About this Site and Me

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Flower Mound, TX, United States
Hi, I am an artist, wife, mom, gamer and the Elementary Art Educator at Donald Elementary, a sweet and wonderful school in Flower Mound, TX (outside of Dallas). This is a great place to see how we are integrating studio habits with technology and interdisciplinary connections. I also love to share my "wisdom" (Re: Experiences. From mistakes.) about teaching Elementary Art. I love what I do, and I've been doing it for a long time. Creating and teaching Art is what I live for. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

On the Street Where I Live...

Drawing 1-Point Perspective with 5th grade

"I sometimes think there is nothing so delightful as drawing."
Vincent van Gogh 

Ah, drawing, how we love thee. *sigh*

Drawing can be, should be, one of the most relaxing, joyful experiences of our day. It can also be the hardest, most frustrating, paper ripping, temper tantrum, tearful ARRRGGGG*&%$@$^&@!!!!!......

So, let's be honest, lots of people wish "they could draw better". 

What does that mean?

I think people want to be able to draw in 3D, realistically. Create gorgeous, technically strong renderings that fill journals, cover walls, send to friends. It seems so...aesthetic. So human. 

As an art student, learning and understanding 3D Observational Drawing is a major foundation of Art. (Love it or hate it, ya know it's true.)

"Drawing is the 'bones' of art. You have to be able to walk before you can run." Dion Archibald

Following the artistic and mathematical laws of perspective is what makes these images appear 3D.

But... it can be haaaaaaaaaard. You have to follow the Laws of Perspective.  You don't get to wing it. 

Yes, art has rules. I know some people think art is a free-for-all, but in this case, it is not. 

Students are using Google Earth to help them draw their street view. They are able to look at their own street or a street from a vacation, or Gramma's street. This tech has completely altered this project.

Learning 3D drawing and 1 point perspective can be tough. It is a combo of mathematical, scientific and visual concepts. Rules of Perspective. Think of it like a magic trick: if done incorrectly, the illusion is ruined. So you gotta follow the rules. 

As the art teacher, it is my goal to make this a positive, personal satisfying experience for my kids. I want no tears. I don't want this to be a negative turning point in art for any kid. I want them to achieve mastery and contentment with their work.

(By the way, this is a perfect way to integrate art, math and science. With a heaping dose of history, as well.) 

Plus, this type of drawing teaches important skills:
  • Craftsmanship
  • Perseverance
  • Confidence
  • Personal satisfaction
  • Individual creativity
  • Observation skills
  • HOW TO DRAW REALISTICALLY IN 3D. Which is cool and awesome.

I called this project, "On the Street Where I Live" and yes, I have "My Fair Lady" in my head every time I say it. The objective is to create a street view using 1-point perspective. The kids could pick any street: their actual street, a vacation street, where they used to live, where they want to live or visit, whatever!  They got the brilliant idea to use Google Earth. And once again, I was like, duh. Of course, and what a game changer for this project!

The point is: do they get horizon line, intersecting lines (the math term they use here), parallel lines, vanishing point? Do they understand how and why to use them? 

There are a bunch of sites and Pinterest boards that teach one-point perspective. I like: elementary art fun and olejarz.com. I pulled ideas from all over. 

But what I did next was HUGE, HUGE: I created three iBooks for my kids about The Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci and How to Draw in 1-Point Perspective. I shared this with them via iTunes University. It was their homework, over the course of a few weeks. 

WOW. What a difference. A bunch of work up front for me, but so worth it. The kids GOT IT. They came to class pumped and ready.

We spend class time creating and drawing, revising and editing, adding textures and details. Playing with color. Thinking and acting like artists. 

It has been bliss. 

The Street Where I Live, 5th grade

Then the kids realized they could create Time-Lapse videos using their iPads.
Blew me away, this was cool.

How cool is this? Now they have video for their portfolios, to show their family and friends!

THEN the fifth graders asked if they could work during lunch/recess. I allowed 7 at a time. They were so excited to create art and eat. In the hallway. I told them this was very " high school" hahahahaha. They actually got a lot done!
We are starting to add color. Student choice: drawing pencils(explore shading), Sharpie, watercolor, Prismacolor pencils or mixed media. 

This is the first time they have used Prismacolor (not an elementary material usually, due to cost) and THEY LOVE THEM.

These are works in progress. I will update as they finish up. I am so excited about the creativity and quality of craftsmanship from these kids! I am so proud of their enthusiasm and hard work.