Expressive Self-Portraits - AP Studio Art - Portsmouth High
Material handling and mark-making can increase the drama and tension in a work of art.
For me, this project was about primarily focusing on mark-making, although after the first day of doing the larger portraits, we had a secondary lesson on facial anatomy. Most students were intimidated by this project. Those who had little to no experience with portraiture were nervous about the subject matter as well as the prospect of drawing from life. To ease into this assignment, we started by tracing printed out photographs, so students could focus on mark-making instead of anatomy. When we started our final drawings, students who did have experience with portrait drawing were intimidated by the scale at which I had them working (fairly large). To remedy this, I simply had students jump in, and once they started, they were fine.
White Still Life - Painting - Portsmouth High School
How can white objects be painted without using white paint? Painting white objects can be deceivingly tricky. With my students, I wanted to explore ways in which to represent white objects, which are often thought of as dull, in a way that were as interesting to paint as they were to look at. As I presented the lesson, students seemed bored with the idea of painting a still life, and a few even groaned when I was assigning the project. However, as students started painting, they realized they had a serious challenge ahead of them. Some students really warmed up to the idea, and embraced the challenge. Others who had begun with boredom turned their feelings toward frustration. For every student though, I could see serious growth. Because of block scheduling, I was able to work closely with each student, and was able to push their paintings far. We talked about color theory to start, as they had just completed a color wheel, and as the two weeks went on, discussions included value, drawing, light, and how to keep brushstrokes painterly, rather than blending on the canvas.
Rennaissance Art Essay Test - AP Art History - Portsmouth High School
AP Art History is a small class of 6 students and is run as a small seminar. It is the first time Portsmouth is running an AP Art History course, hence the small class size. When creating this unit assessment, I wanted to make sure that students had a firm grasp on the factual information, but I also wanted to make sure students were able to think critically about the subject matter. The AP test that students will be taking in May has both multiple choice and essay questions, so I decided to give them an essay test, both because it shows me that students can make connections between works themselves, but also to help them practice their time-management skills with regards to essay-writing.
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