Thursday, January 7, 2010

Make Your Mark (High School Art Mark-Making Mini-Lesson)

Following is the text from a "Clip Card" I wrote that was published in the January 2010 issue of SchoolArts Magazine.
The Art Problem
Students will create a new work of art by drawing on top of a copy of a previous piece of their own work. With the possibility for "messing up" their artwork removed, students will be encouraged to boldly explore mark-making strategies and create expressive works that enhance formal and emotional impact.

Previous made student artwork
Digital camera
8 ½ x 11" (21 x 28 cm) full-color copies of student artwork on white printer paper or cardstock (two or more copies per student)
Black ball-point pens
Black Permanent Markers

1. Prior to class, photograph student artwork and print full-color copies for each student on white printer paper or cardstock.
2. Challenge students to use black ballpoint pen and permanent marker to work on top of the copied image with weighted lines (continuous lines of varying thicknesses), lines of varying qualities, and other types of marks (hatching, cross-hatching, stippling, etc.)
3. Encourage students to explore how they can more effectively use mark-making to manipulate elements and principles of design, such as emphasis, value, and repetition/pattern while refining edges and creating a greater sense of volume to produce more visually interesting and engaging works of art.

Invite students to create more drawings by using different approaches to mark-making on top of additional copies of the same piece of their art. If time allows, ask students to choose the most and least successful drawings and explain why in a journal entry using careful analysis and appropriate art vocabulary.

Illustration Credits: Anthony M.
The top image is Anthony's ink-on-computer printout piece created in response to this challenge. The bottom image is his original acrylic painting from which I made the computer printout that he worked back into with the ink.


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