Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Toucan

One may begin to wonder if I'm a Donna Huge fan.  Here is yet another idea from one of Donna's Videos.    I've used many of Donna's ideas (as you'll see) and I haven't been unhappy with one (that I've used).  In this lesson, students are taught to draw a toucan and color it using colored pastels.  Since I have deemed this year to be the year of the crayon, we used crayons instead.    Not only that, but his project was to be entered in the hospital art contest and oils were not to be used. 

I think the crayons worked well.  After drawing the birds, the students used crayons and blended the colors together to create the unique coloring of the toucan.

I used a model that I found on the net (using google) and I showed the students a slide show of real toucans.  We studied the colors of various toucans and discussed the characteristics we observed.  You can find dozens of pictures via google.    Here are some examples.  I have many more and hope to get them uploaded to the website soon.  I'll post updates when I get that accomplished.  If you have questions or comments, I'd love to hear them!


Flowers in Sunshine

** I updated this entry Jan 22 2012.  I've added a video below and the web address for a slideshow of more kid's examples. **

Here's a great project that is both easy and fun.  And yes, it's an idea that comes from Donna Hughs.  The project is simple.  You paint "puddles" of color, using all colors but green, and then add a green/yellow mix in between.  

After the painting dries, I show the kids how to draw in a flower on each puddle.  I've both had the kids watch the video and do the project and simply modeled it myself.  It worked best to simply model it myself and then monitor how the kids were doing.

Since I've done this project several times, I've had experience with what can go wrong.  The area where most kids struggle is in making the flowers.  Specifically, they often don't make the pedals big enough and wide enough.  So we first practiced making them on paper (draw a circle and make a flower that is just large enough to reach the edge of the drawn circle.

Here's almost exactly what I said each time we drew the flowers.  "Put a small circle in the middle of on of your "puddles."  Now, starting from that circle, draw a line all the way to the edge of the color, go around the edge - make it wide, then go back to the circle in the middle.  Then follow the line you just made all the way to the edge of the circle again, and follow the edge of the color.  Be sure to go all the way to the edge and follow your color borders.  Use the color's edge as your guide.  You should end up with about 4 to 5 pedals."  I modeled this on an overhead projector as I gave these directions.

I really had to emphasize this process and as I drew one for them, I monitored their progress and made corrections where necessary.  Honestly, this process worked so well for me.  In the past I had so many kids making small pedals and some pedals were so small they ended up with over a dozen per flower!  I was amazed at how well the second graders did.  Here's the specific video where you can find this art project.

**Here's a video I used for instructing the kids on how to draw the flowers**

Here is a previous entry of mine.  You can see this art project among some of the other entries.  Go here.   Also, once I get the website updated, I'll add the slide show here too.     In the meantime, here are a few more examples.

Monday, November 21, 2011

First grade: Using line and shape to create a simple drawing

This is my finished model
I usually  teach several drawing lessons at the beginning of the year to each grade level.  Here is a simple project I've done with first graders that uses simple lines and shapes to create an outdoor scene.

The drawings in this lesson are likely based on ideas I've used over the years and probably have their source in Ed Emberly's drawing ideas.  In this drawing lesson, I model what's to be drawn, and then have the students copy what they see (from an overhead screen).

This particular lesson serves several purposes.  In it, I'm able to emphasize the relationships between line and shape in creating an image.  I love teaching the little ones how to use simple geometric shapes to create animal characters that they enjoy drawing.   But also, I want to get my students to use crayons more.  So in this lesson I modeled how to use crayons using both the sharp point (including teaching them how to sharpen-they love this part) and how to remove the paper and use the flat side to cover larger areas (such as the ground, sky, and tree).

Here are a few more examples:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Creating a border in kids drawings

I've already mentioned elsewhere on this blog that I'm a fan of Donna Hugh's art videos.   The idea for making a border for artwork came from one of her videos.  I demonstrate it here and include a few examples of work from my kids.

Since this idea is new to me, I thought I'd share it with you.  I'd love to hear comments and ideas you use for boarding artwork. 

In the next several blogs I'll share some of the art work for grades 1-5 that we just completed.