Cycle 3 Week 18- Jim Davis

Sorry for getting this lesson out so late!

I think categorizing Jim Davis as a “Great Artist” is a stretch. Famous cartoonist? Yes. Up there with O’Keeffe and Pollock? Not so much. Luckily, the next edition of the Foundations Guide does not include him in the curriculum, so you don’t have to listen to me rant and rave about the subject.

This lesson is super simple. Focusing on OiLS (the drawing concepts from week one), have students design a cartoon character. I suggest having them pick an animal as their character. Use the following lesson plan and handouts as a guide. Students can copy the facial features, or create their own. Once designed, put the character into comic strip form. If time, kids can color their comic strip, or present their work to the group.

Here is the lesson plan for Cycle 3 Week 18- Jim Davis

I hope you all have a wonderful semester, and I’ll be back with more lessons starting in August!

Cycle 3 Week 17- Roy Lichtenstein

This will probably be one of your students’ favorite projects this year! Roy Lichtenstein’s paintings, inspired by comic strips, are colorful and bold and kids can immediately connect with his style.

Lichtenstein’s paintings were large-scale, exaggerating the Ben-Day dot technique used to print colors at the time. We’ll use Q-tips and tempera paint to mimic the look, and also look at color schemes that work well with our pop art project. Continue Reading →

Cycle Week 16- Andrew Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth has been one of my favorite artists for a long while now. For some reason I’m drawn to his melancholy, quiet pieces. Is that weird? Maybe a sign of deeper psychological issues? I don’t know, but I do like his stuff.

Like Wyeth, we’ll be painting with watercolors. This medium is a challenge, but we’re going to keep it simple. A little color mixing and a few painting techniques, and voila! a melancholy, dreary landscape. What’s not to love? Continue Reading →

Cycle 3 Week 14- Norman Rockwell

For me, Norman Rockwell’s illustrations do more than tell a story. They often convey something deep about life and human fragility. Yes, many of his drawings are humorous, but even then they contain so much more. They capture the emotions of the subject, the complexity of a seemingly everyday scene. We connect with the inner thoughts of the people pictured. Norman Rockwell was extremely gifted with understanding and empathizing with people in all stages of life.

The learning targets for this week are (1) defining the word “illustration” and (2) conveying emotion through our work. Continue Reading →

Cycle 3 Week 5- Washington Monument Perspective Drawing

This was my first week back to CC and, boy, am I feeling it.  Maybe also because my husband has been gone for a week, I’m planning my daughter’s fifth birthday party, and I have four loads of laundry staring at me.  Whatever the reason, I’m a little tired and I’m going to blame that for the badly-proportioned Washington Monuments in my video lessons.  So, please adjust your drawings in class accordingly.  Or if yours ends up being off too, just blame me.

We will practice shading in this lesson just like the Liberty Bell project from week two.  Repetition of the concept can help it stick in our student’s brains, and help them see how it can be used in multiple ways.  This week it will be used on the geometric forms of the Washington Monument, and next week we’ll find ways to use it in our final drawing. Continue Reading →

Cycle 3 Week 1- Apples and OiLS

Image of Illustrated Apple

This art project will probably be quite a bit different from what you are used to in CC.  As tutors, we usually draw a picture on the board and have the students copy as we draw.  The students are (hopefully) looking at the lines and drawing them on their own paper.  This is essentially the same skill as drawing a still life, where we look at something, analyze the lines and shapes, and reproduce it.  However, I think students may be missing the real-world translation.  How do we draw something without copying someone else’s drawing?  How do we take the OiLS concept from “Drawing With Children” and connect it to drawing an object (or person, or landscape)?

This lesson is a series of sketches, not a finished artwork.  The project may feel unusual, but it imparts a seriously important drawing skill.  Try practicing at home and notice if it changes the way you think as you draw.

In last week’s post I talked about using the phrase “Let’s study what we see”.  As you teach lesson one, use the phrase all the time.  This lesson is a great starting point as we drive home the idea over the next six weeks. Continue Reading →

Cycle 2 Week 18- Morisot and Playful Paint

This project is almost as fun as finger-painting!  Kids get to add items to the paint, creating unique and interesting textures.  Though our artist for the week, Berthe Morisot, didn’t paint with such unusual items, we will still incorporate her work into the project and connect her to the lesson.

In the lesson plan I have included simple drawings of some of her paintings.  The students will use the textured paint to fill in the pictures.  Because the paint is so thick, it is best to do this project in the beginning of the day so it has lots of time to dry. Continue Reading →

Cycle 2 Week 17- Degas’ Dancers

As a girl I loved looking at Degas’ work.  I was enamored by the beautiful ballerinas in voluminous tutus practicing their movements .  It seemed effortlessly feminine.  Though most of his work focuses on the female form, he also did paintings of men and children in everyday life.  The overarching theme in his work is the human figure, and he was able to expertly capture the movement of the body.

Because I want to teach my students about Degas’ mastery of the human figure, I am straying completely from the Discovering Great Artists lessons.  Instead, this lesson will teach VERY basic figure drawing ideas.  Don’t worry, it’s simple! Continue Reading →

Cycle 2 Week 16- Mini Monets

This week we move into Impressionism.  When we think of Impressionism we think of Claude Monet.  And when we think of Claude Monet we think of water lilies, landscapes, and dabbled paint.  This is exactly what we want our students to think of as well.  Hopefully by the time this project is done, they will have a permanent impression of Monet’s work and will be able to recall the imagery and technique of his style.

Not only will they see his style, but they will know what it feels like to paint as he did… with one exception.  Monet usually painted outdoors.  Though the Discovering Great Artists lesson has students painting what they see outside, this is hard to do during winter.  Here it is cold and snowy, with very little color outside.  To compensate for this, my lesson has students copy parts of Monet’s work, then do a landscape from their own head using his dabbing technique. Continue Reading →

Cycle 2 Week 15- Fanciful Landscapes

It’s time to let our imaginations run wild!  Though Thomas Gainsborough’s landscapes might appear simply realistic to us, they have a dream-like, dramatic quality to them.  It is said that he even created them at home using pebbles, twigs, and even broccoli to create mini dioramas.  The images were very much from inside his own head.

For this project, the students will create their own imaginary scene.  Just like Gainsborough’s, it will be realistic yet wondrous.  Waterfalls?  Rainbows?  Babbling brooks with ferns and foliage?  Erupting volcanoes?  The students get to be as creative and unrestrained as they choose. Continue Reading →