Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Drawing Farm Animals Using Shapes

I was approached by my music team this year to see if I would be interested in collaborating on some of the themes they are working on for upcoming performances. I was more than happy to do so, plus the team chose some really fun themes. I can often take any subject and work them into my curriculum... so, the First Grade has been working on drawing farm animals to coincide with the upcoming musical performance. 

The main concept here is to teach my young artist that they should use shapes to simplify their drawings. They can look at a subject and break it down into the geometric shapes that we have spent the first have of the year studying. I chose to do a different drawing for each of my four classes. I'm happy to share these lessons with you here on my Teachers Pay Teacher store. Here is a breakdown of the lesson in the video below. 

All four of these classes started out the same. I would show them the picture of an animal and ask them to draw it. They would look at me like I was crazy. "How can I draw that?" they would ask. Then I would bring them through the lesson breaking down a complex animal into simple shapes. All students were successful after this breakdown. 

We would take our practice that we created on a whiteboard and use it as the inspiration for our final drawing.  I always try to leave time for a second drawing of the same subject on the back side of the paper. This allows my students to choose their favorite drawing. I have the students 'X' out their least favorite and write their name on the 'back' or the side with the 'X' on it.  Many times we still had time to outline the subject with a sharpie marker... if not that is the first task for the following class. 

The following week we added color.  We used a variety of methods to create the final results. 

For the cows, we colored the spots and details with crayons 'getting rid of all the white spots'. Then the students used paint to color the sky (all the way down to the horizon line) and the ground (all the way up to the horizon line) using tempera cakes. 

The pigs were simply painted.  First I gave each table a container of pink liquid watercolor for the pig. We gave the pink a chance to soak into the paper while I instructed the students how to use the tempera cakes and how to manage the materials. They then gave the sky, ground, and mud a little paint. 

The sheep we addressed a little different using water soluble markers first.  They added repeating swirls on the sheep. Then they used a brush to add water to the marker. This allowed for a marker bleed. In order to keep the students from overworking the swirls, they had a limited time before they had the tempera cakes in front of them and they were asked to add the sky and ground. They did have a few minutes of a third class to add crayons to the details remaining. 

The chickens were painted with tempera cakes as well.  This was a class who needed to finish their outlining so they had time for the marker and paints and that was all.  We wanted to add some texture in a third visit to the art room. They used construction paper crayons on the chickens to make feathers but that didn't take much time at all. This gave us the rest of the hour to record our feelings about our artwork to our parents using the app Seesaw. Here is an example. 

There will be more to add to this 'theme' in the next couple weeks, but I'm really excited for our paintings thus far.  I know this is going to create a beautiful Art Insulation for their performance. 

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