Wednesday, May 12, 2010


The following pieces are student work. They are 36" x 46", acrylic, pencil, marker, colored pencils, and collage. In this case the collage is Joss paper for the background. The girl who drew the dragans is a seventh grader. She copied the images from some dragons she found on line and made a few modifications. She did most of the painting too but got way bogged down and I had to assign some classmates to help her complete the collage and finish the painting.


This piece is adorable. The girls who made it thought toys would be a great topic for a painting, so we looked at several paintings to get some composition ideas, then used clip art as a model. Yes clip art. Simple, iconic shapes... emblematic representations of abstract archetypes. This piece was done by two seventh grade girls and an eighth grade boy. 36" x 46" acrylic, pencil, marker, colored pencils, on cardboard.

Dragon Tower

I love this one. Two completely different personality types came together and succeeded quite well. Two tough guys and two nerds. Get this, a tough guy painted the silly dragon in the foreground, and a nerd kid painted the dragon in back. I'm glad they decided to change it so the flames spread all the way across the central line, makes a nice seperation and sense of perspective. I like the final decorative touches like the scroll work across the top and the lovely, delicately painted path. Guess what... the other tough guy poured over that path for three class periods.

Sea Life

One thing I really wanted to avoid in this project was the use of large areas of flat color. I wanted students to learn to modulate color using brush, pencil, and ink techniques. You know, show me gobs of texture and visual depth blah, blah, blah... These guys were the most dificult group to motivate. I had to push and push these guys (well, girls mostly) but look what they came up with. Sure, they satisfied me with the glazing and drawing in the squid so when they thought to paint the background 6 different shades of undmodulated blue I thought... okay. Nice touches like the nasty yellow teeth on the shark.


This is what happens when you put one girl with three boys. I love this one. I said, if you could draw whatever you wanted, what would you draw and the seventh grade girl took a book on how to draw animals. She showed me adorable sketches and I said okay. The boys took a long to think of what would be cool. Finaly they kind of agreed on robots, and I encouraged them to run with that. All the animals were done by the girl, the glazing in the tigers coat, the ala prima in the bunny, and the fine pencil work in the mouse and squirel. I love the two robots, one with fire in his belly and the other with cold clockwork steel. The fence was done with several rulers that have a circular hole in the end. The students used these as templates to cover the entire background with perfect little circles. They left some holes to make it really look like old chicken wire.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Another middle school piece, this one was really driven by a 7th grade science geek. He convinced the group that they should do a composition progressing from fish to reptile to bird to mamal. Along the way they all learned blending and glazing, composition and design elements, collage techniques, and other mixed media methods.


Same as the last: 36" x 46", acrylic, ink, pencil, colored pencil on cardboard. This one was done by three seventh graders. One of them loves to draw anime. She drove the bulk of the composition. The sun and the wizard's coat are just amazing. I keep thinking this one looks like a miniture. I mean it looks like a scene I'd find if I pulled apart some bushes and peered into secret fairy kingdom.


This is the first in a series of images created by my middle school and high school students. 36" x 46", acrylic, ink, pencil, and colored pencil on cardboard. None of these students has ever done a painting of this scale. They worked in groups, this one was painted by four high school girls who only want to paint "pretty things". They copied from clip-art images of flowers, drew them larger, and arranged them to create a composition. They drew, then painted using glazes in the ribbons and ala prima techniques elsewhere. This is the culmination of a semester of work.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Whiteboard Mural II

12' x 4' dry erase on whiteboard. This my student's work. I've been having my classes create murals on the whiteboard as part of my classwork. For this one they took random "clip art" images, enlarged them, and arranged them into a composition. If you look closely you'll see two yardsticks in the tray at the bottom - gives you a better idea of the scale.