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popcorn shading.....


From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Aug 02 2001 - 10:56:51 PDT

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, CA 94526
art webpage -

>From: Dennis Clark <>
> Please explain how this is done, Bunki, Are they first gluing a little
> sculpture together and then looking at that little popcorn packing stuff
> and then drawing it? What kind of glue works best? Thanks, Donna
I'm going to post this to the listserv because someone else may find it

Hi, Donna. Welcome back to teaching (per Judy Decker's

I use actual popcorn. By inedible I mean it's dirty/been handled/etc.

I start the lesson by students making those little origami boxes out of
12x12" const. paper. Then I pull out some bags of popcorn from my storage
room and fill each box with a handful of popcorn. They pick out the best
five pieces and get to eat the rest. (You might want to serve some liguid
refreshments also as they can get rather thirsty. Fortunately I have a
drinking fountain attachment to one of my sink taps. You could also make
those little origami paper cups for water which will last long enough for
drinking water.)

The five pieces of selected popcorn are glued to little matboard rectangles
(approx. 2x3") with Elmer's into a sculpture. Make sure you use the white
side of the matboard as you want good shading to appear with the white
popcorn on white board. On white 6x4 12" paper they draw the sculpture
locating all the shading. After they finish this, they receive a piece of
tracing paper, lay on top, trace, and transfer to another sheet of 6x4 1/2"
white paper. On this second sheet with the popcorn outline they must make
the shapes into something it a face, body, animal, etc. and color
it in with colored pencil.

You can also have them transfer it to black paper and have them do a white
pencil on black a negative shading picture.

I got these ideas from somewhere....can't remember where...looooong ago. I
also think that Ken V. in his book "From Ordinary to Extrordinary" has this
lesson too for high school level as well as his posting it a few years ago
in A&A or Student Arts. I have a picture of part of the display I can send
via email attachment if you're interested. Let me know.