Wednesday, November 7, 2018

How to cover your sketchbook binding

Have you noticed that the spiral bindings on the sketchbooks can get stuck together, and it doesn't take much for the binding to start coming apart? Your back cover comes off, then you start losing pages, and it's all sadness from there.

Follow these steps to cover the binding on your sketchbook and keep it alive for a long time!

You will need:

  • Duct Tape
  • Scissors
  • Your sketchbook
  • A strip of cheap construction paper the same height as you sketchbook, and wide enough to wrap around the binding with some overlap onto the covers (for a Canson XL it's about 3.5" wide)

You can add the duct tape to your paper with the sticky side face up or face down.
There should be at least 1/4" of tape sticking out past the edge of the construction paper.
Cover the one side of entire strip of paper with tape (don't leave any exposed paper on the taped side)

Trim the excess tape off the top and bottom so there are no ragged edges.

When you stick the binding cover onto your sketchbook, leave the sketchbook CLOSED so that you don't make it too tight. Make sure the tape is ONLY sticking to the front and back covers of your book. You don't want any tape to touch the metal spirals.

If your spirals are very loose, you can use curling ribbon to tie them together:

For the Canson XL books, this works best inside the back cover.

Stitch up the Spiral Binding:
1. Cut a length of ribbon about 2x the height of your sketchbook.
2. Pull the ribbon through a small bend in the spiral, tie a knot
3. Pull the ribbon across the gap and through a large bend in the spiral
4. Pull the ribbon back over to the small bend side and through the next small bend
5. Repeat until you reach the end, then tie a knot.

Thread the ribbon through the small bend

Tie a knot at the top (working end of ribbon is down)

Continue looping the ribbon through the bends of the wire
Continue until you finish, make sure there is no slack.

 I have a small number of yarn needles that you can use to make this process go faster, but for the love of all that is holy, please don't lose or misplace them!

See how fast I can go when using a needle:

Have fun! And enjoy having a sketchbook that lasts for many years!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Supply List and Coupon Links - BGAHS 2018-2019

PDF of supply list: click here

Students should plan to purchase the following items before September 19, 2018:

Art 1 & Art 2 Sketchbook:
  • Spiral Bound Mixed Media Pad, 9x12" - at least 30 sheets

Graphic Design Sketchbook:
  • Spiral Bound Drawing Paper Pad, 9x12" - at least 30 sheets

Required Supplies:
  • Sketchbook (details for each course above)
  • Pencil Case (to hold personal supplies)
  • Six (6)  No. 2 Pencils (HB drawing pencils)
  • Two (2) Sharpie markers (or similar), preferably 1 fine point, 1 ultra fine point
  • 2 Erasers (white erasers preferred)
  • 1 Kneaded Eraser 
  • Pair of inexpensive headphones (required for Graphic Design)
Optional Supplies
  • Small handheld pencil sharpener
  • Scissors
  • Small Ruler
  • Folder to hold hand-outs
  • Additional drawing pencils (with different hardness levels, ie. 2H, 4B, 6B)
  • Blending stump or tortillion (for smudging pencil drawings)
  • Technical drawing pens (waterproof when dry)
  • USB flash drive**

**If you think you will do 3D printing this year with the STEM club, get a flash drive!


Check out these links to find coupons that you can use to save money on your supplies for class at local retailers:
If you are shopping online (or feel like driving far) - check out these art stores:

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Name That Color Scheme! Online Quiz

Please complete the following online quiz today. 

When you are finished, show your teacher your results. 

If you are not happy with your score, you may re-take the quiz one time. 

Click on this picture:
 Name That Color Scheme Quiz

Monday, March 26, 2018

Color Theory Digital Flash Cards

 Color Theory Digital Flash Cards
Please complete this digital flash card activity to review information about our Color Theory unit.

Some of the information may be new, since we have not reviewed Properties of Color yet.
You can preview the Color Properties presentation in Canvas (under Modules).

Do your best!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Fragmented project method ideas

"Shattered Values" project:
1. Draw an image
2. Divide up the picture plane by tracing a ruler (or stencil) in many directions
3. Shade each fragment with a gradient.

If you think this looks difficult --- it's not! 
Here's a video tutorial about this method that was designed for first graders:

Another option: divide up the picture by tracing a stencil:

click either picture for instructions and samples

Fill each fragment with of colors instead of gradients:
Artist: Emanuel Ologeano 


1. Cut your reference images
2. Arrange them & glue them down
3. Draw the fragmented collage
click for instructions

1. Chop up your drawing, photos, printed papers, etc.
2. Collage them together:
Click for instructions
Another option: replace some pieces with other paper:

Some other images that might inspire:


Yeah, this Tom Mervik dude is pretty awesome

Samson Flexor, Self Portrait, 1947-48

use more than one reference photo; collage them together and draw

No need to just make a drawing... check these out!

Pablo Picasso - "Mandolin" (1914)

Pablo Picasso - Cardboard Guitar (1912)

Dog Sculpture by Terrell Powell

Sunday, March 13, 2016

It's been a long time...

Well, it's certainly been a long time since I've posted anything on this here blog. And the main reason is because I haven't needed to! My school district uses a Learning Management Software called Canvas, so any time I need to direct students to website, images, links, or files, I simply publish them in Canvas. "Canvas" is an unfortunate LMS name for an Art Teacher, in my opinion, as when I ask students if they want to create a painting "on canvas," I usually get very confused looks until they realize I'm not asking them if they want to work online. Which, by the way, would totally NOT work. I have a gripe with Canvas, because although the software has been in use for a little over 5 years, the available tools within Canvas are not particularly conducive to having students share their own images in discussions. If I create a discussion board, my student can't take a picture of his/her artwork from their phone and embed it into the discussion without first leaving the discussion and going to a completely different set of menus, outside of my course, where they would need to upload their picture to their Files... then they can go back to the discussion and write a post in which they can embed the image. #firstworldproblems? Clearly. But apparently this exact concern has been an open ticket for Instructure since 2011. Rude.

Anyway, since I don't need to use this blog to post info and updates for my students, I am hoping to carve out time to write posts ABOUT my lessons, activities, and the awesome artwork my students have been creating. Today we had a reception at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers in New Brunswick, NJ for an exhibit that featured work by 24 of my students. I'll try to update this post with some pictures later!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

National Coffee Day! Painting with Coffee!

Greetings, folks! I haven't been able to blog at all since the new school year started. I am now teaching art at a Catholic high school in Edison, NJ (and so far I love it! My students rock!).

This morning while I was making my 1-hour (yep) commute to work, I heard on the radio that today is National Coffee Day. Painting with coffee is something I discovered on Pinterest last year and never got to do with my students at RMHS.

Armed with excitement, a prep 2nd period, and free coffee for teachers provided in the cafeteria each morning, I whipped up a quick Google Slides presentation about painting with coffee. My slideshow featured a coffee-ring-stain portrait by Malaysian artist Red Hong Yi and a video of Mary Doodles painting a picture of a penguin with coffee. I also explained what a resist is, because I included a series of three coffee paintings that made use of wax resist.

Red Hong Yi making a coffee portrait
Most of my students were still finishing their previous assignment (sketchnotes about sketchnotes... so meta!) but a few got to try out painting with coffee, and more are looking forward to trying it on our next Free Choice Friday.

I didn't take too many pictures today, but hopefully I will remember to add more later.

"Because you know what happens when you drink coffee, Ms. Walker"

I am also excited because I think Red Hong Yi's artwork will transition perfectly into a lesson about Vik Muniz (and Wasteland), which we can use a springboard to do some environmental awareness projects. Yes!