SchoolArts Magazine

September 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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SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 39 Starting with a Grid I have found that creating Ben-Day dot compositions in the elementary artroom works best when students use grids. It's simple and it results in a unified pattern. I pre-make the grids out of Manila folders by marking off ΒΌ" lines vertically and horizontally across the folder, then laminating the paper. With a hole- puncher, I punch a hole in each one of the tiles on the gridded paper. To keep track of who's using which grid, I number each one and have students write down their grid numbers in their sketchbooks. This way, when they return to class, each student gets the same grid for the next class. You could also have students make their own grids using the same instructions. Object/Adjective Combos Ask students to each think of a simple object or animal and an accompanying adjective. After dis - cussing their choices, have students sketch out their images and adjec - tives. Encourage them to be creative in the placement of their words. Pos - sibilities include drawing the image overlapping the word, using the word to fill in the negative spaces or the image, or using the image to make the word. Students can use a simple line to divide the background space from the completed image. They can also outline the final images with black permanent marker. Bring on the Color! Students may choose a total of four primary or secondary colored mark - ers for their drawings: two colors for the background, one for the word, and one for the image. Before start - ing on their final artworks, students should practice using the Ben-Day dot grid in their sketchbooks with their chosen colors. I have found it effective to provide students with a dry paper towel, which they can use to wipe off the grid cards after each use in order to avoid color smearing from one paper to the next. Once stu - dents are comfortable using the grid technique in their sketchbooks, they can apply the Ben-Day dot process to their final papers, beginning with the background and ending with the object or animal. Assessment Have students explain to their peers why they chose their images and The Ben-Da ots technique is a great wa or students to learn an intriguing printing process, have fun doing it, and create colorful artwork that is lighthearte et meaningful. accompanying words. Also, discuss with students the differences in the skills required to use the mark - ers and grid method as opposed to the traditional hand-painted brush method used by Lichtenstein. Amber Gordon is an art teacher at Cactus Ranch Elementary in Round Rock, Texas. Amber_Gordon@ roundrockisd.org N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context. W E B L I N K www.awdsgn.com/classes/fall09/ webI/student/trad_mw/burgan/ final_project/pages/technique.html

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