Last time, we talked about the term Value and what meaning that holds for us.  Did you know that Value is also an element of Visual Art?  It’s the amount of shading that is within a color.  You can change the value by adding either more white or more black or by subtracting the amount of color saturation.  So value is not only what has meaning for us, it is also the amount of saturation (ie: passion) within a color (ie: ideas).  This, then, leads me to thinking about perspective.  What might looked washed out and grey to me may be just the value that was intended.  It’s all within the perspective of the person viewing it.

What's Up with the Cup, Education Closet

Remember that idea of Process versus Product that we touched on last time?  Which was more important to you?  I came across a great lesson from a visual art teacher at Bates Middle School in Annapolis, MD called “What’s Up with the Cup” which illustrates this point so beautifully.

Here’s the general idea:

• Students get 10-20 Cups to make a sculpture. They
may use Tape, Glue, Scissors, and Three Wild Cards.
• Students will then make one full drawing of the sculpture
from observation using Charcoal and /or Pencil and
• After, students will draw the same sculpture from
observation using Adobe Photoshop.

Then we ask…

• How can we adapt this into a digital drawing?
• What strategies will we now use to draw from
observation digitally?
• What tools do you think we will need?
The products from this lesson are incredible!  Student produce the most amazing sculptures based out of creativity.  Which then, or course, are transformed into some pretty awesome digital images through editing software that can be worked on collaboratively.  But the real transformation is when they take the digital image and then digitally DRAW it after they have worked through the process using critical thinking skills and communication with their peers and the teacher.
This is exactly the kind of lesson which challenges are students and gives them what Dick Deasy names “Hard Fun”.  It makes our students understand the PROCESS of creating and manipulating and transforms that into developing a whole NEW PRODUCT.

So…what’s up with your cup today?

How can you shift a lesson you’ve been working on from product focused to process focused?  Once you do, you’ll never go back because the products that are developed are so far beyond anything you could ever imagine.  Have some Hard Fun today!