Grid Drawings

This is the third year I've tried a grid drawing project with students -  with possibly the best results yet!  I printed black and white photos for students to draw a one inch grid over, then they drew another grid on a blank piece of paper.  We watched this video to see the grid method in action and learned a little about Chuck Close.  

Check out these awesome drawings by 6th, 7th and 8th graders!

Radial Symmetry

This week students created symmetrical designs based on rotational or radial symmetry.  They began with one design on a small square using geometric or organic shapes and lines.  Then this design was transferred four times to create a final design.

Geometric Hex Signs

This lesson is based on the current artist, Kristin Farr.  She uses traditional hex signs from Dutch barns, to create her own geometric neon versions.

First, I experimented with creating a design using watercolors.  

To draw the hex signs, I wanted my students to practice a few technical skills.  They used a compass to draw a circle, drew the diameter, then we practiced using a protractor to measure 60 and 120 degrees.  By marking every 60 degrees, we could transform the circle into a hexagon.  

From there students could create any design.  I shared a few tips, but mainly students were eager to explore on their own, ways to create repeating, intentional designs. 

Once students felt confident in drawing out their designs, we began adding color.  Also, to keep their interest- we drew on discarded CDs :) 
They loved drawing on these and the markers allowed them to have more control as compared to paints.  The bold colors also help their hard work stand out. 


Geometric Paper Mural

Since our library has a temporary plywood wall for construction purposes, I thought it'd be a fun spot for a paper mural.  Using cardstock paper, old book pages and Mod Podge, students have helped paste these geometric shapes over several days.  I printed a template for the geometric shapes and students used the templates to trace and cut out all the pieces for the mural.  At first I was guiding students in placing the shapes correctly, but once the patterns appeared, it was easy for students to arrange the shapes correctly. 

If you look closely you'll notice there is a section where the pattern is reversed.  When many students were working on the mural at once, our pattern was shifted, but the overall design is still lovely. The mural is still in progress.  

Several weeks later the project is complete :)

6th Grade Weavings

This week a 6th grade class was introduced to weaving on cardboard looms.

First, students measured and marked each centimeter at the top and bottom of their loom.  Then students prepared the warp (vertical) strings on the loom.

Students alternated yarn colors to create stripes in their weavings and also experimented with creating designs with shapes.


One & Two Point Perspective

One and two point perspective drawing techniques are great for quickly increasing students' abilities to draw depth. 

One point perspective is one of my favorites because it looks so exciting!

Two point perspective usually takes more patience and attention to detail.

This collaborative two point perspective activity was a great chance for students to practice the steps and rules of two point perspective with the support of their peers. 

I loved seeing the details students added once they outlined a two point perspective city scene. 

Ceramic Relief Sculptures

6th graders just put the finishing touches on their relief sculpture projects.  This project was started several weeks ago when students created a scene of an animal and its habitat.  Of course, an alien and a human were accepted as "animals".  Students enjoyed this topic and they looked up images in order to create details. 

The projects were fired once then glazed and fired a second time. 

Students were really happy with their creations! 

To add some pizazz to the wire hanging component of the artwork, students made paper beads and chose some store bought beads. 

Making paper beads is simple and easy with magazines or fancy paper.