Thursday, April 24, 2014

Figure Drawing: Under the water

This is the end of the Body Figure lesson with my 2nd grade.  I was very inspired by many image on Pinterest.  I first saw the post by Bess Carter from it's an HSES Arty Party and I saw then Mrs. Knight's post from Smartest Artists.  Both have slight variations of this same project.  They turned out so darn cute!

You have seen many recent post about body proportion such as Using a Manqué for figure drawing and  Using the iPad for figure drawing.  So I started with drawing in their sketch book ideas of what their body would look like under water.  I had them draw and outline with a sharpie marker as seen in the image above.

The kids colored with crayons but oil pastel might be nice as well.  The final part step of coloring was the white lines to represent the water.  Then I had the kiddo's paint with liquid watercolors at a painting station.  

The finished products were undeniably cute!  

One thing to consider when doing this lesson is the conversations you may have to have with your young students.  One of the girls claimed that a boy at her table was drawing things that were not appropriate.  I asked him to show me the image and I couldn't for the life of me figure out what she was talking about.  I didn't see any of the typical 'inappropriate' body parts on the image... it turned out she was talking about nipples.  Hummmm... how can I talk to the kids about nipples and not have every picture show predominate nipples in the end.  I stopped the class and asked a question.  "Do we all have belly buttons?"  "Yes, Mrs. Hahn" they replied.  "Well, if you can see your belly button when you have your suit on, then you can draw your belly button on your image."  I thought this covered  the issue (at least covered the 'right' parts:)).


  1. I love this activity. Here is my blogpost about my version which needs to be updated with this year's grade 3 swimming bodies.
    There are always plenty of nipples as most of the boys draw themselves without rashies on (rash vests are long or short sleeved shirts made out of UV resistant fabric that kids wear while swimming in Australia, and they are known as rashies) and I don't recall ever having a conversation about nipples but we always have a laugh about the boys that draw themselves with a 6 pack! Also there is always one student, doing their rough draft drawing in their art journal, that forgets to draw their bathers!!! This is always a laugh too. And if this leads to discussion about penises or vaginas then my answer to that is always that 50% of the people in this room actually have one, and how do you know if that person swims in their pool naked or not. If they want to draw themselves that way because that is what they do, well, it is their drawing, not mine, and not yours. The conversation ends in gales of laughter and they all move on! No one that has accidentally drawn their journal version without bathers has ever gone on to draw it on their final artwork, although I wouldn't be worried if they did. i have found if i am not horrified at nudity in art, even their own art, the students aren't either.

    1. Thanks for that story... it goes to show that kids are the same everywhere. I agree. If you act casual about the subject of nudity... they respond accordingly. Love all your comments and amazing images on your blog post. Just added you on my blogroll. I'm excited to watch for your posts.