Archive for the ‘Fall 2012’ Category

Nelson Our Skeleton Friend

posted on December 2, 2015 in Fall 2012, Student Teacher Blog, Uncategorized

Post by Ms. Rouatt

Art 4 has been getting close and personal with our new special classroom friend – a skeleton! We named him “Nelson.” The science department kindly lent us Nelson so that the art students could work on their observation skills to draw anatomy. The first day Nelson joined us, the students had one class period to draw him to the best of their ability.


The drawings they created were great! I noticed, however, that most of them started with the skull and were focused on adding details very early, causing them to pay less attention to the proportions of the whole figure. The next day we talked about gesture drawing, and the students made gesture drawings of each other. Everyone got a chance to pose for a 5 second, 10 second, 30 second, and minute-long drawing. I emphasized that the students should focus on expressing the forms they saw rather than the contour lines.

IMG_2589 IMG_2599 IMG_2600

The next day, during a shortened class, we made some gesture drawings of Nelson. My cooperating teacher and I posed him in a few different positions.

On Thursday, we did an activity so that students could realize their own physical proportions. I asked the students to work in partners of two to measure the following:

How many heads tall are you? How many heads wide is your wingspan? How many hands long is your forearm? How many hands long is your upper arm? How many (of your feet) tall is your leg? How far does your foot go up your forearm starting at the tips of your fingers? Which is wider, your hips or your shoulders? By how many inches?

They used pieces of string to do their measuring and wrote down the results in their sketchbooks. Everybody had slightly different proportions and there was a *mind blowning* kind of moment when the students realized their wingspans were as wide as they are tall. IMG_2610 IMG_2614

After doing some of these activities to build an understanding about proportions, the students are working on new drawings of Nelson. Our project, which I will be assigning them tomorrow, will be about the concept of “support,” inspired by the role the skeleton plays in the body.IMG_2629


posted on December 11, 2012 in Fall 2012, Student Teacher Blog

With the graphic design one class, we, my cooperating teacher and I are trying to break them of all the bad design they have seen in their life. They are at the point where they can begin to really understand what it means to design. The students are now working a project where they have to use type, but not to convey a message with words, but create an overall feeling. They are not allowed to use works or build an image with type but create more abstract designs. Here are some of the designs they have come up with! Read More »

Last Day

posted on December 11, 2012 in Fall 2012, Student Teacher Blog

Today was my last day of student teaching. I thought it might be a fun change of pace to hang up all of 8th grade’s masking tape paintings and have a class critique.

It was a different experience to see them all together…I loved how diverse each one looked.

The students seemed especially proud of their work. A few of them didn’t even recognize their own paintings at first, because they “looked too good.”

I was proud of the 8th graders for using vocabulary I introduced to discuss the art. Each student chose their favorite piece and gave three reasons to support their preference. A few students even compared the work to some of the artists we reviewed in the beginning of the lesson.

I was truly impressed with the complexity and attention to detail many students used when they were creating patterns for their negative space. I think the students really enjoyed using such an unexpected material for their artworks.


posted on December 11, 2012 in Fall 2012, Student Teacher Blog

My example as well as the students work it inspired. Self Portrait assignment. Art 3

-Mr. Vaughn


posted on December 11, 2012 in Fall 2012, Student Teacher Blog

Art 1 Students completing the collaborative extension activity to the Street Art inspired Characters lesson. In process and Final work for critique shown.

-Mr Vaughn

Visiting Artist: Noah Scalin

posted on December 6, 2012 in Fall 2012, Student Teacher Blog

For the past 6 weeks, my Art III students have been working on a project based on Noah Scalin’s Skull-A-Day art blog. Scalin is a Richmond-based graphic designer, who used a variety of traditional and non-traditional media to design a different skull every day for a year between 2007 and 2008. To this day, he posts a daily skull, either created by himself or by a fan of his project.

For this project, each of the students chose a subject matter that is meaningful to them and created an artwork based on it everyday. For their final pieces, students chose their favorite daily works and mounted them to be displayed. To guide their process, I gave the students media guidelines or an artmaking prompt each day.

Since Noah Scalin is a local artist, my cooperating teacher and I decided it would be worth emailing him to see if he would be willing to come to our class. He agreed and visited us on Tuesday! He spent most of the time answering the students’ questions, and talked a lot about risk-taking and how limitations can lead to creativity. It was so cool for the students to meet the artist they’ve been studying, and I think they got a lot out of his presentation.

Last week, in preparation for Noah’s visit, we started a collaborative project.  Each student combined the subject matter they have been working with throughout the unit with a skull.  The results were really creative; There was a skull made out of octopus tentacles, a skull with clocks for eyes, and a skull carved out of a potato, just to name a few. We mounted everyone’s artwork together and gave it to Noah. He’s going to put it on his website sometime this week. The students are super-excited about being published on

Here are some examples of the students’ personal artworks. As you can see, they each approached the project from a unique perspective.

Read More »

Making the Mundane Meaningful

posted on December 6, 2012 in Fall 2012, Student Teacher Blog

During my first semester of grad school, an assignment for one of my classes was to make a mundane art assignment meaningful.  This referred to those common art assignments such as, draw your shoe, make a pinch pot, or paint a value scale, and turning them into an art assignment that had meaning.  Ironically, at my high school placement, I was given the task of having my students make a color wheel.   I wanted this assignment to be interesting and meaningful for my students, so I brainstormed different ways to accomplish this.

This assignment was part of a larger project where the students were making Balinese kites.  So, I decided to have them make mandalas, which are Sanskrit circular designs that symbolize many aspects of life and are used in Buddhist and Hindu religions for meditation and other spiritual purposes.  Since Bali is largely a Hindu country, I thought this would be a good connection.  However, color wheel mandalas is not necessarily an innovative idea, and I wanted this to be exciting for high school students.  So, I had them paint their mandalas onto old vinyl records.

It was interesting how just this simple change in material made such a difference.  The students were very excited about painting their color wheel and really took their time.  It was such a time consuming project that some even clapped every time someone finished and took pictures of themselves with their art work.  Many students told me they were going to hang them on their walls, and some asked where they could get old records, because they wanted to do more artwork with them.  Also, color wheels are something they will refer to throughout their art-making, so having a more permanent piece with be beneficial to them.

Check out some of their awesome work!

Planning, Communication, and Collaboration

posted on December 6, 2012 in Fall 2012, Student Teacher Blog

I didn’t think it would be quite so difficult to get high schoolers to communicate. I had my Art I’s make a collaborative art piece. With this, the students were to felt an individual strip, that would be used in a larger piece of art. In order to do this, the students had to plan what they would work on during the next class (colors, shapes, use of space, etc) and write it down for the other Art I class to see, so their neighboring individual strip could be worked on and in the end look as one. It was like pulling teeth to get them to do this, but when they finally did they where thinking critically about their individual work, and the artwork as a whole. The end result was successful, and the piece is very interesting and unique!

After a few go arounds, I realized the students needed for guidance when communicating. So, I created a handout with vocabulary and particular questions for the students to use. After this, it clicked.

Vocabulary: Use at least three when answering the questions.




Shape/Form Value












velvety    subdued     calm




















full of












Interrupted    sandy multicolored      heavy


meandering     wet
































  1. What will you do with your space next? (Think shapes, colors, DETAILS)
  2. What type of technique/ style will you be working in?
  3. How will you make your piece flow from yours to its neighbor piece? (In any direction, in other words how can we make the pieces blend as one piece of art?)


Impressionism makes an impression!

posted on December 6, 2012 in Fall 2012, Student Teacher Blog

The students in art II are working on impressionist landscapes. To expand on what they already learned, we had an open discussion on impressionism and how it influenced the rest of modern art. We looked at different periods and talked about how art evolves rather than changes. We talked about Van Gogh to Mondrian and connected the two. We also talked about what design principles we saw within each piece. Below are some examples of the artwork.


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