We've had eight days of school and my eager, art students are finishing up a series of warm-up exercises.  I teach a crafts class for upper level students, beginning art classes which focus on drawing and painting skills and two advanced classes including an Advanced Placement studio class.

I've found that it takes a warm-up project to get everyone back in the swing of working and hitting my rigid deadlines.  I've also learned that it's important that I draw and work along at first to establish how I want my students to perform.

It's been a long, dry summer of little "arting" for me so I decided to complete my value drawing I used as a demonstration for my Art II students.  Each year I drag out a box of old sneakers and require my students to make a detailed line drawing and then using the same shoe and pose to create a full value drawing.  I instruct them on the uses and techniques of 4H to 6B pencils and all the tricks I've learned about rubbings and blending and reflected light, etc. 

My classroom is packed this year.  I currently have 147 students and 30 of them are working on shading sneakers.  It's exciting to have so many students on fire and excited about drawing.  It always inspires me to create and generate new art work on my own.  I love teaching and I'm fortunate that I get to combine my love of art with fostering new talent in the classroom.  The school year looks bright and full of promise!


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