Rolling into Summer with Color Wheels!

I couldn’t be more proud/happy/excited/nervous/ecstatic/ready to be back at the Decorative and Fine Arts Camp, and this time as the camp owner. Since my amazing mentor and talented sculptor Sinclair Hamilton retired I will now be running the Decorative and Fine Arts Camp under Emma Teaches Art LLC. and in partnership with Glen Echo.

So far the first two weeks were full, and full of fun. If you have been following me for years you’ve seen this project before, but here we have our first and signature camp project. The DFAC covers all sorts of art-making, and we start our week with painting. The color wheel project is also differentiated by campers ages and weeks of experience at the camp. This means that campers who have never been at DFAC before and are 7 and under start with “color wheel A”.


Those campers who have never been at DFAC before and are 8 and up start with “color wheel B” a slightly more complicated version of the color wheel.


The black Background is how we finish off the wheels!

Those campers who have been at DFAC before and have completed “color wheel B” move on to “color wheel C” a slightly more complicated version of “color wheel B,” but with the challenge of choosing their own colors, and this trend continues in color wheels “D,E,F”. (You get the idea)


Finally, campers who have returned enough times to get to F then get to invent their own color wheel, shapes and all!


New School Year Begins!

So we are off to another great start this school year. I have a whole new group of about fifty five freshman students in my four sections of foundations of studio art classes. I am very impressed with my student work so far. We have begun the year in my studio class with a study of the color wheel. This is my favorite project to begin the school year with, because it gets everyone in the class on an even playing field. Some students who are more experienced in art already know their color theory while some have never even seen a color wheel before. By the end of our group made posters everyone has had a chance to explore the color wheel.

Below are some shots of our progress as we worked through this poster making project.













Color Wheel Installation

I was recently explaining to someone that asking and encouraging my students to take ownership of their school space was very important to me. I strongly believe that if a students feels that they are a part of the whole school community they are much more likely to succeed. This seems like an obvious observation, but how does a teacher encourage students to feel a part of a whole, especially when I have new students coming in every 2 weeks? My solution has been many things, including my after school programs. however, during class, it’s all about decorating the space with their own art work. I love the boost of self confidence kids get from seeing their artwork hung up. So for this project, before I even began an entire unit on the color wheel, my students worked together in groups to create fun, fan-like color wheels, that they then hung around the classroom.

Update: 5/23/13 So this is how our Color Wheel Fans were made. There were six students to a group and each of them had to pick two colors that were next to each other on the color wheel. For example, red and orange, or orange and yellow, or yellow and green …etc. Then they folded each paper accordion style and used glue sticks to attach them in order. Then they attached the two ends together and ended up with a circular fan.




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