Thursday, April 28, 2011

Charcoal and Pastel Owls

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to have 2 bonus class periods with my 6th graders while my current middle school group (8th grade) was in Washington, D.C. for the annual 7th/8th grade travel week.  Because I hadn't had my 6's in a couple of months, and I only had a little over 1 hour of usable art making time with them, I knew I needed a project that would get them excited and keep them on task so that we would have finished pieces of art at the end of our time together.  I decided that something BIG and a little bit messy would be right up their alley.  For whatever reason, kids have a very high success rate with bird images (and cats, too!) so I decided we would draw owls and focus on drawing big, using lots of visual texture, and variation in value (lights and darks).


To help the kids dive right in, I had some owl images available for them to look at (photocopied from Animals: 1,419 Copyright-Free Illustrations).  They worked in charcoal on 19 x 25" tagboard that I had cut down from larger (25 x 38") pieces that I found in the paper room.  To make their work really pop, they selected an area or two (usually the eyes, background or beak) to add color to using chalk pastels.  The results were stunning and several are proudly on display in the lunchroom for all to enjoy!



 

6 comments:

  1. UH-MAZING!!!!!! I love teaching my students to draw owls and cats, too!

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  2. Hey, awesome work by the kids and its a really cool way to teach them. I was looking for ideas for my class this week, and this is really exciting.

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  3. Love it! It's always great to boost confidence in Art :)

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  4. What were you directions with using the charcoal? Did you give a lesson on how to use charcoal? They are stunning.

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