Thursday, September 30, 2010

Frida Kahlo ~ Self Portrait Unit

"Frida Kahlo de Rivera (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954; born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón) was a Mexican painter, born in Coyoacán. Perhaps best known for her self-portraits, Kahlo's work is remembered for its 'pain and passion', and its intense, vibrant colors. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition, and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.

Mexican culture and Amerindian cultural tradition figure prominently in her work, which has sometimes been characterized as Naïve art or folk art. Her work has also been described as 'surrealist', and in 1938 one surrealist described Kahlo herself as a ribbon around a bomb'.

Kahlo had a stormy but passionate marriage with the prominent Mexican artist Diego Rivera. She suffered lifelong health problems, many of which stemmed from a traffic accident in her teenage years. These issues are reflected in her works, more than half of which are self-portraits of one sort or another. Kahlo suggested, 'I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.'"

Important Components of the Self-Portrait

Websites about Frida Kahlo:

Direction of the eyes: Looking at the viewer (confrontational) or off into the distance.

Paint Instructions:

Paint background first THEN draw portrait on canvas.

Demo on flesh tones next week.

Pay attention to, and experiment with, your brushstrokes.

Care Instructions:

We are using ACRYLIC PAINTS!

DO NOT use oil paints!

Always wear apron and put newsprint or scrap paper under your work area.

Wash brushes thoroughly and put brush side up in the brush cup next to sink.

Only squeeze out enough paint for your work for the day: Don't waste!

If you have too much at the end of class, either cover it in plastic for use the next day OR scrape it out with a paper towel and WASH the palette.

Make sure you wash the palettes.

Clean up after yourself!

Plan your portrait:

1) Expression
2) Composition (where do you want to be placed in the portrait and how much of you will be visible)
3) Color
4) Background
5) Symbols
6) Direction of your eyes

Plan your portrait in your sketchbook. Address every component listed above.

Sketch out your portrait (or potential ideas).

IMPORTANT: If you missed this lesson (September 29th, 2010) then you MUST view the Smart Board lesson on Ms. Burnell's computer in your next art class.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Miz Art ~ Psychology of Color

Colors often have different meanings in various cultures. And even in Western societies, the meanings of various colors have changed over the years. But today in the U.S., researchers have generally found the following to be accurate.


Black is the color of authority and power. It is popular in fashion because it makes people appear thinner. It is also stylish and timeless. Black also implies submission. Priests wear black to signify submission to God. Some fashion experts say a woman wearing black implies submission to men. Black outfits can also be overpowering, or make the wearer seem aloof or evil. Villains, such as Dracula, often wear black.

Albrecht Durer
Self Portrait


Brides wear white to symbolize innocence and purity. White reflects light and is considered a summer color. White is popular in decorating and in fashion because it is light, neutral, and goes with everything. However, white shows dirt and is therefore more difficult to keep clean than other colors. Doctors and nurses wear white to imply sterility.

Mary Cassatt
Self Portrait


The most emotionally intense color, red stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing. It is also the color of love. Red clothing gets noticed and makes the wearer appear heavier. Since it is an extreme color, red clothing might not help people in negotiations or confrontations. Red cars are popular targets for thieves. In decorating, red is usually used as an accent. Decorators say that red furniture should be perfect since it will attract attention.

Jacob Lawrence
Self Portrait

The most romantic color, pink, is more tranquilizing. Sports teams sometimes paint the locker rooms used by opposing teams bright pink so their opponents will lose energy.


The color of the sky and the ocean, blue is one of the most popular colors. It causes the opposite reaction as red. Peaceful, tranquil blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals, so it is often used in bedrooms. Blue can also be cold and depressing. Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolizes loyalty. People are more productive in blue rooms. Studies show weightlifters are able to handle heavier weights in blue gyms.

Vincent Van Gogh
Self Portrait


Currently the most popular decorating color, green symbolizes nature. It is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision. It is a calming, refreshing color. People waiting to appear on TV sit in "green rooms" to relax. Hospitals often use green because it relaxes patients. Brides in the Middle Ages wore green to symbolize fertility. Dark green is masculine, conservative, and implies wealth. However, seamstresses often refuse to use green thread on the eve of a fashion show for fear it will bring bad luck.

Frida Kahlo
Self Portrait


Cheerful sunny yellow is an attention getter. While it is considered an optimistic color, people lose their tempers more often in yellow rooms, and babies will cry more. It is the most difficult color for the eye to take in, so it can be overpowering if overused. Yellow enhances concentration, hence its use for legal pads. It also speeds metabolism.

Self Portrait


The color of royalty, purple connotes luxury, wealth, and sophistication. It is also feminine and romantic. However, because it is rare in nature, purple can appear artificial.

Andy Warhol
Self Portrait
Fun Fact: This painting just sold for $32.5 billion dollars at Sotheby's!


Solid, reliable brown is the color of earth and is abundant in nature. Light brown implies genuineness while dark brown is similar to wood or leather. Brown can also be sad and wistful. Men are more apt to say brown is one of their favorite colors.

Self Portrait

Food for Thought

While blue is one of the most popular colors it is one of the least appetizing. Blue food is rare in nature. Food researchers say that when humans searched for food, they learned to avoid toxic or spoiled objects, which were often blue, black, or purple. When food dyed blue is served to study subjects, they lose appetite.

Green, brown, and red are the most popular food colors. Red is often used in restaurant decorating schemes because it is an appetite stimulant.

by David Johnson

Miz Art Question

Art I Students: What colors are you going to use in your portrait, and why?

Computer Graphics & Art II, III & IV Students: How will the knowledge of the psychology of color change your artwork? How will use color symbolically?

Read more: Color Psychology —

Miz Art # 2 for week of 10/4/10

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Work Habits Self Evaluation Due Wednesday

ALL Art I - IV and Computer Graphics students MUST fill out a work habits self evaluation on Wednesday. We will be starting a new lesson on Thursday.

Art II - IV students should be starting their third project for the quarter soon to stay on track. Three final art projects are due by the end of the quarter.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Picasso Multi-Media Lesson - Next Step

After the glue has dried and you have added the layer of ink with your brayer, it is time to add color. Using either pastels, colored pencils or acrylic paint (or a combination of all three), add color to your artwork. Work around the black glue lines with your materials.

Colored Pencil: Prismacolor colored pencils have vibrant and saturated color. These pencils are very expensive, so take great care of them. Do not use the electric or wall pencil sharpener on the Prismacolors. Only use the oblong black sharpeners or the little silver sharpeners.

Colored Pencil will allow some of the black ink layer below to shine through. Blend layers of different colors for more depth in your colors.

Pastels: Pastels have a softer feel. Layering different colors with pastels can also create depth and visual interest. You have the option of leaving the layer of pastels as they are laid on or blending it in with your finger. Please keep in mind that pastels need a spray fixative when finished. This sometimes mutes colors or makes the pastels blend in with the ink (in this project).

Acrylic Paints: Acrylic paints bring the water-soluble quality of the block ink out. You will notice that the ink gets brought to the surface if your paintbrush has too little paint on it. Pput a lot of acrylic on your brush and pay attention to your brush strokes.

Remember: You MUST use at least one set of complementary colors. You MUST use bright colors in at least 2/3rds of your image. Use warm colors near or on your focal point. Wear your aprons and clean up thoroughly please!

Miz Art ~ Picasso's Guernica

Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 1937

Wartime Experience: 1937-1945

“Guernica, the oldest town of the Basque provinces and the center of their cultural traditions, was almost completely destroyed by the rebels in an air attack yesterday afternoon. The bombing of the undefended town far behind the front line took exactly three quarters of an hour. During this time and without interruption a group of German aircraft – Junker and Heinkel bombers as well as Heinkel fighters – dropped bombs weighing up to 500 kilogrammes on the town. At the same time low-flying fighter planes fired machine-guns at the inhabitants who had taken refuge in the fields. The whole of Guernica was in flames in a very short time.” - The Times, April 27, 1937.

The Spanish government had asked Picasso to paint a mural for the Spanish pavilion at the Paris World Exhibition. He planned to depict the subject “a painter in his studio”, but when he heard about the events in Guernica, he changed his original plans. After numerous sketches and studies, Picasso gave his own personal view of the tragedy. His gigantic mural Guernica has remained part of the collective consciousness of the twentieth century, a forceful reminder of the event. Though painted for the Spanish government, it wasn't until 1981, after forty years of exile in New York, that the picture found its way to Spain. This was because Picasso had decreed that it should not become Spanish property until the end of fascism. In October 1937, Picasso also painted the “Weeping Woman” as a kind of postscript to “Guernica”.

In 1940, when Paris was occupied by the Nazis, he handed out prints of his painting to German officers. When they asked asked him “Did you do this?” (referring to the pictures), he replied, “No, you did”. Whether those world-reknowned military brains were simply unable to perceive the symbolism of the picture, or whether it was Picasso's fame that stopped them from taking any action, the painter was not arrested and went on working. During the war, he met a young female painter, Françoise Gillot, who would later become his third official wife.

With his Charnel House of 1945, Picasso concluded the series of pictures that he had started with “Guernica”. The connection between the paintings becomes immediately obvious when we consider the rigidly limited color scheme and the triangular composition of the center. However, in the latter painting, the nightmare had been superceded by reality. The Charnel House was painted under the impact of reports from the Nazi concentration camps which had been discovered and liberated. It wasn't until then, that people realized the atrociousness of the Second World War. It was a time when the lives of millions of people had been literally pushed aside, a turn of phase which Picasso expressed rather vividly in the pile of dead bodies in his Charnel House.

Article is by Charles Moffat from

Question for The Miz Art Topic Number One:

How did Picasso's artwork comment on and/or document the atrocities of World War II?

Pablo Picasso, The Charnel House, 1945

Original article may be found at:

Miz Art # 1 for week of 9/27/10

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Abstract Project: First Steps

1) Complete a blind contour drawing on your large piece of paper. Fill the page. Make sure your image is abstract. You MUST get approval of your image BEFORE you go on to the next step! Remember to write your name on the back of the paper!

2) Draw over your completed outline in glue. Make sure you lay the glue on evenly. Set aside on a flat surface to dry.

3) After glue has completely dried (usually next day) start the ink process. Put about two toothpaste serving size amounts of block printing ink on your plate. Roll brayer back and forth vertically and horizontally until brayer is covered consistently with ink.

4) Cover whole surface of paper with an even coating of ink. Do not press too hard on glue or it will flatten. There will be a white space around the glue where you cannot get a layer of ink: this is OK. Set to dry on drying rack

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New Lesson: Picasso Resist


* Glue resist technique
* Layer of printmaking ink
* Layer of either pastel, paint or colored pencil
* Top layer of printmaking ink
* One set of complementary colors
* Bright colors on at least 2/3rds of picture (in other words: no browns, grays or blacks)
* Remember that warm colors draw the eye, so place yellow, orange or red near (or on/in) your focal point.
* Fill paper
* Must get sketch approved before starting the glue process


1. Sketch outline of subject on paper. Blind contour drawing works best.
2. Draw over sketch with glue.
3. Set the paper on drying rack to dry.
4. Ink your brayer and lay on a thorough layer of ink over the whole surface of the paper, especially the glue outlines.
5. Set the paper on drying rack to dry.
6. Choose your medium to color (pastels, colored pencils or acrylic paints).
7. Color and/or paint in around the outline.
8. Ink your brayer and put a light layer of ink over the image. Put a solid layer of ink on the glue outlines.

Soft Deadline: September 29th

Hard Deadline: October 6th

Monday, September 20, 2010

Computer Graphics & Photography Class: Edward Weston

Computer Graphics students just finished up the Surrealistic Salvador Dali Photoshop project. We had our first critique today and will be working on improving our vocabulary and constructive criticism skills.

Today students learned about the photographer Edward Weston and aperture. Refer to your photography handbook for more information on aperture. You may also view the Smart Board lesson on aperture to catch up.

Here is information on Edward Weston:

Here is information on aperture:

Picasso Pockets

Today we learned about the artist Pablo Picasso (see previous blog posts). We also created our Picasso Pockets. So far, we have put the following worksheets in our Picasso Pocket:

__ Tint/Shade Worksheet
__ Color Handout
__ Color Worksheet
__ Blog Info Slip
__ Shape & Form Worksheet

Mid-term Grades

Students: Make sure you have all assignments in by Wednesday morning! Ms. Burnell is entering mid-term grades on Wednesday. Check the graded "pile" for your projects. If your project is with your rubric, you may keep the artwork and take it home. If it's not there then Ms. Burnell is keeping it for display in an art show. Always keep your rubrics as proof of your grade!

Words of Kindness Collages

Thank you to all of the students who helped with the collages and letters to our soldiers in Afghanistan! Our soldiers work really hard and will appreciate all of the support. A big "gracias" to Senor Snell and his Spanish classes for helping as well!

Sketchbooks due on Friday!

Please check off the following handouts and exercises in your sketchbook. If you haven't done an exercise or need a worksheet, please let me know right away.

Art I:

__ About Me
__ Student Contract
__ Pre-assessment
__ M.C. Escher Video Worksheet
__ Line Worksheet
__ Value Scale
__ 10 Blind Contour Drawings
__ Grid Drawing Worksheet
__ Shape & Form Worksheet
__ Color Wheel
__ Color Worksheet (vocabulary)
__ Sketches
__ M.C. Escher Pocket
__ Words of Kindness/Collage Pocket
__ Picasso Pocket

Art II, III & IV

__ About Me
__ Student Contract
__ Pre-assessment
__ 10 Blind Contour Drawings
__ Sketches (50% of sketchbook grade)
__ M.C. Escher Pocket
__ Words of Kindness/Collage Pocket
__ Picasso Pocket

Sketchbooks are due on Friday, September 24th.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Cubism was an art movement that developed between 1907 and 1912. Cubism was founded by both Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.

"Its key concept was that the substance of objects could only be captured on canvas by showing it from multiple points of view simultaneously... inspired not only by Africa sculpture, but also by the artist Paul Cezanne who advised that nature should be thought of as cylinders, cones and spheres. The name 'Cubism' came from and art critic who said that Braque reduced everything to geometric forms and cubes." _ Crystal Productions Poster

Crystal Productions offers great posters for the classroom! Check them out at

Advanced Art Students

Advanced art students are beginning to turn their artwork in. Their first of three projects is due on September 29th.

We have some very talented and hard working students here at Meeker High School!

Pablo Picasso - Cubism & Abstract Art

Pablo Picasso was a Spanish artist that mastered the drawing skills taught in the art academies by age 12. Picasso had numerous periods of painting styles beginning with his blue period and rose period. Eventually he joined the surrealists and became the creator of the cubist art movement. The circus, love and family, the bullfight and theater, were some of Picasso's numerous subjects.

To learn more about Pablo Picasso, visit these websites:

Crystal Productions offers great posters for the classroom! Check them out at

M.C. Escher

M.C. Escher is usually studied for his optical illusion and tessellation artwork. However, he is also an excellent artist to study when learning about value and line. Look at the class posters to view all values, from black to white, and all the shades in between.

To learn more about M.C. Escher, please check out these websites:

Romare Bearden

Romare Bearden was an African-American artist that created very vibrant, meaningful and interesting works of art. Social worker by day, Romare Bearden worked on his symbolic artwork on weekends and nights. Romare Bearden and other members of the Spiral Group, sought to represent their lives and experiences as African-Americans in an environment of segregation and racism. Our classroom poster is of his artwork "Dove". It is believed that both the dove and white cat are symbols. Doves are often symbolic of peace and the relationship between cat and bird is of a predatory nature. What is your interpretation of this piece?

To learn more about Romare Bearden, please visit these websites:

Crystal Productions offers great posters for the classroom! Check them out at