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, January 30, 2015

Welcome to Semester 2!

Welcome to Semester 2- new students, old students, and random students who show up in my class on off periods to make art but I'm not sure who they are!  We are covered in ice and snow and heading into another frigid February so let's start out with a message from Kid President about how we can learn to use media and #makeithappy!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Last Day of the Semester!

Today is the last day of class in my Media Arts and Drawing classes so all work must be submitted, most importantly the final projects.  Yesterday I blogged about the final project in drawing so today we will look at the final project in Media Art.  The class has been working on the Speak Truth to Power contest.  The great example above is from Alix and it shows how the final film should appear with proper credits and documentation.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Drawing: Charcoal Self-Portraits and Final Portfolio

In Drawing class we are coming to an end this week and completing our Charcoal Self-Portrait project. The piece should include some finishing work and be cut down to size eliminating excess paper such as the terrific example above from Natalie.  After the grid drawing is completed in pencil (see the image below for reference) the tones will be completed using condensed charcoal, charcoal pencils, and blending tools (tortillions, meaded erasers, and in my experience the best blending tool, your fingers).  The completed drawing should be handed in on Friday but if you are not finished speak to me and we should be able to set up a time to work over the testing week.

Your final project is simply to choose you six strongest works that were created in class and assemble them into an exit portfolio which we will review on Friday.  I'll sit with each student and review the work and we'll grade the final portfolio together using a rubric.

If you finish early and want to work on a short extra credit drawing you can create a piece for the Ocean Awareness Student Art Contest which might be treated in the same vain as an Illustration Friday drawing.  Below is their prompt:
Submit a work of art, a poem, a written work, or a film about plastic pollution in the ocean. Look for connections between science, creativity, environmental advocacy, and your personal interpretation of theme Our Oceans, Our Plastic. Remember, there are no right or wrong ways to advocate, but give your piece a unique and powerful voice.
The contest is for a good cause and you can use your imagination and photo references to create your image.  If you want to you can speak to the Marine Biology teachers for reference and concepts that might work.  There are also some excellent pieces on the website that are previous winners.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Media Art: Improv Sketch Comedy

In Media Art we are ending our class with Improv Sketch Comedy.  Here's an example from an improv show with the Muppets I did as an example above.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Last Week of the Semester!

This is the Last Week of the Semester, which in some classes such as Media and Drawing means the end of class so lets review what's due before it's all over!

Today any student that is applying for 2015-2016 AP STUDIO ART class must submit their portfolio of 12 works and their application!

Media Art: The final project Speak Truth To Power student video competition is due Thursday

Studio Art: The final Photoshop project is due Thursday & midterm Thursday/Friday

AP Art: The Japanese Hell piece is due Wednesday and the final Breadth section is due Friday

Studio Art: The final Photoshop project is due Thursday & midterm is Thursday/Friday

Drawing: The final charcoal project is due Thursday and the exit portfolio is due Friday

Thursday, January 15, 2015

AP Art: Japanese Handscrolls- Jigoku-zoshi

In AP Art our final Breadth assignment for the quarter is based on the Japanese Handscrolls of Jigoku-zoshi depicting the 8 great hells and the 16 lesser hells in text and painting.  The scrolls feature some really interesting illustrations which have become popular in modern tattoo and illustration culture.  The final piece is due on Wednesday 1/21/2015 after which we will assemble the best 12 Breadth pieces.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Drawing: Large Scale Charcoal Self Portrait

In Drawing class our last big project is creating a charcoal self portrait on large scale paper.  The time lapse video above shows some of the technique we'll be using.  We have photographs to work from and we're using the grid method to transfer the proportions of the image but the tone will be done using a variety of charcoal tools.  The final project is due Wednesday 1/21/2015 and will be the last grade of the class.  Below is an example of a charcoal portrait I created of MLB Baseball Hall of Fame player Hank Aaron (which he was nice enough to sign!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


I wanted to share a cool, creative, and cost effective program that I've been attending every year- the New York City Ballet ART SERIES.  Each year they choose an artist to create a work for the space in the lobby and they present a ballet for the affordable price of $29 which includes a small piece from the artist.  Last year the photographer JR did an amazing photo of the performers on the floor and the year before Faile created a great totem of street art silk screened woodblock prints.

This year the artist is DUSTIN YELLIN who creates terrific 3d paintings and collages or bodies using sheets of glass and resin pressed together.  Take a look at the video above, its great.  Extra credit to any students that go and bring in the free artwork!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Studio Art: Design- Poster ReDesign

In Studio Art we are starting our 2nd Design project today which is a Film or Television Poster ReDesign such as the amazing examples above of Stars Wars series by artist Olly Moss.  Each student will choose a film or show and sketch a redesign for the poster then complete the work on Photoshop.  The final design is due Friday as a JPEG saved in the public drive.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Studio Art: Design and Photoshop

In Studio Art we began our Design unit and started learning the basics of Adobe Photoshop.  Our first assignment is to create a simple logo for yourself using your initials on Photoshops such as the example I created in class as a demo above.  The list of vocabulary terms is in the quizlet link above and the test on the is Friday which is also when the completed logo is due in the public drive.

Media Art: Speak Truth To Power student video competition

In Media Arts class our last major assignment is creating films for the The Speak Truth To Power student video competition.  The contest encourages high school students to become engaged in human rights and is sponsored by New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) and is based on Kerry Kennedy’s book Speak Truth To Power.

Contest participants must choose one of the RFK Center Human Rights Defenders identified on the website and create a 3-5 minute video short  film. We are looking for student films that utilize creative storytelling to teach others about a human rights issue. The format is open to documentary, stop motion, narrative, digital photo essay or other innovative explorations that involve filmmaking components.

We are looking for films to creatively answer the following questions:
  • What is the human rights issue and who is the activist who has attempted to improve the situation?
  • ​How did the activist attempt to improve the situation?
  • How is their work connected with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
  • ​How is this work connected to the student's local community (neighborhood/school)?
  • When relevant, what is the activist's organization, or how is their work being continued in the world?
  • What can the activist's life teach us?
The example above from Harborfields was the winner of last years contest and it gives a great sense of the expectation.  The final film is due Wednesday January 21, it must be submitted online, and will be the final film of the semester.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Studio Art: Drawing Self Portraits

In Studio Art class we recently completed drawing self portraits in pencil using the grid method and above are some great examples from: Marissa, Luke, Nicole, and Shannon from the period 3 and 7 studio art classes.  We will be hanging these and other great portraits in the gallery space later this month.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

AP Art: Long Island's Best: Young Artists at The Heckscher Museum 2015

In AP Art class we will be working on pieces for the Long Island's Best: Young Artists at The Heckscher Museum 2015 show.  Log-in and read the rules and review the art shown in the museum this year and choose a piece to work from such as the example above 'Eclipse of the Sun' by George Grosz.  Each student should create a reaction piece to one that has shown in the museum this year and write a short synopsis about it.  More information and examples are available on the website but the pieces will be due on Monday 1/12/2015

Monday, January 5, 2015

Media Arts: The Stephen Fry collaborative animation project

In Media Arts class we will begin the new year by watching the final cut of the collaborative animation our class participated in last month along with UK actor Stephen Fry for the Your Fry project.  The completed film is show above and includes each students animation along with my own.  We will critique the piece and watch some of the other entries from around the world and reflect on what we learned and what we would like to do with the film in creating a Public Service Announcement.

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