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Monday, February 24, 2014

Artbotics Day 4: Chuck Close Portrait Style

For those of you who don't know, myself included, Chuck Close is a famous artist that draws portraits using grids.


For an inept artist like myself, this seems to be an easy way to introduce precise portrait drawing. Allow me to walk you through the process we followed.

Step 1: Take pictures. We took pics of the kids on day one since we knew this lesson would come around.





Step 2: Grid up your drawing paper. Our paper ended up being 8 X 6.



Step 3: Grid up your picture to match the drawing paper. Our students did a great job following directions on this! I used the picture of one of the kids that didn't show up today. I knew he wouldn't mind!



Step 4: Going quadrant by quadrant, draw the portrait to match. We had to stress to the kids that they could take their time on this. We are actually ahead of other Artbotics teams, so we can take another week on this project if needed.






Step 5: Fill in the background. Ms. Roach and I told the kids that once their portraits were complete, they could draw whatever background they wanted.

We didn't get to finish, but here is what they have so far. Some decided to be very detailed, while others  were more abstract in their approach.







Great job!



Sunday, February 23, 2014

Read Across America Week 2014

It's not for another month, but our fabulous librarian, Mrs. Kapp, has already created an itinerary and website! Here are the links:




Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Artbotics Day 3: Cartoons with graphite

We are still working on creating self-portraits using different mediums. Today we introduced cartoons by reading the book I Like Myself.


Watch the video (HERE)

We discussed how the illustrator picked different aspects of the characters to make them look silly or interesting. Then we talked about making ourselves into cartoons by picking a facial feature and making it bigger/ smaller/ grosser/ etc.

In order to get ourselves acclimated to using graphite, we practiced drawing simple cartoons using this video from youtube.


Here are some of their creations:







Then we went into creating our cartoon portraits. Students were told they could create whatever they wanted as long as it showed themselves. Frankly, I'm a little worried. :)








Great job, ladies and gents!
Next week we will do portraits in the style of Chuck Close.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Artbotics Day 2: Emotional Portrait- oil pastels

We began this session by reading the book Looking Like Me.




Ms. Roach and I pointed out that the pictures of the characters weren't drawn with precision, but more of a focus on shape and emotional colors. We used the picture below from the Artbotics training that Roach and I attended to show how colors bring out emotions.


 In the story, the character Jeremy told all the things that he is: a son, a brother, an artist, a writer.... the list keep going. Students were asked to review their journal entry from last week and add more labels in their "I am" category.

From there, students were given oil pastels, paper, and a strict warning- These will stain your clothes. Be careful!

Here are students creating their first emotional, colorful self-portraits based on how they see themselves in their "I am" statements.










Well done, kids! Next week we master the art of.... cartoons!

Artbotics Day 1: Journaling

This past fall Ms. Roach and I co-coached the Robotics team.  We did so well in our first year that we made it to Regionals at Tennessee Tech!



This spring we are taking the kids love of robotics and combining it with their creative side. We are also using this as a way to introduce robotics to new students, ones that might be interested in continuing robotics next fall.

If you are interested in Artbotics, check out the My Artbotics Weebly. It has some great information and pictures.

Students participating in Artbotics will spend 4-5 weeks learning about different art techniques and artists in the hopes that their new knowledge will help them create a self portrait. The last 4-5 weeks will be spent turning their portrait into a moving work of art with the robotic arms and robotics program.

In the same way that good authors know that they can't write what they don't know, good artists know that they can't create what they haven't first explored. In order to allow students to explore, through words, their thoughts and feelings, they will journal to begin each session.

On Day 1 we asked students to journal all about themselves using a 4-square. (This is an activity I have my students do in class when researching someone. We have done these for Nelson Mandela, Dr. King, the presidents, etc)

Here is the one that the kids helped me fill in about myself.



From there, the kids did their own. Here they are working hard!






 Here is a finished Day 1 Journal:

We talked the kids through what will be expected of them this spring. Then we showed them this video, that might explain things a little better.

Before sending them home, Ms. Roach and I let the kids explore some of the different art mediums that they will be using over the next 8-9 weeks. In the next session, we will be looking into creating portraits based on color and emotion.