Dec 9, 2014

Candy Cane Drawings

This is a great end of year/Christmas activity for older students. Inspired by this post at 'A Faithful Attempt', I had my grade 6 and 7 students create a tonal drawing of a candy cane using coloured pencils. This was a great project to review drawing techniques like using curved lines and implying light and shade by creating tonal variance to describe a rounded object.

Students love seeing these take form and appear to pop out from the page. Handing out some real candy canes as inspiration is also sure sweeten the deal!

Dec 2, 2014

Ceramic Kimonos

In order to integrate students' learning of Japanese language, we have tackled many Japanese themed art projects this year.

This sculpture project was inspired by the work of grade 8 students from Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy here at Artsonia.   These ceramic kimonos were made by grade 4 and 5 students using slab construction techniques and stand approximately 15-20cm tall.

Students designed 3 paper template pieces for their kimono, much like a dress-making pattern which were laid onto thinly rolled slabs of clay and joined and sculpted to form a free-standing sculpture. (Having said that, many kimonos had to be glued to wooden bases after firing as they were a little unstable but I think either way looks fine).

Students used gloss glazes to add colour and pattern to their kimono, using Japanese papers and photographs of traditional kimonos as inspiration.


Nov 7, 2014

Hokusai's Great Wave

The Great Wave Off Kanagawa image via wikipedia.
This project was given to my grade 6 and 7 students recently as part of our focus on Japanese art. Students learn Japanese at my school so I've been trying to introduce a big helping of Japanese art this year. I discussed with students the work of the great Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760 - 1849) whose woodblock print 'The Great Wave Off Kanagawa' is arguably the most recognized piece of Japanese art. 
Commonly called simply 'The Great Wave', this print has been entwined in pop culture for nearly 200 years. One only has to google 'great wave hokusai' and you will find yourself bombarded with this famous image reproduced for murals, tattoos, iphone covers and t-shirts. My students were also impressed to learn that 'The Great Wave' was the inspiration for the logo of our beloved Australian surf brand Quiksilver. 
Students were asked to create their own interpretation of Hokusai's famous image using any medium of their choosing. I was very surprised, not only by their ability to reproduce what I considered to be quite a complex image but by the clever, witty and adventurous way many students tackled this project, which has definitely been one of the highlights of the teaching year for me.
Collage using marbled paper
The Great Wave - as a diorama.
A particularly surreal approach.
The Great Wave that sank the Titanic
The Great Wave - inspired by Aborginal dot painting
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