Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Scratch Board Landscapes

I am so proud of my students.
Scratch board can be a challenge. Students are used to making marks that are dark and with scratching, the lines are light. (My co-worker does not do it with students until they are in Art two or three) For me, I felt like scratch board was a natural progression after working with shape and line, specifically line personality and line quality. I took it as an opportunity to review foreground, middle ground and background as well. Plus, we discussed texture and touched upon value.

We watched a couple of YouTube videos that I feel worked really well to reiterate key points.

We watched the second one first (sorry, I am just learning how to import videos). It totally caught students' attention and the music was energizing. We watched the first few seconds a second time in order to really catch how she began her scratch board. I encouraged students to take notes too. After watching the second video, I asked a few follow up questions and drew examples of hatching, cross hatching and stippling on the board. 

I think what also allowed students to be successful with the scratch board was supplying them with many, many visuals. I have collected numerous landscapes over the years, from calendars to magazine pages and postcards. These provided students with a great starting point. That, and their cellphones. Many worked from images they had or found.
I also noticed early on that many were intimidated by the scratch board. After watching the videos, we simulated drawing with scratch board by experimenting with white charcoal on black paper. It was a real challenge NOT to outline shapes before filling them in. Seeing this, I put together a Power Point for one of the following classes. 
I borrowed some info from here. Mainly the idea of what they might do when they really don't want to. Check out the man in profile illustration. I think that image really helped to put things in perspective for students. 
I followed that with several examples of landscapes. We discussed a couple, pointing out foreground, middle ground and background as well as scratching techniques. Finally, the last slide was a sunset with a palm tree. It looked okay at first glance but I asked students what was the big "mistake"... outlining the palm tree. I then asked, if it was their image, what would you do to improve it? This got students to think of all aspects of the page. They realized, upon further inspection, that the light source was not consistent and that areas were left black when it was supposed to be light out. 
I felt like a genius! Engaging students in this way made all the difference. 
The two images in this post were just the two I was able to snap. There was a huge success rate. And if anything, students realized that the creation of art is a thought process and one that takes effort and care.

From here we are moving on to observational drawing with emphasis on contour lines, followed by volumetric drawing.

If you would like the power point presentation for this lesson, please feel free to leave a comment with your email. I love sharing!

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