I am a huge proponent of teaching students skills and pushing creativity. Being able to complete amazing works of art is a matter of learning the skills to do so. Making a thoughtful, and impactful piece is a matter of stretching the brains creativity, understanding visual effects and skills, then applying them. This is what we focus on, first we learn and practice art making skills, then students are asked prompts and encouraged to push their ideas further to create interesting pieces full of creativity.
“Mrs. Gibson I didn’t know I could do art!” a quote from an art 1 student while telling me she is signing up for another art course. When I hear students make these sorts of comments I feel that I have really done my job, opening up the world of art to more people.
This is my taster course and where students learn some basics. Right now it is being taught as a semester course where students learn the basics of line, shape and pattern (as well as craftsmanship and confidence) making a zentangle. We then move onto the basics of color theory with a painting project, then shading and perspective with two drawing projects. We work with clay, and study art history. Students get to do printmaking and weaving as well.
Painting 1 starts with the very basics of blending, then how to mix very specific colors. Students are then challenged with a traditional still life to gain technical skill and apply both mixing and blending. We then look at Impressionism for a different style of painting. With these basic skills students then work on a variety of paintings with a variety of prompts. In Painting 2 students are challenged with more technical pieces such as landscapes and portraits, they are introduced to pointillism, and abstract painting. In painting 3 students study chiaroscuro, how to include mixed media into their pieces and explore large themes within their art pieces.
Drawing is the foundation of art. My drawing students start by using a grid system on a photograph to enlarge a portrait. This is a great exercise in blending as well as building their confidence. We then do a still life to practice drawing from life with charcoal. Next students learn about stippling, and to push their creativity we use a art prompt generator where students have to combine prompts to create a new original image. Students also learn hatching before moving onto printmaking and finishing with colored pencil. In Drawing 2 students work with pastel, charcoal, scratchboard and other mediums, they work on projects centered around: cityscapes, foreshortening, and still lives. We also partner with an english teacher to make cover art for students argumentative papers.
Graphic arts starts in photoshop learning the basics of the program focusing on editing and manipulating images, before learning the pen tool to create their own images. In graphics 2 students learn how to use Illustrator with the importance of vector images, and create their own website.
The sculpture program is just getting underway with many more projects and refining of the curriculum. Students start with a few basic handbuilding projects such as a whistle and a gargoyle. Students work with slabs to create a vase. Because of limited supplies and equipment students will rotate between handbuilt projects and wheel thrown ones.