, what if it is just the right thing to do?
What if it is intended to help someone else?
(Maybe a lesson we can learn is that doing something for others is the quickest path to happiness and joy?)
Maybe that person is me, the teacher, the one you are trying to show your creativity, growth, and sophistication to?
Is it possible that I can make all kinds of incorrect judgements about a piece of art that is supposed to look like a photograph if I don't have a reference? Is it possible that I might give you all kinds of bad advice about how you might make your drawing better if I don't have something to reference?

If I'm giving advice that isn't applicable, how can you get better through our shared experience?

In other words, the right thing to do is for me to give you as many opportunities to show your growth (and use of positive and helpful feedback) as possible, and then after you do the work towards taking advantage of those opportunities, I give you (more) usable feedback.
If you give me work/references, and I give you feedback, and then you use that feedback on the next piece, and I give you more feedback, and you use that see how we are creating a loop here?
We need to help each other so that we can help each other improve.

This is all good stuff, so please, let me help you.

You all have the ability to make really good projects, and you are all kind humans (which is why I want you to sign up for Art 2 nest year :) ), but you still need to do the work.
I try to make the topics and themes interesting, and I try to give you say in what you will create. I really think a pretty good job has been done on this front, and while you may not agree, please know that it has been a work in progress for years and I really have tried to do my best for you.

Now that this post is significantly long, what next?
Well, we will do some sort of self assessment on Wednesday. If you want to add to, or have a do-over before or after then, please feel free. Some of you should certainly take advantage of this, but some of you definitely don't need to. At that late of a point, I may or may not be able to have this chapter influence your progress report mark, but I don't worry about that since it is just a progress report.
What would be helpful is to ask questions if you are not sure.

I don't like posts like this, but as much as I desire to be friendly to you, I am responsible for holding you accountable, and at some point someone has to be "the adult in the room" and "call a spade a spade" and do the hard work of expressing that not everything was done as it should have been (as it could have been done).

Please read the comments that might have been left for you and know that they are intended to be helpful.
Lastly, know that these words don't apply to everyone - and certainly not everyone all the time. Some of you rocked it in Ch. 4. I applaud you.
Others sort of rocked it, but could stand to tweak things a bit.
Some of you, well, it seems you forgot what rocks were over these past several weeks were.

Yes, that's supposed to be a funny ending. It's the best I've got right now.


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thoughts About Your Thoughts

After reviewing and discussing some of my thought process/thumbnails yesterday in class I was really happy to see some of you going through - and appreciating - the paintings that students have done in the past.
That's rad. I'm happy some of those are appealing.

So I have a few additional thoughts.

First, remember that you can do a "collage" - be it old school cutting and pasting photos together or new school digital style in photoshop or procreate. I'm happy either way.

Second, not everything has to be "deeply personal".
Yes, you need to address the topic (memory), and be able to back up your decisions. I would go a step further and say that your focal point needs to be what addresses the theme.
However, sometimes you need seemingly random items that help balance and unify your painting. You could even use those seemingly random items to help create a series if you have used certain subjects often in the past (as I have with sloths or donuts, for example).

Next, really (really!) think about composition.
It can be silly and fun and all sorts of other things in terms of the content, but as you are creating your own composition, think about focal point and rule of thirds and depth and overlapping and having variety of sizes and...all that stuff we have been trying to give you practice with since the tempera painting first semester of Art 1.

Subsequently, yes, you should be considering value, texture, etc. Those are all part of the Elements of Art and Principles of Design that you should be more than just intuitively aware of.

Finally, have fun!
There does need to be a personal connection with this, and you need to be able to verbally articulate your decisions and why you have made those decisions. "Because I like..." is NOT going to be a good way to start any of your explanations, so be aware of that.
With that said, though, you can still have fun, so let yourself enjoy the process!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 2/5

As I stated, you get approximately half of the class to work on the independent practice that is due on Friday (something Architectural - though don't quote me on that). Please be on top of it and be uploaded within 45 minutes.
I will want to be productive with you as a class as we lean towards beginning our next project, and I want all of us to work together on those beginnings.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 2/1

It's Feb. already. Wow.
First, don't forget that they reception for the AICC show is tonight from 6-7:30. I hope you and/or your parental units can make it!
Second, let's have a whale of a time. Don't spend much time looking, but quickly begin drawing from one of these images.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 1/30

Let's go all the way back to two weeks ago, shall we?
The multiple hands you drew that were at least partially overlapping is what I mean.
I want you to draw some sort of consistent pattern in the negative space surrounding the hands now.

I'll put an example below of a pattern-type use of line that would work. Of course, yours doesn't have to be just like this, and strictly speaking this isn't a "regular pattern", but I really want you to focus on making the negative space interesting.


Monday, January 29, 2018

Regarding Registration

You've heard me talk about it, so HERE is the link to the Electives Concentration layout.

As a department we know the value of the skills you learn in the electives that are offered here at LGHS. You have a robust selection, and if we dive deeper, we know that the project and studio based courses you have available to you are integral to your success both in and out of high school. These classes add a level of understanding that is just different than what you get in some of your other classes.
Different is good.

We know that these classes take commitment and energy and we are always appreciative of the work that is put in by conscientious students. We are also aware that you have your attention pulled in many directions by "requirements" that may or may not be as necessary as you think they are.

With the direction of education and college admissions on our minds, part of the question we posed ourselves was, "how do we help our committed students stand out from the crowd in a positive way?"

The Electives Concentration is what we came up with. The linked document may not have all of the answers, so please come in and speak with me if you have any questions.

The shortest gist I can give is this:
  • take at least two years of one elective (such as Art 1 and Art 2)
  • take at least five electives total
  • make sure they fall in the columns in the linked document (no, not all mix and match electives work...for a variety of reasons)
  • complete a portfolio during senior year
  • be recognized at graduation and have an additional item to put on your college application

This last one is very important to me. I know (because colleges have said it) that colleges want a student who is dedicated and who can persist; they want a student that has a focus and interest (hese things show that you will probably stick around for them, and work through the rough patches that invariably come with life and education); they need someone who is more than just a number.
This concentration is a great way to help you stand above other students from other high schools, and allow you to "hang your hat on" something that is larger than a transcript or gpa alone.

I have one more thing to mention, but that is the gist. Please ask if there are questions (your counselors can also help).

Last, beginning next year Art 3 with be Art 3 Honors.
I know I know I know, that's not what it says on the sheet you have from the guidance department for registration. Technically it isn't official because the ball didn't get rolling for that until after the UC window was closed on that. I have been assured that it is coming though.
Personally I don't think this should be the deciding factor on you or your peers signing up for Art 3, of course I want you to do it just because it is a good class and is getting you the applied art credit you need for graduation, but I bet that it will be a nice added bonus for some of you, so that is one of the things I've been working on.
Again, any more questions, please ask.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 1/22 + 1/24

If you have not already begun your I.P. piece that is due on Friday, 1/26, now is your opportunity.
Remember, it is a "free subject", so have fun. Remember, also, the constants of needing to show composition and texture and value and contrast and...
I know there is only one week since your last one, but that's the way it works out with the schedule right now. This is a free subject and you have 30 min of class time, plus another 30 min of daily sketchbook time you can use on Tues. and Thurs. this week, so there is at least one hour of quality drawing/painting time you can use for this.
Have fun.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Daily Sketchbook 1/18

We are mid-way through the month (gasp), so it's time for the always favorite AOTM.
Come to my desk and start trimming down your handout and taping it in your sketchbook while I get you started.