Relief Prints


This week students began to create and carve the printing plates of the American Heroes they selected last week.   Each student must create a portfolio with at least five prints exhibiting their best examples of the following:

  1.  Clean black and white
  2. Colored ink print. (red, white or blue)
  3. Print on a Word Cloud
  4. Print with background text
  5. Awesome example

Homework due Monday 10/23:

Using 8.5 x 11 size paper, create a LINE ONLY drawing of your hero and surroundings that tell their story suitable for a coloring book.  Also mail me a 200 word description of what makes them a hero to  Below is an example of Penny Patterson’s bio from the Uni High Coloring Book.  Write to a 5th grade level.




FAA Contest

Take notice of this contest.  (You can’t use for homework credit, but you can still enter. )Entries are due to Ms. Evans by MONDAY, 11/27.


8th Annual FAA High School Art Exhibit

Small Works Art ShowSaturday, December 16, 2017 – Sunday, January 12, 2018Opening Reception: Saturday, December 16 @ Link Gallery, Krannert Art Museum 


Sponsored by: School of Art + Design at the College of Fine + Applied Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and the Krannert Art Museum.

Eligibility: This “Small Works Art Show” is open to high school students in the middle Illinois area in grades 9-12. No more than 10 pieces per class. Please select up to the best 10 pieces to send to us for the show. We encourage you to make this class project, or an assignment for outside of class. We will only be jurying for prizes, but will hang all the artwork that is submitted to us by you.

Specifications: All 2D artwork should be 6 x 6 inches in size or smaller. All 3D artwork should be no larger than 6 x 6 x 6 inches in size. This is a “Small Works Art Show” for small artwork!  Students can create any subject of art they wish.



1st place: $100 art supply gift certificate for the overall Senior winner
1st place: Scholarship to FAA Intensive Summer Program to Best Junior, Sophomore or Freshman 2nd place: $75 art supply gift certificate to overall 2nd place winner
3rd place: $50 art supply gift certificate to overall 3rd place winner
School of Art + Design Choice Awards: $25 art supply gift certificate
Ribbons given



All artwork will be displayed in the Link Gallery at the Krannert Art Museum from Saturday, December 16 – Sunday, January 12, 2018. We are hosting an opening reception on Saturday, December 16 from 2:00- 4:00 p.m. at the Link Gallery for all teachers, student artists, families and friends to attend. We will announce the winners at 2:45 p.m. sharp! Our faculty will also be offering informal portfolio reviews for any interested high school student during the opening reception.


Starting Watercolor

This week we shared our collections (or trees) and began the watercolor project.  The  final painting should show depth via one of the techniques we’ve discussed in class.


The work above is by the artist Janet Fish.  She is known for her masterful use of color in her still life depictions of translucent objects, particularly glassware.

Homework due Monday, 10/9

Please choose one of the following:

  1.  Design and sketch  a mammal repurposing at least three of the items from the drawing below.  You may reorient and/or resize the object.  Special bonus if you can use the tuba!  (The collection image shown is from  The little sculpture is from barneecat on pinterest )

random_objects030313_by_akleinma-d5wr0ur              4111b5224eb3098fcf19968d49a31f49--art-surf-welding-art


2.  Create an entry for the Itsy-bitsy show at the Link Gallery outside Krannert Art Museum.  Prizes awarded.    All art must be of your own original design.  Any media is acceptable.  6x 6 inches is the maximum size.  This is a great opportunity for those looking to build their art resume.

Finishing ink wash, beginning watercolor…


Above is an image from Mentalfloss of Dr. Johann Hermann who collected natural specimens.  Collecting is a common habit of artists.  Featuring one of your collections is an option for the next assignment.

We are moving on to experimenting with watercolors.  Watercolor will build upon many of the  ink wash skills we’ve developed, but add a few more options into the mix.  Students have two choices of subject matter:  a collection or “a tree like me”.


We looked at the work of Mark Dion, above, an artist who works with the concept of collections.    According to Museum Madre,  “Appropriating archaeological and other scientific methods of collecting, ordering, and exhibiting objects, Dion creates works that question the distinctions between “objective” (“rational”) scientific methods and “subjective” (“irrational”) influences. The artist’s spectacular and often fantastical curiosity cabinets, modeled on Wunderkabinetts of the sixteenth century, exalt atypical orderings of objects and specimens. By locating the roots of environmental politics and public policy in the construction of knowledge about nature, Mark Dion questions the authoritative role of the scientific voice in contemporary society.”  If you want to learn more about this artist, this video link has an hour long video.  Although the visuals are poor, the audio is great.  If you are a collector, this will be very interesting.

Other recent artist collections include Damian Hirst’s exhibition entitled “Wreck of the Unbelievable” where he displayed objects supposedly lost at sea that had been collected by an immensely wealthy freed slave.  The objects and the story surrounding them are completely fabricated by the artist.

Another contemporary artist/collector is Sarah Sze, makes elaborate installations based upon objects she collects, many of which would be considered trash.


“Tree Like Me” option allows you to use the language of trees to tell at least 6 key events in your life.  A sample from a workshop I attended is shown below.  Note the mixture of realistic and surrealistic elements.

IMG_2453 (1).jpg

With either choice, the art should show a sense of space by using overlapping and/or relative scale.  Also, background should be developed, although can be secondary to the subject matter.

Homework due Monday, 10/3:  Research options

1.  Sketch 3 or more objects for “collection” from observation.  Use different views, sizes and types on the same page.  For instance you could do a collection of coffee cups, musical instruments, toys etc.  (The collection you watercolor could be the same or completely different.)  Your collection should reveal your particular collecting interests.

2.  If you plan to do the “trees like me” option for the watercolor assignment, sketch 3 trees from observation.  Look for all the variety and “language” you can find of trees.  (e.g. decay, new growth, broken branches, holes etc.)

3.   Add 20 photos to your class’ Padlet.  Your photos must be labeled with your name, be put together in same location on Padlet, and be unique (e.g. not duplicate other’s collection photos).  You must post your photos to the correct Padlet.  Each class has two Padlets.  Please post to trees or collections depending on what option you choose.

1st hour – trees

1st hour – collections

5th hour – trees

5th hour – collections

7th hour – trees

7th hour – collection


Miscellaneous Fun

Explore these great collections:

Sir John Soane Museum

Museum of Jurassic Technology

The Mutter Museum

Hagstromer Wunderkammer


Perspective Ink Wash


Love Sickness by Lan Zhenghui above shows a giant ink painting inspired by the poetic connections between ink painting and poetry.

Love ink painting?  Learn more about the poetics of  Japanese ink painting in this 23 minute video from the Metropolitan Museum while you work on your homework.

There are lots of fun tutorials to watch regarding ink painting.  Here are two with very opposite approaches.  One is tight and controlled by the Virtual Instructor.  Another, fun loose one shows how to take advantage of osmosisto achieve cool experimental effects.


Every fall National Portfolio Day comes to our area to help high school students prepare to choose programs in the arts that fit their needs.  Check it out!

Homework:  Due Monday 9/25

Ink Blot Development

Using one of the ink blots that you made in class, develop the scene so that we can see what you see in the ink blot.  You may add color and other materials to develop you drawing.  Try to go beyond butterflies and insects.  Challenge yourself to find a non-symetrical scene in  your ink blot.