The finished shapes were glued to pieces of mat board or paper, and a couple of them fit into small frames I had. Thinking about how lines can use to add color and texture to shape really incorporates a lot of elements of art, but when discussing subject matter, shape was king. It was such a simple assignment that most students were able to make several pieces, and the finished products were crowd pleasers.
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
As we continue to explore line as an element of art, my younger students drew lines in chalk on the patio outside my classroom. They used yarn on a flannel board to create pictures.
They also drew lines into finger paint. But instead of working on paper, I put the finger paint on a piece of plexiglass and children drew lines with their fingers on that. Those with sensory issues (which is most of my multiple complex needs students) drew with a Q-tip. Then we gently placed a piece of paper on top and pulled it back up. The paint was squishy enough that rubbing the back of the paper just made everything into a big blob. I could give the students a chance to work longer and more intentionally on the plastic before committing, and it was a chance to discuss monotypes and ghost images in printmaking.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Thursday, September 10, 2020
This week, strips of paper helped my students, who are blind, understand how lively and tactile the element of line can be. Fine motor skills are a major bonus with this project. Learning techniques like folding, cutting, or rolling paper on a pencil to curl it, turned my classroom into a temporary occupational therapy room.
Curled paper strips could be glued curl side, up, down, or on it's side. There could be curls at either end going opposite directions (like an "s" shape) or the same direction (like a "c" shape). The ends could be pulled a part and glued down like a ringlet or twisted line. And all of those options are just from the curling technique!
A zig-zag line is made by learning how to turn the paper over and under repeatedly, like making a paper fan. A short piece can be glued down to pop out from the base, or a long piece make crooked bridge. Arches could be made by gluing ends of paper to the base with or without folds for the glued down tabs. Another dab of glue could attach the center for a roller coaster like set of arches.
I found a zipper technique online in which a long strip of paper is folded lengthwise and little notches are cut on one edge up to the fold. Each tab is pulled alternating from one side to the other, and glued to a base so that the uncut side of the strip stands up and can curve around a composition. I had wanted to make a chart of ideas, but I found that kids were inventing new techniques faster than I could keep up, tying knots, flattened twists, the possibilities are practically limitless.
Stick to one contrasting color or use a variety of widths and colors, to add whimsy and bring the piece to life. Ultimately, this assignment opened up possibilities of how we can use the element of line in tactile art.
For students with little to no vision, there's an option to use Wiki Sticks to create a few simple shapes. You may use a circle in the middle of the page, or squares poking in from edges or a combination of those ideas.
There are many ways to use lines to create optical illusions. Make spheres or cubes; fill the space. Play around and have some fun with it.
Friday, August 28, 2020
"Elements of Art" or "Elements of Design" are the basic building blocks of images; they are: line, shape, color value, texture, form and space. Without them there can be no drawing, painting or sculpture. Form is basically the 3D version of a shape. The illusion of space requires one of the other elements to create it; linear perspective and cross contour uses lines, atmospheric perspective uses value. Shapes can overlap or be used to show relative size (small shapes look like they are further away). An orange shape on a blue background shows how color creates a sense of space because cool colors recede.
For a stronger finished product try to think of how one page or part of the chart can seamlessly align with the next part. Make the color extra colorful. Make the lines extra linear, whether they be straight, zig zag, or loopy. You want good clean examples of each element. Shapes can be geometric or organic, curvilinear or rectilinear. Think in terms of composition, maybe breaking up the space into large, medium and small shapes. Feel free to use negative shapes within your positive shapes. Value can be built through stippling (dots) or cross hatching. Charcoal or graphite can also be used to show a range of lights and darks. Textures can be flat illusions of texture or actual pieces of lace, sand paper, etc glued to the page. Don't forget to label each element.