Friday, December 7, 2012

Mixing and changing things up in 2D Design

This week has been such a gauntlet for 2D Design class and me (personally).

The current project for 2D Design focuses on using color theory in order to create patterns with great visual diversity and variety in order to create very contemporary-style portraits of animals. Sound like some craziness? It is. It really really is. But the great thing about it is all of the student artists are REALLY sticking to the challenges presenting themselves and turning out amazing work!!!

One of the major things of this project is that I am requiring students to design and then draw, color, and detail (with the most precise technique) a set number of patterns that they will ultimately use in their final portrait of their self-selected animal. I originally started out requiring them to do at least nine unique patterns but after about two days of class time, I realized that they all were struggling in one of two ways:
  1. They weren't stretching themselves far enough to make the nine completely unique diverse patterns
  2. They were stretching themselves and they couldn't narrow things down and were becoming indecisive.
I took "tabloid"-size paper (I don't know the exact measurement but it's called this as a standard format measurement in Microsoft Word) and made a grid of 21 blocks as a giant worksheet for the students to be able to stretch themselves without feeling disorganized. They were able to take as many worksheets as they needed while I allowed them as much time and space as possible in order to let them really stretch themselves.

This week was even so nice that I was able to take almost all of my classes out two different days (Monday and Tuesday) because it got up to the 70s!!! What a treat to be able to let them work en plein air. I really feel like it helped them within their own creative processes.

 After giving them pretty ample time to devote to just designing and coloring, I pushed them to the next stage of the creative process (so stage two and three in the methodology I have been using) in order to facilitate them being intentional and decisive with what they will ultimately use in their final work.

All of the working en plein air and otherwise really REALLY helped because a lot of them had not only 14 different pattern blocks to choice from but so many that they filled up all 21 blocks!!! I am SO proud of the way they have invested themselves!!!  I encouraged them to tidy up their worksheets but cutting out their decided upon pattern blocks and pasting them on fresh worksheets so that they would have a nice clean and organized inventory of what they would end up using...

The goal with this project was to try and have it completely finished before we break for Christmas but I don't think it's going to happen. And why? Well... because my student artists and I are not a bunch of work horses and if we convince ourselves that we can just run on fumes then we might end up losing our minds and trying to cut off our own ears a la Van Gogh. (There's your daily art humor, eh?)

But seriously. If the good Lord Himself took a rest on the 7th day of creation then we certainly need to rest ourselves and not work ourselves into burn out. For this reason, I have given the students some rest time to be able to do things of leisure so they learn that part of the creative process is learning to give your brain, imagination, heart, and soul some time and space to take a breath.

A really cool game I scored from Zulily that is kind of like Connect Four but uses primary colors tiles to make secondary colors to make patterns in order to win the game!! It's called Color Scheme and was just made for the art classroom.
We are so SO close to Christmas break but I'm feeling the stress within myself and seeing it the faces and of the artwork of my student artists and when I announced this staycation (of sorts) for them to relax a little, they were all so relieved to hear it. I feel like this might be something of the creative process that I will do way more often now.

And that brings me to the weekend! Hope you all get some good rest and play time in as well.

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