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Lesson Plans

artsednet-digest V2 #1389

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Elizabeth Shipley (
Tue, 27 Apr 1999 08:59:31 -0800

Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 10:13:51 -0700 (PDT)
From: (Bunki Kramer)
Subject: file for forbidden stuff....

.....While he didn't encourage these sorts of images, he recognized
>some students' need to express forbidden feelings. He set up a private
>corner of the room where individuals could go and do work of that sort,
>with the stipulation that it could not leave the room, nor could be shown
>to friends. He kept it in a special file and the student could "visit"
>it. ...>I wonder if hindering the students' ability to express something
>he can't>say out loud does more harm than good? >Maggie

HI....That's an interesting take on the problem. Since you've used this
idea before, Maggie, how often have you used it and did you have many
students try this process? Did you think it was successfully accomplished
and did the student feel better? Did the other kids still via to see this
work and cause a hassle? Did the students "visit" their work later? Did you
have a chance to discuss personally the work with each student? Hummmm.

Bunki Kramer - Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Rd., Danville, California 94526



Date: Sat, 24 Apr 99 10:27:51 -0700
From: MaryAnn Kohl <maryann>
Subject: Re: watercolor for student teacher

>Try this one. Student create a quick, wet on wet background...any sky them
>they like, such as stormy, cloudy, lots of rainbows with some girls!

I just remembered that I love this idea ... watercolor background (could
be scenery, like a desert bluff or a lake with grassy banks, whatever)...
then dry.

Next, draw and cut-out people or other things to glue into the background

Sometimes the kids like to paint a rather seriously beautiful background,
but then draw cartoonish or alien characters to glue into the picture.
The contrast of styles is interesting.

Opposite: Paint a cartoonish background, draw and cut out more realistic
things to glue in.

MaryAnn F. Kohl (WA)


Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 13:29:54 EDT
From: PGStephens
Subject: Response to Art/Technology Inquiry for Jackie

The North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts has a website with
abundant art education information including newsletters, lesson plans, and
links to a variety of museums and other art sites. Of specific interest to
your inquiry is our recent art/math newsletter that includes an article about
an online (e-mail) interview with an artist that culminated in a
collaborative writing project (also published on the site).

Our website address is included at the end of this message. After opening
the homepage, scroll down and click on newsletters, then click on art and
math newsletter. You'll find the article under "Online Communications with
an Artist".

Hope this is of help to you.

Pam Stephens
Project Coordinator
<A HREF="">
NTIEVA HomePage</A>


Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 13:52:26 -0700
Subject: Re: keeping an eye on a student

I believe that we as art teachers must allow the student to express
himself/herself for many different reasons. One being that we may actually
be able to get help for the student before its too late. Sometimes students
are just trying to impress the other students, but even that would be cause
for alert. If art teachers censor too much, then as professionals we cut
off what the student is really going through. In view of what has gone on
with CO., I would rather know than not know. Yet, I would not allow the
violent scenes, drug symbols, gang symbols, etc... to go on for long before
having communication with student, parent, supervisors, etc.. Kathy, art
teacher/ art therapist in WI.

Full Text:

The self-portrait has long been a traditional means for an artist/art
to reflect and learn valuable artistic skills while becoming aware of the
power of the visual.

I often tell my students that the self-portrait is convenient in terms
of the model, and they, as both artist and model, have the ability to reveal
as much or as little as they choose.

It is up to them to give false information: a gesture or expression that
is unlike their real personality. They may obscure part of their face in
shadow, or behind a plant-not unlike other great artists of history (Marc
Chagall and a young Rembrandt) that did just that, as if they were unsure
of their acceptance in the art world.

I try to show reproductions of around 30 artists and their self-portraits.
It is interesting to see how often artists repeated this procedure in making
a visual journal of their lives, times and circumstances. Some artists
were quite prolific in terms of the self portrait. Vincent van Gogh did
several, Albrecht Durer also painted many.

But, Rembrandt van Rijn left behind something like 49 self-portraits that
chronicled both his successes and the periods in his life when things were
very difficult. It is all there, painfully truthful, and poignant because
of his honesty.

The actual assignment to create a self-portrait-though basically the same
each year for my drawing and painting students-is made unique only by the
materials I choose and the focus.

I devised a technique that really tests their skills. I look through fashion
magazines and cut out crisp photographs of single eyes, noses and mouths,
which are put in lunch bags marked for that particular feature. Students
reach in and pick one picture out of each bag. If one feature is from a
3/4angle and the other two are frontal, the student must adapt and have
all the features in either pose. They must also visually measure the
using correct spacing and placement with the information given.

The three features are taped to the paper and the student then builds a
face. Often, students are stumped when they have picked a photo of a smaller
mouth or nose, while the eye they got is large. A few make the eyes
forgetting that they are trying to create a "real" face. They are even
expected to draw what might be a logical shape of head and neck. It is
fun and challenging at the same time.

This semester I wanted the students to apply the knowledge they had gained
about building the features of the face and interpreting their own features.
I was especially concerned that they build the features correctly, not
falling back into poor habits of stylizing the features. After spending
time talking about how the eyes, nose and mouth are made, how they move
and how to build them properly, students became adept through practice.

The technique I wanted them to try is unique in that they used mixed media.
I had them tint hot press watercolor paper with a veil of ink wash, then
use black charcoal as the actual drawing tool. The very last medium used
was soft, white pastel to create punch-dramatizing the features.

Other than using vine charcoal infrequently, my students were not all that
familiar with charcoal. This was a challenge in many ways. Their thumbnail
sketches drawn from mirrors or photos that I took of them were used as
references only. The students were not allowed to use an opaque projector,
nor copy or grid from any photographs.

In addition to the techniques used, the other criteria were that the
self-portrait be expressive, and it should "focus" on their eyes-perhaps
the most expressive feature (other than the mouth which is expressive and
mobile). The eyes are said to be the window to the soul and I knew the
students would be
proud of themselves if they could achieve a good skill level on their
Once the ink wash was dry, they drew their expressive face on the paper
and started to model and shade using charcoal. The charcoal pencil was
fine for detailed, linear areas, but ineffective for larger areas of the
face, often streaking the cheek areas, so we used either vine or powdered
charcoal for these places.

The subtle, unmarred planes of the faces of students so young were perhaps
the most difficult part of the assignment; it was here that a case of the
"flats" gave us a hard time in making the face look rounded and dimensional
without the creases and wrinkles of older models to guide us.

In chiaroscuro, light and shade are of great importance, so we constantly
critiqued attempts to make dramatic tonal changes to our portraits. The
white pastel became the catchlight in the eye, frequently the white of
the eye itself, and occasionally the suggestion of a rounded cheek.

These expressive portraits are stunning in their effect. They show us so
much while revealing so little of the face. They show us how exquisite
black and white can be. They also show us how powerful an expression can
be, and how we appear to others. We're convinced that the eyes truly do
have it!


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