Thursday, December 7, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 12/7

Remember the drawing from Tuesday?
I want you to set yourself up to do the same thing, but pick a different person's shoes to draw.
If it was me I would draw on a different scale and on a new layer so that there is some overlapping and visual interest, but that's me.
Use the same pencil took in Procreate as well, please.
Please save as a jpg just like last time.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Daily Skethbook 12/5

Get yourself set up with the "pencil" option in Procreate on an 8x10" canvas.

Situate yourself so that you can see a peer's shoes (no sandals or Ugg type boots please), and begin to draw one or both of them. I'm more interested in specifics than in being "done" in 15 minutes (which you won't be).

When your time is up make sure you export your drawing as a jpg and upload it for your daily sketchbook.




Alternatively: if you know you are redoing an ind. pract. from earlier in the semester, you can get some work done on that since the last day to turn that in is Fri., 12/8. You must, though, let me know - in a complete sentence - that what you are doing is a redo, AND let me know the topic of the redo, as a "message instructor" in this assignment in the Canvas app.

Monday, December 4, 2017

"Last Week" Parent Update

I know what you're thinking: "I"m glad it's December. That means this guy is almost finished sending out so many updates for the semester!"
Don't worry, I feel similarly.

Overall, I am excited about the end of the semester as I have seen a lot of growth coming out of the studio, and most of my students will be presenting a digital portfolio of their work that I am excited to see compiled in one place.

With that said, this is "the" week. This Friday is Dec. 8th, and all the students have known for quite some time that this is the last week to turn in any late and/or missing and/or do-over work for the semester.
Yes, that's right, even if it was something left incomplete or not done from two months ago I'll take it and give them a new assessment if they have done the work (and it deserves it).

This gives me one last week before finals to get this work in the gradebook and have any final conversations with the students as necessary. Now, this all needs to be done on top of finishing our end of the semester assignments.

My request is for you to please take the time to ask how your offspring is doing in class, what they are up to for projects, etc. We are wrapping things up, but there are some good topics at hand.
(Art 1's are starting a painting that is about culture and Art 2's are ending a big oil painting, for example.)

If you have any questions I am available, but in terms of grades, those questions should be initiated by the students. I still have quite a few incomplete things from many students so I'm hoping they take advantage of the time they have had to do more work (if needed). I would also encourage you to look at any comments in the gradebook if there is something that doesn't make sense to you - especially look at any sketchbook (for Art 1) or independent practice (for Art 2, 3, 4) comments as there are still big final grades that are not due as of yet in those categories.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 11/29

The month is almost over, so let's squeeze in our Artist of the Month. Meet me at my table to get the handout for Ai Weiwei.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 11/27

Hopefully you looked at the next Independent Practice topic after I messaged you yesterday.
Today I am giving you the chance to begin on your piece that is due on Friday. The topic, "a detailed house plant".
This should be pretty interesting, and should be more than just the plant itself, right? (hint hint)

Have fun, the media choice is yours.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Art 1: Your First Painting

I will try to keep this short, I promise.
But no promises.

I looked through all of the brainstorming pages and thumbnails that were turned in last week while sitting in my comfy blue chair in the living room on Sunday.
There are some good ideas, but some things that certainly need to be addressed.

-First, have you read through all of the notes and pages for the color theory unit (topic four) in Canvas? I can tell some of you have not.

-Let's go over some reminders in terms of best practices for composition. The below are in no particular order.

-Do not sit objects all on a line. Or along the bottom or edge of the paper. You don't want everything to look like it is flat and/or on one place of existence.

-Overlapping! Make things closer to us look bigger and have them cover up part of whatever it is that is in the background. Please. This adds visual interest and a sense of space/depth.

-Be aware of the angle of view. If we see the top of something we should probably not also see the side of something. Think about perspective and depicting a 3D box in space. We have drawn this before, and if you don't remember, have you thought about googling something? (not a huge deal with thumbnails, but sooner or later it matters)

-Would it be more interesting to combine more than one or two of your "cultures"? You do not have to focus on one thing.

-Speaking of that, your use of your cultures can come across in a lot of different ways. Could you include some things in your painting that are what you just like to paint or some things you think are just interesting? Again, you can put a lot of different things together. It makes it more interesting sometimes, and it gives you more stuff to put in your painting (and more places to put the painting requirements - more on that later).

-Does it help to think of other/similar words than "culture"? Maybe "heritage" or "identity"? These aren't necessarily interchangeable, but might help.


I know it can be strange making these tiny sketches, but it is a good exercise. Remember that the final piece is 14"x18". The small rough draft you will move on to next is 7"x9". Even that is quite a bit bigger.

We will talk about the technical requirements in class tomorrow - or next week.
Please also begin watching at least the "getting started" video in Canvas. I'm not sure we will have our paint out tomorrow, but maybe...

Lastly, please review the composition notes in Canvas as well as re-reading the above points again.

For real my last comment...
I know we all want to be on vacation mode tomorrow, but you really need to use the time to be productive and efficient (otherwise we will be hurting even more when we come back from break). If you are waiting for me to approve your thumbnails, work on your sketchbook for Ch. 3.

Daily Sketchbook 11/20

Make sure you are sitting across from a peer. It doesn't matter who it is, just make sure the two of you are facing one another. Grab your sketchbook and open it to the next available page. Have one of you set a timer for 5 minutes. Once the timer begins, do a blind contour of your peer/new bestie for the entirety of the time until the timer indicates you are finished.
Remember, go SLOW and DO NOT look at your paper while you are creating your masterpiece.
As always, when you finish please upload your image to Canvas and then continue working on your oil painting.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Effort is the Expectation, Not the Exception


Many people want to say something along the lines of, "I tried really hard", or "A for effort", or "I but my best effort forward".
I can't tell you how many times I have heard that from students, parents, colleagues, etc. over the years. And you know what? I get it.
I know from personal experience that sometimes this whole art thing is challenging. It might be the media, technique, content, whatever. Sometimes it's just the day - because we all know that some days are better than others.

But there are some problems with all of the above. First, I think there is the relative aspect we all need to consider.

What do I mean by that? Well, the easy part is what do you think should happen if you come in and I introduce something new to you and you try hard on it and you do a completely mediocre job on the creation of your piece? At the same time, what should happen if someone is sitting next to you, whether they have used that media before or not, and it just come naturally to them?
Should the first student get an A and the next student get a lower grade? Even if the second student has a project that looks better?

Yikes. Tough one, right?

Second, if I ask you to tear down a wall and you show up with a pocket knife, how much effort do you think that will take? Probably a lot. You might be working really really (REALLY) hard and it just doesn't work out very well, or very easy,  for you.
Do you think it would be easier if someone showed up with a sledgehammer?
Do you think that person would have to put more or less effort in than the person with a pocket knife? Is it the tool or the effort or the preparedness???

So what does effort even mean?

Would you walk in to your History class and argue over a grade on a test or essay because you did (what you feel is) poorly (and let's think about poorly being a C or lower in this case) and say that you should get an "A" because you tried really hard?
Would you understand if your teacher looked at you and said something to the effect of, "It may be true that you tried really hard, but you still answered the questions incorrectly. Why do you deserve an A if you answered so many incorrectly?"

What about if that happened in your Math class?

So why does this equivalent happen all the time in Art?


I want you all to know that there is nobody in this school, or likely community, that values the true effort that you put forth for this class as I do. I make art myself, and I have my own personal struggles with different techniques and media and content. I know what it's like to begin something that seems like a great idea and/or I am excited about, and an hour later to put down a mark that makes me instantly dislike the entire thing.

It's frustrating. In truth, it sorta just sucks. Nobody likes that feeling.
But we have to get over it. We have to push on. We can't wait for the conditions to be just right or for inspiration to flash or for everything to be perfect in order to accept the work we do. We just have to show up and do it. We just have to deal with the frustrations and conscientiously move forward.

As you know, I have been having you do quite a bit of self assessment so far this year. I have been doing quite a bit of asking you what you think you have earned on the projects.
Many times I have had to read something along the lines of "I worked really hard."

Honestly, though, why should that be a determiner of the grade?

I need you to be able to explain how that hard work has manifested itself. I need to know that you understand the learning objectives of the assignment and you are able to articulate how you have either met those learning objectives or made progress towards them.
We all have progress to make. I do not need you to be perfect. I know I am not perfect (and I'm pretty sure you would agree with me on that one).
I want you to be able to show evidence of the growth and learning you are making. You may not reach your goal(s) this week, but if you are putting forth that effort, you will be showing the growth.


As we move forward, think about your "effort" less and your understanding more. Yes, you should be putting forth a significant effort. Why wouldn't you? That is just the right thing to do.
Putting forth effort should be a given.

Effort is the expectation, not the exception (that should be rewarded).

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 11/16

Last time you listened to at least part of a podcast and began drawing a van Gogh painting.
This time I'd like you to come get a pen from me and begin drawing the below van Gogh drawing. Please go straight to pen - no pencil sketching first, and start in the eye area.
Gradually work your way out from one eye and make the marks you make match the ones in the below drawing as closely as possible.
I have no problem if you want this drawing to share a page with the pencil drawing from last time - even if that means they overlap.
Please put in the same amount of time as last time, 13 min. (yes, I know you won't finish).


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Daily Sketchbook 11/14

It's another art history day but I want you to follow a few directions.

Please read all of the directions before you begin.

  • First, you'll need to go to The Lonely Palette website and begin THIS VAN GOGH EPISODE and skip forward to the 3 min mark.
  • Next, set the timer for 13 minutes. (yes, I want each of you to set your own timer on your own ipad)
  • While you are listening to the first portion of this podcast, draw the first image* you see at the bottom of the page in your sketchbook 
  • Yes, you need to use headphones
  • When your timer goes off, take a photo of your drawing and upload it for your daily sketchbook
  • I would love for you to finish listening to this episode, but you can do that as you work on your painting as well
You do not need to listen to all 22 minutes of the episode, and I do not want you to take the entire episode length to draw and upload. However, I do want you to spend the above referenced 13 minutes to draw, so please get started asap and draw for the entire time until your timer goes off.
Smile. Art is fun.
Oh, sorry Sabine, I know you don't like her voice, but I do think it is an interesting podcast.



*I mean the below image