Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dia De Los Muertos!

Last week SMS 6th graders learned about the upcoming holiday, Dia De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.  We discussed the holiday including misconceptions of the holiday.  Many people think it is related to Halloween because it is during the same time of the year and because of the skull subject matter.  This holiday is not related to Halloween, it is a holiday that is celebrated in Mexico and parts of the United States.  Many people also think that it is a scary holiday, but it is actually a happy holiday.  This holiday is about remembering loved ones that have passed and celebrating their life instead of mourning their passing.  There are many traditions associated with this holiday, including sugar skulls, parades, special bread and papel picado.  Papel Picado means punched paper in Spanish, it is made of thin paper that has intricate cut-outs and hung from the ceiling. 

For this project, students created a collage using construction paper.  I really stressed to students to put the glue on the side that they drew on so the viewer did not see pencil lines. This really helped our craftsmanship on this project.  Some students chose to depict loved ones that had passed, some chose random characters and some chose previous pets. 

We also spent one class making Papel Picado to decorate the room!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Happy Value Day!!

I wore my value shirt and created this necklace and
wished students a Happy Value Day!! 
This week our 8th graders studied value and form.  First, we had a guest artist show us his wonderful photo realistic drawings to show the students how to use value in a drawing and techniques that help create this look. It was so nice of him to take his time to show the students!!  THANK YOU!!  Next,  we watched our presentation on value and form... . 

After discussing how to create a form by adding value, we were ready to draw.  Students were asked to draw fruit using value.  I wanted students to use different materials and was excited when I found an example of this project on Pinterest.  This project allowed us to use charcoal, pencil and colored pencil.  I used my amazing document camera (with light) so students could see the still life... isn't technology cool???  Students used charcoal on the newspaper, ebony pencils on the paper and colored pencil on the brown paper.  

Friday, October 19, 2012

Give them a HAND!!!

6th graders studied Michelangelo. Most of the students had heard of Michelangelo, well... OK, I admit, they had heard of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.  Students were really excited to learn that all of the Ninja turtles were named after famous artists.  After discussing turtles, we were ready to talk about the artist.  Before we began this project we spent one class talking about the Sistine Chapel and how Michelangelo spent 4 years painting on the ceiling.  Students then taped paper under our tables and drew a fall picture.  The objective of this assignment is not the product, but the process.  Students can appreciate Michelangelo's artwork more because of this experience.
We continued our discussion of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the most famous part, the hands!!! We practiced drawing hands for two whole classes before we began our final project.  Students were asked to draw their hands in two different positions.  While drawing their hands, students were asked to hold a piece of string to wrap and hold which helps create real positions as well as keep the hand still.  They were allowed to chose one word that had meaning (except their name) to put in the middle.  Hands are one of the most difficult things to draw and these student rocked them!!! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012


 7th Graders learned about OP ART this past week and we studied the artwork of Vasarely, Bridget Riley and MC Escher.  We looked at art that made us say WHOA!!! Op art is based off of artwork that contains optical illusions. Op art creates movement through these optical illusions. Many times it contains artwork that is 2-D but made to look 3-D.  After watching our presentation ( ), we discussed different op art designs and students chose one that they wanted to create.  During this assignment, craftsmanship is very important because a wrong line, wrong color, or visible pencil lines can really disrupt the illusions. Great Job students!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

This is so SURREAL!!

Surrealism is an art movement that included paintings and movies from the 1920's. Surrealists wanted to step away from rational thought.  Many paintings look like dreams or nightmares.  They use recognizable objects in unnatural ways. The most famous surreal artist is Salvador Dali (melting clocks on the right). SMS seventh graders used magazines to collage recognizable objects into a landscape that is just a bit odd.  SO SURREAL!!