Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lesson Idea: Egyptian art on real papyrus

In Interactive Art History, we move from cave art to Egyptian art. Every time we start a new period/era of history, we spend a day looking at a powerpoint presentation and looking at a number of pieces of artwork that will serve as inspiration for the project for that part of history. The students usually have anywhere between a week and two weeks to design and fabricate their projects and I try and push them through their work at a steady but swift pace since there is so much of art history to cover when teaching it in a project-based way. I believe we spent about two weeks total on these pieces and they turned out beautifully and so much closer to what our inspiration pieces were than when I did this last Spring. (Last Spring was the first year I did these so it happens that they get better year after year.)

Each student was given a sheet of real papyrus (ordered via Dick Blick) and then they created their designs by way of researching hieroglyphics and cuneiform writing, planning out their colors and making sure each element of their design was drawn correctly to adhere to the standards that we looked at. They used a mixed media approach that included acrylic paint, black sharpie markers, and Bic permanent marker sets (used before to create the faux-stained glass projects).

Here is a close-up of the textured papyrus so you can see the surface of their paper a little better. The picture was taken on a light table.

And here is are some of the finished pieces.

I think they turned out really well! I'm really proud of my students for investing themselves so much in this project. Now the real challenge is in hanging/displaying them in the gallery in a way that won't break the little budget that we have left. And art teacher's work is never done!

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