SchoolArts Magazine

November 2016

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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18 NOVEMBER 2016 SchoolArts a single project. Not only were the results better than I imagined, but the sophisticated pieces that resulted, cre- ated with simple tools and materials, were greatly admired and appreciated by the entire school. Space Space Emphasis Emphasis Space Emphasis This project, a cut-paper low-relief, is based on a lesson that I discovered on an art supply website. The original lesson was created using geometric shapes drawn with architectural templates. I decided to put my own spin on the lesson by incorporating hand-drawn organic shapes with an emphasis on positive and negative space. Most of my students had done a shape-based project with me the year before called Notan, which focused on using black cut-paper shapes on white backgrounds. It seemed only natural to have them transfer con- cepts learned in that lesson to this relief sculpture project. Small Square Designs Students began by drawing shapes using geometric drawing templates. I gave them a photocopied sheet of diagrams demonstrating how these simple geometric shapes can be cen- tered in a 2 x 2" (5 x 5 cm) square and cut (on solid lines) and folded (on dot- ted lines) to create a low-relief effect. Students then attached worksheets gridded with printed 2" squares to scrap pieces of black paper or card- board. They drew simple geometric designs in the center of each square and cut and folded back the paper to create a low-relief that revealed the black space below. This gave students an idea of how the finished squares would look on their final designs. I encouraged students to design their own squares using both hand- drawn organic shapes and the already practiced geometric shapes on the gridded practice paper. I reminded them to be aware of the importance of both positive and negative shapes in their own designs. Gridding and Cutting Gridding and Cutting When the practice paper was filled, students ruled their large grids, composed of thirty-six 2" squares on 12 x 18" (30 x 46 cm) heavy white drawing paper separated by ΒΌ" bor - ders. We discussed some of the ways students could arrange their final designs, keeping in mind pattern and symmetry. Students then selected a minimum of two of their own small square designs to use in their final pieces. They labeled their grids by letter, keying the grid to match the designs they chose. Using their small square designs as tracing tem - plates, students traced the appropri- ate design in position on their ruled grids. They worked on what would eventually be the backs of their art - works so that the pencil lines would be hidden from view. Once the grids were completely cut, students flipped their paper over and folded the cut shapes outward to create a relief effect. It was a pleasure to see students' looks of surprise as the 3D quality of their designs were revealed to them. I think it made the arduous and time-consuming task of drawing a grid and carefully cutting worthwhile. It was a pleasure to see students' looks of surprise as the 3D qualit f their designs were revealed to them. Dramatic Displays Dramatic Displays The final artworks were lightly taped to black board for contrast and hung in display cases lit from above. The lighting enhanced the 3D quality of the designs beautifully and made for a dramatic display that was marveled at by the entire school. Michael Sacco is an art teacher at Three Village Central School District in Long Island, New York. msacco @ 3villagecsd. N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Creating: Conceiving Creating: Conceiving and developing and developing new artistic ideas and work. W E B L I N K S light-capturing-cut-paper-designs/ light-capturing-cut-paper-designs/ nas/new_page_ 2.htm nas/new_page_ 2.htm Cleo

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