Tag Archives: 8th grade art

Japanese Fan Project

I invent all of my own lessons. This is one of my favorites! They are so pretty – I love them. I did the project with my 9th period A day class.

Materials:

  1. Illustration board
  2. Metallic acrylic paint
  3. Fine and extra fine Sharpies
  4. Prismacolor colored pencils
  5. Origami paper

Instructions:

  1. Trace the fan stencil to the center of the illustration board
  2. Choose a metallic paint color and paint the background using a flat brush.
  3. Select three or more resource pictures from the Japanese file – these are 18th century woodblock prints, drawings and paintings (of landscapes, portraits, still-lifes) AND contemporary artworks from Takashi Murakami and other artists. Use Scholastic Art magazines, Dover books, old calendars, etc.)
  4. Draw a composition using a mash-up technique to create a new work of art that looks seamless.
  5. Outline with Sharpie markers using thick and thin lines.
  6. Color with colored pencils.
  7. Add a piece of origami paper to the bottom of the fan. Use a glue stick to attach it.

Connected

3rd place – Chittenango Lions Club Peace Poster contest 2021 – “We Are All Connected”

My 8th grade accelerated Studio in Art students completed an intense nine weeks of creating these peace posters for the Chittenango Lions Club. The Lions sponsor an international peace poster competition for middle school aged children with a grand prize of $5,000.

It is an illustration lesson/editorial design project with some limitations – no words or characters of any kind, no trademarked items or advertisements. We used 16″ x 20″ white tagboard and Prismacolor colored pencils. The Lions Club generously donated enough sets so that my students could each have their own 48 color set. Thirty-eight students competed this year.

Students spent additional hours on these posters at home on the weekends to complete them in time for the contest deadline. The winning poster will go on to the regional competition and possibly the state one as well. The theme for this year is “We Are All Connected”. Now that we are all back in school full-time, this sentiment is truly apropos. <3

2nd place – Chittenango Lions Club Peace Poster contest 2021- “We Are All Connected”
1st place – Chittenango Lions Club Peace Poster contest 2021 – “We Are All Connected”

Day of the Dead

My Art-8 students created these fabulous Sugar Skulls. They came out of the kiln yesterday just in time for a Day of the Dead celebration. We used the slab technique over a plastic head mold. They added and subtracted clay. I helped them remove the sculpture from the form replacing it with paper towels, slashed the cheekbones to create the skeleton shape and added holes to weave a wire through them.

Projects were bisque fired then glazed with these great confetti style glazes. Now they can hang on a wall to be enjoyed for many years to come! <3

Lizards!

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Two of my classes used hand-building skills to create these adorable clay lizards.  We used the Sax Colorburst glazes.  I love the colors, especially the Firecracker!!!  The projects remain in the glass case in the Chittenango Middle School atrium.

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We looked at the work of the Aboriginals of Australia for inspiration.  Different patterns were added to the body, head, limbs and tail using a variety of techniques.

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The Italian Still-Life

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My Studio in Art students recently completed these still-life paintings based on photographs I took last year at Vince’s Gourmet Imports (440 S. Main Street, North Syracuse, New York 13212).

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I have paired them here with the resource picture.  Contour line drawings made on white drawing paper were transferred to canvas panel via the magic of graphite paper.  Then students used acrylic paint.  They had their own palettes and mixed colors by adding white and raw sienna to every hue, which gives the paintings a sense of unity (the colors “go” together).  I encouraged them to maintain their own styles.  This included the option of outlining in black, consistent brush work, removing or adding text, and creating a different background.

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They are 8th graders taking this high-school level course for high school credit and the opportunity to take upper level art electives next year.  We have one quarter left of the school year – I have plans for two more lessons to complete course work off-campus if necessary.  The Chittenango Central School District is temporarily closing on Tuesday with an indefinite return date at this time.

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The Gourmet

A trip to Vince’s Gourmet Imports (440 N. Main Street, North Syracuse, New York 13212) inspired my new still life painting project.  The Studio in Art students completed the course with these epic 16″ x 20″ acrylic paintings.

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I have paired them here with their inspiration photograph.  Students selected the picture then began with the contour line drawing.  These were transferred to canvas with the magical help of graphite paper, placed onto gessoed and burnt sienna-stained canvas panels.

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My main educational tip – begin with white in your mixing tray.  Add raw sienna and whatever main color to the mix (blue, yellow, etc).  This will insure that you don’t make too much of a color by starting too dark and adding crap-loads of white, lol.  The other thing to keep in mind is to not homogenize the mixture so that you can utilize dark and light variations of the color while painting with one brush.

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I am an advocate for students developing and maintaining their own styles as artists.  We looked at the work of Alice Neel and Janet Fish.  Some students went with the black outlines à la Neel.  And Fish’s representation of glass was helpful to their decision making.

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They took the paintings home today, but their images are on display in the counseling offices and will remain there throughout the summer months. I made 8″ x 10″ color copies of the paintings, mounted them to black construction paper and placed them in frames.  I love this new gallery space!

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I feel incredibly blessed to have shared this artistic adventure with these very talented fourteen-year-olds.  Studio in Art is an accelerated high school level class that I teach to 8th graders at Chittenango Middle School in Chittenango, New York.

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