Category Archives: Art

Spooky Halloween Houses!

Halloween Victorian Mansions on PhotoPeach

Don’t go in alone!

These haunted houses were inspired by the work done here and here. We took a look at the features of Victorian homes: asymmetry in structure, a focal point front door, turrets and towers, bay windows, iron railings, roofs made of slate, brick or shingle siding, sash windows, and tell-tale gingerbread woodwork on roof peaks, porch corners, and around doors.

We sketched in pencil first, then went over the drawings with a Sharpie. The backgrounds were done using oil pastels for the ground and moon, followed by a two colour-wash of water colour paint. For detailed instructions, check out Tyler’s post or Abbie’s post.

The results….

The music, Night on Bald Mountain by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky, adds to the drama, I think!

What do you notice about these houses? Do you like the music or would you have chosen something different?  Have you done any Halloween art this year? If so, leave a comment with your blog address and we will come and take a look.

Don’t Lose Your Place!

“A book is a gift you can open again and again.”
                         -Garrison Keillor

Well, as long as it’s taken care of, that is. There is nothing more disappointing than discovering a missing page or feeling the book spine fall off in your hands because a book was abused. One way to be kind to books is to mark your place with a bookmark rather than turning down corners or leaving your book splayed open. A bookmark also lets you get quickly back to where you were reading before–and who doesn’t like that? Losing your place can slow you down when all you want to do is read!

We made these pop-up bookmarks during our first week of school. They are easy and fun to make by folding manilla tag (teachers use it for word strips). I have very creative students as you can tell. Soon they will have their own blogs and you’ll be able read their interesting posts and see what they create.

Here’s a sample of our bookmarks. Take a look, and as Neil Buchanan used to say on his program Art Attack, try it yourself!

Here is an Art Attack from the 1990s–Neil brought so much enthusiasm and creativity to the show. It’s a little corny, silly, and over the top–but I love it. I wish I could find the episode that had the bookmarks in it –but I bet you can figure it out yourself. If you are really stuck, leave a comment and I will give you some details.
(Video starts after 10 seconds–it’s a bit loud!)

So, students of Smarthlandia and guests too: in your comment below, please tell us about your reading habits: what do you like to read? What have you read lately that you recommend? Any favourite authors? And do you use a bookmark?

We look forward to hearing from you!

Playing with Glocal

We had a bit of artistic play time this week, with some creative results. We used photo manipulation software that we were given many years ago by an organization called Arts Umbrella as part of the Glocal Project. Using the built-in webcam on our Netbooks, we captured images, layered and manipulated them and–Voila! What do you think? What do you notice about these images? Please check out the student blogs for other examples of Huzzahnian creativity.


King and Ace by Evan


Seeing Red by Ethan

Seeing Red by Ethan

Many-Me  by Tengis

Many-Me by Tengis

Hearts by Mia

Heart of Hearts by Mia

Blogging friends, have you ever used photo manipulation software or apps before? Do you like photography? Perhaps you have some tips for us. We look forward to reading your comments.


Eye Candy — Yummy-Looking Art

The drawings below aren’t supposed to represent anything (that’s the big idea behind abstract art), but don’t they look just like candy to you? They make me think of candy sticks, the kind the that were in jars at the corner store when I was a kid, except not bendy. The idea for this project came from this excellent website (take a look for lots a of terrific art ideas).

You can let the drawings run through the spiral below by turning it, scroll through each image one at a time or click on the picture to enlarge it.

Abstract 3-D Art on PhotoPeach

After drawing the lines with markers, we shaded each fold with pencil crayon to give it three-dimensional effect. There was something quite therapeutic about making these drawings (yes, I made one, too)…I think it might be something we do every year.

So, do you have an art project that you have really enjoyed? Please tell us about it!

How do you see the world?

Guest post by Jane and Laina

You’ve eaten breakfast, brushed your hair, and made your lunch. Now you’re standing on the corner of the sidewalk on your way to school, looking at the straight road that stretches ahead of you, its sides appearing to meet and disappear far, far off. It’s called one point perspective and it means that parallel lines appear to come together in the distance. It also means that objects and buildings look less detailed and colorful the farther away they are.

Perspective drawing is challenging.

It’s easy to draw flat things on flat paper, but it is harder to create the illusion of three dimensions on paper.

Our class went on a mini field trip…so mini, in fact, that it was just out into our hallway. Examining the ceiling tiles, lights, lockers, and floor tiles, we noticed that they seemed to changes in size, distance apart, and detail the further away they were from us. When our classmate, Laina, ran down the hall, it was as if she started to shrink! This was perspective at work.

Two other students show you what perspective looks like in our halls.


We summarized the following rules of perspective:

  • objects in the distance appeared smaller than objects closer to us
  • parallel lines came together at a vanishing point
  • colours and details faded toward the distance.

Ms. Smith’s minions have all created perspective drawing pieces, just for her. She was just so proud of the pictures, that she decided to post them right here on Huzzah!

Please, feel free to take a look at them.

Have you ever drawn a perspective piece of art? What did you find challenging? What did you find the most fun about it?

Please leave a comment.

You can spin the display below to look at all the art created by our classmates. Keep checking in on Huzzah! for more art!

Perspectives on Abstract Perspective on PhotoPeach

Creating, Critiquing, Curating, Collaborating

We have been truly privileged to this week to be working with Josh Hite of Arts Umbrella from Granville Island in Vancouver. And fortunate, too, to have the assistance of Franzeska, who is visiting the Valley from Germany. By some lucky fluke, our school was chosen for an outreach opportunity.  Josh and I met ahead of time to do some planning around creative use of some free, open-source software created through the The Glocal Project.

Josh lead us through a process of thinking about image making through a new lens–both literally and figuratively. We talked about abstraction and representation, appropriation and remix, and how to represent an idea through metaphor. Students created images around two themes: electricity and justice. One aspect of the process that was particularly illuminating was providing critiques of images; this extend much of the work we had been doing on how to provide quality feedback.

In the two weeks we created almost 1000 images. Josh printed of many of them and we then collaborated to create (and curate) a gallery of images which we installed at our neighboring high school. Some grade 11 and 12 students took part in providing feedback, again adding to the richness of the experience.

It was a phenomenal learning experience for all of us. The students and I learned a tremendous amount about creativity and design through the process, and most of all we came away feeling fortunate to have met and worked with Josh and Fanzeska.

The images below offer a taste of the eye-catching images we created. Check the student blogs for their reflections.

Our Div.16 Girls!

Hi! It’s Chaeyoon who loves to draw!

That picture, below, I drew that. It was hard to draw it.

One day, I was drew character at recess time. Then my friend Sophie asked me, “Can you draw me like that?” So I drew this picture at Saturday morning. But there was one problem. I knew there are nine girls in our class, but it’s really hard to draw without their picture. Maybe it’s hard to draw with their pictures, but it’s even more difficult to draw without them. So I had to think about what are they looks like for 1 hour…

Now I have to do one of the boys There are 18 of them!

My real post is at my blog My Drawing Life’s “The Girls of our class