Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Light Painting

Recently I asked my friends to do me a huge favor and light some sparklers in the front yard.  This was a huge favor because it was the 4th of July and it was pouring rain all day.  They were so mad at me, but then I gave them cake so it was all good.  Here are a couple of the shots I got:

So then I thought I should try this with my students.  Without fire, of course.  We set up my camera in my closet at school, so it would be plenty dark in there, and I gave them a couple of flash lights.  We discussed contour lines, and I showed images of Picasso's light paintings.  So far they are coming out extraordinarily cool.  I can't post them since they mostly have kids in them, but here is one of mine: 

Neat!  I'm using a little LED flashlight.  Laser pointers work, too, but you have to go very slowly drawing the lines, since red light travels more slowly, apparently.  The best results I've gotten were with kids tracing each others' silhouettes, and adding interesting imaginary details.  I've seen mermaids, fairies, angels, wizards, etc.  My camera shutter speed is set on BULB, and I have a remote control shutter with a lock on it, so I can click it and it will hold itself down as long as I want it to.  My F-stop is 25, the smallest it could be with my lens, and the film speed is 100.  So in an almost completely dark room, I got no ambient light in the pictures at all.

There's my Deathly Hallows.
As long as you have a camera with adjustable shutter speed and a tripod, you can do this too!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Swap-Bot Swap Invitation

Second Grade Swap!

I'm an Art Teacher in Tennessee. I've got a whole grade level of second graders, about 150 or so kids. They are working on "mini" artist's trading cards right now. That's a size of card which I invented when we started running low on cards. I cut them in half, measuring 2.5 inches by 1 3/4 inches. My students are all making zentangles, but I'm not picky about how the ATCs are decorated. It would be great if they are all that mini size, but if that is not do-able for you, let me know.

I'm really looking for ONE other TEACHER to swap about 150 cards with. If you are a teacher and you'd like to have your class or classes participate in this swap, we can work out the details.

Here's a link to the swap if you're interested!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

ATCs for Art Criticism

Sometimes the kids figure stuff out on their own, and that's a beautiful thing.  We had made Artists' Trading cards, using Elements & Principles vocabulary.  Each kid in 1st and 2nd grade made two cards, and had a buddy class to swap with.  One card they kept, and the other was traded.  When they received the cards from their buddy class, a process which I kept random, some of the kids had cards that looked fabulous.  Others were not so lucky.  But in any event, I split the assignment so the classes at the beginning of the week had the word "Line" and the end of the week classes did "value."  I wanted to take the opportunity to use the cards made by the buddy class as a way to teach the other words, and some of the students began commenting on their buddy class' craftsmanship.  "My buddy REALLY took their time! I can tell!"  "Mine probably could have colored this better.  But I like the shapes."  They were being art critics!  So, picking up on this, I started asking leading questions.  The best part was, nobody used names during the discussion, so nobody had their feelings hurt, but they could still look at the work and tell something they liked, and something that could be improved. 

A lot of the fun of doing ATCs this way was getting a surprise from another kid their age.  Most of them were really happy with what their buddies made.  There were a few classes that had different numbers of kids, so when I was introducing the lesson, I saved all my examples I made and let the kids who didn't get a buddy card choose one of mine.  Of course, mine were fancy, so they didn't feel jipped.  ;)

Teacher examples on top, kid examples below.