Visual Arts at Old Orchard
Whether it's a full-class collaborative project, a field trip to a museum, or finally getting just the right shade of green on that painting of a trip, visual arts are a central focus of art education at Old Orchard. Students in all grades draw, paint, and create works of art.
Old Orchard's art teachers are Russell Powell (K-1 through 2nd grade) and Margaret Washington (3rd-8th grade).
Beginning in Kindergarten, students attend an art class several times each week. At the Lower School, the program progresses from structured projects designed to encourage younger students to dive in and explore form, color and different media, to instruction in more formal drawing and painting techniques.
At the Upper School, students are able to select focus areas in visual arts. Our art teachers offer different classes each quarter, including Plein Air Painting, Children's Book Illustration, Painting, and Mixed Media. They are also able to choose classes that combine art and technology, such as Stop-Motion Animation, Video and 3D Modeling and Printing. See below for full course descriptions of traditional art classes; see Technology page for Digital Art classes.
Selected Upper School Course Descriptions
Sketching and Plein Air Painting: Using sketchbooks, students will develop their skills learning to draw elements of the landscape, perspective, and line and tone. The goal is to fill up a sketchbook honing their skills with drawings and quick paintings. iPads will be used to take pictures for source material for their sketches and paintings. We will also be painting outside, a once revolutionary approach to painting that artists have embraced since the French Impressionists led the way it in the 1800’s.
Children’s Book Illustration: Students will create a children’s story, and then illustrate their words with images, and creating their own children's book. They will be introduced to different types of illustration before they choose their style. They will be able to use watercolor, acrylic, markers or pastels. Their stories and art will be photographed and uploaded to create a digital book.
Painting: Acrylic, watercolor, pastel and pencil will be used to create artwork in interior spaces and portraiture. Composition and color mixing will be skills that are explored. The objective will be to understand color theory, composition and conveying emotion and drama in a work of art.
Stop Motion Animation: Using clay, found objects, and their iPads, students will create original videos and stories. They will writing a story, create a storyboard, building backgrounds and creating characters and props out of clay and wire. Returning students will be encouraged to make longer videos and more elaborate “sets” for their stories.
Mixed Media: Different mediums and art forms will be explored, while students create a sense of mood through the use of texture, balance and patterns. We will explore interior and exterior scenes using acrylic paint, collage and markers.