Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Creating a Successful Composition for Observational Drawing

My Kindergarten students are doing a performance this week in music class for their parents. The theme for this program is 'Sea You Next Year'. In Art Class, we also have been working with the theme.  We all drew fish for one of our projects working on following steps and tutorials to learn to draw. We used videos from Kids Art Hub (Angel Fish, shark, and an octopus) as well as  Easy Peasy and Fun (shark and dolphin)

A second project involves using shells for a still life.  My mother-in-law goes to Florida for the winter so we usually visit sometime every year. I have a mass amount of shells in my collection. Many of my K's have not been to a beach and/or seen and touched shells. This was a real treat. So many of them were over the moon excited to have the opportunity. 

The first day I gave the kids paper and said, go ahead, start drawing these shells. Right away I noticed an issue with composition. That night I came up with a solution and made the adjustment with the rest of my classes. 

I asked the kids to use tracers first to fill the page up with shapes.  We used big circles tracers from Fiskars.  Some people said they had issues with these tracers breaking but I have had them for 5 years and have not had an issue. We then used smaller tracers shapes for the spaced in-between. These tracers where a creation of my own (with my husbands help) using the laser engraver. By doing this step students were able to successfully fill the page creating a full composition. 

Then, we filled the shapes with Observational Drawing. The objects we used were shells but you could use anything. I really like the shells because of the variety and the textures. Kids loved touching, smelling, looking at these little treasures. 

I then used a method of marker bleeds that I have seen a lot on Lauralee Chambers Instagram. We traced around the shapes as shown in the video with our markers (good, juicy ones). Then we used water to encourage the bleed between the markers. 

The end results were awesome. I really like this as a kindergarten lesson but I'm excited to try it out with other grades as well. I think the tracers to develop a full composition could surely be a skill that could help other grade levels. 

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