Friday, September 23, 2011

Lesson idea: Name Tangles in Scratchart

This lesson is not my original idea and I found it HERE. The difference in the original lesson plans and what I did is the medium. The original idea utilized pen/marker and ink and I reinterpreted the idea in scratch art. It teaches a number of different elements and principles of art and design (contrast, space, emphasis, variety, balance) and it also introduces the students to a medium that might have always seemed novel and/or fun in the past but a medium that can be used to make a more serious piece of artwork.

I must admit that as the first project for the semester, this was very ambitious for them. It required the understanding and utilization of negative space on top of requiring them to think in reverse - since scratch art essentially reverses whatever design/image you are creating. (So in hindsight, I could almost call this the "Double-negative Name Tangle project"). Additionally, the end result of the work is non-objective in subject matter making it even more challenging for the students since the metric for whether they've done something well enough or not is definitely not concrete or clearly defined. Still, I feel like forcing them to focus on their lines and the way they come together to make patterns and shapes offers them a different perspective as well as a new respective for the creative process of design and the fabrication of a well-thought out piece of work.

Ultimately, the students did very well AND created pieces that are impressive with regard to their reasonably limited experience in art (this is a foundational course).

In the future, I am considering having a stock of matte black ink markers for corrections - I used Sharpie with wedge tips and it worked well but resulted in a glossy finish against the matte look of the scratch art paper we were using.

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