Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Introduction to Mannequins!

Rourke refers to the wooden mannequin as he works on drawing his people.

I found five wooden mannequins in a cupboard in Room 9 and I quickly decided that it would be fun to use them for the next assignment.  Artists study the proportions of the human body by looking at these wooden models.  Mannequins have simplified shapes and are easy to pose.  Plus, they stay still as long as your need them to, unlike real human models! 
The first activity that I presented required the students to search through magazines and find three people in three different poses.  I suggested that their people should also be three different sizes.  Each magazine person was carefully cut out and traced onto the other half of the paper.  It was important to use a gluestick to place them in the same position as the traced side so that everything looked balanced and organized. 
While looking carefully at the mannequin, the students drew their magazine people with simplified body parts just like what they saw.  All of the outside lines from the tracing step were later erased and Voila!  A mannequin person in the position of each magazine cut-outs remained! This was a super way for the students to become familiar with the parts of the figure which would prove to be a crucial skill for the next lesson.  Check back to see where we headed next!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sydney's Sculpture

Sydney worked hard to turn her sculpture into more than an ordinary neighborhood.  She was concerned that her work lacked excitement and originality, but all that changed when she added plastic scraps across the sky area.  She also built a picket fence out of popsicle sticks and colored all of these sections with a white oil pastel.  The parts in the sky represent electrical lines, and together with the fence she gives us alot to look at and think about.  Good-bye, neighborhood!  Hello, original ideas!  Problem solved. :)

Arden's Sculpture

Arden used an interesting organic shape that looks like the outline of a rooster as one of the main pieces of her sculpture.  In this picture it is the piece of wood that looks like someone rubbed the powder from an empty bag of cheese doodles all over it!  I really like the way that the sculpture makes great use of space: notice the overlapping shapes and the sense of depth and dimension that the plastic scraps add at the front where it looks like a balcony.  It's hard to see, but there is even a sky tram suspended by a wire.  Can you see it?

Sophia's Sculpture

Sophia's sculpture looks like a picture perfect place!  Notice the shining sun and the variety of shapes and colors.  We all thought that this piece of art looked like it was made on a chalkboard!  The colors are very bright and cheery!

A Final look at Cityscapes!

Brianna C used many geometric shapes in her cityscape sculpture.  Triangles, squares and circles create a strong sense of repetition!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Where In The World...?

The cityscape sculptures were a huge success! We all watched as simple wooden scraps were transformed into highly inventive and original works of art. The best part was to see how each person used similar supplies in their own unique way. I hope that you enjoy seeing these sculptures and if you like them, feel free to leave a comment! The sculpture above is by Miranda B. and plays with the idea of an imaginary place where the "Devil Horn Hotel" is the main structure on the right. Check out the vehicle on the upper left. So whimsical and fun! I'll be sure to post more great work over the next few days so check back soon!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Cities Come To Life!

Matthew C. is hard at work adding layers of oil pastels to his sculpture.
After all of the parts had been arranged and glued into place, everyone used black or dark green acrylic paint to basecoat their entire sculpture.  Even though it was okay to be messy during this step, it still took alot of patience and effort to get the paint into every little area.  Everyone was motivated to get their sculpture covered so they could move on to the awesome job of selecting a variety of colors!
Once again we talked about contrasting colors, warm and cool colors and complimentary colors. I reminded everyone that all of the little details and multiple layers of parts would become nearly impossible to see unless they made smart choices with the oil pastlels. I am happy to report that they did an excellent job with selecting and applying their colors! 
The pastels worked well on top of the acrylic paint and it was fun to mix and blend colors together.  I asked the students to outline their smaller parts with a contrasting color to help emphasize each detail.  It was so cool to see each sculpture come to life as the colors worked their magic to transform the painted wood into vibrant cityscapes!

Max had to work in the small, difficult to reach areas of the skatepark he designed!

David M. created a skyscraper constructed from plastic scraps that he cut and arranged to create a sense of balance!

Maggie M. used colors that really popped against the black basecoat!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Beginning To Build!

Ryan enjoyed arranging many layers of wood scraps to create his cityscape.
Did you ever have a whole bunch of cool "junk" and not know what to do with it? Then, if you're lucky, a great idea pops into your head and all of that junk becomes a work of art!   This is the case with this lesson.  Students continued to explore architecture by arranging randomly shaped wood scraps on a cardboard background. The end results were amazing cityscape sculptures!
The printmaking project that we did before this was a great introduction to building up layers so building the this sculpture "in relief" was a logical method to use.  Basically, a relief sculpture is flat on the back
 and raised out in layers on the front.  I told the students that their challenge was to layer many parts to create depth not height. I gave everyone the choice of building a sculpture that could hang on the wall or sit on a table.
When you view this work I hope that you will see how each sculpture makes good use of the wood scraps which were from the school's wood shop.  Students in my class were not allowed to change these scraps but had to search for pieces that would work for them.  Each piece was attached with wood glue or with hot glue when pieces were not easily balanced.  Originality and exploration were the most important parts of this activity and the results are exciting to see!
The first images of these sculptures show the materials in their original unpainted state.  Be sure to see how the use of acrylic paint and oil pastels change the look of each city as the project continues in the
next posts!

A view of some of the works in progress as they filled up Room 9.

Miranda used many scraps with curvy edges.  Her sculpture has a playful personality!

Arianna and Hannah A. experiment with adding plastic pieces.