One day, I would like to have a wall in the classroom that is filled with ideas on how to create better art and make the artistic experience more meaningful. Often, students will not try hard enough, hand in sloppy work or waste materials by not using them effectively. On this page, I have put together some reminders to hopefully inspire young folks to embrace a positive art attitude and enjoy every step of the creative process.
Everyone is good at something different and it is important to stress on the first day that artwork is not graded based on talent, but on ARTtitude and effort. It is helpful if one is artistically skilled, but a good and meaningful piece of artwork will require much more than that. Does one listen to advice and fix mistakes? Are there creative ideas and intentions present? One’s approach and attitude towards the task will make a big difference and I care more about the process than the finished outcome.
Effort is very, very important and being sloppy or lazy will not make better results. Before students hand in their project, I often ask them to reflect on whether they think they have really completed their work. For example, is there design creative? Neat? Did they fill up all the space? What can they add to make their work more harmonious and interesting?
Sketching soft and light lines in the initial stages of the drawing process will make fixing mistakes much easier 🙂 Such a simple reminder, but students sometimes forget and press too hard on their pencils.
Cleaning up after a painting project can be challenging and one of the biggest problems that I encounter is unclean or damaged brushes. When students do not clean the paint on the brushes or leave the bristles facing down, the tips harden and cannot be used again 😦 So…A happy brush is clean and tip up! Always, always wash your brush!