Monday, October 17, 2016

Visual Journals 5 Weeks: Cover Design (Picture HEAVY Post)

Time to dive into those visual journal assignments I was talking about a while back.  I am giving visual journal assignments to my Studio Art, Art 7, and Drawing & Painting classes.  (You can read with more detail the idea behind these, as well as check out the rubric I am currently using to grade them here.)  Basically, every five weeks, each class has a total of 3 assignments that are due to me.  I will not accept them late (they do receive automatic 0's if they are not handed in by the deadline).  Students in each class have the deadlines and the assignments for the entire school year all mapped out in a document available to them on the Google Classroom, so there are no excuses.  Plus, I have made Fridays "Visual Journal Friday", giving students the opportunity to work on these in class with the materials available.

Aside from the vague description given for each journal assignment, students must use mixed media and their assignments must be a two page spread.  I have my two studio art classes' assignments due on the Friday before the end of each marking period, and then I have the Art 7 and Drawing & Painting students' assignments due on the last Friday of each marking period (though I post that they are due on Thursday instead, just to give a little wiggle room).  These assignments are meant to be open-ended, allowing students to think creatively, problem solve, and experiment...basically many of the ideas from Choice Based Learning or TAB programs.

The first three assignments were a cover design, a name design on the inside cover (that somehow had to have a self-portrait of the student...and by that, I meant not a selfie, and not necessarily a drawing of their face), and something called Mind Map.  More on those in the next two posts.

Here are a whole bunch of the cover designs.  The covers were challenging because my students had two different types of sketchbooks...the black, hard cover ones and then spiral bound.  The black ones are notorious for becoming unglued at the binding, but unfortunately, all of the sketchbooks I ordered never came in and I had to fall back on the stash I had stocked up on in previous years.  (Yes, I supply sketchbooks to my students.  If I don't, they bring in Dollar Store sketchbooks that don't have enough pages and fall apart within weeks.)  Depending on the cover and depending on what they chose to do, some students had to gesso the covers, some glued drawing paper on so they had a surface to draw on, many painted, and some collaged materials together using acrylic gloss or matte medium.

Underneath each image, I'll give a brief description of what the student did to achieve their cover. :)

This student glued down some drawing paper, drew the geometric forms with pencil, and then use acrylic paint over the top paint negative space, creating his initials.

Acrylic gloss, newspaper, and tissue paper.  Then the student used washi tape to write "Art" and also dripped colored India ink onto her collage, blowing it with a straw.

Marker on drawing paper to get the black lines, and then she collaged tissue paper over the top with acrylic gloss.

More acrylic gloss and tissue paper.  A bit of glitter too.

Duct tape, green masking tape, and marker.

Tissue paper, acrylic gloss, and painters markers.

Newspaper, tissue paper, and letter stickers.

This student masked off the front cover with tiny strips of masking tape to paint the galaxy diamond with acrylic.  Then, the back cover, she mimicked the galaxy.

Acrylic paint...she used masking tape to mask off the chevron, and then painted the anchor and words.

Masking tape and marker.

Collage over the top of an acrylic background.

This student had an amazing marker design drawn out and taped to her cover.  She then took magazine clippings and taped them over the top.  Unfortunately, I think she went a bit overboard because she covered up her marker design a bit too much, but either way, it's still interesting to look at!

Baseball fan...obviously...tempera and Sharpie.

Gesso background, masked off trees / drawn stencil used for deer head, and then splattered painted with acrylic.

Spray paint, acrylic, oil pastel...

Spray paint and masking tape used to mask off the letters.

Another spray paint with masked off letters.  Also used oil pastels to write his name and "journal".

These two covers came from my Drawing & Painting class.  I guess I didn't make it very clear to them that it had to be front and back for their cover designs, so for this assignment, I let them do just the front cover.  On the left, she collaged together magazine clippings, and on the right, she did scrapbook paper and then created a dress for a croquis using tissue paper.  The girl on the right is also in my Fashion Design class, and since posting this, she has added to her cover to make it more mixed media.

A student who went overboard with the acrylic paint and texture rollers (the paint is super thick!!!), but ended up with a really cool feeling visual journal!

Another Drawing & Painting student...chalk, collage, marker...

Acrylic background and washi tape words.

One of my few Drawing & Painting students who did the front and back.  She laid down acrylic string gel for texture, painted with acrylic paint, and then splattered the white.  I believe she plans on doing more with this but ran out of time before the deadline.

Another Drawing & Painting student.  His design is really quite awesome.  He was trying to show how ideas look on paper versus how ideas look in his head.  We went round and round with each because I felt like he should have outlined the paper and books to make them stand out more.  Originally, it looked unfinished when he handed it in, especially with the beautiful bubble at the top.  It's hard to see from this picture, but he went back in and added pencil shading to the brain in order to connect the pencil book to the brain.

So, as you can probably tell from these, quite a few students didn't understand the concept of mixed media, nor did they seem to put a huge amount of effort in, but I can tell you that I am EXTREMELY happy with these!  Even the ones with seemingly little effort are more effort than sketchbook assignments from previous years.  The students are really enjoying these, they like that I give them Friday's in class, and with our next set due the first week of November, I've already seen some amazing ideas on paper!  Students were definitely having a hard time with the first batch of assignments because they were worried they would mess up, do something wrong, or it wouldn't be up to my expectations.  However, I think they are getting more comfortable already and feeling a bit more creative!

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