Tag: middle school

6th Grade – Architectural Foil Repousse inspired by artist Stephen Wiltshire

6th Grade – Architectural Foil Repousse inspired by artist Stephen Wiltshire

Description of the Unit –

Students will learn about the life and work of artist Stephen Wiltshire. Using his incredibly detailed drawings of buildings and cityscapes, students will create a mini architectural drawing that they will then transfer onto foil.

Artist Stephen Wiltshire working on one of his cityscape panoramas
Artist Stephen Wiltshire working on one of his cityscape panoramas
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7th Grade – Colored Pencil Techniques and Still Life

7th Grade – Colored Pencil Techniques and Still Life

Description of the Unit –

Students will learn and practice essential colored pencil techniques involving mark-making and shading to create a still life.

Activity statement –

Coloring with colored pencils can be a deeply rich and satisfying experience. Something about the feel of the medium as it is spread across paper, and then combined with other colors to slowly come to life, can be both thrilling and meditative. Given some basic techniques students can achieve highly rewarding results.

7th grade colored pencil still life in progress of persimmons in a bowl on a table
7th grade colored pencil still life in progress
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6th Grade – Chiaroscuro Still Life Drawing and CJ Hendry

6th Grade – Chiaroscuro Still Life Drawing and CJ Hendry

Description of the Unit –

We begin by diving into the fascinating art of CJ Hendry. Hendry expresses having no formal art training and considers herself “not very creative.” Yet she’s a dedicated, innovative artist whose works are primarily hyper-realistic, large scale pencil drawings of (mostly) luxury objects that sometimes take 200 hours to complete. Working with pencil on paper her pieces are achieved through layers of what she refers to as scribbles. Watching her work (you can see some fun videos of her at work here: https://youtu.be/KB8vc9M4QWs and https://youtu.be/KixMpzhMS-o) students become awe-struck by the way her tireless pencil strokes become such lifelike, more-than-photographic representations of real-life objects. They wonder aloud how she does it, exclaiming that they would love to draw like Hendry. I tell them that this unit will give them a foundation for getting there.

two images of artist CJ Hendryy working on her drawings, one of a pair of men's Gucci shoes, another of a boxing glove
CJ Hendry working on her compelling, hyper-realistic drawings
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8th Grade  – Playing with Pedro Linares’ Alebrije

8th Grade – Playing with Pedro Linares’ Alebrije

Description of the Unit –

Students learned about Mexican artist Pedro Linares López and his fantastical, wild Alebrijes, imaginative and colorful papier-mâché creatures that Linares originated. Students created their own Alebrijes out of clay, paint and various objects.

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7th Grade – The Art of Assemblage with Louise Nevelson

7th Grade – The Art of Assemblage with Louise Nevelson

Description of the Unit –  

Students will explore the monochromatic, rhythmic and balanced found-art assemblages of Louise Nevelson, and create their own assemblages both individually and in small groups.

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6th Grade – Acrylic Painting Nature Studies

6th Grade – Acrylic Painting Nature Studies

Description of the Unit –

Students will practice a variety of painting techniques (including color mixing and brush effects) for acrylic painting, practicing these for various effects. Students will then choose a nature postcard to use as a reference for their own painting. Students will eventually create at least two different paintings in acrylic of two different nature scenes, trying to use the techniques learned to recreate specific textures and effects.

6th grade – acrylic painting nature studies
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8th Grade – The Art of Paper Quilling

8th Grade – The Art of Paper Quilling

Description of the Unit –

Students will develop their fine motor skills while exploring ways to get creative with the ancient art of paper quilling.

Activity statement –

Quilling is the art of manipulating and arranging small strips of paper into detailed designs. Depending on the desired shape and appearance, it can be rolled, looped, twisted, and curled. Glue is used to secure the paper strips into place. Like many forms of craft, paper quilling can trace its origins back hundreds of years to at least the 15th century (maybe earlier). It is believed to have been created by French and Italian nuns to decorate religious objects.

8th grade quilled paper design
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7th Grade – Mark-making and Pen Drawing

7th Grade – Mark-making and Pen Drawing

Description of the Unit –

Students will first practice a variety of line drawing, or mark-making, techniques, and then use those techniques to render a landscape or still life in pen.

Activity statement –

Using photographs as a starting point, the objective of this lesson was for students to express changes in perspective, texture and value (light and dark) in a realistic drawing using a variety of lines, such as stippling, hatching, and cross-hatching, as well as varying the lines’ density. In this way they can transform a pen drawing into a realistic representation of a scene in nature. To help in this objective, students first created a mark-making chart expressing different types of lines, and discussed how the different types of lines could be used to represent texture, perspective and value.

7th grade – mark-making chart
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6th Grade – Emphasis and Distortion in Wire Figure Sculpture, inspired by Alberto Giacometti and Ernie Barnes

6th Grade – Emphasis and Distortion in Wire Figure Sculpture, inspired by Alberto Giacometti and Ernie Barnes

Description of the Unit –

Observing the distorted gestural figure sculptures of Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966), as well as the elongated, rhythmic figure paintings by Ernie Barnes (1938-2009) that both emphasize and exaggerate long limbs, students will create similarly distorted, gestural sculptures primarily out of wire.

Homme qui chavire/Falling Man, Alberto Giacometti, 1950, and High Aspirations, Ernie Barnes, date unknown
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