February 6

Art Improvment// How to improve your art!

I’m sure you’ve heard many a time that practicing is the only way to improve. Technically this is true, but some tips and tricks are impossible to ignore. Here is some advice to help you enhance your art and make it pleasant to look at.

One: Things to draw for speedy improvement

Improving can take a very long time depending on what you draw, somethings can help you develop more than others. One of the things I recommend you draw the most are figures! Figures can help you get an ampler understanding of human anatomy and how it works. They help with proportions tremendously and I highly recommend drawings lots of them!


Two: Draw things you don’t like!

This may seem like lousy advice at first, but drawing things you don’t fancy drawing (like hands, eyes, etc) help you improve and maybe grow to enjoy drawing them! I highly suggest drawing hands and lips, hands are a thing many neophyte artists (like myself) struggle with. You want to draw the thing you struggle with multiple times (around twenty times) because then after repeatedly drawing it, you will improve rapidly.  Pinterest is really helpful in locating images to draw and scrutinize. Here are some things you could draw for improvement (if you struggle with drawing these things).


Three: Advanced improvement can take time

Improving your art on a drastic level can take years if you are just drawing the things you want, for example, here’s a sketchbook that I made when I was nine verses one I’ve been working on recently.


Here’s some digital art I made over the summer versus one I made last month.

Animation I made over the summer

user uploaded imageDrawing I made last month

Four: Draw from a different perspective

Drawing from manifold perspectives can improve your shading because the light of the image would be coming from a different source. It can also help you with variation in your art, if you draw from the same viewpoint in each drawing you will never learn how to draw from other perspectives! I suggest a 2PT perspective because it’s easy for novices who are just learning to draw from different outlooks. Here are a few examples from a 2PT perspective.
Image result for 2pt perspectiveImage result for 2pt perspective

30 Day Improvement Challenge!

Now that you have the gist of things you can try some challenges! Challenges can be really good when you’re looking for high-speed development. The 30 Day Improvement Challenge is one of the most ambitious and rewarding challenges out there. I haven’t completed it myself but I’m trying to. This challenge can help you a lot with anatomy and better you as an artist in general.

30 Day Improvement Challenge


November 26

Featured Student Blogs

We recently completed Week 7 of the Student Blogging Challenge and my students wrote about a favorite holiday or the holidays that they celebrate throughout the year.  These students did an exceptional job on their post:

Lindsay’s Lounge

Abigail’s Questionable Statements

Brett’s Breathtaking Blog

Ella’s Site

Maggie’ s Spectacular Site

I encourage you to check out their Week 7 posts and leave a comment for them.

November 22

Our Holidays and Celebrations

For the Week 7 Blogging Challenge, I asked my students to complete Task #1, to describe a favorite family holiday or celebration.   Since we live in the United States (Ohio), we realize that there may be some things that we celebrate with our families that are not celebrated in other areas of the world, or others may celebrate the same holiday, but in a different manner.  To help our visitors to understand how they celebrate with their families, I asked my students to share their favorite on a Flipgrid video.

We would love to hear about YOUR favorite holiday and how you celebrate with your family. You can leave a note in the comments, or if you’d like, you can create a short video on the Flipgrid.

November 15

Fun with Emojis-Week 6 Challenge

For this week’s challenge, I gave my students the choice of which task they would like to complete with Emojis.  They seemed to enjoy this week’s challenge quite a bit!  All did a great job, but here are a few I chose to feature:

Feel free to see what they created with Emojis this week!

November 1

Student Blog Showcase

We just finished Week 4 of the Student Blogging Challenge.  This week was a Free Choice week and students were able to create a blog post on a topic of their choice.  For my Free Choice, I decided to feature some of the great work my students have been doing on their blogs.  I asked my students to suggest a few of their classmates’ blog posts to showcase, and here are their suggestions:

Gena has written a nice post suggesting things to do in New York City.  Blaine had fun with creating a snowman image for the Week 3 Challenge.  Evey argues why Minecraft and Fortnite should not be compared.  Maddox tells about his favorite sport and Ella offers some great book suggestions.

Visit their blogs and leave them a comment!

October 25

Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament!

Veterans Day is coming soon, and that means it’s time for McDowell students and staff to once again show our support to our local veterans in need. In the last few years, McDowell has been very successful in collecting canned food items to donate. This year, instead of collecting food, we would like to raise money to donate to the Military Veterans Resource Center.  We have set a goal to raise $800 to donate. The Military Veterans Resource Center will then use that money to purchase food for veterans.

In order to help with our fundraising efforts, McDowell Student Council will be hosting a Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament for McDowell Students next Friday, Nov. 1.  To encourage participation from ALL students, the entry fee to join the tournament will be just $1! You may also pay an additional $1 to go to the Loser’s round of the tournament in order to stay in the tournament.  Students must preregister for the tournament during lunch on either Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday of next week.age

Image created with Canva.

October 11

Meet our Blogging Challenge Participants!

Greetings from Ohio! Once again, I have entered my class blog in the Student Blogging Challenge. I am excited to connect with other classrooms from around the world. This year, my Advanced Language Arts students are also participating in the Challenge with their Google Sites. We created a Padlet wall to introduce those students to the world. You can find a link to their Google Site in the Blogroll. We invite you to visit and drop a comment!

Made with Padlet
September 29

Has it really been 10 years?!

We’re taking part in the Student Blogging Challenge!

Has it really been 10 years since I first enrolled my class blog in the Student Blogging Challenge? Back then, I was teaching 5th grade Language Arts at Laurelville Elementary. I then taught two years of 5th grade Math at Laurelville before moving on to McDowell Middle School to teach 7th grade Language Arts. I am now in my ninth year of teaching at McDowell.

There has been a lot of personal change for me, as well, over those years. My husband and I are officially “empty nesters” since our daughters, Hannah and Molly, are now in college! Hannah is a senior at Miami University, majoring in Middle Childhood Education. Molly is a sophomore at Marietta College and is currently undecided on her major. We have grieved as our beloved dogs, Rambo, Hank, and Riley crossed the Rainbow Bridge and we now have two new dogs, Willy and Dodge.  And six years ago, the passing of my father rocked my world.

Although a lot has changed, some things have remained constant. I still love teaching, am proud to be a Brave, and I still am blessed with having the best students walk into my classroom each day. Connecting with my students and connecting with the world outside of my classroom is still a priority for me as a teacher. Because of this,  I am once again enrolling my class blog as well as my students’ blogs in the Blogging Challenge.

I hope you come back to see what we’ve been up to and as always, we welcome your comments!