Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hopi Village!

The Hopi people are native to northwestern Arizona. Our project was to recreate a village with the same multistory adobe homes that a traditional Hopi family would have occupied in the past. Chalk pastels are the perfect media to reflect the earthy, hazy environment of the historical southwest!
 We first drew the architecture starting with the buildings closest to the viewer.
We made sure to include details distinctive to the culture such as the ladders that were used to gain access to the second floor of the "apartments".
We drew in the mesa using an organic, curved line, followed by the sides of the cliff. Linear perspective makes the buildings appear three-dimensional.
After some brain storming, our students added their own details 
based on the Hopi lifestyle of the past.
Using several different shades of pastel gave our cliff dimension and depth.
Some students chose to make a sunset or night time to complete the image. Our artists were very proud of their beautiful finished drawings!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sculpey Pen!

Sculpey is a polymer clay that hardens in the oven. It comes in a variety of colors including metallics and accepts paint, sanding, adding and rebaking. Because of Sculpey's ability to capture fine detail, it has been used for years in the entertainment industry for conceptual and character design.

First we drew a rough draft on paper of what we wanted our pen to look like. We covered the stem part of the pen, added the topper and then added details.

Trying to design something small and simple that will work on the end of a pen without breaking is a problem solving challenge that we were up to!

Some of the kids added bendable wire in different colors for a more whimsical sculpture. 

After the sculpture is complete, the pens were baked in the oven and cooled, leaving a functional, durable and conversational art object!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Jaguar Drinking

Any beginning artist wants to make images that appear three dimensional and "pop" off the paper visually. One very effective way to do this is to place an brightly colored object with an active pattern on a dark background. Make clean lines, add areas of dark negative space, render some areas in high detail and you have the makings of a great picture!

We dove right in by drawing the eyes, nose and mouth, while planning out and thinking about where to place our other elements. Thinking several steps ahead was key to this project. What goes in front? What goes in the background? What's in the center? The whole image has to be thought out prior to making the initial drawing.

Understanding the natural world helps an artist make more convincing drawings. For example, a jaguar's stripes are larger and darker on it's back and sides, and smaller, lighter, and closer together on the animal's extremities and face.

 Some students created a different setting for their subject.

Using different shades of analogous colors gives the elements more depth and finishes the drawing in a more interesting way. 

About 6% of jaguars are melanistic and sometimes referred to as "black panthers". Some of our little artists were adventurous enough to illustrate this by making the whole animal black.