Friday, September 25, 2015

THIRD GRADE . . . Drawing a figure in motion

To prepare for our new "full length" self-portrait project, we practiced drawing a full figure. The wooden artist's model is a perfect way for us to learn how to draw a human figure in proportion. It also shows us where the body can move. Each joint is represented by a wooden ball in the model.

Students began by drawing a sketch of the wooden model, posing their drawing of a figure in any way they wanted. We started with an oval for the head and added a circle underneath for the neck. Each part of the body was added on just this way, a shape for the body part followed by a circle for the place it can move. We were careful to make the length and width of each body part in proportion to the size of the head that we started with. Learning to draw a figure this way reminds us of where the body can move without it looking awkward in our sketches. For example, the arm can move only at the shoulder, elbow or wrist. If we tried to bend it anywhere else, we would be breaking a bone!

Shading each part of the body also gave our figures dimension and form. Here are a few examples of our figures in motion. You can see all of our sketches by following this link to

Sketch by Kieran
Sketch by Desmond

Sketch by Cailtyn
Sketch by Ava G.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

KINDERGARTEN . . . We are artists in a museum!

This week, Kindergarten students completed their self-portraits for the cover of their books, "All About Me!" We practiced drawing circles and then drew a portrait that best represents ourselves. Next week we will begin the illustrations for the inside pages of our books. Drawing our favorite animals, our favorite foods, and pictures of our best friends is a wonderful way to get to know each other in art!

When Lower School artists finish their projects, as the Kindergartners did with their self-portraits, I photograph everyone's work and upload the images to, an online art museum for children. Artsonia brings together the artwork of students from many different countries to celebrate creativity in the classroom. All students at Ranney School are automatically a member of this international museum and will be building their own personal portfolios. Families are encouraged to browse the museum and view school exhibitions and student artwork. Students develop a sense of pride as their work becomes published on the site and is viewed by friends and family.

I will be sending home a slip from Artsonia with your child's special registration name and a pass code so that families can register to the site. I look forward to filling these online portfolios with beautiful work all year long!

Here are a few examples of Kindergarten portraits I just uploaded to Artsonia. Check out the Ranney School homepage on to see everyone's work.
Artwork by Claire
Artwork by Elijah

Artwork by Karina

Artwork by Jack

Note to families...
This art blog will be updated regularly with new posts sharing our daily activities in the art room and news about upcoming art exhibits. To respect the privacy of our students, names will always be limited to first name only and identifiable photos will never be accompanied with a name. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write in the comment box below or send me an email at I would love to hear from you!
    In my class, students are given the chance to explore different materials and fun new techniques as they develop their signature style. Some young artists love to draw with a pencil, some like to paint on canvas or create images in a digital format, while others prefer working with clay and molding three-dimensional forms. In my classroom, we use a variety of materials allowing all artists to experiment and figure out which type of art they like the best. At Ranney School, we place a strong emphasis on originality and celebrate artistic differences, always nurturing and encouraging the imagination of every student.
     Remember to check out our display of finished artwork and student portfolios in the Ranney home page of