Monthly Archives: October 2015

Frankenstein Fun!


Having some fun this week in the Art Room using one of our favorite spooky characters from literature!  We started the lesson talking about what we already knew about Frankenstein.  Students were fascinated that Mary Shelley wrote the book back in 19th century England when she was just 18 years old!  Then using our laser pointer, we identified light, medium, and dark values in Frankenstein’s face projected in the classroom.


We practiced creating value (lightness and darkness) in drawings using different pencil pressure and blending techniques.  Once they demonstrated they had the technique down and could make a circle into a sphere, they were ready to start on Frankenstein’s face.  Students who were reluctant were told to start first on the darkest value (where do you see black?) and to make sure to show medium values and highlights as well.  It was great to see students get a concept that can quite often be difficult to grasp thanks to this infamous distinctive face!

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Artist of the Month- October 2015


We have our first Artist of the Month for the school year.  Congratulations to 8th grader Sabrina Doyle!


Sabrina is a talented visual artist.  She goes the extra mile in the Art Room, always eager to help out with handing out materials, cleaning up, and other special projects…Sabrina led the group who created the big Instagram camera for our display!  She puts a lot of time and focus into her artwork…she even took her self-portrait home to work on it outside of class.  Her hard work and talent shines through in the gorgeous finished product.  You should be proud Sabrina, job well done!


7th and 8th Grade Instagram Self-Portraits


Welcome back to another year in the Art Room at the Kilmer Upper School!  We have had a wonderful start to the 2015-2016 school year, diving right into projects that match our school-wide goals of engagement and rigor.  Every grade has started off the school year learning about portraits and self-portraits.  The 4th graders have been focusing on facial proportions, 5th grade is learning about the Italian painter Modigliani, and 6th graders are drawing faces with grids inspired by the artist Chuck Close.  7th and 8th created their self-portraits in the style of the social networking site Instagram.

We started off this project discussing social media and selfies …what is good about them, what isn’t so good?  We looked at some of the photographs by the Thai artist Chompoo Baritone who shows how inauthentic the photos on these sites can be.


The class went to the computer lab to use the software Cyberlink YouCam to compose a self-portrait.

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They used these photographs to draw themselves into an Instagram template we created.  They each needed to create two self-portraits…one for the main picture and one for their profile picture.  Students could draw using the photo they took- through observation or using a window as a lightbox, or they could choose to draw themselves as a symbol or in a way they imagined themselves to be. They expressed themselves and explored their identy through their likes, hashtags, and comments…and were encouraged to use their artwork to show their feelings about social networking sites.

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I was very proud of the focus and craftsmanship 7th and 8th graders put into this project.  Other grades have asked me if they could do these sometime this year…always a good sign of a successful lesson when students are that excited about other students’ art!

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