I work with middle school kids and sometimes it is hard to generate a lot of excitement about art, however our study of graffiti was not that way!
We started the week with a short video about the history of graffiti and followed it with a really amazing conversation on the difference between art and vandalism. The community we live in has a lot of both and listening to the conversations between kids on this subject was pretty incredible.
These are the slides I projected on the board after the movie to structure our discussion.
I had them start by drawing in their brick wall pattern. They simply used a ruler width to draw the horizontal lines with a sharpie and added the vertical ones in free hand after.
Then the wrote their name across the paper lightly in pencil using all capital letters. Then they traced around their plain letters creating either blocky or bubbly letters. At this point if they wanted to add paint drips or flame details they did. Then they traced around their letters with sharpie making the shadow areas a little thicker to create the illusion of depth.
Then using colored pencils they filled in their letters making sure to press firmly and blend their colors. Some chose to do an ombre effect while others added flames. It was really interesting to see their personalities come out for this part.
After this short lesson on graffiti the kids used those skills to create large sized posters celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. as we were doing this project in January. However, you could easily use this in any other application!