This is a group project that I did with 4th year students in order to maintain the Green Schools flag. Students created two group clay murals under the theme ‘water-the coral reef’. Each student began making detailed studies of fish concentrating on colour, texture and pattern. These were used to design and create a clay fish that would feature in the mural.
As there were 30 students in the class, they were split into two groups, each designing a background scene for the clay murals using brainstormed imagery assocaited with the theme. Each student either created a section of background panel with etched designs or a fish learning basic hand building techniques in clay. These were decorated in a mosaic style using recycled materials such as broken bottles, broken plates, drink cans cut up which would melt in the kiln like a glaze.
For the Life Drawing Exam, Junior Cert Art students drew from Human forms. The majority of students chose to draw the head and shoulders. Students concentrated on capturing a good composition, correct porportions and using a variety of tone to create strong 3-d effects.
For the Still Life Drawing Exam 3rd year Junior Cert students drew observation studies from a variety of both man-made and natural forms. A variety of media was used and students concentrated on recording the correct porpotions, tone and texture to give the objects a 3-d look. Students doing Higher Level also drew part of the object that was of particular interest to them.
After practicing basic portrait observation drawing including feature and hair studies. Students created A2 size magazine covers, featuring themselves as the cover stars! These were completed in pencil, and included their portrait and their own chosen magazine title.
Yesterday I went to the Sculpture in Context exhibition in the National Botanic Gardens,Glasnevin, Dublin 9 (3.5 km from the centre of Dublin City). This annual event is the largest outdoor sculpture exhibition in Ireland and runs from 5th September to 18th October, if you are in Dublin during this time, I highly recommend going to see this it. The exhibition showcases 150 artworks made from a wide variety of different media by both Irish and international artists. These artworks are displayed throughout the 50 acre gardens, the glasshouses, Great Palm House, the pond and the gallery space above the visitors’ centre (which displays the Smaller pieces).
The Sculpture in Context exhibition always attracts thousands of visitors especially art students from both third level and secondary schools. It is of particular interest to 5th and 6th year students who often use this exhibition to write about in their final year Art History exam under the Appreciation Section which frequently asks students to write about an art exhibition they have visited. Students also draw from the sculptures and take photographs to use as visual sources for their practical work.
Among favourite Piece was by Dublin sculptor Lucy O’Higgins’ called Tree snails. These consisted of 5 really cool large scale snails made from fused plastic bags strategically placed in two trees. I loved the solid shape these had and the fact that each snail had a different pose as if shown at different stages of climbing the trees.
Another outdoor piece I liked was Untitled by Lynda Christian which consisted of about 17 brightly coloured orange metal flowers. These were made from large catering size tin cans cut, shaped and riveted together into the flowers heads. These pieces were then painted primer and enamel paints. I really like the idea of using recycled materials to create something so beautiful as these flowers, they also brighten up the grey walls of this location which also makes them stand out.
Indoors I liked Jonathan’s Flock by Dublin textile artist Ciara Foster. It consists of a flock of 5 birds made from mixed media. These were really lovely and to scale of real birds. I loved the variety of materials used such as wood for the beak. I think this would be a great idea to try in the classroom and to get students to think of drawing not just on the traditional flat surface that they are used to. If anyone has ever tried this project or something similar to this with a class, feel free to leave a comment, thanks, Ruth 😎
I wanted students to learn 2 colour lino printing as they had covered 1 colour lino printing in 1st year. Students began this project by making observation studies of bottles of varying sizes and types. Using these drawings they designed a composition consisting of at least 2 bottles that over lapped. Students tried different positive and negative compositional arrangements in their deisgns before selecting one for their lino block.
I think observation studies are very important for 1st years to develop. This project helped students practice their observation skills while learning the basic skills and techniques of lino printing. Students began drawing an animal of their own choice from observation from photographs and magazines as realistically as possible, focusing on detail and texture. These studies were used as a basis for their lino prints. Students used a variety of directional cuts to create contrasting texture in their lino prints.
This is a Youtube video uploaded by the Sharpie Markers company showing the work of the Malaysian artist Cheeming Boey who draws detailed illustrations on polysterene coffeee cups.
Click on this link to see more examples of his work on flickr. I think this would be a great idea to try in the classroom and to get students to think of drawing not just on the traditional flat surface that they are used to. If anyone has ever tried this project or something similar to this with a class, feel free to leave a comment, thanks, Ruth 😎