Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Magic Tree

I've suggested this idea before, and I'm sure I will use it again, but a great studio project can start with the prompt: something that you pass everyday. This is also a good way to train the eye to see magic and beauty in the world. For me, I find it in the parks and trails of Toronto.

Here is a recent example:

Friday, November 8, 2019

Inktober Highlights

During the month of October, many artists attempt a global art challenge: Inktober- to do one ink drawing every day for the whole month. This is a great art studio project.

A few years ago, I complete the challenge and I did it again this year. Although many of the ink drawings are quick and rushed, the point is to have fun, get into good drawing habits and find new ways of working with ink. Here are a few of the highlights from this year:

- Patrick

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween! Symmetrical Pumpkin Project

It's been a busy fall! I just finished Inktober (doing one ink drawing a day for the month of October). I highly recommend this challenge - and it may be a fun class project for higher grades. For the younger grades, my class had a great time doing these Symmetrical Pumpkins.

We've just started 2D Geometry in Math, so this project is great way to practice symmetry and to celebrate Halloween with a fun craft project. This is also a great way to introduce the concept of negative space. 

Step 1: Draw half a pumpkin on a half sheet of orange construction paper.
Step 2: Cut out the pumpkin and then the eye and the mouth. *Keep all the pieces of orange paper*
Step 3: Flip and glue the orange pieces onto the full piece of black construction paper. 


Thursday, August 1, 2019

Inspiration: Arthur Rackham

One of my all-time favourite illustrators is Arthur Rackham, illustrating fairy tales, fantasy stories and classics- and he was amazing at drawing trees. He was part of the Golden Age of British book illustration. He created his work using pen and ink with watercolour.

Here are a few examples of his work, for some mid-week inspiration:

Monday, July 1, 2019

Turtle island tree mural project- Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day!

After learning about Indigenous history and some Ojibwe creation stories, my Grade 4 and 5 class created this mural in the school library. Each student designed a circle to add to the mural with symbols and colours that represent their identity.

I sketched the tree on the wall and another teacher drew the turtle. Students painted the tree and the turtle and added patterns on top of the bark.

It still seems miraculous that we managed to complete this project in 2 weeks! Everyone had a lot of fun and the students will leave a lasting legacy.

We used house paint and paint markers (for finer details).

* see my previous mural projects at schools here: 2016 2014 and 2013 and a how-to post here.

- Patrick

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Symbolic Self-portrait class project

A fun and rewarding studio art project is the Symbolic Self-portrait. To do this you will need a projector and some large coloured paper.

Step 1: tape a piece of large coloured paper to the projector screen

Step 2: have each student come up one at a time and sit on a chair in profile in front of the projector screen and shine the projector towards the screen (this creates a shadow profile of the student on the paper that you taped up)

Step 3: trace the outline of the student's profile on the paper (or have students work in pairs to trace each others' profiles)

Step 4: have students brainstorm things that represent their identity

Step 5: have students research visual references for their chosen symbols and items

Step 6: have students organize the space inside their traced profile to draw their symbols using the reference images they found

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Cool stuff coming up at the A.G.O.

There's lots of cool stuff coming up at the A.G.O., check out their site for more info: https://ago.ca/

First of all, starting today (May 25th) and going for the next year for sure,
anyone under 25 gets in free!!!!!
Also, annual passes are $35!!!!!  
A few great changes from C.E.O. Stephan Jost- thank you!

I can't wait to check out:

Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room (now open and part of the permanent collection)
Brian Jungen: Friendship Centre (opening June 20th)

- Patrick

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Friday, March 15, 2019

Coco Oil Pastel scratch-board project

Recently my class had a great time making their own scratch-board using oil pastels. We used the "Land of the Dead" from the movie Coco as inspiration for a colourful, geometric, fantasy landscape.

Step 1: use warm coloured crayons to colour a white sheet of paper
Step 2: cover the crayon completely with black oil pastel
Step 3: use a toothpick to draw (scratch away) a geometric landscape to reveal the colour beneath

This is great way to use a new technique with different materials and practice using the principle of design: contrast and the elements of design: colour, shape and form.

Here are some examples of student work: