Junior High – 🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨
High School – 🎨🎨🎨🎨
This project is a relatively difficult in that it required thinking about space in a different way than you typically would if you were say drawing with a pen on a white piece of paper. You almost had to think in reverse. It is because of this reverse thinking that led me to rate it as “not an option” (as shown by a 0 paint palette rating for the younger kids. I do not think that a project like this could be approached until the kids were a bit older a bit more mature and developed. This is due to the fact that it does require a different way of thinking about positive and negative space as well as the obvious point of using sharp objects like exacto knives or the scratching tools.
Another aspect of this project that was rather challenging was that craftsmanship played an integral role. While craftsmanship is always going to be a concern in creating art, this project is unique in that keeping your project “nice” required more work and attention than your typical art project. For the conrasto piece one had to be very careful about letting your hands actually touch the surface as you scratch off the black to reveal the silver reflective layer below. Any oil or residue on your hands at all would leave smudges and marks, making the piece look dirty. This is also a difficulty with the cut out contrasto project only there is an additional difficulty of maneuvering the exacto knife. If I were teaching this, I would instruct my students to have a piece of paper between my hand and the actual surface that I am working on (this is also the case with the scratchboard project) and I would instruct them to hold the exacto knife at a 45degree angle while cutting. Another important factor to the success of this project is to have a sharp blade, dull blades make the project more difficult and are actually more dangerous to use than a good sharp blade. A key part of the craftsmanship difficulty of this project is to turn the paper (rather than the blade) while making a curved cut. This actually gives you more control over the direction of the cut as when you are cutting with an exacto knife, you always want to be pulling towards you as that gives you the most control of the blade.
I did enjoy this project, and I think that it is a great project to use in art education as it teaches elements such as value and contrast. In this project students can create a variety of values by using techniques with line such as hatching, cross hatching, and stippling. But as my future will lead more into the expressive arts and less into teaching art as a technical skill, I am probably less likely to use a project akin to this in my future work. While I do not think that there is not a way to express yourself through these mediums, I do not think that expression is the most valuable part of a project like this-but like I said, more technical skill and understanding principles and elements of design.