Art Lessons

Art Lessons

Lessons for artists, students, and teachers. Includes notes, proofs (examples), and instructions, lesson plans, and extensions.

Try Before You Teach

Comics & Icons

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Kawaii Introduction

Research Material

In this lesson, students study images and interviews taken from

Kawaii! Japan’s Culture of Cute, Manami Okazaki & Geoff Johnson, PRESTEL

The follow-up lesson, Make Everything Kawaii! makes extensive use of definitions and instructions from

Draw Kawaii – Cute Animals Step-by-Step, Isobel Lundie, BOOK HOUSE

Students are given the handout Hello Yoskay Yamamoto (below).

Learning Targets, Coded Expectations & Lesson Plan

Learning Targets: By the end of the lesson, students will know/be able to …( refer to knowledge, understanding/inquiry, communication, application):

By the end of the lesson, students will have a familiarity with the popular Japanese art of Kawaii, the art of the “cute”. They will have sketchbook notes describing 4-6 different examples of Kawaii artists, artworks. and styles. They will be able to express themselves by drawing and altering or subverting a familiar pop icon, Kitty White (Hello Kitty).

This lesson can be followed by Make Everything Kawaii!

Learning Skills

∆ Collaboration: Jigsaw learning: Artworks and artisan interviews for Bukkoro, Gloomy Bear, Hello Kitty, Kokeshi in Naruko Onsen, San-X, and Yoskay Yamamoto.
∆ Independent work: Artistic response to Hello Kitty inspired by Yoskay Yamamoto and other Japanese artists

Coded Expectations:

Element of Design:
shape and form: various shapes and forms, symbols, icons, logos, radial balance

Overall Expectations:
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of art forms, styles, and techniques from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.

Specific Expectations:
D3.1 identify and describe some of the ways in which visual art forms and styles reflect the beliefs and traditions of a variety of cultures and civilizations

Learning/ Lesson  Activities 

Lecture (5 minutes) Slideshow Kawaii Definition & Accompanying Images.

Group Learning (15 minutes) Students jigsaw home groups of 4-6.
Students select coloured popsicles, regroup to learn about one particular artist or company. Each popsicle group reads an interview out loud and studies the images of that artist or company. Students take notes, including a sketch of the characteristic artwork.

Group Teaching (20 minutes)
Students return to their home groups and take turns teaching each other about the artist or company. All students copy a sample of the work into a panel in their sketchbook with quick notes.

Lecture (5 minutes) Slideshow: Yoskay Yamamoto interview
Modeling: (5 minutes) Yoskay Yamamoto Hello Kitty Exercise: Drawing Hello Kitty, Drawing a unique response.

Independent Work: (remaining time) Students fill in the Yoskay Yamamoto exercise by first creating a copy of the classic Hello Kitty design and then creating three experimental pieces. They may use other Kawaii design principles or they may subvert the icon. Self expression, silliness, and rejection of the form are legitimate expressions.
May be taken home and completed as homework or carried over to the next class.

Materials:

Pencil
Pencil Crayon
Sketchbook
Ruler (optional)
Worksheet: Yoskay Yamamoto Hello Kitty Exercise

Slideshow: Kawaii Definition & Accompanying Images, Interview Yoskay Yamamoto

Interview Packages (Laminated Handouts): Bukkoro, Gloomy Bear, Hello Kitty, Kokeshi in Naruko Onsen, San-X

Sample Outcomes

Make Everything Kawaii!

LitNeo Art Blog Comic
kawaii Farm Animals

Research Material

In this lesson, students study images and interviews taken from

Kawaii! Japan’s Culture of Cute, Manami Okazaki & Geoff Johnson, PRESTEL

The follow-up lesson, Make Everything Kawaii! makes extensive use of definitions and instructions from

Draw Kawaii – Cute Animals Step-by-Step, Isobel Lundie, BOOK HOUSE

Students are given the handout Hello Yoskay Yamamoto (below).

Learning Targets, Coded Expectations & Lesson Plan

Learning Targets: By the end of the lesson, students will know/be able to …( refer to knowledge, understanding/inquiry, communication, application):

By the end of the lesson, students will have a familiarity with the popular Japanese art of Kawaii, the art of the “cute”. They will have sketchbook notes describing 4-6 different examples of Kawaii artists, artworks. and styles. They will be able to express themselves by drawing and altering or subverting a familiar pop icon, Kitty White (Hello Kitty).

This lesson can be followed by Make Everything Kawaii!

Learning Skills

∆ Collaboration: Jigsaw learning: Artworks and artisan interviews for Bukkoro, Gloomy Bear, Hello Kitty, Kokeshi in Naruko Onsen, San-X, and Yoskay Yamamoto.
∆ Independent work: Artistic response to Hello Kitty inspired by Yoskay Yamamoto and other Japanese artists

Coded Expectations:

Element of Design:
shape and form: various shapes and forms, symbols, icons, logos, radial balance

Overall Expectations:
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of art forms, styles, and techniques from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.

Specific Expectations:
D3.1 identify and describe some of the ways in which visual art forms and styles reflect the beliefs and traditions of a variety of cultures and civilizations

Learning/ Lesson  Activities 

Lecture (5 minutes) Slideshow Kawaii Definition & Accompanying Images.

Group Learning (15 minutes) Students jigsaw home groups of 4-6.
Students select coloured popsicles, regroup to learn about one particular artist or company. Each popsicle group reads an interview out loud and studies the images of that artist or company. Students take notes, including a sketch of the characteristic artwork.

Group Teaching (20 minutes)
Students return to their home groups and take turns teaching each other about the artist or company. All students copy a sample of the work into a panel in their sketchbook with quick notes.

Lecture (5 minutes) Slideshow: Yoskay Yamamoto interview
Modeling: (5 minutes) Yoskay Yamamoto Hello Kitty Exercise: Drawing Hello Kitty, Drawing a unique response.

Independent Work: (remaining time) Students fill in the Yoskay Yamamoto exercise by first creating a copy of the classic Hello Kitty design and then creating three experimental pieces. They may use other Kawaii design principles or they may subvert the icon. Self expression, silliness, and rejection of the form are legitimate expressions.
May be taken home and completed as homework or carried over to the next class.

Materials:

Pencil
Pencil Crayon
Sketchbook
Ruler (optional)
Worksheet: Yoskay Yamamoto Hello Kitty Exercise

Slideshow: Kawaii Definition & Accompanying Images, Interview Yoskay Yamamoto

Interview Packages (Laminated Handouts): Bukkoro, Gloomy Bear, Hello Kitty, Kokeshi in Naruko Onsen, San-X

Sample Outcomes

Pointillism and Stippling

Warm Up Exercise: The Circle

Note: the order of operations in the brainstorming page is not accurate.

Instructions
Students are put in groups of 4. For uneven numbers, one or more groups may have 5 members.

Part 1 – Making the Circle (10 minutes)
Modelling – teacher demonstrates on a small scale, tying loops/taping the 2 pencils to the string. Teacher models adjusting the length to make sure the circle fits in the page with margins, and using a student volunteer to hold the pencil steady. Teacher models erasing most of the circle so it is an indicator only.

Each group chooses two people to attempt the circle in 3 minutes. If the circle is not complete in 3 minutes, a second pair is given an additional 3 minutes to complete the circle.

Part 2 – Choosing Colours (5 minutes)
Each Group has a handout with appropriate terminology. This exercise can be modified to teach students about colour harmonies (complimentary, analogous), colour (hue, tint, tone, shade) or both. Each group is also given an assignment. Each member of the group with get one colour (paint or pencil crayon, according to the unit of study and available materials). The group will be given an assignment.
Sample Assignment: Select four colours which can be used to create a pointillist circle. The circle have a warm temperature. It must have a varied tone and the colour harmony must be analogous. The group is given time to decide what colours they want. One member of the group will go to the equipment area to pick up four colours and 4 brushes.

Part 3 – A Million Dots (15 – 20 minutes)

Modelling – teacher models how to concentrate dots on the outside, gradually fading toward the center. Teacher models how to use concentrate dots of another colour in the center and fade concentration outward.

Group Discussion – Each group must decide where they want to concentrate their dots to fulfill the assignment.  Each member of the group has a colour and a brush. 

Questions: Where will the hue be most concentrated? Where will white, grey, or black be most concentrated? How can your group position themselves to fulfill the assignment? Who should be sitting where? You will be fixed in place and the paper will be moving every 2 minutes… how will you move the paper?

Group picks positions and begins creating dots to fulfill the assignment. Each member works in one spot for 2 minutes. The paper moves clockwise. Each member paints for another 2 minutes. Once the paper has moved 4 times, the groups are free to move it at will.

Part 4 – Clean Up (10 minutes)

Part 5 – Independent Sketchbook and Note Taking.

Leave works to dry on the tables with assignments beside them. Student groups visit each other’s circles and take notes in their sketchbook. Their notes should include a mini-replica of each circle or their own interpretation of the assignment. This can be done at the end of the class if there is time. It can also be completed at the beginning of the next class. Finally, it can be given as homework if students are provided with pencil crayons and a copy of all 4 assignments.

Materials:
Large Paper
2 Pencils
1 String
Terminology Handout
Random Assignment Handouts

Pencil Crayon Option:
4 Colours of Pencil Crayon
Sharpeners

Paint:
4 Clothes protectors
4 Colours of Paint
4 Paint brushes

To display these works:  have students cut them out and indicate the top of the piece with a not on the back. Use Mod Podge to stiffen the works.

Mixed Media Map of the Self

Warm Up Exercise: The Walk

This lesson is adapted from “The Walk” in Lynda Barry’s Making Comics. Each step here is paraphrased from the book. Some of the notes are taken from other parts of the book to provide context for instructions.

Instructions

How to Use

To use…

How to Make

Students should first try…

Materials:
Scrap Paper
Quality Paper (can use a double page spread in a sketchbook)
Pen
Pencil Crayons (optional extension)
Timer

Mixed Media substrate -

Terminology:
Primary, Secondary, Tertiary Colours
Monochromatic colours
Analogous colours
Complementary colours

oblique strategies

What are oblique strategies?

TEXT

define difference, analogous, movement rhythm with sequence, triad colours let one dominate, littleNEO, little NEO, oblique strategies

Instructions

How to Use

To use…

How to Make

Students should first try…

Materials:
Shrink Film (any colour) (1 piece per student with extras)
permanent marker
oven
baking tray
parchment paper

Note: Not all permanent 

FIND yOUR dOODLE

Doodles Teaching Proof

This lesson is adapted from the notes of artist Lynda Barry. Instructions

Instructions
Panel A1
:
1) Cut the panel in two with a horizontal line at the halfway point (demonstrate and have students copy).
2) Instruct students to use the top half of the panel for this exercise. They will repeat the exercise on the bottom half when we are finished.
3) Students will bisect the top panel. To do this, create a vertical line, from top to bottom, at the halfway point. (Demonstrate and have students copy).
4) Students will bisect the right half of the panel. (Demonstrate and copy).
5) Let students know that their lines are electrically charged. If they touch, the drawing stops. 
6) Ask students to continue bisecting the panel on the right until they are “electrocuted” when the lines touch. Their “score” is the number of lines they are able to complete before being electrocuted. They may write down their “score” in the left panel.
7) For the bottom panel, students should repeat the exercise by bisecting the left panel. They are permitted to turn their pages upside down if they wish.
Extension: This is a game and may be played with a friend by taking turns.

Panel C1:
1) Students must be instructed to skip panel B1. They will create this doodle in panel C1 (top right corner)
2) Instruction: fill the panel with a “Branching” style doodle. There are two rules to creating this doodle. (Demonstration on request).
Rule 1: All lines must touch at least one other line. Panel walls count as lines.
Rule 2: Lines must be added together as either Vs or Ys. They may be upside down. 

Panel B1:
1) Students are instructed to look at panel A1 and panel C1 for inspiration. They must think of a way to combine the two concepts. 
2) No demonstration! Each student will make their own decision and create their own piece!
3) Remind students that this is a doodle, not a masterpiece. They may try out different ideas until they find something repeatable and enjoyable to draw.
4) Give students 3 minutes to create this doodle. If their doodle is incomplete at the end of the 3 minutes, they will be able to come back to it at the end of the exercise.

Panel A2:
1) Students are shown a series of line-based and geometric doodles. 
2) Students are instructed to copy a doodle that they like, following the rules of that doodle.

Panel C2:
1) Students are instructed to skip panel B2 for now. 
2) Students are shown a series of oval and organic style doodles.
3) Students are instructed to copy a doodle that they like, following the rules of that doodle.

Panel B2:
1) Students are instructed to look at panel A1 and panel C1 for inspiration. They must think of a way to combine the two concepts. 
2) No demonstration! Each student will make their own decision and create their own piece!
3) Remind students that this is a doodle, not a masterpiece. They may try out different ideas until they find something repeatable and enjoyable to draw.
4) Give students 3 minutes to create this doodle. If their doodle is incomplete at the end of the 3 minutes, they will be able to come back to it at the end of the exercise.

Panel C1, C2, C3:
Panels C1 and C2 do not work. They are too complex and story-based.
Panel C3 has some promise. For this last set of three. Students should choose their doodles based on a list of ideas, which they then interpret. As with the instructions above, the first and third panels should follow a rule that is given to the students. The middle panel should allow students to creatively combine the two outer panels.
Another idea… students should create their own first panel, based on a simple doodle idea. (Perhaps they must write down the steps to creating this doodle on an index card. They should put an example of the doodle on the plain side of the card.) For the third panel, they should copy the doodle of another student, their partner. The middle panel will combine the two doodles, creating a hybrid. This idea needs to be developed but I love it.

Materials:
Demonstration sheets for a) line-based/geometric doodles b) oval-based/organic doodles, and c) list of doodle ideas.
Large Paper & Stand (for Demonstration.)
Sharpie (for demonstration.)
Student notebook (or paper)
Student pen
Index cards (lined on one side, blank on the other)
(Spare pens and paper)


Creating a 9x9 Panel

DO NOT USE A RULER FOR THIS EXERCISE

With a little practice, it is easy to make lines with the whole arm. This is not “the only” way to draw a straight line, but every student should be familiar with this set or rules. This lesson is best if it is proceeded by “Drawing Fundamentals – Making Lines”

The goal of this exercise is to use our line making skills to create a 9 panel page. The instructions are very specific, directing students to draw lines from left to right if they are right handed or from right to left if they are left handed. We start by crossing our body to the furthest point and we move the whole arm, keeping our fingers, wrist, and elbow locked in place. This is the most reliable way to keep our lines uniform. We turn our pages each time so that we can always drag the pen the same way even in tight spaces where someone might jostle our elbows. 

Instructions FOR fRAME

Step 1: Find the Tear line, the almost invisible perforated line that is used to tear off a clean sheet. Finding this line will help with the spacing.
Step 2: Leaving a little gap on either side, draw a line, pulling the hand from left to right. Make this motion with your whole arm. Your fingers, wrist, and elbow should remain fixed.
Step 3: Turn the page sideways (either way is fine). Again leaving space  so that the lines do not reach the edge of the page, and again drawing from left to right, make the second side of the frame. Join this line to the first line at the corner.
Step 4: Turn the page and make the 3rd line, again drawing from left to right in a smooth motion.
Step 5: Turn the page and make the last line. Lines should touch in the corners. Make slight corrections as needed.

Instructions FOR Panels

Holding Pencils & Making Lines

Drawing Fundamentals

Schrijvende hand, Leo Gestel, 1934 - 1936 pen, Rijks Museum
Schrijvende hand, Leo Gestel, 1934 - 1936 pen, Rijks Museum

DO NOT USE A RULER FOR THIS EXERCISE

With a little practice, it is easy to make lines with the whole arm. While YouTube videos have wonderful instructions, you should be able to demonstrate this for your students. Why? Because your imperfections and confidence will show them that practice will make them better and better!

The Videos

You may or may not choose to show video demonstrations to your students but you should watch these two and practice the techniques well enough to demonstrate them with confidence. If you are drawing on a vertical surface during your demonstration, practice on a vertical surface! You should also practice the technique from the student’s position to make sure you can anticipate how the techniques change with different materials.

Ways to Hold a Pencil

Tripod Grip: The thumb, index and middle finger grasp the pencil. The pen can be controlled through movement of the fingers, wrist, elbow, or shoulder. Students should be encouraged to work on isolating each of these movements with a simple lesson and time to practice and experiment.

Note: While this is the writing grip many students are taught in school, some students may have their own way of gripping a pencil. The tripod grip should be taught explicitly as it allows for tight control and more detailed works. 

The Underhand Grip:
This grip is ideal when we want to create large, smooth lines. The pencil is gripped between the index finger and thumb. The remaining relax out of the way. In the Underhand grip, our hand is not forward, toward the tip, where we use fine motor skills. Rather, we fix our fingers, wrist, and elbow while we draw from the shoulder. 

Variations:
There are several variations of the underhand grip. One variation of this grip the “drumstick grip” because the pencil is held in the same way a drumstick is held. the Overhand Grip is simply the Underhand Grip with the hand flipped over. The index finger can also be moved up, near the tip of the pencil to create dark, pressure markings.

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