Saturday, January 21, 2012

5th Grade: Hot Air Balloons

   Here's a project I've done a few times and one that the students really seem to enjoy.  The idea came from a Donna Hugh video.  I love the instructional possibilities of this lesson.  I was able to talk about composition, balance, unity, repetition, atmospheric perspective, color choices, just to name a few. 

    However, my main focus was on the coloring technique.  The middle school art teacher actually refers to this method as the "Mr. Triplett Marker Method."  I did not originate the idea and have seen other teachers use it as well.  It offers a nice effect when using markers.

I tell the kids that the marker is like a paint brush. It has a tip where the color is and like a brush, it can be "brushed" on (so to speak). The method is simple: Lines run side by side and follow the same direction. They can follow the contour of an object (and should) but in some cases should follow straight lines. The object one is coloring dictate the type of line (curved or straight) one is using. I use this method to avoid the "scribble" effect one can get with using markers. In some cases, using a marker like you would a crayon (coloring back and forth) is OK and works well. But it can also derail an otherwise great artwork. The example should give you an idea of what I mean. I'll guess that many of you have your students use this same method when using markers. I'd love to hear your feedback on this one! Here's a few finished examples and a gallery of student artwork is found HERE on my website.


  1. Very nice artworks!Children is always very interested in terms of arts. I appreciate the teachers effort. Keep up the good works!

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  2. Oh neat! These results are great!