I think observation studies are very important for 1st years to develop. This project helped students practice their observation skills while learning the basic skills and techniques of lino printing. Students began drawing an animal of their own choice from observation from photographs and magazines as realistically as possible, focusing on detail and texture. These studies were used as a basis for their lino prints. Students used a variety of directional cuts to create contrasting texture in their lino prints.
Click on this link to see more examples of his work on flickr. I think this would be a great idea to try in the classroom and to get students to think of drawing not just on the traditional flat surface that they are used to. If anyone has ever tried this project or something similar to this with a class, feel free to leave a comment, thanks, Ruth 😎
For this project, students collected the 1st letter of their first name and surname. They stuck these down on paper and using a grid system copied the letters. Picking their best letter drawings, students manipulated these drawings to design their monogram. They shaded their monogram designs keeping in mind positive and negative space (space that prints and does not print). These designs were then cut out and screen printed onto material.
This project worked well as it cover spacing when using lettering as well as introducing the basics of screenprinting techniques.
Students began this project by brain storming what professions they could base their glove puppet on. Students sketching out how their puppet character would look, keeping in mind what they would needed to include in order for their profession to be clear to the viewer. They also considered physical characteristics when designing the head including hair style and assessories. They had a great imagination as a class and came up with a wide variety of professions from chefs, wizards, artists and doctors to mention a few.
The heads were made from Papier Mâché and painted. The rest of the puppet was made from fabric which they hand sewed using the sewing machine. The limbs were stuffed with filling from pillows. They embellished the puppet with all knids of accessories. The students enjoyed this project and were very proud of their work. I think you’ll agree they did a great job.
It can be difficult enough to think of art projects suitable for transition year students when you have a mixed class some of which have never done art before or they have only done art in 1st year so are out of practice or very weak. I find crafts work well and I always like to come up with group work as its good for students to get to know each other better as they are normally in a mixed class group unlike in their Junior classes so some students may not know each other.
Portrait drawing works really well. I take photos of all students and they manipulated them in Photoshop to break them down into 3 tones- black, grey and white. These are printed A4 size. Using a grid system students draw themselves. Students who have done art before love the challenge of drawing themselves from the photos and students who have not done art or are very weak can trace the photos and still have the ability to produce good work.
These drawings are used to create the stencil, one for each colour printed (black, grey and white). Here are some photos of the process for you to see as well as some examples of finished student portrait prints.
As well as learning basic drawing techniques in 1st year, I really like to cover as many crafts as possible. This gives the students a good taster of art and also caters for weaker students as there is not such an emphasis on drawing all the time and therefore they can still suceed in making some great art.
This is a project I like to do to introduce clay as it covers all the basics such as how to join clay together using slip and how to glaze. It also introduces the basic vocabulary such as bisque fired, slip, glaze etc.
The students started by drawing a series of fish studies from observation from photographs, drawing as realistically as possible, especially focusing on detail and colour and texture. These studies were used as a basis for designing and creating their clay tiles.
From my regular walks through Dublin city centre I started to notice that some of the normally painted dull grey traffic light boxes I am used to seeing had been decoratively painted. As you can see from the photo, traffic light boxes tend to regularly attract graffiti and stickers, which make them look bad and the council has to re-paint them on a regular basis which costs a lot of money. It turns out it’s an initiative that started back in June by Dublin City Beta as a pilot program involving the painting of 11 boxes (Some have all sides visible, others are up against walls) in and around the Markets Area in the North inner city (from the river north to King Street and from Church Street east to Capel Street) with artwork. The brief was to design something that could be painted on a traffic light box that reinforced or enhanced the identity of that area of the city. Anyone could submit a design to Dublin City Council for consideration along with an explanation of why you think it strengthens the identity of the area , you don’t have to be a professional artist or art student.
This map shows the location and allocates a number for each box so if a designer had a particular design for a particular box that highlighted an aspect of the history of a particular street or road they could state the traffic box required. The design also had to be considered ‘art’ or ‘information’ and not ‘advertising’ however it could mention the designers name/website/blog etc. at the base to publicise their work. In return, they recieve €111 towards materials as well as the opportunity to make their design a reality.
Below are some photos of some of the traffic light boxes that drew my attention while in town recently. My favourite traffic light box artwork is by Tarsila Krüse who is a Dublin-based illustrator, check out her website here. Her design is called the Dublin Harp Lady and is located on Fishamble Street (outside Christ Church) in Dublin 2. She chose a feminine figure to the represent Ireland and the harp to represent the coat of arms of Ireland. Also the colour Blue makes reference to Dublin colours. I love her cartoon style of illustartion and the contrast in colour between the harp lady and the dark blue background.
It is hoped that the beta project will save the council money and enhance the area. Each artwork will hopefully last for a couple of years but could be repainted grey at anytime and free again for new artwork submissions depending on feedback so the most important thing they ask for is your opinion. To find out more about this great initiative visit their Facebook Page here.
I think this project is a great idea it not only saves the Council money, it enhance the area, making it more attractive as well as providing an outlet for artists to exhibit their work. Wouldn’t it be great to do something similar to brighten up the school grounds. Anyone ever try anything like this in their school? feel free to leave a comment, thanks, Ruth 😎
Yesterday I visited ‘Granby Park’ a temporary transformed vacant Dublin site on Dominick street lower in Dublin city centre. This was created by the non-profit voluntary the importance of creativity in Ireland. For four weeks, there will be art work on display, free arts events, outdoor cinema & theatre performances, live music, educational activities and a pop-up café open to the public.
I was really impressed with all the great work that had been done to create this temporary space. I particularly liked the art work on display. My favourite art installation piece is called ‘Fizzy Flowers’ by Rachel Kiernan and the Eve Estuary Artist Group (a training centre for individuals with intellectual disabilities based in Lissenhall, Swords, HSE Dublin North East). It consisted of 100 brightly coloured flowers made from recycled plastic bottles attached to two weeping Beech trees. I love the contrast in colour between the flowers and the trees. This would be a great 1st year sculpture project, imagine the trees in your school decked out with these colourful flowers.
Yesterday I went to the Trim Walled Town Festival in the carpark of Trim Castle in county Meath. Trim Castle is the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland and dates back to the 1170s. The Castle also appeared in the film ‘Braveheart’.
I saw some great crafts being demonstrated: hand carved wooden spoons, handmade pottery, animal bone combs and hand sewn and embroidered purses.
My favourite display was the animal bones whcih had been turned into dice and combs. I was impressed by the skill it must have taken to make the combs which looked so delicate. The drawn carving on the bones was etched using a sharp knife into the surface of the bone, ink made from hazelnuts was painted on and rubbed off, leaving the rich brown colour of the nuts in the groves of the etched drawings.
Today I went to see the ‘The Bright Side’ annual sand sculpture exhibition in the courtyard of Dublin Castle which focuses on what is good about Ireland and being Irish. It is created by a group of three Irish sculptors (Daniel Doyle, Niall Magee and Alan Magee who are all graduates of Fine Art Sculpture from the DIT) called Duthain Dealbh (pronounced [du-hawn dah-liv] in Irish), meaning Fleeting Sculpture. The group who have worked collaboratively together since 2001, specialize in sculpting ephemeral materials of sand, snow,ice and fire and have attended sculpture festivals all over the world.
I was unfortunately away when the artists started the live carving of the sand sculptures on the 29th of July – and lasted 7 days but I did see them sculpting the sand last year and it is really exciting to watch the forms being built up. This Sand Sculpture Exhibition which attracts thousands of visitors went on display from August 5th and will remain on display until the 27th of August. If you are in Dublin during this time, I highly recommend going to see this work.
My favourite piece is ‘Character Building’ by Daniel Doyle I really like all the fine details, especially the eyes and the carefully sculpted hair. I think the cracks in the face emphasises how fragile we can be but still not break or fall apart.
Description: ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ Daniel’s sculpture puts a positive spin on negativity. While we have plenty to complain about in Ireland, both in recent years and historically, it has made us who we are today. ‘Character Building’ doesn’t try to hide the negativity but implores us instead, to embrace its potential’.