Every week I ask my students to T.H.I.N.K. about a new piece of art work. The chosen work will correlate in some way to the current project, a theme or events. When teachers are making the choice to get rid of posters in lieu of digital projections online I am finding students are more engaged to look at the actual printed poster. Little hidden clues on posters like the Title, Artist, Dates, Medium, and location have students dashing to make the connections with artwork.
Currently, my students are working on a self portrait project and we have looked at several different Artist's own portraits. The focus this week has been on a self portrait by the German artist Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), one of the greatest figures of the Northern Renaissance. As a draughtsman and painter, he rivaled his elder contemporary Leonardo Da Vinci, and his masterful woodcuts and engravings of mythical and allegorical scenes made him famous across Europe. The image we are using for our art critique this week was done when he was only 13 years old. Skyline students are enjoying seeing the talent of an artist close to their own age. What do you THINK about Albrecht Durer's self portrait?
Albrecht Durer- Self Portrait Age 13
Questions to help you THINK & write about art...
Tell... what you see in the artwork?
What is the medium?
Is the image a sculpture, painting, drawing, architecture, etc?
Portrait, Landscape, Still Life?
Describe lines, shapes, colors scheme, or basic elements of work.
Description = pure description of the object without value judgments, analysis, or interpretation.
How... did the artist create the artwork?
How did the artist use the Elements and Principles in creating the art work?
What is the subject matter?
How did the artist use a color scheme, the space of the image, value, or create movement?
Description Analysis= determining what the features suggest and deciding why the artist used such features to convey specific ideas.
Why did the artist create this artwork? What does it mean?
What is the main idea?
Express what you think about the art work and its meaning.
What evidence (in or outside of artwork) supports your interpretation?
Interpretation= establishing the broader context for this type of art.
What do you THINK? Is the art work successful? Why or Why not? What criteria helps to judge the work's success? What is the evidence in the work to support your judgement? What would you have done differently if you were creating the artwork?
Judgment= Judging a piece of work means giving it rank in relation to other works and of course considering a very important aspect of the visual arts; its originality.
Name, Date of Birth/Death, Nationality, Style,
Art work information: Title, Size, Medium, Museum/Location
List at least three facts about the artist's life and work.
Artist biography and knowledge about artwork, medium, style or historical reference.
SCIS 7th/ 8th grade students are working on a quick exercise in painting values in watercolor, learning about masking fluid while creating a self portrait.
Pinterest and other websites are a great resource for new ideas. I found a simple tutorial online and was reminded of a project I did when I was in high school using color mixing and value. I wanted to plan a project that would help students to understand the range of values that can be achieved with watercolor. Many were realizing for the first time how to add more water or less to attain a wide range of color value.
To begin we took photographs of the students and their photographs were simplified in a free online photo editor, Pixlr to create value layers. First the photo was edited to black in white and boosted the contrast before applying the adjustment "Posterize".
The students drew and then protected the white areas of their portraits with masking fluid prior to painting the lightest area of watercolor wash in the color of their choice. After their initial wash of color students painted in the other values in layers of color on the surface. The final magic moment is when the paint drys and we get to remove the masking fluid to uncover the painting, Voila!
Check out our gallery of portraits!