After the “Artistic Habits Around the Room” we jumped into an “Artists Observe” unit. This is essentially a drawing boot camp and similar to what many traditional teachers might do for a Still-life unit. I think the difference between how my boot camp is Modified Choice VS a traditional Still-life drawing unit, is that we spend only a few short days on building some skills and learning some tricks and techniques. We do not spend weeks on a super developed multi-object still-life.
This unit is built from bits and pieces from around the TAB and traditional art communities. I strongly believe in never reinventing the wheel… especially when someone else may have done it better. But I always put my own touches on it. I love to find short videos already made on you tube that are less than 5 minutes and engaging. I know if I show a video I will get across the same information to all classes, and kids that are absent (lots of absenteeism in my population) then they can get the same content without my personal attention. I COULD record all my own videos, but I do have a life outside of work.
We start with a mind map (thanks Ian S) about why, how, when, where and what do artists observe. Then we pick an object from my still-life objects to draw for the unit. I have 8 different exercises that they do in their sketchbooks. Some of these were from another power point on drawing that I found a while ago. (I can’t remember my source so if it is yours let me know!) Others I added as I saw what support my middle school students needed.
We only spent 2 class periods on Our “final drawing”. Most all the kids were really frustrated with the drawing exercises in the beginning, but were surprised by their outcome at the end! Now we are moving on to build a “tantamount” sculpture based on the same objects!
Credits: Parts of this presentation and unit were borrowed and added to from several places on the internet (especially YouTube) including: Ian Sands http://artofsouthb.weebly.com/create-it.html and Jean Barnett https://artbybarnett.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/artistic-behavior-boot-camp/
Here are some resources for you to use: