Anyone else find themselves quoting Bob Ross in the classroom? He had a beautiful way of expressing the joys of art, and "happy accident" is probably my favorite Bob-ism. This current 6th grade self-portrait project has certainly yielded a number of very happy accidents. What began as a failed ink and oil pastel batik project turned into a large crop of fabulous sgraffito wonders! (See the original post here.)
So after two classes (for some students) of scratching away at the india ink that just wouldn't wash, my 6th graders were actually thrilled with the results. I had to keep on them, though, because they just couldn't visualize the end. To them, it seemed that their brightly colored self-portraits were ruined. And then they saw the results, and wow, what great discussions came from problem-solving our way through our original "failed" technique.
Here are a few of the (much-needed) lessons my 6th grade young artists gained from this experience:
- Never give up. If something seems difficult, keep at it. You have the ability to complete anything you start.
- Don't judge your work until you reach the end. Art evolves through the process of creation.
- Keep an open mind. If you find your work moving in a direction that's not quite as you planned, just go with it. See where it takes you.
- Learn from your "mistakes." Mistakes are necessary in order to grow as an artist.
- Artists are problem-solvers. If something doesn't go as planned, explore other solutions. If you're still not satisfied, see lesson #3. (This is a lesson I voice in every class.)
Sgraffito Self-Portraits (India ink over oil pastel)
|This is a future self-portrait of sorts. This student|
drew his dad. :)
|This student was the first one to try to rinse away|
the india ink. Her drawing tore a bit, so she's going
to add a bow or other hair adornment to cover
the hole. So smart!