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Re: animal project ideas

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From: linda (lindwood_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Oct 09 2002 - 04:57:52 PDT


I used Franz Marc as an inspiration for a chalk drawing project. It made
a BEAUTIFUL powerpoint. Kids loved him. We drew animals with glue
bottles on black paper, glue line dries black. Next day, get out the
chalks. I LOVE Freeart chalks...well worth the $$, and the colors are
exquisite. One box shared by a fourtop table lasts forever. They're big
and fat. Smear beautifully What a mess, but they could be done in colored
pencil or craypas, too. I also love getting carousel horse pictures to
look at and letting them do carousels. Blow the horses up really large.
We take a trip to the aquarium to sketch, come back and compose a major
overlapping composition that also focuses on diagonal placement for
suggestion of movement, as well as creating a school of fish to lead your
eye, size variations, repetition of plants and species for unity, but
variation of height, color, size, etc. We use salt to watercolor with.
Kids compose their drawing with sketches from the aquarium (science/art
field trip) and they add to them with items from a "research" folder of
TONS of coral reef picures and pictures of sponges, anemones, clams, etc.
that I just get from copyright free Dover books. They can use the pics
from Dover for species amd plants research only, not copying a whole
picture. Oh, another thing on their checklist is a quiet space in their
painting. Everything on the ocean bottom is so busy when they are
finished...lots of overlapping depth lines of sand ripples drawn late in
the drawing to suggest more depth, and many of them draw a line up around
the sides a bit to create the look of being inside a cave with the water
in the background...sort of a framing effect. SO much compositional
awareness comes from this project. ANd I do it with third graders. I
also do mixed breeds in colored pencils...GORGEOUS. I've done them for
years, too. Kids always like doing them, but I know what you mean about
being bored finally by it. THey're so striking. I just retire projects
for a few years and then they are fun again. It's a good one...transition
between parts, observational drawing, (I use the Dover BIG 19th century
copy free animal book, about 10.00 and very useful as a reference for
almost any kind of animal.) You could do gargoyle drawings and then make
them in clay with pinchpots, coils, slabs, and so on. I have my kids lay
tracing paper over their final drawings, and diagram in cross section on
the tracing paper which parts will be pinch pots, slabs, coils, where
coils will be needed for reinforcement, wrinkles, lips, eyelids, etc.
They diagram where the air holes will be needed, too. SO that when they
start in clay they will have a complete idea of how to build it. I do
that with fifth grade, ad they turn out terrific. Another observational
drawing that I love to do is "funny face" drawings. Photograph the kids
making grotesque, silly, etc. faces. Print them out in black and white,
use right brained drawing techniques to draw them. I make sure they have
at least one hand in their photo too. hmmmmm....I can't wait to see what
other ideas people come up with for you. I have to MAKE myself choose
other topics...drawing animals is so much fun.

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