One of my many highlights from 2013 was getting to meet Edward Rice, a well-known southern artist, in a district meeting. Several local art teachers and I got to hear Rice describe his artwork, tour his exhibition in the Morris Museum, and even walk through his artist studio (in other words, step through his mind!) His talent is so clear through his realistic renderings of architectural elements. Since he had grown up in the Augusta area, many of the places portrayed in his paintings were familiar to me. I knew right away that he would make an excellent artist to introduce to my 8th graders. The education outreach program at the Morris Museum gave the teachers a packet of Edward Rice lesson plans, which was a truly fantastic gift!
The lesson I taught had to do with portraying shadows and highlights during the day vs portraying them at night. It was a rather hard project for the 8th graders, but they did a fabulous job. The 8th graders got a kick out of recognizing some of the landmarks in Rice’s paintings, too. I asked 8th graders to choose a landmark from Augusta, Georgia and create a small drawing of it. Since this was near the end of the quarter and time was of the essence, I photocopied their drawings so they wouldn’t have to create two drawings of the same thing. I asked 8th graders to glue their 2 identical drawings on a sheet of black construction paper. One painting should reflect their landmark during the day one one should reflect their landmark during the night.
I had an issue with glare while taking these photos, so I ended up clipping them to the board.
Most of the students understood to paint stark shadows on their “day” paintings to give the idea of natural sunlight hitting their structures. The bright highlights caused by artificial light sources (street lights, lanterns, ect) were to be portrayed in their “night” paintings. It was a difficult concept, especially since the kids didn’t have reference photos of their landmark during both day and night. Some had to rely on their background colors, which was just fine by me.Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!