Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Shady Side of Picasso: An art lesson focusing on cubism and shading- Revisted

In art class this week we studied artistic genius
Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973).

He co-founded Cubism and produced a monumental 20,000 artworks during his 70-year career. Picasso’s torrential outpouring of work was so extensive and complex that art historians have divided it into individual periods. A prodigy in his youth, Picasso enrolled in advanced classes at Barcelona’s Royal Academy of Art at age 15. The strong geometric forms of his groundbreaking Cubist works redefined art as a medium that could digress from literal images of reality. Passionately creative in every genre from primitive art to sketches to Surrealism, Picasso profoundly impacted 20th century art."
This is from the short biography at allposters.com.

There are many otherwise good artists who can create a beautiful 2D line drawing, but when trying to give it depth through light, dark, and middle shading values, sometimes they fall short. An excellent exercise for any artist, whether beginner or expert is gray value study. Every color has a value. It can be thought of as intensity or vibrancy as well. If you use a crayon and color with a lot of pressure you will create a deeper value than you would have had you colored lightly with less pressure. The same goes for pencil and they gray values created. It applies to line work as well with hatching and cross-hatching, though the latter can create deeper value simply with more lines spaced closer together. Below you will see an excellent exercise to practice your pencil shading work with.

You simply start by making the first box as dark as you can and make each box subsequently lighter. There are only six boxes in each row. There are actually so many values in between these, but you can challenge yourself later by adding more boxes. For real beginners you may want to start with fewer boxes. Q-tips can also come in handy for blending and picking up some graphite from a heavy area and using it to shade as well.
Hatching is simply a sequence of lines moving in the same direction. Like this //////. You can achieve lighter or deeper values based on the heaviness of your lines and the spacing between them. For a lighter value, use lighter lines space further apart. For deeper values, use heavier lines spaced closer together. Cross hatching is very similar to hatching except you use lines that cross each other like this XXXXX. The more layers of lines going in different directions the deeper the value will appear. The tip for hatching applies here as well with pressure and spacing.
The final row is reserved for scribbling. Here is where you get to have fun and use any kind of lines you want, just make sure they get lighter as you go. The more pressure you use and the less white space you leave will result in deeper values and vice-versa. This acts as a good warm up for this next project though it is a great thing to practice over and over- just like scales on a musical instrument.

Project Picasso

Materials needed

drawing paper
sharpie markers


1. Have kids draw a large oval shape. It should take up most of the paper.

2. Have the kids draw curves down the middle of the oval to create a profile. There should be a forehead, nose, lips, and chin. We are creating a view of a profile and a full face. Two points of view to be seen simultaneously. This was often a goal of cubism, creating viewpoint from different planes to be viewed all at the same time.

3. Next have the kids draw in eyes. They can make the eyes shapes any shape they want because this is an abstract project, but to get a more realistic shape, I always tell the kids to start by making a "rainbow curve" on the top under it, to make a "happy face smile"

4. After the eyes are in, have them find the lips and draw a sideways "V"to define the edge of the mouth. Repeat on the other side.

5. Now they can add eyebrows, ears, hair, and a small "C", normally or backwards depending on which direction the profile nose points.

6. Now have them think of 2-3 shapes. I used figure 8's and stars for the slide show.
Have them draw these shapes right over the face. Have them make the shapes very large. The shapes should overlap each other. They can use the sharpies to go over the pencil lines they like, avoiding any they didn't like. When they are done they can erase any lines they don't like and it won't affect the darkened lines.

7. Have them color in each space that has been made from the overlapping lines. There are rules for coloring though. No two same values can touch each other. So no two white or black shapes can touch each other except at the corners. As well no two gray values that are too similar can touch. Encourage kids to put contrasting values next to each other to create more interest and drama. They can use any type of shading technique in this step. What matters is the value. They can use the Q-Tips for blending as I discussed above.

These projects look great mounted or matted with black card stock or mat board.

This is a great book for any aspiring artist. It says it's for kids but any artist could benefit from the lessons in this book and inspired the shading lesson above.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sorry for the interruption...

Hey there everyone in blogger land. I know I have made some promises I haven't lived up to yet, but hopefully you will forgive me. I have been very sick. I am on the mend but between recovery and morning sickness I am not quite up to blogging yet. Hopefully soon though. Perhaps the time off will stir the juices of creativity as well and I 'll have lots of new and interesting projects for you- not a promise by the way.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Sneek Peek

Check back tomorrow for a tutorial on how to complete this "bronze" horse relief based on the
works of Frederic Remington.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Have A Very Sweet Mother's Day

This project is based on the art of Wayne Thibaud, a pop artist famous for his paintings of food. His desserts are especially delectable. Taking another nod from my art teacher friend at Oodles of Art, this project will be done with first and second graders tomorrow.

My particular spin on this project lies in the timing. Since Sunday is Mother's Day, wouldn't this make an absolutely delicious card for Mom or Grandma?

1. You can make this an oversize card if you start with 12 x 18 inch construction paper, fold in half lengthwise.

2.Start by drawing a "V" shape on the bottom of the page. Top this V with a happy face line and then add as many scoops as you like!

3. The fun part comes in when trying to decide what flavors and toppings to use and how best to represent them with color.

My cone was completed in oil pastel and has five scoops of some of my favorites like chocolate with M&M's, rainbow sherbet, Neapolitan, chocolate chip cookie dough, and mint chocolate chip all topped off with fudge, whipped cream and a cherry!

For the inside of the card you can write this...

For the sweetest Mom (or Grandma)
in the world!
This treat is almost as sweet as you are!
Happy Mother's Day!

For something really special. take Mom or Grandma out for ice cream on their special day.
I am sure they won't mind if you have some too!

Monday, May 4, 2009

I know it's not a horse but...

This is by me- The students who were assigned this are still working on theirs.

I wanted to share this with you all as I was really taken with the idea of this project ever since I first saw it at Oodles of Art. This is my stab at it for your consideration.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Welcome to Horse Month!

May is Horse Month at Miss Julie's Art School
and to kick things off, we started off with
a horse sketch done in the style of Leonardo daVinci

What you will need:

brown washable marker

1. We started out using a large oval, a small oval and a medium circle to begin.
We drew in pencil first.

2.I did not use a circle and tube method for the legs as most drawing lesson books would have
just because the original sketch seemed very loose and gesture like, it it also not completely finished as the hoof comes off the page and we don't really see the 4th leg.

3.We did add a mane and tail.

4. Once you are satisfied with your drawing, go over all the lines you are keeping with the brown marker. Then you can erase all the guidelines that won't be part of the finished drawing.

5. Lastly go over all the marker lines with a wet q-tip.
The water based marker will smear and create a "sepia" effect.
There will be enough "paint" to create shadowing
effects as well or even color the entire horse.
Take note of the areas on the horse that are more rounded
or very muscular as those shaped create shadows.

Stay tuned all month as we explore many ways many different artists have portrayed horses!