Graphic Novels

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Fifth graders learned about literary tone (Common Core Language Arts), and applied a tone to either an existing story, or their own. It took me awhile to photograph these, but it was worth the wait!                         … Continue reading

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Drawing Hands (Sketchbook)

DrawingHands from L. Girbino on Vimeo.

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Where To Buy Art Supplies

This comes up a lot, which makes me very happy! I get almost all of my supplies from Blick (also known as Utrecht). The closest store is on Coventry in Cleveland Heights, but they have a great online store with fabulous service:

Utrecht has their own website, too:
Smaller stores, with less selection of fine art supplies include the chains, Pat Catan’s & Michaels.

Other online resources include:

Have fun making art—all you really need is your IMAGINATION!

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3rd Grade: Drawing A face

Note: this video does not have sound–

1) Draw an oval first
2) Divide the oval in half vertically and horizontally.
3) Your eyes go on the middle line. One eye width in between your eyes, one eye width on each side of your eyes.
4) Your nose is half way between your eyes & mouth.
5) Your mouth is halfway between your nose and chin.

“Draw light until you get it right!”


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How to Draw in One Point Perspective

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February Art News

3rd Grade is wrapping up their Picasso/Guitar/Weaving unit, and do they love to be guitar heroes! You can see the Picasso video on my site, as well as the weaving video. It is always good to practice art skills at home, so feel free to review how to weave and try something else for a loom. Here are some ideas–

4th grade is almost done with their Design Thinking Unit where we made wallets. Design Thinking, which originated at Stanford’s d-School, involves a design cycle of empathy-define-ideate-prototype-test-revise. Sounds a lot like setting up a Science experiment, right? In our case, we watched a video on IDEO, an innovative design firm. Students sketch-noted about designing a wallet, then made paper prototypes. After picking the best design, they could make their wallets out of fabric or leather (donated), duct tape (students brought in such fun designs), or plasticized paper.

5th graders are finishing their Graphic Novels, using a specific literary tone (Common Core Language Arts State Standard) to guide their art. This unit built upon our knowledge base from sketch-noting about Graphic Design (see video about Sketchnoting here).We started by watching a video from MOCA about Derf, a prominent graphic novelist who just happens to live in NE Ohio! Students spent a good amount of time on their layouts (tutorial on this site) before starting their stories. Students could reinvent classic tales like Sheep in a Jeep, The Lorax, etc. or come up with their own. Some inventive titles include: Kid Owner (a kid owns an NFL team), Frosty the Snowcone, and D-Day (non-fiction). We discussed and viewed some famous graphic novels, as the genre has really exploded in the past decade.
If you are curious about age appropriate graphic novels, here is a meta link list at

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Wacky Woven Guitars (3rd Grade)

Third graders learned about Picasso’s Guitar (the video is on this site), then designed their own cool guitars using poster board, markers, and lots of imagination. Then, we wove on the guitar necks over the course of two class periods, which helps with spatial reasoning, sequencing, and especially, small motor skills.
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Weaving (3rd Grade)

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Picasso’s Guitar

“I have seen what no man has seen before. When Pablo Picasso, leaving aside painting for a moment, was constructing this immense guitar out of sheet metal… Some witnesses, already shocked by the things that they saw covering the walls, and that they refused to call paintings because they were made of oilcloth, wrapping paper, and newspaper, said, pointing a haughty finger at the object of Picasso’s clever pains: “What is it? Does it rest on a pedestal? Does it hang on a wall? What is it, painting or sculpture?’¬†Picasso, dressed in the blue of Parisian artisans, responded in his finest Andalusian voice: ‘It’s nothing, it’s el guitare!’…It is neither this nor that. It is nothing. It’s el guitare!” (Andr√© Salmon, New French Painting, August 9, 1919)

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Laying Out Graphic Novels

Here is a link to making layout templates online, then you can print them out for practice!

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