Atelier Extra Credit

What is an "atelier?" It's the French word for "workshop," and usually refers to an art studio. With "Atelier Extra Credit," we present a list of art projects that you can do to earn extra credit in your art class. We are assuming you are coming here at your teacher's instruction; if this is not the case and you would like to try to do these projects for extra credit at your school, show this page to your teacher and see if he/she would like to provide this opportunity for you. You might be here for a third reason: maybe you just want some ideas for some fun art projects and don't need or care about extra credit - you're welcome here too!

* A note for teachers: This idea of a collection of projects for extra credit was suggested to us by a teacher; we hope you'll find these projects interesting and are happy for you to use them any way you want! Also, we would be happy to receive any feedback you may have about this collection of projects.

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Atelier Extra Credit, art project ideas for teachers and students

Art projects and lesson ideas:

Art lesson on negative space featuring Kehinde Wiley and Jacques-Louis David

Art Concepts: Negative Space

Read our investigation into Negative space in paintings by Jacques-Louis David and Kehinde Wiley, and then utilize these essential questions:

1. What is negative space?
2. What elements of David's painting has Wiley retained, and what elements has he changed?
3. Is Wiley's background a true "background?"
4. View an example and get an explanation of "figure ground organization."

Monet Light Experiment, art project for students

Monet Light Experiment

1. Look at a number of paintings of haystacks by Claude Monet and discuss how Monet repeated the same subject to show how light and color changed at different times of the day and during different seasons.
2. Read our investigation about My Monet Light Experiment, and see how we tried to replicate this experiment by photographing a plant outside.
3. Encourage your students to find a singular object - it can be inside or outside - and photograph it at different times of the day to see if they can also find that natural light changes the appearance of the object.

Finding things in nature that remind us of art history

Finding Art History References in Nature

1. Read our investigation into Finding references to art history in nature.
2. View the examples that we present of our own art-in-nature discoveries.
3. Take your own digital camera out on a nature walk and see what you can find.
4. Match up your photograph with a work of art and show them side-by-side.

Portraits by Picasso, Joel Sternfeld, and Kehinde Wiley

Portraiture in the year 2100

1. Look at a number of portraits ranging from the 1400's up to 2009 and see the different styles and ways that artists have portrayed their subjects over the centuries.
2. Imagine what you think portraiture might look like in the next century, and draw or paint your own futuristic portrait.

a look at how artists depict emotions in their paintings

Emotion in Art

1. Read our investigation into Art and Emotion, and see how artists have portrayed emotion in their paintings.
2. Create your own art work (painting, drawing or other) that expresses a particular emotion and explain on the back what emotion you are depicting.

Additional resources include a 2nd investigation on Emotion in Art, as well as How Street Artists Portray Emotion.

using shadows in art

Shadows in Art

1. Read our investigation about Using Shadows in Art, and see how artists have used shadows in their art. You can also use the image here to discuss how curators install art and set the lighting to utilize shadows as part of the presentation of art.
2. Create your own art work (painting, drawing, photograph or other) where a shadow is a significant part of the artwork and overall composition.

Pictured here is "African Dances," a cold-cast bronze resign sculpture by Benedict Enwonwu MBE, a Nigerian artist on view at the National Museum of African Art in Washington D.C.

finding something in the real world that looks like abstract art

"Finding" Abstract Art

1. Read our blog post about finding things in the real world that look like abstract art. The idea is to get students to find artistic qualities in things that otherwise may not be artistic at all!
2. Challenge your students to go for a walk and find something that makes them think of abstract art, and ask them to present two photographs: 1, a photograph of what they found "as-is," and a second photograph which has been cropped to show the "abstract art" that they have found or created out of this real world object.

If you would like to give other examples of finding abstract art, check out these other blog posts:
A building in the Bronx that looks like an abstract painting

A painted-over sign that reminds us of Robert Rauschenberg "Black Paintings"

A garbage can in the park that takes on abstract expressionist qualities

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