SchoolArts Magazine

May-June 2015

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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schoolartsonline.com 33 landscape images met the requirements and which images did not. Drawing with a Grid Students began by drawing a 1 x 1" (2.5 x 2.5 cm) grid on their landscape picture using a pencil and a ruler. Once I checked their grids for accu- racy, students traced over their pencil lines with perma- nent markers. Next, they lightly drew a 2 x 2" (5 x 5 cm) grid on a 16 x 22" (41 x 56 cm) piece of paper, enlarg- ing their landscape images to a ratio of 1:2. Students were now ready to draw on the large paper. I demonstrated how to number the grids and align each square on the landscape to the corresponding Gogh created the effect of movement in the sky. How did he differenti- ate between the mountains and the houses? Students accurately identi- fied the swirly brushstrokes, diagonal lines, circular brushstrokes, and wavy brushstrokes that create movement within this painting. Selecting an Image Once I was confident that students understood how to use line in a variety of ways within an artwork, I instructed them to search online or in magazines to find an 8 x 11" (20 x 28 cm) image of a landscape to use as a springboard for their own landscape painting. I instructed them to select a landscape that had a foreground, middle ground, and background, and that excluded people or animals. I showed them sev - eral examples and discussed which square on their large papers. Starting at the top-left corner, students slowly worked their way across and down. Students strengthened their hand-eye coordination, developed their observa - tion and drawing skills, and completed a contour drawing with ease. Once the contour drawings were finished, students swapped their work to check for accu- racy. This helped speed up the pro- cess and encour- aged students to support one another in the project. Any small corrections were made and students were ready to apply the element of line. Working with Line I asked students to include a mini- mum of five distinct kinds of lines to draw each component of their land- scape. For example, I asked them to apply one type of line for the moun- tains and another type of line for the sky. I encouraged them to practice different lines and color choices before moving on to their final papers for which they used permanent markers. Their concentration was intense and they often didn't want to stop, even at the sound of the bell. Some even said they found it calming. Although completing the draw- ings was the most tedious part of the project, it was also the most exciting. Slowly the landscapes came to life. Students applied lines that were fluid, rigid, bold, curvy, and dotted, all cap- turing the movement and energy of nature. Ordinary landscapes suddenly became expressive works of art. Best of all, students understood and applied line with amazing success. Melissa Miller is an art teacher at River Dell Middle School in River Edge, New Jersey. Melissa.miller@ riverdell.org N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Creating: Conceiving and developing new artistic ideas and work. W E B L I N K www.vangoghgallery.com/painting/ starry-night.html Students applied lines that were fluid, rigid, bold, curvy, and dotted, all capturing the movement and energy of nature. Audrey Miller, grade eight.

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