SchoolArts Magazine

SEP 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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arrangement that went off the edge of the card on at least three sides. Each piece of candy had to either touch or overlap another piece. Stu- dents then took photos of their work with their cell phones to record the setup for next class. Enlarging the Design Students enlarged their designs onto 9 x 12" (23 x 30 cm) drawing paper. If a piece of candy touched the corner of the index card, students knew to enlarge it and draw it in the corner of their larger paper. If a lollipop stick went off the edge in the middle of the right side of the card, they located the same spot on the larger paper before drawing it. In this way, they were able to scale their drawing up without needing to measure. Shading with Pencil Students shaded their drawings using 6B, 2B, and HB pencils to establish highlights, midtones, and shadows. I showed them how to emphasize form by using curved lines to shade round objects, angled lines on flat geometric surfaces, and horizontal lines on the table surface. They followed the same motions to blend the shadows on each object using a paper towel wrapped around a finger or a blending stump. Adding Color To add color to a shaded drawing, students used soft core colored pencils (perfect for blending) and continued to emphasize form with each stroke. I encouraged them to color over all parts of the shaded candy, includ - ing the shadows. The shaded parts magically appeared darker due to the inherent translucency of the colored pencils. Some students also empha - sized form by shading with a 6B pencil over colored pencil to recover details that were lost. Blending the Colors Next, students soaked cotton swabs in denatured alcohol and used them to gently blend the colors and smooth out the forms. Students discovered that the alcohol could also remove or lighten select areas, and a white pen - cil could be used to re-establish the highlights, creating a nice finishing touch. This technique does not work with other types of colored pencil because they contain too much wax. It also doesn't work with isopropyl rubbing alcohol. You can find dena - tured alcohol at a hardware store. Students tested this technique on a separate paper prior to using the alcohol on their still-life drawings. I encouraged them to try overlaying two colors before blending and to experiment with thicker and thinner color layers to create different effects. Reflections This technique turned out to be an excellent method of introducing color mixing to my Foundation students. Unlike painting, blending colors using alcohol is not messy at all. Students did not have to worry about abrad- ing or ripping the paper because the alcohol evaporates immediately. We were even able to use lightweight drawing paper without any concerns about the curling or buckling that is often seen with watercolors. Students were amazed at how easily they were able to create rich-looking colors and textures once they got the hang of using the cotton swabs. Rachel Wintemberg teaches digital, media, and fine arts at Perth Amboy High School in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. She is a contributing editor for SchoolArts. N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Creating: Organize and develop artis- tic ideas and work. W E B L I N K The Helpful Art Teacher blog: thehelpfulartteacher.blogspot. com/2018/11/candy-still-life-prisma - color-colored.html If a subject is engaging, a still-life lesson can la he groundwork for a lifelong love of art-making. Luz Santana. Randi Torres. 20 SEPTEMBER 2019 SchoolArts

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