Thursday, March 3, 2016

In beginning art, art elements and principles are important. The concept of positive space can be tricky concept to understand. Artist switch positive and negative space importance depending upon the design.  A way to explore the concept of positive and negative design is with small objects drawn on a grid. Space can be shifted in each square.
Keys work great for this. Beginning students can be successful with this simple shape.
Positive and negative space can be explored with bold black and white shapes.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Analog Bamboo

This type bamboo has been used for thousands of years. Of course I am talking about a reed pen. Ancient Egyptians wrote on papyrus roll with reed pens. Reed pens were used up until the 1700’s and are still sold in art supply stores. The Constitution of the United States was written with and signed with a reed pen, not a quill pen.
 Here my beginning high school art class makes pens from reed or bamboo I find locally. Students really like making the tools they will work with. Letting them use a hobby knife and a stick to carve drives interest in the project. 

You can find reed in marsh land or by creeks and rivers. Make sure you have permission to cut it.  Bamboo is an ornamental plant that may have become invasive in some locations. 

Cut the reed at each joint.  Do this before the class, to make a stack of blanks for the students to use. Give each student a stick of reed to make a stick. They can use a hobby knife to carve the pen.  Carve the end without the knuckle / joint. Carve a concave section in the end, but do not point it.  Drill a hole near the end, and split it outward. The hole will hold the ink and the split will channel it to the end. Remind the students only to dip to the hole no need to dip deeper in the ink. Test it out before you use it on the drawing.

In my project students drew bamboo, but I have had them write saying, quotes or poems.