Charcoal is a versatile material with the ability to create amazing three dimensional effects and detail. Learn to maximize the properties of the medium, practice with the correspondingmaterials and create multiple unique artworks.
Let the littles take the lead while young children and their grown-ups work side by side to explore the natural world through art. Paint, print and collage flowers and seasonal landscapes and take home display ready artworks. Build confidence and develop skills like problem solving in your early learner as we introduce concepts like color mixing and shape recognition.
Kids starting at the age of five can come to us after school to explore fine art processes like printmaking and sculpting. We’ll examine artists past and present that look outdoors for inspiration and utilize experimentation, problem solving, and the elements of art to create unique artworks of our own.
The Art Connection is Pittsburgh’s premiere art program for students in grades 5–9. Led by local teaching artists, students learn drawing, printmaking, painting, sculpture, and mixed media, culminating with a student exhibition at Carnegie Museum of Art. The Art Connection combines big ideas and practical know-how to prepare young people for a world of visual information and creative problem-solving.
Design a visual spell book by mixing potions and experimenting with chemical reactions. Sculpt a creepy creature into the cover of your book to protect its magical contents. For kids in 3rd – 5th grade. This program is generously funded by Matt’s Maker Space. Registration starts September 20.
Gear up for the spookiest holiday by creating creepy sculptures and kooky experiments with the whole family. For grades K-5 with family. This program is generously funded by Matt’s Maker Space. Registration starts September 20.
I’ve compiled a list of basic supplies for those interested in beginning acrylic painting. We went over this list in the first session of Acrylic Painting for Adults at Mt. Lebanon Public Library. It is not meant to be comprehensive but as a starting point for those new to the medium.
Students gathered at Mt. Lebanon Public Library to experiment with loose drawing techniques and watercolor in a class meant to excite and promote creating for personal pleasure because ‘Why else make art if it’s not fun?’
In our first session, I introduced gesture drawing and students practiced with each other and then toy dinosaurs as models. Next, we transitioned into mark making with 02 Micropens, using fine line methods like hatching, cross hatching, stippling and gestural. In the end, after a few quick experiments with liquid watercolor, students used vintage nature cards as reference for a three layered drawing/painting.
In our final session, we capitalized on the warm weather and sketched outdoors in the library’s beautiful courtyard.
After reacquainting students with fine line methods, we conducted a few experiments with water and oil solvent materials and then used music as a way to manipulate the speed of our brushstroke and mood of our composition. We listened to classical, hard rock and pop and the results were drastically different. One student brought along her six year old daughter, who used her whole body while dancing and painting to the music. In the end, students had about 25 minutes to bring all of the elements together for a culminating drawing/painting.
Earlier this spring I taught a two session drawing course for adults at Mt. Lebanon Public Library.
In addition to the adult students, we had one stay-at-home mother with her three year old son. Our youngest student was a joy and completed every single activity, toe to toe with his more experienced counterparts.
In the first session, we focused on fundamentals like gesture drawing, contour drawing and fine line drawing techniques like hatching, cross hatching and stippling.
Students paired up to complete loose armature sketches, capturing the gesture of their subject. Next, they used quick ‘scribbles’ to define shape, size and location. Finally, students moved to the outside line to refine the contour of their subject. After a few timed gesture drawings, students moved onto still life drawings comprised of small dinosaur toys and bouncy balls. In this short amount of time, students practiced with graphite, charcoal and micropens.
In our final session, students jumped right into artmaking with a collaborative ‘automatic’ drawing game. Students experimented with solvencies and created a complete artwork together after group critique and a discussion about focal point.
We finished class with an extended still life study using a wide variety of drawing materials.
Two students from my drawing class, and a few others, joined me today in an Experimental Watercolor course. I’ll post more details after our final session next week.
School is out for our local schools so the Mt. Lebanon Public Library invited me to teach a program for grades 3 – 5. This program was 100% free for participants through Matt’s Maker Space. I created ArtLab so students could explore multiple printmaking/transfer methods in a short period of time. We discussed the scientific method and tested our theories throughout our class.
Groups rotated through three stations; watercolor experiments, marker transfers and shaving cream paper marbling. Groups spent about 10 minutes making in each space, completing one or two experiments each.
In watercolor, students tested solvency and fluid paths. Our tools were Dick Blick Liquid watercolor, brushes, spray bottles, water droppers, and oil pastels.
In marker transfers, students drew an abstract design with markers on aluminum foil. When the drawing was complete, they spritzed the foil with water and smoothed watercolor paper on top.
In paper marbling, students spread a layer of shaving cream on boards and used eye droppers to apply liquid watercolor. Using a popsicle stick, students connected the color droplets with varied lines. After placing watercolor paper on top, students squeegeed the shaving cream from the paper, revealing its design.
After a quick clean-up, I demoed radial designs and students created relief blocks with 2″ styrofoam plates. We printed with black block ink on colorful paper, which became the covers for their bound experiments.
I love mixing art and science in my lessons. So many tenants cross these disciplines and both cultivate inquiry, curiosity, exploration and confidence in learners of all levels.
I’ll be back at the Mt. Lebanon Public Library later this month for an adult watercolor class and early next month for an adult/child class for ages 2 – 5.
Through out the year, sixth graders smashed fears, capitalized on surprises, and explored what it means to be creative. Each project had a traditional impetus with room for students to add a contemporary element, using the Carnegie International as a guiding force. You can follow art_connect_6 on instagram to see the class’s progress from September – March.
After completing a
collaborative project focusing on making marks and elements of successful
composition, students received a crash course in gesture drawing and charcoal
supplies to begin work on a still life. Before their works were completed, they
were challenged to create a brand new composition by altering their drawings
with new materials, experimenting with solvencies, and cutting or tearing their
still life apart.
For their selfie self-portraits, students first executed
value and material studies before integrating knowledge about gesture and
contour to capture important aspects of the photograph to include in their
drawing. In the second portrait of the year, the Natural History’s stuffed
animal collection was inspiration for a sculptural mask. Each artwork contains visual
symbols to indicate the personal story of each character, which is sometimes an
exaggeration of the artist’s own traits.
In a merge of traditional and experimental concepts, students combined fine line drawing and playful watercolor techniques to create mixed media artworks modeled after different environments in the museum.
The museum remained the subject as students invaded reproductions of CMOA artworks with their own drawings, paintings or media gatherings. Looking to CI artists Karen Kilimnik and Jeremy Deller, students also considered how their individual pieces should be arranged to create one cohesive piece.
In their final invasion, students surprise museum audiences with text-based works installed on the top of their exhibition walls. Viewed from high above, these Mel Bochner inspired works use active words, symbols, or language that will prompt the audience to react in thought or action.
This year’s exhibition will include work from all TAC participants grades 5 – 9 and will take place in Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hall of Sculpture May 4 – 19. An Opening Reception will be held on Sunday, May 5, 3 -5pm. The reception is free, you can RSVP by emailing TAC@carnegiemuseums.org.