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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Artist: Modigliani Style Self Portrait


Students either love or hate self portraits, so i tried having them do a self portrait in the Modigliani style and they all loved it. Amedeo Modigliani  (1884 - 1920) was a late-18th century European artist who never lived to see his success, but his paintings are some of my all-time favorites. He settled in Paris in 1906 and was friends with Picasso, Brancusi and Soutine. I love his portraits with elongated faces in soulful colors. Modigliani drew his faces in stretched proportions as his eyes usually sit near the top of the face. Our self portrait project works with facial proportions, color, shapes and space to create our elongated portrait. I always have the students do a quick self portrait with the correct proportions for comparison.

Materials: mirror,heavyweight paper, sketching pencil, sharpie and oil pastels to finish.

 Step #1: Draw guidelines down the center and across the middle of the paper, Now lets add two more guidelines, one splitting the top half and another splitting the bottom half. Draw a oval from the center guideline as shown below.
Step #2: Look into the mirror and draw your eyes, nose and mouth Modigliani style. The eyes are high and more narrow, the nose is long and angular and the mouth is almost to the chin. Now add some ears.
Step #3: Draw your hair and add your neck Modigliani style. The neck starts at the mouth and goes to the lower guideline.
Step #4: Draw rounded shoulders and add your own details.

 Step #5: Use oil pastels to finish your work. Have dome fun with background and your details.





Monday, March 26, 2012

Artist Bateman - Saw-Whet Owl


My students love drawing birds and their favorite is bird is owls. I recently used a Robert Bateman Owl painting as our inspiration. Bateman was always interested in art, but he never intended on making a living from it. He was fascinated by the natural world in his childhood; he recorded the sightings of all of the birds in the area of his house in Toronto. He was also interested in making abstract paintings of nature. In our lesson we use Bateman’s painting “Saw-Whet Owl” as our inspiration. We focus on the shape and texture of the Owl as it sits on the branch. We use sketching pencil, sharpie and watercolor pencils to create texture and dimension. They can weigh from 54 to 151 g (1.9 to 5.3 oz) with an average of around 80 g (2.8 oz), making them one of the smallest owls in North America. In relative size to other birds they are close to the size of an American Robin. The Northern Saw-whet Owl has a round, light, white face with brown and cream streaks; they also have a dark beak and yellow eyes.

Step #1: Draw a guideline down the center and a line across the middle. Draw a circle for the head and a oval for body.
Step #2: Draw eyes and beak. Then connect the head to the body as shown below.
Step #3: Draw the wing and tail feathers.
Step #4: Add feather details to the head and wing. I use a letter "U" for the wing texture. Draw the talon.
Step #5: Draw the branches the owl is sitting on and then add your own details. Have fun and get creative.




Thursday, March 1, 2012

Senufo Spirit Drawing

I like to mix geography and cultures into some of my lessons. The Senufo Spirit Drawing project is perfect to learn about the small Ivory Coast county of Cote d'Ivore. The Senufo people of West Africa’s Ivory Coast are renowned for their cloth paintings. They believe their artwork has special meaning and helps protect them in their daily lives. Design motifs usually include birds, snakes, fish, frogs, crocodiles, and turtles as seen from above or side, covered with lots of geometric patterns.

Materials: Heavyweight drawing paper, sketching pencil, sharpie and oil pastels or colored markers to finish work.

Step #1: Draw a border around the paper as shown below.
 Step #2: Draw a large gator, snake, turtle ect in the middle of frame. I used my favorite alligator for my drawing.
Step #3: Draw a grid through your animal so you have several small shapes.
Step #4: Create different geometric patterns in the boxes.
Step #5: Design your border with images from the earth, sky, fish or animal.
Step #6: Outline all lines with a thick tip sharpie. Choose your medium to finish you Senufo spirit drawing, oil pastels or markers work the best. Your Senufo animal needs a bright colored band around it, the Senofu people thought all animals had spirits and often outlined them with a thick band of yellow to represent that kind of energy. Have some fun and get creative.