Educating Students in the 21st Century
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Monumental Pastel
High School Lesson

After being inspired by Georgia O'Keefe's paintings, students created their own 'monumental' pastel by blowing up a small section of an image. This project was a lot of fun because students choose subject matter that related to their own interests.

Using a viewfinder, my high school students designed a composition by finding beauty in unusual places by zooming into an image to see it abstracted. They enlarged their image to develop observational drawing skills. Creating a non-objective composition teaches students the importance of the elements and principles of art. The last key objective of this project was to develop skill in a new medium, pastel, by blending and experimenting with different techniques.

Please click on the student work to see the detail.
Topic(s): high school lessons student art work
By Heather on April 2, 2008 at 11:33am EDT Add Comment


Fingerprint Portraits
Contemporary American painter Chuck Close is one of my favorite artists. He created amazing massive portraits using a grid in unconventional ways. I saw his work at the Albright Knox in Buffalo, NY (Fall of 2006). The Show was a "Survey of Self-Portraits" and was amazing to experience with my family. If you have never seen his work, you better go Google some now! What's even more remarkable is that he was suddenly paralyzed half way through his career and he continued to work.

I was inspired by his art to create a lesson for my 8th graders. He made these very fun portraits using his fingerprints rather than a brush. I presented his work and taught them how to use the grid to blow up their photograph. Painting with fingerprints is not easy. Since we used only black acrylic, you have to rely on pressure for lights and darks. Flaws are a natural part of this process and learning how to accept them and work with them is one reason I like this project.

I loved creating my class example, my Self-Portrait. I loved it so much, that I created another for Pale as a goofy gift (above). My first portrait of Pale! What's wrong with me! He's great and I'll have to pay tribute to him again, maybe in oil paint next time. :P

Below are students' pieces.


Topic(s): acrylic painting portrait self-portraits middle school lessons student art work 2007
By Heather on January 17, 2008 at 12:25pm EST Add/View Comments (5)


Kids On Campus
I just signed up for another year at RIT's Kids on Campus summer program. Since it's on my mind for the moment, I thought I would post my students' websites from the past two years. They are a lot of goofy fun! I teach the Ultimate Web Comics workshop using Photoshop and Dreamweaver. The students' ideas are wild. I try to change it up every year so if anyone has any fun suggestions let me know.

The first year (2006) we just made a comic using traditional and non-traditional techniques and then made a site. My second year (2007), I had them make a cartoon of themselves to learn Photoshop, make a "traditional" web comic, and then create an experimental comic using something other than drawing cartoons, such as photos or clay. The students' skills range from never taken an art class or played with Photoshop before too extremely talented and knowledgable. Sometimes this is a challenge to be able teach the basics while keeping it interesting for those who already know their stuff, hence the reason for so many added activities my second year.

I can't wait for summer!!

KOC 2006
KOC 2007
Topic(s): middle school lessons student art work
By Heather on January 16, 2008 at 1:30pm EST Add Comment
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