Days of the Dead Art
Submitted by: Lauren McGreal, Victoria Fertitta Middle School, Las Vegas, NV
UNIT: Art of Mexico - Days of the Dead
Lesson: Jose Posada - Calaveras Drawings - Line
Grade Level: Middle School (adaptable to elementary)
Alternate Lesson: Relief Printmaking
Objectives (National/State Standards):
The student will be able to plan and produce a work of art in the style of artist Jose Posada that uses current subject matter and symbols to communicate meaning (3.8.2NS)
5.1 STUDENTS WILL EXPLORE ART CRITICISM.
The students studied the artwork of Mexican printmaker Jose Posada (Mexican Engraver, 1852-1913) and learned that his images are often associated with The Day of the Dead. Their assignment was to create a drawing in the style of Posada that uses current subject matter and symbols, along with texture and pattern.
The students will learn about Mexican printmaker Jose Posada and discuss his work.
The students will create a drawing in the style of Posada that uses current subject matter and symbols.
See more examples - Click images for larger views.
Visuals of Posada's prints, skeleton, white Drawing Paper, Drawing Pencils, Sharpie Fine Point Markers. Alternate lesson: Scratch-Foam Board (and ball point pens, Soft Lead Drawing Pencils) or Linoleum plates (and Linoleum Cutters), black and white Block Printing Inks, black and white Drawing Paper, Brayers, Inking Plates, wooden spoons.
Print: Skeletal Couple from El Gran Paneon Amoroso by Jose Guadalupe Posada
Posada's Popular Mexican Prints - 273 great 19th-century woodcuts: crimes, miracles, skeletons, ads, portraits, news cuts.
Jose Guadalupe Posada and the Mexican Broadside - José Guadalupe Posada, was one of Mexico’s most important graphic artists. See his powerful and visually arresting newspaper illustrations and woodcut broadsides––whose subjects range from news to calveras (skeletal figures associated with the Day of the Dead).
Show students power point presentation on the Mexican printmaker Jose Posada discuss his life and his artwork.
Have students then do the 4 steps of art criticism on several of his prints (Describe, Interpret, Analyze-focus on how texture and space is found, and Evaluate) have a group discussion on the above.
(Above took about 50 minutes.)
Introduce lesson to students by telling them that they will be creating artwork in the style of Posada. They will however be using current subject matter and symbols. They must include texture, pattern, and foreground, middle ground, and background.
DAILY- Review vocabulary check for understanding.
Student Centered Activities:
View power point, discuss work, and critique using the 4 step of art criticism. (Describe - analyze - interpret - judge)
The students will draw a picture in the style of Jose Posada using current symbols and subject matter on scrap paper. They must include texture, pattern, and foreground, middle ground, and background. Have skeleton for students to use for reference.
The students will begin to create their drawing on the final draft after approval.
The students will go over their drawing with Sharpie Fine Point Markers.
Alternate lesson idea: Relief Printmaking
Students transfer drawing to Linoleum sheet (of Scratch-Art Foam Printing Board plate).
Cut lines and patterns in Linoleum (or press down lines and patterns on Scratch-Foam Board)
Print with Block Printing Inks on white Printmaking Paper and white ink on Black Printmaking Paper (compare results)
Accent prints with Colored Pencils if desired
Alternate Lesson idea: Scratchboard Engraving
Students make own Scratchboard with Crayons - or use prepared Scratchboard. Drawings could be done on Tag board - outlined with Sharpie Fine Point Markers - then colored heavily with Crayons.
Scratch lines and patterns in Scratchboard to show understanding of Posada's engravings patterns and textures.
Jose Posada, Calaveras, Day of the Dead- Dia de los Muertos, Elements/Principles of design - with focus on texture and space, printmaking.
Student Assessment Strategy:
Rubric on performance
Students will critique the work of Jose Posada using the 4 step process.
Description – Sensory properties
Analysis – Formal Properties
Interpretation – Meaning
Aesthetics – Judgment
Day of the Dead - Dia de los Muertos - links
IAD's Halloween page- It includes a short history of the Day of the Dead.
Jose Guadalupe Posada: My Mexico good site - from University of Hawaii.
Artchive Images: La Calavera Catrina | Calavera depicting contemporary newspapers as skeleton cyclists | Calavera of Don Quijote | Gran fandango y francachela de todas las calaveras | Jose Guadalupe Posada - by Artchive.
Posada's Calaveras Prints - nine images from Posada's Popular Mexican Prints edited by Roberto Berdecio and Stanley Appelbaum, published by Dover Publications, Inc. New York.
Posada Calaveras Prints (Archive) - Eleven images from Posada Printmaker to the Mexican People ©1944 by the Art Institute of Chicago.
Mexican Popular Print Collection: Jose Posada (Archive) contains biographical information.
Jose Posada Online Artcyclopedia