Drawing with Thread – Lesson Plan

Drawing with Thread – Lesson Plan


(♪♪♪) JULIE:
Well hello there. Welcome to Blick
Art Materials Workshops. I’m Julie Davis. Can we start out this
morning with a little story? I’d love to tell you
a little story. Back in 1896, a young
law professor from Moscow walked into a gallery and saw some paintings
by Claude Monet. Now when he looked
at those paintings, he didn’t see haystacks,
he saw colour. Colour that had
absolute power, and his life was changed
forever at that moment. Wassily Kandinsky
walked out of that gallery, and he had
a new concept of art. He took that concept
and he became one of the premiere painters
and art theorists of the 20th century. In fact, Wassily Kandinsky is
credited with the first works of abstraction. Let’s take a little bit of
a look here in this book on Kandinsky. Kandinsky was very
inspired by music. As a matter of fact he called music
the great teacher, and many of his paintings were titled after
musical pieces. He would
call them compositions, and he would
call them improvisations, using musical terms. As a matter of fact,
Kandinsky sought to create in his paintings what Wagner created
in his symphonies. Now we realize that
abstract expressionism is a really difficult concept
to teach in the classroom, so we’ve designed
a lesson plan, and I can close this. We’ve designed a lesson plan
that will help you express to your students the thought process
that Kandinsky had when he was creating his abstract
expressionist paintings, and we call this lesson
Drawing with Thread. Alright, well let me start by
explaining a couple of the materials we’re
going to use here today. The paper that we’re going to
be painting on is actually a Japanese paper. This paper that I have here
in my hand is made from the bark of a mulberry tree. It’s very very lightweight
but very strong. Now these Japanese papers
are available individually or in a 10 sheet assortment,
including papers like unryu, kitakata, mulberry,
and mesa paper, and excuse my
midwest accent on a couple of those. I do my best. The reason we want to use
this paper is because it performs especially well
with watercolour, and I’m going to get into that
a little bit later while I’m painting. We’re also going to be
using some paint today. We’re going to
use watercolour. Now Kandinsky
generally painted in oil, but we’re going to make this more of a classroom
friendly project and we’re going to
use watercolour. These are
Blick liquid watercolour. Now you’re certainly familiar
with watercolour sets that come in pans, and probably
tube watercolours. This kind of gives you
the best of both worlds. They’re a dye based
watercolour in liquid form as it comes out of the bottle. It kind of reminds me
a little bit of liquid food colouring. It is staining, so you want
to be very careful not to get that on your clothes. Now these come in
18 beautiful colours. I have the primaries
out here today, red, yellow, and blue,
and then there’s also six incredible metallic colours,
and I am just going to
pour out some of that just because
it’s beautiful. Okay… we’re going to
need a soft paintbrush, and before we start painting,
I’d like to do a little bit of a review of
the colour wheel if you don’t mind. Alright, let’s go back here to
the wall to the colour wheel. Now, you probably remember that colours
opposite each other on the colour wheel
are known as complementary colours. Alright? A red would be
a complement of green, okay? But yellow would be
a compliment of violet. Now this does not mean
when you mix the two together that they are very attractive. As a matter of fact
when you mix a complementary colour together you generally get
a brown shade, so for this shade we want to
keep our colours as bright as possible. Kandinsky’s paintings
were very brilliant, so we’re going to
avoid mixing colours opposite each other
on the colour wheel. Now we can mix our yellow that
we have out here with a red, and we’ll be able to get
a beautiful orange colour. Or we can mix that
yellow with a blue, and make a green. However, when we mix, we are not going to
mix the yellow with anything
remotely resembling violet, because otherwise
it’s going to turn brown, and we’re not going to mix
our red with the green that we mix. So keeping that in mind,
let’s begin painting. I’m going to take–
I’ve already cut down these sheets of
mulberry paper, Japanese paper. But let’s tear them up
into even smaller pieces because we want to make
a sheet of this go a long way across the classroom,
so we’ll take these sheets, and just tear them into some
smaller, smaller pieces, and put them on
a stack of paper towels to paint. ‘Kay. I’m going to pull my palette
here a little bit closer, so that it won’t drip
across the table. And I do have some water handy
when it’s time to go change my colours, and another stack of
paper towels to blot my brush on. I’ve got a Blick
economy camel hair brush, this is a really good
water colour brush for doing this project, and I’m going to
use the colour straight, full strength from the bottle. You can see I’m just
applying the yellow. Okay, at this point, we’re not
really making anything– yeah, that red
really stands out. We’re not really
making anything. We’re just mixing
the colours on the sheet, we’re leaving
brush strokes in. You can actually leave
some white areas on the sheet
as you paint it. Okay, now notice how
the colours are starting to kind of feather
and blend together, almost giving you
a tie-dye effect? Now that’s the reason why
we’re using this rice paper. Have you ever heard of
a word called sizing? Now sizing is something that
a paper manufacturer puts in their paper when
they’re making the paper, and sizing keeps the paint
or too much water from absorbing
into the paper at once. If you have a drawing paper
that you’re going to use markers or ink on, you’re going to want to
have a sized paper because you want to have
a crisp line that goes with
that drawing. You don’t want that ink
to soak into the paper. In this case, we want the paint to
soak into the paper, and that’s why we’re
using an unsized paper. Okay, so I’ve painted a couple of these
pieces here. I would continue to paint 2,
3, maybe even 4 more pieces, but in the interest of time, let’s move these aside
and I’m going to bring over some
that are already dried. Doesn’t take very long
for these to dry, but these pieces
are already dry. I have a piece
behind them of watercolour paper. You need to have a surface
to put them on now, watercolour paper’s
a good paper to choose, and we’re going to start
just making an arrangement on this
watercolour paper here with the pieces
that I’ve painted. Some of them
are kind of big, so I think I’m going to
tear them down a little bit, and move them around. It’s okay to have a little
bit of an uneven boarder or a gap between
some of the pieces. Just move them around until
you kind of like where they’re placed. Yeah, that looks
pretty good to me. Alright, now we’re
going to take a glue stick, a Blick glue stick, and we’re just going to
lightly tack these papers down to the paper underneath it. Now these do not have to be
perfectly tacked down on every edge. They can tack down to
each other of course as well as the paper, but we’re just going to make
sure that they stay in place and don’t
move around too much. Okay, and we’re going to
allow that to dry as well. Move that aside,
and I do have a piece here that has the pieces
already tacked down. Okay, now you can kind of see, what I didn’t mention
when I was doing the painting is the gold paint, the gold watercolour paint,
do you want to zoom in here for just a second, I’m going to try
and catch the light. There it is. You see that sparkle? See that sparkle
that that adds to it? Kandinsky didn’t use the gold,
but if he had it available, I am sure that he would have. That is just
absolutely beautiful. Now, the next point that we’re
going to do is we’re going to add the melody. Up to this point, the colours
that you see under here, going back to Kandinsky’s
compositions and his love of music in art, this would possibly
be the rhythm, some of the melodies, all of the pieces
of the symphony underneath the melody, okay? At this point we’re going to
add the melody to the piece. If you are working
with elementary ages, you’re going to add line
on top of this piece with just some
simple black yarn. You can use a little bit of
glue to get it to stay down, and just have your yarn move
about the piece like this. You can create
a lot of different ways. You can see from what
I’m doing here that this is something
very different than if I had taken
a black marker or a black crayon
or something like that and come in on top of this
and just drawn lines. You get a much much more
expressive quality to the line when you do it this way. Alright. So this is how
an elementary class would probably
finish up this piece. If you are working
with older kids, let me show you another
option to doing this, and that is to use black
embroidery floss and a needle. Okay, I have probably three
strands of embroidery floss on this needle. You want to take a look at
your composition here in front of you. You might see an area that
looks like something to you, and you might want to
further define that shape, like in a strange way this
looks like a blue eye to me, with a red eyeball, so I might want to
go around that and further define that
as an eye, or I might just want to
find an edge that I see happening here
and follow that edge, so I’m going to just start doing
some stitching right now, right on top of this piece,
going through the back paper, and back again. Once again with thread you can get so many
different expressive lines. Now you could teach
your students some certain stitches
if you’d like, but I just find it
kind of neat to see what they discover
on their own, you know? They can do
short little lines, they can do long little lines,
they can do running lines. If you want to use
musical terms again, they could be staccato,
they could be legato, but as you can see this will
probably take some time to go ahead
and stitch this piece. So I’m going to move this
aside now and I’m going to show you
a finished piece. Alright, here’s a piece
that’s been completed. Isn’t that incredible? If you look real close
you can probably see where the artist here
found some things that reminded them
of a landscape, perhaps trees, perhaps a sun,
perhaps it’s just forms. That’s the beauty of
abstract expressionism. At this point you’re going to
want to have a conversation with your students, and just see how
their viewpoints have changed, and what
they’ve learned. I’m sure you’re going to find
that it’s very very exciting. Well, and that is
Drawing with Thread. I thank you very much
for joining us today. If you are on our website,
take a look, there is a printable
free downloadable printed lesson plan
of this particular project, along with the materials list, the materials list will also
be following this video. You’ll also find
national standards for the visual arts education
listed with this project, and some teaching
objectives as well. While you’re at our website you may as well
take a look around, because there are
hundreds of other lesson plans and art projects out there
available for all ages, for all skill levels. You could look for days
at all of them. I thank you very much
for joining us again. I hope you enjoyed this
and I’ll see you very soon. (♪♪♪) Captioned by GigEcast
www.gigecast.com

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