REFLECTIONS.

Middle School

To begin, students think about who they are and list what they like, where they enjoy going, and what memories are special. They then choose several of the things that best reveal something about themselves.

Next, they choose to reflect a scene on a group of letters, or create letters reflecting a color, and then add reflections of their personalities as background objects behind the letters.

The math element took several students by surprise! In order to properly size the letters to fit into a given area, it is necessary to count the number of letters to be used. Divide that number into the number of the size of the space provided for the letters. This number gives you the approximate size for each letter. Subtract any spacing amount you allow between letters. (In this case 1/4".) You now have the size of each letter. Proceed to divide the space equally, lightly penciling in rectangles for each letter. Measure 1/4" from outer edges of each letter and trace around the inside of each letter. Trace again 1/16" from the line you just drew. Extend this thin line to the outer edges of the letter at each corner or sharp edge. This forms the white reflective edge of each letter.

Adding color provides an opportunity to fine tune color blending skills. Select three or four colors in one color range. Apply the lightest color to the entire letter. Add each successive color starting at the thin white line and then blending the color towards the center of the letter with light pressure so that the center of the letter remains as the original first color. Color the sides of the letters the same way only slightly darker around the edges. For a reflective scene, offset the image slightly on the sides of the image to enhance the three-dimensional quality of the letters.

Several students took their projects home for extra work time because they became so involved in them. It was interesting to see the personalities of students "reflected" in their art!

ClipCard submitted by Joanne Smith Bodnar, an art teacher at St. Michael's School in Cranford, New Jersey.