Using Shapes to Draw a Penguin with Kinders

 First we observe and understand the basic elements of the subject, then we use our imagination to make our own unique artistic creation! 

M. C. Escher

 A master of manipulating perspective, MC Escher is always a favorite with the students. He is a wonderful art entrance into math/geometry as well as shading and perspective drawing.

MC Escher  (1898-1972) was a Dutch graphic artist who made mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. He was a master at manipulating the visual space. With clean lines and attention to detail his unique style and limited color palette makes his numerous works easily recognizable. Interesting side note, he was not a good student of Math while in school, but his life's work involved mathematical concepts and ideas at the highest level. 

 Today, years later, his images are often referenced in film, magazine illustrations and household d├ęcor. 

All materials for Educational Purposes only 

An interesting, kid friendly animated tessellation film



 Such a fun project using cursive writing as a support! 

Additional support materials displayed and shared for Educational purposes only 


Alma Woodsey Thomas

In celebration of Black History Month, American Artist Alma Woodsy Thomas
She is a rather recent "discovery" for me, but her clean colors-non mechanical process appeal to me. I feel connected on a personal level she retired the year I was born (1960) and died the year I graduated, she worked for years in education and was a lifelong learner.
Born 1891 in Georgia, her middle class family relocated to Washington D.C. in 1907 to escape the ever growing racial violence and provide better educational opportunities. In school she excelled in Math Science and enjoyed making miniatures.
She entered Howard University at the age of 30 and was the University's first female to earn a Fine Arts. 1924 she began teaching at Shaw Junior  High School in D.C. She started a community arts program, a public art gallery , and promoted the work of black artists. During this time she joined "the Little Paris Group" of support artists and art scholars and continued her own art education at American University. 
1960, at the age of 68 she retired from teaching and devoted herself full time to making art. Over the years her work had changed from figurative to abstract and her mature works are celebrations of color and light. She was a master of watercolor but her larger pieces were mostly acrylic. Inspired by nature and science she was energized by the US  Space Program. 
She often had to defend her work from criticism that she wasn't "black enough" because she wasn't offering a visual narrative. She believed creativity should be separate from gender or race. Thomas pushed back against labels that restricted her creativity and kept working.
 In 1972 at 81 she was the first African-American Woman to have  a solo show at Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC. 
In 2015 her painting "Resurrection" ( 1966) was acquired to the White House collection and became the first art work by an African-American woman to hang in a public space.


How to draw a dragon

In honor of the upcoming Lunar/Chinese New Year students learned to draw a Serpent/ Dragon. Following a series of direct drawing instructions and using basic shapes they created a skeleton, complete with ribs and a backbone as well as extras like fire, horns and or whiskers. 

Dragon Dancers 

Detail of Dragon Face 

Zodiac Animals