Showcase Time….of course after ICE2015

27 02 2015

Lizzy design

I love teaching painting, specially to young eager artists who want to know what can paint do.  I love mixing of colors, exploring color theory, pushing the value scales, and creating textures.

One of my favorite paint to teach the basics is tempera paint.  It dries quickly, has a matt finish, can be handled like watercolor and gouche.  Tempera can be transparent and opaque.  Brushstrokes are an asset to this paint if you can control how you apply the strokes.  All of this gets me excited to teach my students all the possibilites to manipulate the paint.  Many of the techniques I share with my students can be carried over to watercolor paintings, acrylics paints, and watersoluable oil paints, so I do get a bang out of the lesson.

We start with a 3″x3″ square but any size will work for the lesson.  The students are asked to add lines of varying styles onto the square.  Line qualities like straight, wavy, curvy, etc.  Once the student has a minimum of three different lines with a max of five lines on the square the student then takes sketch paper to develop the design further.  Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 8.12.16 PM

We took our 3″x3″ and multiplied it to create a 6″x6″ square.  The square is labled on one side with a A in a corner to help with the rotation of the square to create a module.  The lines from the squares connect to create a continuation of the line to form shapes.  You can flip the square in different configurations to get different results. Take the square and flip it over on a light table or window and trace the lines.  Place a B on the opposite corner from the placement of the A on the front of the card.  Now you can begin to transfer the image to a sketch and work out all the possibilites.



I required my students to do several variations until they were happy.  My students knew going into the lesson, that we were focusing on three color harmonies, so to plan on having spaces to add three color harmonies with tints and shades.

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Students selected from Triadic, Split Complementary, and Analogous color schemes.  We created small value scales to try the paint colors out first.  I encouraged students to use water to thin out the tempera paint for transparency and less water for opaque paint.  I also requested they play with the brushstrokes to let the strokes become apart of the whole design almost like a fine silk tapestry of soft velvet with subtle variances.


I am super pleased with the designs and handling of tempera paint.  Check out some of our designs.

Artsonia Link for more completed pieces-


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Next time I will share our new watercolor animals were we applied some of what we learned with this lesson to create great animal portraits.





Ice Day Two- got some time to blog

17 02 2015

Leading Lines- Zhang- Student Photo

This will be a first, two days in a row blogging.  I am watching the ice melt and my doxie chase the squirrel out of our bird feeder. I am also thinking about art lessons and how to wrap up a few loose ends.

Recently a PLN member created a list to highlight art teachers who are sharing lessons, advice, and general assistance to our greater population of art teachers.  It was a list of art teachers I have become familiar with in person and online.  I have always viewed them as involved and passionate teachers who care about the field of art education.  I am honored to be selected to be on the list too.

Chris Parker @Kreyus

I was also surprised because I live in Little Rock, Arkansas and work at a small independent school.  I have been at this school since 2007, I have written the curriculum and basically do my own thing.  I am lucky to be able to implement what I feel my students need to be interested and educated.  Since I am the only 9-12-art teacher, I have to rely on research and tapping into other art teachers/artists to be inspired.  I tell you it isn’t easy to not be a part of a core of art teachers.  I know at times some of you who have other art teachers will butt heads but at least you have someone who gets it.

ART Feb 9 381 JMoore

Leading Lines -Moore- Student Photo

I am encouraged that all the work I do to post my work on Artsonia, Twitter, Art 2.0, and Art Teacher themed Facebook pages are connecting with other art teachers.  I originally started this blog at a Professional Development session at SCAD for art teachers.  I didn’t think I would use it very much but it was a good outlet to post some of my ideas and thoughts.  It was never to be used as a classroom blog but for other art teachers.  Thanks to a friend at the NAEA convention I was encouraged to start a Twitter link.  (@Magrace426 ) I am so thankful for getting that push.  Twitter has been a great way to connect and gain a PLN suited for my interests.  My PLN reaches all over the country with art teachers from all grade levels, public and private schools, and have many different teaching styles, but I learn so much from all of them. It has been great to get that invite to participate in Twitter chats because people want to hear about what I am doing with my students.

So if you are still on the fence about getting on Twitter consider this your tap.  Join us on #artsed and #TABchat join us even if you are not interested in TAB.  You can just follow along and you might just get inspired.  I do know many of my PLN people are great at blogging and sending out information from the Art Conventions.  So if you cannot attend NOLA NAEA 2015 get a Twitter so you can see and read what is happening.

I feel so much more a part of an art teacher organization all year long by participating in daily FB and Twitter connections.  The National Art Convention is great but it only happens once a year.  I feel connected everyday and there are days I need another art teacher to lend me a hand up, pat on the back, or a good laugh.

I cannot thank you all enough for helping me feel connected, appreciated, and supported.  It’s a compliment to know the work I do with my students in my studio is cutting the grade.


Leading Lines-Zhang- Student Photo

Spending Valentine’s Day with my Designers

17 02 2015

Curbside Workshop 20158Most art teachers would not enjoy spending Valentine’s Day with a studio full of student designers but I am not like most art teachers. We have a recycle runway show in April to get prepared for, so we need to put in some time into our designs and push out inventive designs.  My studio burst into a workshop for young designers with sketches and materials in hand.  Our newly donated manikins got a workout and so did I. Curbside Workshop 20157

Some of our recycled and repurposed materials include shower curtains, candy wrappers, tent awning fabric, old t-shirts, and scrap fabric.  We started with a base fabric we either purchased at Goodwill or one of the t-shirts we had in our stash of materials.

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I introduced wool felting for embellshing parts of our designs and it was a IMG_2544 2popular technique.

I maintain a Pinterest inspiration board and my students often have their own. The sketches help guide the designers plan but we also make changes as ideas emerge.

I think we are off to a great start with several original and beautiful designs.

Our school has the Fine Arts Showcase is next week so our studio time is at a premimum to get everything finished.  Hoping these ice days don’t chewed up of my precious studio time.

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Experimenting and challenging our limits

5 02 2015

When a new semester begins I know what courses I am Angtuaco Horizon10 (1)teaching and how many students are enrolled in my class but I don’t know details.  Details like how will my students respond to what focus, how skilled they are in particular areas, and what will be the motivation for them to exceed the expectations.  Each class is unique.  I may be teaching a Drawing class and it will have a similar demographic compared to the first semester Drawing class and I will teach the same lesson criteria and skills but the class will function and behave differently.  I always remix or update my projects based on the assessements of the students  on what they exhibit during skill building warm ups.  I also check in with my students on their interests and what do they want to learn more about.

IMG_2089I have been energized and impressed with my students this semester in all of my new semester courses.  My Media Art class has been doing an outstanding job.  They are beginning to learn about Photoshop and all the different ways images can be manipulated.  I assign lessons to teach good rules for taking well composed photographs and also how to get to know their own digital cameras.  After teaching this class for awhile I know I get excited and move along quickly so I strive to slow down and shepard the group together. This group of students are so interested and have no fear when approaching editing images.  What a breath of fresh air.  We will be producing a great body of work in no time.  Now, my only fear is will I be able to keep up with all of them.  

My Sculpture class is full of energy and all have Riley B boxdifferent skill sets and interests.  We are beginning to wrap up our first project using recycled and upcycled materials into box sculptures that are inspired by Joseph Cornell boxes.  We are using Global Issues as our focus for a theme for the sculptures.  I am pleased with the projects and I am discovering who needs more direction and who does best to explore on their own.

Emily F cornell box

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Our next lesson is new for me and I am looking forward to to seeing the outcome.  I was inspired by what materials I had available, which was a bunch of plaster.  Then I came across an artist who I was really drawn to and I knew this group of students could handle this project.


The lesson is repurposing a garment or object that students identify with a story.  I am calling it, Story Garment and I am leaving enough room for students to be creative and find other items to interpret with this focus.

MIMG_2472y Painting class is working hard on designing original pieces with a limited three color harmony.  They are learning how tempera paint can be thinned with water to create brush strokes and transparency.  The lesson also has the student practicing color mixing with tints and shades too.  The designs are beautiful and with close attention to craftsmanship the works will be beautiful paintings that anyone would want to reproduce as wall paper, tiles, and fabric.


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My Drawing class started with a lesson utlizing collage and learning more about Romare Bearden and his wonderful works of art created with collage about family traditions and celebrations.  Each student has selected a theme based on a family tradition or memory of a celebration.  Students are learning how to mix in collage materials with hand drawn objects.  Since we are venturing into a TAB classroom materials are free to choose from to execute the art piece and the two different Drawing level students have a different target to demonstrate for completion.  The works are coming along and are impressive in detail, texture, color, and variety of themes.

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Award season is right around the corner so it will be getting super busy.  Curbside Couture workshops will start firing up to gear up for the new runway show so I will have plenty to chat about here soon.  Until then keep inspiring other art educators and inspiring the future designers of the world.

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