Welcome to Art Room 161

This blog was created as an extension of the dialogue that began in our classroom and the purpose is to share creative ideas, images, and critiscm. All posts should be appropriate for the high school classroom and critiscm should be helpful and positive.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Seven Days Left Of Class

There are only seven days left of class so make sure all of your outstanding projects are in and that you are preparing for the final using our class quizlet review here: Needles Quizlet

Studio Art: Final Review

Media Art: Final Review

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Art Honor Society: Completing the Challenge Day Mural

We only have 2 Art Honor Society meetings left this year as well as a field trip so today we will be completing the Challenge Day Mural by adding the final pieces of text for the year.  Next year we will continue and add a full grade level.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Studio Art: Oliver Jeffers Inspired Collage

Earlier this month I spoke with artists and children's book author Oliver Jeffers at his book release party for his new bool "Here We Are" and asked him what his advice was for us as we work on creating a children's book together.  "Be authentic" he said and shared that "the second I found my style was when I stopped trying to be someone else".  He also said it was important to "learn how to listen to your hand" so we will take that advice for inspiration for our children's book in class.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Robert Indiana

One of the artist we just recently learned about, Robert Indiana, the Pop artist who created the famous “love” sculpture some of us saw on our trip to NYC died on Saturday at his home in Vinalhaven, Maine he was 89 years old.  Here's a link to his NY Times obituary: 

Robert Indiana, 89, Who Turned ‘Love’ Into Enduring Art, Is Dead

Monday, May 21, 2018

AP Art: Where The Wild Things Are

Last week we learned a little bit about children's book author Maurice Sendak, author of  and this week we will continue to look into what a career in illustration, cartooning, and children's books looks like with a look at Oliver Jeffers and others.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Digital Media: Designing a Video Game

In Digital Media our culminating project this year will be Designing a Video Game.  You will need to create your characters in Piskel, design a background in Photoshop, and use Blockly in Scratch to code the game.  You have two weeks to put everything together but the characters and background are due on Monday.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Media Art Honor Society: Field Trip to Cinema Arts Center

In Media Art Honor Society we will planning our last Field Trip of the year to the Cinema Arts Center along with the French Honor Society to see the film The Butterfly on March 30.  Field Trips forms will be available and we will also go over the end of the year events including our induction.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Film: The Power of Improv

In Film class we are learning about The Power of Improv and how it can aid writing and character development. Above is a short TED talk on the power of improv and creativity on the brain that will support some of what we are learning and it's power.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Studio Art: 3D

In Studio Art we are going to begin the 3D unit with a group 3D printing project.  Each group will be assigned an artist that we have already researched and learned about and you will work together to reproduced one of their works as a 3D print.  All of the artist have created sculptures but the work does not necessarily have to be a sculpture, it can be a detail from a painting, street art, or anything else that works.  Above is an example from a 3D printing collaboration in which each group printed part of the sculpture and combined it to reproduce the bust of George Washington and below is an example that I created with students last year.

Monday, May 14, 2018

AP Art Test Day

Friday was the AP Art Test and we are now complete, congrats on all the work you've done this year.  Today is a catch-up day- if you did not submit all your work and answers to the questions to me via Google please do so and let me know which pieces were submitted for Breadth, Concentration, and for Quality so I can reference them in the future if necessary.  Above is an example of a quality section from Ilysa as an example for future classes.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Art Honor Society: 2018 Sketchbook Project

Today in Art Honor Society we will reflect on our 2018 Sketchbook Project that was just completed and mailed in, it will be digitized and going on a tour of North America this summer with stops in New York City, Toronto, and Chicago.  We will also continue to plan our Zen garden and begin writing how we will each "Be The Change" on our Challenge Day mural.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Studio Art: digital illustration

Our next assignment is to create a digital illustration based on this week's Illustration Friday topic: Utopia (an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect).  For this illustration we will create at least 3 separate layers using Photoshop and use the Wacom tablet to draw.  You can use your imagination to create whatever look for utopia you'd like but the full US paper page should be colored or shaded.  I included a link to the art attack video above that shows a professional version of a digital illustration, we'll be using the same format as well as a link to the Illustration Friday page which show other examples.  Below is a cool digital example from artist Sombras Blancas from Illustration Friday.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Digital Media: Shanti Peace Poster

In Digital Media Art we are working on creating designs for the 2018-2019 Shanti Peace Poster contest.  Each student should create a 8"x10' poster for the contest, the theme is PEACE AND GANDHI and you are free to use quotes from Gandhi but make sure you  his name correctly.. We will begin by creating thumbnails and I'll discuss your concepts with you and give you suggestions then we will work in mixed media to create the poster in landscape view.  Each grade level has prizes and finalists may be considered for inclusion in the 2018 Shanti Calendar.  The examples above were finalists from previous years and here's a link to the some winning Smithtown designs from past years: 2011 Peace Poster.  The final poster design will be due on Wednesday and we will critique the results in class.

Monday, May 7, 2018

AP Art: AP Testing Week

It is AP Testing Week and the AP Art test is due on Friday meaning all digital images should be uploaded at this point on the AP Studio Art Digital Submission page and the 5 quality works should be mounted by Wednesday so they can be ready for prep on Thursday.  Be sure to share you concentration statements with me as well if you want me to review them once again before submitting.

Friday, May 4, 2018

2018 AP Senior Show 1: Ilysa

This week we're celebrating the opening of our 2018 Smithtown HS East senior AP Art shows with Ilysa's Gallery Exhibit, great to see how much she's developed as an artist over the last 3 years- terrific work!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Digital Media: Creating Animated GIF's

In Digital Media we are creating animated GIF's in Photoshop like the example above from GIPHY this week.  We had 2 days to create the drawings on layers and today we'll be doing the animating using the timeline.  They are due on Friday and we'll take a look at all of them in class.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

AP Art: Digital Test Submission

All AP Art work is due to be uploaded to the AP Studio Art Digital Submission page for the AP test by this Friday May 4.  All 12 breadth works should be photographed and online now and all 12 concentration pieces should be added along with the 2 AP statements.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Art Honor Society: Sketchbook Project Due Today

Our National Art Honor Society Sketchbook Project is due today so any final touches need to be completed today so we can mail it out in time for the summer tour!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Art Honor Society: The Jon Burgerman Collaborative Mural

In Art Honor Society Thursday we took a look back at our work on the Jon Burgerman Collaborative Mural we worked on 2 years ago this week and worked on designing some of the Zen Garden that we are planning to work on in May in the school courtyard. Our induction ceremony will be on May 25 this year so we hope to complete the Challenge Day mural by that point as well.  It's been a productive year!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Film: Creating an Animated Gif in Photoshop

In Film class our 3rd animation challenge is creating an animated GIF in Photoshop.  The video above shows the basics.  Create a 6-12 frame animation using different layers then open a timeline to convert them to animation frames.  Next make any adjustments then publish and share it with me along with the other 3 challenges by Friday.  Below is a more advanced animation example if you wish to take it further.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Studio Art: Mini-Comics

This week we are drawing and designing Mini-Comics in Studio Art class.  We will learn about the basic elements of a story, the folding techniques, and the variations in the media.  Then we will brainstorm ideas and begin drawing and designing our own.  You can base you comic on the character you created in our warm-up cartooning activities or start create new original characters but the final comic should include 8 pages including a cover with your name and a title and a back with Smithtown High School East, the year, and Mr. Needles written.

We will begin learning how to fold the paper and create the book then sketching out a simple storyboard like the student example seen above.  Once we have a storyboard in full color we'll create the final min-comic like the examples seen below.

After you comic is shaded, toned, and/or colored you should open it back up to one piece of paper and scan it.  We will be scanning these comics after they are completed to show and trade them. The cover and back should be fully toned and colored with the title and your name. Below are a few finished student comics from previous classes.
A number of former students have become comic book artists and work in the film industry creating films based on comics.  We'll take a look at a few during the process of this assignment.

Monday, April 23, 2018

AP Art: Long Island's Best Artwork On View Alongside Mitchells Spring Collection

Congratulations to AP Art students Anna Koke and Ilysa Sirota who's Long Island's Best Artwork from the Heckscher Museum was chosen to be exhibited alongside Mitchells Spring Collection in Huntington.  The work will be on view in the storefront window from April 23 - May 20, 2018.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Digital Media: Webcomics

We are continuing work on our webcomics and the rough draft is due today at the end of class.  The final colored comic is due (5 pages) on Friday 4/27 and again you can use any medium and break it up anyway you like.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Studio Art: Typography

In class we have been working on a type design project so it's time to learn a bit more about Typography and the terminology that goes along with it.  We learned some of the basic terms involved with type that you can review on our quizlet here- Typography terms

We will continue to create a letterform design this week until we have a full set and then I will show you how you can digitize them and create a font.  We will also learn a bit about the history of type to understand better where it might go next.  Remember it's not just an alphabet we are dealing with its a living language that is constructed through design and usage.
Today we are completing our Typography and tomorrow is a short quiz on the terms.  Make sure you font designs are complete for Monday in class.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

AP Art: The Sketchbook Project

The AP Art class and the National Art Honor Society are currently working on this year's Sketchbook Project which is due in 2 weeks.  Our theme is THIS IS NOT WHAT IT SEEMS and students are designing and creating pages within that theme.  Take a look at some of our previous Sketchbook Projects here in the digital library.
  • Postmark by: April 30, 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018

Studio Art: The Gratitude Project

Our last drawing for The Gratitude Project will be to illustrate a quote for ourselves.  Choose or write a quote that will inspire you and use a full page to illustrate it in any media and with any embellishment that fits.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Digital Media: Webcomics

In Digital Media we will present our research and begin our webcomics concepts.  You are free to create a comic in pretty much any format on pretty much any topic (as long as it's appropriate for school).  You can also create it in any media from Photoshop to old school paper and pencils.  It will be due on Monday April 23.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Film: Class Animation

In film class we explored a variety od animation styles and techniques and we will now begin working on our class animation.  We will look at this great example of animating radio host Ira Glass on Storytelling as our inspiration.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Studio Art: The Gratitude Project

This week we are continuing our social emotional learning work with The Gratitude Project.

Monday: we are taking a note from illustrator Kate Bingaman-Burt and creating an illustration of a mix-tape of our favorite music like the one shown above.

Tuesday: we will illustrate a few of our favorite things

Wednesday: we will use artist Jon Burgerman as an inspiration to create some doodle art

Thurday and Friday we will create an illustrate quote poster with advice or inspiring words directed at ourselves

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Digital Media- Graphic Novels

In Digital Art we are beginning a new project on Web Comics and Graphic Novels. Each of us will create a short 12 frame comic next week.  Above is an hand drawn example from last year's studio art class by Alvaro showing the final comic and below is an image of how it's laid out using one piece of paper folded into 8 parts and cut in the center.  We'll start with a short research project to create an 12 page slideshow of the style and content of some of the most important graphic novels (the outline and assigned novels are from NPR's list of 100 favorite comics and graphic novels and they are posted in Google Classroom).

Before we begin working on our comic which will be due on Tuesday next week we are going to examine graphic novels as an art form and discuss storytelling.  We will look at successful writers such as: Neil Gaiman, Daniel Clowes, Craig Thompson, and Will Eisner and look at some of the most well respected graphic novels such as: Maus and Persepolis along with some of the fan favorites such as: The Walking Dead and Scott Pilgrim.  We will also look at groundbreaking new forms such as Hyperbole and a Half and Dash Shaw's Online Comics,

I had the chance to interview the author of well known graphic novels turned films Persepolis and Chicken With Plums Marjane Satrapi and below is an excerpt relating to her work being read in schools: 

I work as a high school teacher in a pretty conservative area and your book is part of our curriculum. It’s kind of amazing. Look at how far things have come.
That makes me very happy.  Truly, truly.

I was wondering what you would say to those kids, especially with the movie, there is the scene of the Americans that might make them question you?
Well, just consider that a human being in the world is a human being.  The privilege of loving your family and being kids and wanting to eat ice cream and going to the movies is not only something you want.  Everybody in the whole world, they want to have a peaceful life.  We have some psycho people, you have them here too. They are everywhere, you know, they are like ultra-religious or whatever. You have a few of these guys, but unfortunately if they are crazy you hear them much more, than the other ones. From the second that we consider that the “other one” is a human being just like us and that it’s not an abstract notion, you know, “Middle Eastern, Muslim, Axis of Evil” then it will become very difficult to bomb these people.  Just consider that the “other one” is just like you wanting to play, wanting to go to the movies, wanting to have, you know, the latest t-shirt that is very much in fashion, listen to the music, falling in love, if they consider that, then you know, this is the only thing that I can say, I don’t have any pretension that is more than that.

You can read the full interview along with an interview with her collaborator Vincent Paronnaud on Short & Sweet NYC.

Monday, April 9, 2018

AP Art: Digital Submission

Today in AP art class we will begin the AP Studio Art Digital Submission process for the AP test.  All 12 breadth works should be photographed and posted on the online website like the example above by next Friday April 20. Make sure all the work is sized and the media is stated and the sizes are set before submitting.  Below are the codes to enter:

School Code: 335001
Teacher Key: xwt0100

Friday, April 6, 2018

Happy Friday!

Ww will be working in digital media class & to create an adult sized inspired by the one I played with at in Seattle this year (pictured above) this spring. We hope to then use it to create interactive pixilated animations!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Digital Media: Mindfulness

In Digital Media class we had a chance to visit the wellness fair yesterday ahead of our Mindfulness and Social Emotional Learning animation project.  Students will choose one of the aspects of wellness that we learned about to focus on in the next stage of the project.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Digital Media: March One Second Everyday

In Digital Media our final project for the quarter will be to assemble the 1 Second Everyday videos which we have been taking all month in March.  Above is an example that I created this weekend in Seattle.  You can add music and other elements such as title and credits.  It's due tomorrow so arrange the videos first then leave time to edit and add music.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Studio Art: Gratitude Project

In Studio Art we will begin work today on this year's Gratitude Project by creating a thank you note for someone who deserves our appreciation.  It can be in any media but should show some sign or symbol for appreciation on the front and have a short statement on the back.
We will complete them tomorrow and give then away during the spring break,  This is the first step in the project this year and will be the final grade for the quarter.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Mindful Arts at the Seattle NAEA Conference

I'm just back from the NAEA Conference in Seattle where I had the opportunity to present a workshop on Mindful Arts and incorporating Social Emotional Learning in school.  Below are some of my favorite resources that were mentioned in the workshop.  I'll be sharing additional resources including some of the apps and programs that were mentioned such as: Morphi, Paper, Gelli printmaking, Storycorps, and Challenge Day in the near future.

I had a great time in Seattle connecting with educators and learning new techniques and it was also great getting a quick taste of the city itself.  Pike's Place Market was a great place to eat and walk around and the Space Needle Park was terrific, I wish I had more time!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Nor'Easter 4


Happy Spring! Today we welcome Nor'Easter 4 so I don't expect we will make it through the school day based on the forecast. I'm hopefully flying out to Seattle tomorrow (cross your fingers) and all projects will be due on Monday.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Studio Art: Paper Bead Jewelry

In Studio Art class we have created 25 paper beads so it is now time to turn them into Paper Bead Jewelry.  Above are a few examples of what is possible and you will have some freedom to be creative.  Each student should create 1 paper bead bracelet and 1 additional piece (it can be an additional bracelet, a necklace, or earings- any time of wearable art works).  The bracelet is due on Wednesday and the 2nd piece is due on Monday.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Digital Media: The Interview Project

"My advice would be writing is everything"
As you may know in addition to teaching I also work as a journalist and occasionally have opportunities to interview actors, writers, directors, musicians, and artists for magazines and blogs. In each interview I try to ask a question that might aid my students and throughout this month I'll be sharing some of the advice I've heard from some of the people I've interviewed each Friday.

We'll start it off with actor and screenwriter Jonah Hill; I'm sure most of you are familiar with Jonah from his roles in films such as: Superbad, Knocked Up, Get Him to the Greek, Funny People, and Moneyball (for which he was recently nominated for a Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor) but in addition to acting he's also a prolific screenwriter. I had a chance to sit down with him at the Fox offices last year while he was promoting the independent film Cyrus from the Duplass brothers which also stars John C. Reilly and Marisa Tomei and I asked him about his advice:

Mr. Needles: I teach film and screenwriting in high school
and wanted to ask on behalf of my students what advice do you have for people who want to succeed in the business?

Jonah Hill: My advice would be writing is everything. You know being an actor and not being able to write is one of the scariest things in the entire world, I know this from friends of mine who are actors and don’t write because a lot of time as an actor, especially starting out you spend 99.9 to 100% of the time unemployed so if you can focus on writing everyday and getting better at writing- you should spend every day getting better at what you are trying to do. If you’re an actor and you want to act there’s not going to be movie parts for years unless you are one in a billion so find some friends who are into writing, write a play with them, and then you guys put it up where ever you can: in someone’s house or at a party or something or whatever, borrow a family members camera make a short film, read plays out loud with your friends… every day should just be spent moving forward at getting better at what you are trying to do. That’s my advice and that’s what I did, I just didn’t waste any day when I wasn’t writing or acting even in the few years of unemployment, you know, you just have to fill that time with things that are positive towards your goal.

Here's a link to more from the interview: Short and Sweet NYC

Friday, March 16, 2018

Film: Research Presentations

In film class we will continue to present our research on screenwriters to the class and take the next step of attempting to interview the writers we researched.  When we are finished we'll begin doing table reads to help edit our screenplays.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Studio Art: Creating Paper Beads

In Studio Art we will learn to Create Paper Beads this week and then make them into jewelry next week.  Below is a short tutorial video on how the process works, it's pretty simple.  First you will measure and draw out your beads then color them then cut and assemble them.  25 Paper beads will be due by the end of class on Friday.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

AP Art: Heckscher Museum's Long Island Best Competition

Congrats to Anna Koke and Ilysa Sirota from our AP Art class whose artwork was accepted into the 2018 Heckscher Museum's Long Island Best Competition.  Their work will be on display in the museum through Sunday April 15.  Anna's painting above based on a Rubens Santoro landscape painting (left) of the Grand Canal in Venice also won an Honorable Mention award for painting.

Friday, March 9, 2018

2018 YAM Flag Design Winner

Congratulations to Ilysa Sirota on winning the 2018 NYSATA Youth Art Month Flag Design contest. Her design for the theme of Art Builds Community was chosen as the winner for New York State and will be displayed at the 2018 National Art Education Association's Annual Conference in Seattle later this month!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Snow Day

Yesterday was a Snow Day and today we have a 2 hour delay so we will have abbreviated classes today and it will affect the due date in classes except for AP art where the due dates remain.

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