Showing posts with label ancient egypt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ancient egypt. Show all posts

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What the Art Teacher Wore #17

Blue Monday: Egyptian print dress: etsy; metallic belt: H & M; metallic shoes: Anthro (someone had ripped the bows off the shoes so they sold 'em to me for $20!); headband: super awesome Peachy Tuesday
In honor of the school-wide Egyptian-themed art show and the premiere performance of Walk Like an Egyptian by our second grade stars, I decided to go all Ms. Frizzle and the Magic School Bus with my outfits this week. That's right, I'm All-Egyptian, All-the-Time with the exception of Field Day Friday.

And in honor of my Egyptian ensembles, I thought I'd share with you some Ancient Egyptian history. When it comes to Egypt, I'm like a regular Encyclopedia Britannica -- and for those of you born after 1995, I'm like a regular google search. Read carefully, there's a quiz later!
Love this dress. Picked up from the fab etsy seller Hollie Point Vintage.

The color of the print reminded me of Egyptian shabti. These little figures, usually no more than a few inches tall, were believed to spring to life and become servants for their owner in the Afterlife. Hundreds were usually found in the tombs of pharaohs and queens. Image found here.

Trying Out a New Backdrop Tuesday: I thought I'd show you something other than my classroom or my front step. Just a little corner in our front room. Egyptian print dress: etsy; belt: made by me; shoes: Urban Outfitters

I love this dress and the seller was especially kind and excited to know I'd be wearing it when teaching los kiddos. For that reason, you must check out Vintage with Appeal.

The print on this dress reminded me of images I'd seen of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. This book was placed in the tomb of the deceased. It consisted of spells that were believed to help the dead in their journey through the underworld and to the Afterlife. Image found here.

Wednesday: blue shirt: Target; embroidered top: Urban Outfitters; Egyptian skirt and belt: thrifted; sandals and necklaces: Target

So my students all know an adapted version of the Steve Martin classic King Tut. And I'm only mildly offended that they refer to me as "King Nut".

King Tutankhamun was most famous not only because he became king at 9, but also for his mysterious death at age 18. His tomb was found completely intact in 1923 by Howard Carter. The Egyptians believed that those that tampered with tombs would become victims of bad luck. A mysterious number of people died after the unearthing of Tut's tomb.

Art Show/Performance Thursday: dress: etsy; belt: thrifted; necklace: Target; shoes: Clarks; flower: made by me

Another fab etsian. Can you tell I scooped up all of the best Egyptian dresses? I've already started searching etsy for next year's theme! Please visit this lovely shop, the owner of Oh, Dear Things is just the sweetest.

The anch is featured all over my dress. It's the Ancient Egyptian symbol for life. Found here.

Field Day Friday!: So, I'm standing in line at Starbucks getting my morning tea...dressed like this. A posh mom walks in with her elementary-age kid and stops dead in her tracks, giving me the once over. Meanwhile, her kid, who is smiling at me, is wearing a private school shirt. And I'm dying to say to her, "That's why you pay the big bucks, lady. To keep yer kid away from the likes of me." Shirt: tie-dyed in my art room, shredded and beaded by me; skirt: anthro, gift from a friend; tights: amazon; shoes: Earth shoes

Nothing goes better with tiger-stripe tights than a tiger stone scarab beetle ring. The Egyptians saw the scarab beetle (also known as the dung beetle) rolling balls of dung across the sand. From this they gathered that the beetle was responsible for rolling the sun up and down everyday. In their mind, the scarab beetle was the symbol for rejuvenation. Ring found here.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

In the Art Room: Walk Like an Egyptian

The Land of the Dead: A collection of my third grade art students sarcophagi (sarcophaguses?) laid out to dry. The kids dubbed this area of the floor The Tomb.
Last week most of my third grade students finished their Egyptian sarcophagus. We had a lot of fun with this looong project and I thought I'd share it with you. It began way back at the beginning of the school year. I remember it like it was yesterday...
Don't mess with Tut. I can't decide if I look mean or just constipated. Either one is unpleasant enough, I suppose.
I spent the first week of school dressed as King Tutankhamun (aka Tut). As King Tut, or Mrs. Tut as the kids referred to me, I introduced all of my classes to Ancient Egypt. During this introductory lesson, my third grade students learned how to write their name in hieroglyphics and create a cartouche. If you look closely at the bottom of their sarcophagus, you'll see their rendition.

After that, we got a little side tracked with other projects: a field trip to the local art museum to see an Egyptian exhibit; a school-wide t-shirt tie-dying project; and a fall leaf-relief project. With those out of the way, we were ready to return to Egypt.

When I was in 8th grade, I had art for the first time. My art teacher showed me how to draw nostrils in a way I've never forgotten: like the handle bars of a bicycle. I demonstrated many different ways to draw a nose and this student looks like he went the handle bar route.

We began with a self-portrait drawing. After a chat about portraiture, we looked at some recognizable portraits (the Mona Lisa and American Gothic) and compared them to the paintings found on the Egyptian sarcophagus. Then we proceeded to begin our own Egyptian self-portrait.

Each student was given a copy of the head above. The copy was on a clipboard and the students placed a blank paper over it. After a discussion about head shape, we traced the shape of the head onto our paper. That's right, you heard me, we traced. Scandalous, I know. We also used the dotted line as a guide in understanding the placement of our features. We used mirrors to capture our own likeness.
After looking at many Egyptian examples, students were given the opportunity to add a nemes (that's the cloth headdress), a beard (even Egyptian Queens wore them during ceremonies) and a collar necklace.
The following art classes were used to trace over our pencil lines in Sharpie and add color with colored pencils and metallic oil pastels. We had a chat about how the Ancient Egyptians created paintings that were very two-dimensional. However, we were going to learn a bit about shading and creating a drawing that was three-dimensional.

Understanding the concept of shading is a pretty advanced skill. I introduced it to the kids anyway because I don't like assuming they cannot do something. I demonstrated by choosing a flesh tone and shading my forehead and bridge of my nose in a light value forming a letter T. I then used a dark value around the outside of the head creating a letter U. That dark value was gradually lightened as I colored toward the center of the face. The sides of the nose were shaded a dark value like two capital I's. When the students got confused about shading, I could remind them by saying, "Light T; dark U; two dark I's". This seemed to help.

A very clever student and her wadjet eyes.
From there, details of the students' liking were added to their face and headdress. Metallic oil pastels were used on the headdress. Once complete, students were ready to cut out their sarcophagus.

For the sarcophagus, students were given a 3' (maybe a pinch longer) piece of butcher paper. They folded that paper in half lengthwise and placed half of a sarcophagus template on top which they traced and cut out. From there, the kids glued down their heads and their cartouche. Then the fun of planning their sarcophagus began.
This student paid a great interest to patterning detail. I love her designs.
With a piece of vine charcoal, students drew hands, crook and flail and, if they wanted, Isis, the winged goddess. Then I asked them to divide break up the space of their sarcophagus with a series of lines. Once completed, students took their sarcopha-guys to the floor and painted over their charcoaled lines in black paint.

In hindsight, painting on the floor should have been done with some sort of floor cloth. I owe my custodial friends some chocolate for that mistake.
In between the lines the students painted, they were asked to add patterns in black paint. Once the black paint patterns were complete, I broke out the jars of metallic paint which proved to be a big hit.
Not all metallic paint is created equally. We used Liquid Metal by Sargent sold through the Sax catalog. It was expensive but cheaper than spending money on junky (and often odorific) craft store metallics.

Like I've said before, I only see my kids for half an hour. Some day it was a real struggle giving directions, passing back the work, getting out supplies and then turning to the clock to see YIKES! TWELVE MINUTES TO WORK! But we managed to get them finished. And, seeing them all displayed in the halls, make the kids and I see that our looong project was well worth it.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

In the Art Room: Hump Day

After a long chat about fore-, middle- and background, we glued our camels into our Egyptian Landscape Collages. Here's a kid that really got the concept of objects diminishing in size.
What would be more appropriate to chat about on this here Hump Day then a one-humped camel (which are called domedary in case you didn't know) and his habitat? My first grade artists finished up these Egyptian Landscape Collages last week and I thought I'd share them with you. I've been doing this landscape collage lesson for years but always with a connection to our current theme of study. With Egypt being our theme this year, a desert landscape was what we created.

Image pulled from
We began our lesson with a nice long chat about sunrises and sets. We looked at photos, artist renditions, and discussed personal experiences before creating our own. Each student was given a 12" by 18" piece of paper folded in half lengthwise. On the top half of their paper, students painted their sunsets. During their second art class, we discussed the horizon line and how objects near that line appear to be smaller. With that in mind, we painted our clouds, small near the horizon, gradually growing in size as they approach the top of the paper.

Would you like one hump or two? The two-humped camels (called bactrian) are found in Central and East Asia. So apparently this one migrated to Egypt.

The following art class, we began the textured paper for the desert sands. This time we had a wee chat about creating tints of colors and textures. Each student was given a new sheet of 12" X 18" paper folded in half lengthwise. They were to create a tint of brown on each half of the paper and create a texture with the texture combs. If you don't happen to have texture combs, you can easily make them from stiff pieces of card stock with small notches cut out of the bottom.

It's just not a kid's landscape unless something is levitating. I totally dig the floating pyramids.

Once both paintings are complete, the collage process begins. Now, I've done this project many times and the first time I did it, the collage portion made me want to whack my head against the wall. So to save you some head-whacking, lemme tell you how I explain it to the kids:
  1. Tear a strip of paper off of your textured and tinted paper lengthwise.
  2. Put glue around the edges of that paper. Place it directly on your horizon line (this way, no white space can be seen between the sky and the horizon).
  3. Continue to tear strips and glue down. Overlap the brown papers so there are no white paper gaps.
  4. When you run out of paper at the bottom to glue the land to, you are finished!

This idea to create pyramids came from the book Dynamic Art Projects for Children. If you teach children, this book is a fantastic source for art project ideas.
Once the landscape was complete, we began creating objects for the land. We kept these bits and pieces in an envelope labeled with our name until we were ready to glue them down.

To create the pyramids, the kids folded a rectangle in half, cut across it diagonally, opened the paper and viola! we had a triangle. To make it look three-dimensional, we laid a piece of scrap paper over the triangle, drew a heavy brown line in oil pastel and then smeared the pastel toward the edge of the triangle. We used oil pastels gifted to us from Paul deMarrais. You must see his beautiful pastel landscapes (and pick up some of his hand crafted oil pastels!) here:
The How-to-Draw sheet that I made multiple copies of and had ready at the tables.
Once our pyramids were complete, we began our study of camels. We read a book about them, looked at this amazing stuffed one that our librarian happened to have and proceeded to draw together. I firmly believe in guided drawing (meaning, I draw something on my paper, the kids attempt to replicate on their paper). Art teachers that I have met are either firmly for or against this idea. My rational is this: you wouldn't hand a kid a math worksheet and just tell them to have at it without explaining to them the concepts first, right?
I love how the little camel's legs are firmly rooted as if to say, "I'm not taking another step! This walking on three legs business is just too complicated!"
So as we are drawing the camels together, we are looking for the shapes and lines within the object, discussing what we see and drawing them. After we have created one camel together, the students were given the above How-to Draw sheet and asked to draw as many camels as they'd like in their landscape. They used the sheet as their starting point and them proceeded to draw walking legs, multiple humps, etc. Again, we kept them in our envelope.
Another beautiful Egyptian sunset. I shared similar images with the kids to help them understand the concept of a silhouette.
On our final day, students were given back their envelopes and their landscapes. We had a chat about fore-, middle- and back ground, diminishing size and silhouettes. Then the students proceeded to assemble their collages. Finally, we were finished! I have this habit of creating the World's Longest Art Projects...but I have myself convinced that it's okay. We learned: painting, color mixing, texture, collage, drawing, shading, etc. So, it's really about five projects packed into one, right?
As I said earlier, I've done this project many times before. When we were learning about Japan, the landscape was vertical and filled with origami houses. One year we learned about Medieval times and created a green landscape full of castles. The original idea came from a SchoolArts article many years ago. That teacher had created a sea scape, using blue textured papers. The possibilities are endless-ish!
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