Monday, December 2, 2019

Art 2 Sketchbook

It is December. There are just two weeks before finals week. Does that mean six class times together?
Obviously your painting is your priority. This should be enough time to finish it, so look at the rubric online, and plan to turn it in during finals.

Regarding your sketchbook, though, I still want you to be working in it with an eye towards quantity between now and the end of the semester. Even just a few minutes each day is amazing. I will view them while you work on your paintings (likely) more than once before the semester is over.
For now, if you want some inspo, consider the below.

It is very likely that you will see at least one of these in the future, but for now I wanted to throw out a few different views of animal images. Not because I want you to copy these, but because they are very different ways of looking at the same topic/prompt/idea.
If you are stumped as to what to do, you might use one of these ideas as a jumping off point.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Ch. 3 Sketchbook and Beyond

Hi all,
A few things as we work towards the end of the semester.
First, I have set and published the due date for Ch. 3. As it says in the assignment (yes, please read the text of the assignment), since this is due so late in the semester, you will not have the opportunity to have a re-do after the feedback is submitted to "up" your assessment. There just isn't the time for that.
With regards to Ch. 3, there will not be a "sketchbook check" assignment due date. I will be quite busy helping each of you with your upcoming paintings, and plan to come around and see what you have done (and offer feedback), but there will not be a set date for you to have two complete.
I cannot stress enough that you should work ahead and NOT WAIT until the last minute to begin these four (or five) pieces.

With regards to your sketchbook...
while I always want you to knock it out of the park, have fun, work hard, etc., please really do that here.
Next semester you will see a drastic change in the way we use our sketchbook is used and assessed. The full details won't really matter until January, but the "chapters" that we have been doing each grading period will be gone and it will become more of a working document and place of obvious practice. Stay tuned!

Also, we will be getting in to working with the apple pencil and drawing digitally on the ipad. I love doing this, so I hope it is something you look forward to!

We have a lot to do to make super significant progress on the "large"/cultural tempera painting, so let's use our time well and have fun for these last few weeks this semester.

Monday, November 11, 2019

End of G.P. Notes

We technically ended a grading period last week.
This means I have to put in comments and make sure your marks are as updated as possible within the next few day.
This is what happened this morning:
  • Art 1: if you had a "complete" sketchbook check but have not yet turned in ch. 2 I put in the minimum pts possible
  • Art 1: if you had an "incomplete" sketchbook check and have not yet turned in ch. 2 I put in a zero; please get me your sketchbook this week!
  • Art 1: if you have not turned in your pen and ink you likely got a minimum number of points (I know everyone has at least started this project so everyone got at least some points). I can reassess when you turn in the drawings to me (this week!). 
  • Art 2: I put in a zero or a minimum number of points for pieces where necessary; if there is something that needs to be updated please come see me in person about that
  • Art 2: there is a new I.P. assignment regarding your sketchbook, so please read that (remember, these are not finished pieces)
Some of your grades dropped because of these changes, but since there is only one g.p. left before the end of the semester I don't want to wait until December to get scores in the gradebook. I'm happy to reassess and make changes as necessary, but come see me in person with the required work to address where I have made any mistakes.

Smile and enjoy your day off :)
I didn't do any school work this weekend so that's what I'm spending my Monday doing.
Sigh. But I did it to myself.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Art 2 Addendum

Please watch these five min.

As a review it will allow you to draw out your image on newsprint before transferring to your canvas when I return.
Email me your ideas and please don't wait until the last minute.

I know, it's a terrible image for the screen, but the video will be over before you know it, and I'll delete it when I return.

Friday, November 1, 2019

A Few More Oil Comments

Sometimes coming up with the content can be a challenge.
I know the more straight forward path is to find an image online and just go with that.

Remember, you can always take your own photograph and have your own personal dynamic composition. Referencing the foreshortening images that I sent out last weekend is a great place to start, and I'll put a few other ideas at the end of this message*.

I have tried to throw out a lot of ideas and options, and sometimes we have to just humor ourselves and go through the motions of drawing many different versions out in our sketchbooks to see what might work. As you heard me say many times as you came up with thumbnails in Art 1, your first idea is rarely your best.
You also do not want to have a totally blank or boring background. One immediate thing you can do to help this is to create a foreground and background by putting something in front of your focal point and behind your focal point.
Another fun thing you can think of is to figure out a way that you can play with the perception of proportion by making one object visually appear much larger or much smaller than we would expect them to be compared to something else.
For example: a small bird next to a large donut (that's like 10 times bigger than the bird).

I have to admit that I am pretty uncomfortable with the idea of you drawing your image out on your canvas before I have had the chance to work with you individually. Ideally you would come show me some ideas at tutorial today if I didn't see a workable concept from you yesterday.
If that isn't possible, I'm asking that you email me your idea/sketch/collage/etc. before beginning to draw on your canvas.Not that I have all of the answers, but a few times yesterday I definitely had to say something to the effect of "that won't work". Too often students want to do what they think is the easy thing, but that ends up not being the best option...or easy. Or they think something is funny, but that doesn't always translate into a good painting.
Not everything that works in one media will work in another. I have experience with this, and I'm asking for your trust.
If you have already gotten the "OK" from me, great. I know at least four or five of you have, but everyone else, please let me discuss with you in tutorial or via email.

Once you know what you are doing...
You need to draw your image out on your canvas. Include shapes for light and dark areas just like you were asked to do in the still life drawing...and in the grid drawing from Art 1. Be specific, but actually, not quite as specific as in the grid drawing. The concept is the same but because it will be a painting you don't have to be quite so detailed.

There is a portion of the module that will walk you through how to get a 2" grid on your 16x20" canvas if you need it. If you have a photo or digital collage on the ipad, use the "grid" app to get a grid of squares so that you have 8 and 10 in your columns/rows.
If you can't figure out how to use the app, try doing a google search. That usually clears things up pretty quick.

You do not have to grid the image, but most do.
Now, you can approximate a grid by simplifying it.
To do this I would draw a diagonal through the corners of my canvas (and my image), and then follow that with vertical and horizontal lines and then use those pie shapes to get my proportions more accurate. It's just a simplified version of a grid, and you can see kind of what I mean below.

*student created images that could give you ideas of what to create for yourself;
remember to pay attention to composition and use of light and dark

I know this seems like a lot, but honestly, as I was thinking about this project, and the ones that you were all able to create in Art 1, I know you have it in you to go far. Your ability and ideas are superior, and the only thing I wish there was more of is time to work as a small group and also one-on-one to make your initial drawing/idea as great as possible.
I'll do my best to be available via email though! Did I mention that yet ;)

But remember back to how you set up your first tempera painting last year, and think about how this is pretty much like that, but it's in oil, and you are using photo references for pretty much everything.

Also remember that if you take your own photo, or have a family photo as Annelise did in class...this works.
Yes, I still want you to show it to me so we can make sure the composition and values will translate, but that route is completely doable for this project!
I've had many students use photos of their own pets - and you can see this in the folder of examples via Canvas. Have a photo shoot with your dog/cat. Have fun!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

A2 Oil Intro Info 2019

As I have said in class, for many years the main oil painting the Art 2 students have completed is a monochromatic piece from a b/w photograph.
This allows you to get stronger at some skills worked on in your past (recognizing value and using the grid method for enlarging an image) while at the same time getting better and more familiar with painting with oils without dealing with color mixing.

I am totally fine with you doing this for your project. I will always prefer if it is an image you (or someone you know) have taken yourself, but finding a b/w image online also works.
One thing to remember is that painting from the photograph you find online without altering it in a decently significant way isn't ideal for a future portfolio you may want to create.

It is with this in mind that I want to put the following together.

First option: as stated above, you find a b/w image and use that for your painting; from here the only decision you really need to make is which color to use.

Second option: you use a photograph that you (or someone close to you) have taken. I can work with you in class to get the best b/w conversion for this, then you will pick your color and you will be off to the races.

Third option: you create your own image.
But wait, isn't that what the second option is? In part, yes. Maybe.
I have used these foreshortening examples with students for a project in the past, and as generally "straight" photographs to work from, the ideas would work really quite well. It would require you to put some thought ahead of time into the images though, and get some photo options taken ahead of time.
I do want you to be able to bring some of your own creativity into the composition and not be solely limited to working strictly from ONE photograph if you would like. That's why I was showing a lot of the examples from pinterest in class the other day.
I still want you to work from photographs though. You can have a series that you draw from, or you can even select out certain parts and "collage" them together in procreate (which would give you one photographic image to work from).

If you create your own image - whether it is as one original photo or as some sort of collage, please refrain from having too much blank space in the background. Think about how you can create a dynamic composition - which we have been working with since our first painting in Art 1, actually.
Some of you feel as though you kind of intuitively "get" how to create an interesting composition with a clear focal point, use of depth/space, etc., but if you do some simple google searches you can find some interesting ideas that might help. Of course, pinterest has a lot of the same things available, so if you want to start creating an easy place to keep ideas, that isn't a terrible idea.

I know a lot of the image examples include figurative work, but you don't have to use a human figure. There are plenty of ways that animals, nature, machines, etc. can be used.


And if you are interested in going deeper...

One thing you might find interesting - and what I hope to get into later in the year - is to think about the symbolic meaning behind certain items. Now, if you google this content you'll get information that is all over the map, and we must remember that different cultures (and times in history, even) associate different meanings for the same (or similar) object(s), but to plow into this idea can be absolutely fascinating.

For example some symbolic meanings of the following are easily found:
Blackbird = wisdom, power, beauty;
Cardinal = responsibility, balance;
Oak = honor, nobility, wisdom;
Hand = strength, power, protection;
Cairn = balance, safe travel;

The list goes on (nearly) infinitely.

You may start with images or ideas that you think are just fun or interesting, but you can also begin to infuse what you make with additional meaning/layers if you choose to. IMO this just makes it all the more interesting.
There is an artist, Kirsten Francis, that has changed her making process a lot over the years, but when I first found out about her (and bought her art, oh, and some postcards of hers are in the display cases between rooms 501 and 502 now), she was doing these interesting woodcuts that have often "simple" compositions, but interesting use of imagery that you could possibly get some ideas from (in terms of combining images in a way that is creative and not like a "straight" photograph).

What I would do is think about using photographs to draw/paint from, but think about how you can use those references to create a personal and unique image. I do want you to aim for realism in terms of the representation of the elements of your image, but the layout and way they are combined can be unique.

This is all a lot to unpack, but I believe in all of you, and the curiosity you have. You can go quite deep with your art making and imagery and I get really excited by that part of the process - much more than the purely technical aspect of it.
I would add that I don't want you to lose the fun in image making. Make if fun for yourself for sure! But I know you have it in you to add more layers to your image too!

Let's see some ideation and sketches and talk about where you are going before the end of the week!

Monday, May 20, 2019

A Change Is Gonna Come...

Hi all, thank you for clicking over to read this.
I know I said the "A Story Of..." project would be due at the beginning of class tomorrow, 5/21, but I need to amend that.
I will give you until the end of class however you will not have the entire class period.
At the very beginning of class I want you to gather around my desk with your ipad and a pencil so that I can go over some administrative things I need to do. I think I can get through all of this in about 15-20 min assuming you are cooperating.
I'll explain more in class, I just need you to bear with me, please.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Opening Some Options and Wrapping Up

I know we just started our final grading period, but there are a couple of things I feel it is important to bring to your attention.
First, as it says in Canvas, nothing that has a due date in May will be accepted past the class period it is due. It simply takes too long for me to address those loose ends and wrap up the semester in a substantial way for that to work.

Second, if you have any Sketchbook work from Ch. 4 or 5 (for Art 1), or any Independent Practices (for Art 2) that were due earlier this semester, regardless of how long ago they were due, I will accept them between May 1st and May 13th. This gives you more than three weeks to work on the work. But, make sure you are following the following directions:

Art 1:
Send me an email that says "Ch. 4 redo" or "Ch. 5 redo" in the subject line.
In the body of the email tell me if you are doing work that was never turned in, or is a do-over of something you turned in earlier ( you must be making significant and noticeable changes if it is a do-over).
If the work is a do-over, include a before and after photo so that I have comparisons I can make, and then physically see me when you are ready to turn it is so I can give additional directions then.
Please send a separate email for Ch. 4 and Ch. 5 if that applies to you.

Art 2:
Send me an email that includes the title/topic of the piece you are turning in, and what number it was, in the subject line.
In the body of the email please tell me if you are doing work that was never turned in, or is a do-over of something you turned in earlier (you must be making significant and noticeable changes if it is a do-over).
If the work is a do-over, include a before and after photo so that I have comparisons I can make, and then make sure to include the topic on the back of the piece (with your name) when you turn it in.
Please send a separate email for each I.P.

For both Art levels: there will be no feedback and "redo" opportunities for work that falls into this category. Also, do not spend class time "catching up" and working on this. You may absolutely use tutorial, lunch, before/after school to do this work, but not class time.

If you have questions about the above, please send me an email. Unfortunately I know not everyone reads these messages, and since I want to focus on current work while in class I will not be discussing this content with the classes as a whole.
I will say, though, that I have been really impressed with some of the work as of late, and I want to allow the ability that I see in you to be shown. I know for some of you this isn't applicable, but for others of you it is. If this helps you, great. If it isn't applicable, thank you for making my life easier on me. I truly, truly, appreciate it.

One other thing I do want to address is the overall use of time. Several of you spend more time on extraneous "things" than are necessary in class. So my request, please be very mindful of how you use class time for the next four to five weeks. This is often with the ipads, so think about things like:
How long is it taking you to log in and select your playlist?
How long are you taking to clean up at the end of class?
But it can also be:
How long are you giving yourself to clean up at the end of class (you probably need less time than you think)?
How many times are you turning to your friends in class instead of having your focus be on your work (Yes, I still want you to feel free to converse with those in your table group, but you still need to get the work done)?

It is easy for any/all of the above to eat up 5-10 minutes of class time, and that is valuable time lost, so be very mindful of your expenditures especially as we work our way into May and June.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Ending and Beginning

Welcome to February, all!
I don't know about you, but after coming down with strep throat, I'm happy to put the last week of January to rest and start a fresh month anew.

As really difficult as this past week has been for me personally, there are some upsides I'm going to try to quickly address some of them here:

  • First, the empathy of the vast majority of my students has been on explicit display. They know I've been massively under the weather, and they have been not just respectful and productive, but kind and full of statements such as, "I hope you feel better soon" (always followed with a smile). To the students, thank you; to the parents, you have some good eggs on your hands. They are reminding me how much I really enjoy being around them and teaching them.
  • Second, since I have been out, it has forced me to remain on the perimeter more than I normally would be and just kind of watch what is happening. In Art 1 we are working on a series of small watercolor landscapes. This is one of the most challenging things we will do this year. As I watch the students work, I am impressed. There are some lovely decisions being made, and from across the room I can see them thinking and processing and putting together a lot of pieces that we have been working on all year. This is so exciting! As a parent and a teacher it is hard to let go at times because you know what "could be" done (or just how we as experienced adults would do it), but we all have to remember that all these adolescents are still just kids, and they need the time and space to figure out their own decisions. I'm seeing some smart decisions, and I can't wait to see the end results!
  • Don't forget that Thursday, 2/7, is the opening reception for the oil painting exhibition in the Town Council Chambers from 6-7:30.
  • Registration: I know the window officially closes on 2/5, but students can always change directly with their counselor later as needed. Honestly, almost every one of the students I am working with this year should be signing up for Art 2 and Art 3 respectively. If you have any questions please let me know.
    A few things to remember based off some questions I've fielded this week: Art 3 gets students the Applied Art credit they need for graduation - always a bonus; there are massive benefits not just for h.s., but also for college admissions, for students to take multiple years of Art (yes, I can give more specifics if you want, but I don't just say this as an Art teacher, but because this is backed up by experts in several different fields); there is no need to take more than one science class per year to be highly qualified for college - this goes counter to what many people want to think (especially if you want your student to pursue something science related), but the truth is, no colleges expect more than four sciences, but all colleges want students that are creative thinkers, and these Art classes are some of the most challenging in terms of "figuring stuff out" and forcing complex thinking processes out of the students; it is amazing how much you have to figure out in order to create a drawing and painting from scratch.
  • Then, tutorial, as we near the end of a grading period, I know there are some - especially in Art 1 - that would benefit from "extra time". While there are many many students who positively use this time, it shouldn't come as a surprise that many student who could most benefit from this time aren't using it. Please encourage accordingly.
  • Last, feedback. Everyone knows I give a lot of this, and I document as much as possible in Canvas. Students are expected to use the feedback given to make changes and adjustments when necessary. With nearly every assignment there is a window for students to make changes to what they've done. Again, please encourage accordingly.
Well, that wasn't quite as short as it could have been, but I tried. I wish you all a restful weekend. That is my one big goal, personally!


Monday, January 28, 2019

Daily Agenda for Art 2 on 1/28/19

I'm sorry to miss the day, everyone :(
I've been sick since Thursday night and I just don't have enough voice to make it through the day.
I will be back tomorrow, and while you know where you left off, I want to get it here in writing for you and the sub.

You may have the first 15min to work on your I.P. that is due next week.
While you already brainstormed some ideas, what I want you to think about is something that is not straightforward. If you draw a cup, and that's it, it's probably going to be really boring.
What else can you add to it? Is there a more interesting object you can draw? How can you play with scale? Can the image be about something else (more interesting), and the item with a handle be just a small part of it?
There are a lot of options, it's up to you to discover them and have fun with it.

Next, finish your color chart.
Remember that the values should be noticeably different in each circle/oval in each column.
Each color mixture should be noticeably different from left to right.
Pay particular attention to your neutrals (for ex, blue and org or purple and yellow) as they need to be mixed properly.
Mix the colors completely on your palette.
Application on color chart is expected to be smooth, homogeneous, opaque, and neat.

When you are finished, make sure your name is on it, you have labeled all of you colors in their respective places, and you put it on my desk in a neat pile once it is dry (use the hair dryer if needed).

If there is time remaining, please begin drawing your image on your canvas.

I will get everything caught up throughout the rest of the week as I can. Wish me luck in healing. Have a great day!

As you see the CT kids coming through/around campus today (beginning around 9:30) please encourage them to sign up for Art 1 :)

Daily Agenda for Art 1 on 1/28/19

I am so sorry to miss class today, folks, but I've been sick since Thursday night.

Your main goal for the day is to, essentially, finish your watercolor that you drew out last week.
However, I want to remind you of some tips and best practices and frequent pitfalls. Please look at the bullet points below for all of those.
When you are finished for the day please do an extra strong cleanup job so I am not looking at a mess tomorrow when I know I will still be under the weather but on campus, and gingerly place your watercolor in your plastic tub.
Also, even though I am having you read this on the ipads, I don't want you listening to music today. The sub can put something on through the computer behind my desk, but I don't want you to have headphones in. I want you to converse and strategize with the peers that are doing the same landscape as you so that you can all have the best product possible.

  • the biggest and lightest areas need to be done first
  • this happens, usually, with a large brush and the wet-on-wet technique
  • think in terms of layers
  • this means that even though you may have grass covering some dirt, you prob need to paint the dirt first, let that dry, then come back over and paint the grass (this is how the lighthouse example by the board was done)
  • never use black by itself, and use it sparingly 
  • even that lighthouse with the stripes on it isn't black; yes, it has black in it, but you need something else in there; black by itself is way too stark (this is a lesson for pretty much every painting medium)
  • color mixing is important
  • think about the color chart we did, how can you use that? brown is rarely the brown from the paint palette; you may need three or four colors together
  • test everything out on scrap paper ahead of time; colors, values, etc.
  • have plenty of paper towels on hand
  • use the hair dryers
  • watercolor is a lot of hurry up and wait; if you try to paint a building right after you do the sky it will probably bleed together; you can't fix this
  • I will often do sky, first ground layer, and then make sure everything is dry before I start to do the rest of my objects and details
  • did I mention that the idea of layers is important? it adds depth, character, and dimension; you need to try to think several steps ahead in order to have the strongest painting possible

If you are finished "early", work on your sketchbook. I am getting better, but I'm not well. Have a great day and I will see you soon!