SchoolArts Magazine

APR 2019

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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32 APRIL 2019 SchoolArts ings. They enjoyed working with the oils, and many of them commented on the richness of the colors and the ease of blending to achieve the grada - tions of value needed to create these beautiful paintings. Palettes made from lined paper plates were bagged or covered with foil and tucked away in cubbies. Most palettes needed a bit of freshening up as the project pro - gressed, but students managed and cleaned up well. Excitement built as the paintings were completed and students realized they had all succeeded in capturing their subject matter. Many talked about getting their own oils and painting again. I mounted the paint- ings individually and displayed them in the school proudly for all to see. Reflection I was so inspired by my students' work and the joy they took in the pro- cess that I now regularly incorporate The Eyes Have It I searched for exciting subject matter to pair with the water-soluble oils. A few years back, when my class did close-up studies of organic objects, many stu - dents selected animal eyes and enjoyed the project immensely. After doing some research, I realized that the array of colors, shapes, and sizes to choose from were far more diverse than I'd originally thought. I then decided that each student would choose an animal eye to paint. When I introduced our painting unit and its subject matter to students, I was greeted with smiles and hushed voices of excitement. There was some - thing special about the medium of oils to these young artists. They equated it to the true professional—to the mas - ters' paintings they'd seen hanging in museums. This, combined with the subject matter of animals, which all students love, made it an easy sell. Choosing an Eye Students began by searching online for animal eye images that were sharp and of good quality to use as references. In regard to color, I suggested that if they didn't have a lot of experience with painting, they should probably stick to a more monochromatic color scheme. Many students chose very colorful and detailed eyes; this would certainly be a challenge, but their excitement for the project was high. Getting Ready to Paint Before starting on their eye paintings, students worked on painting exercises. On one worksheet, they created tints and shades using oils, and on another worksheet, they focused on color intensity scales, which showed them how to use their chosen colors with complements to render darker values on their painting. After this practice, students cre- ated viewfinders and found their own compositions within their reference photos. Drawings of the eyes were done first on paper and transferred to canvas. Since most students had never worked with oils and many had not even attempted a serious painting, I asked them to transfer a small section of their drawing to a scrap piece of canvas and create a study for the larger painting to follow. These small 4 x 4" (10 x 10 cm) studies helped students get a feel for the medium and demon - strated to me that they were ready to tackle their full-size 8 x 10" (20 x 25 cm) paintings. Using my own study, I showed students a variety of brushstrokes they could use to achieve textured fur and feather effects, and how to look to their reference photos for value changes before they mixed and applied paint. The Joy of Painting Once their studies were completed, students began their full-size paint - There was something special about the medium of oils to these oung artists. Erin Zipman.

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