Tuesday, September 13, 2011

funky feet.

At the beginning of the school year I like to focus on line with all my classes. I believe it is the simplest of the art elements, but it has a wide variety of functions to explore.

I wanted to focus on contour and implied line with the 4th graders and a number of designs created by Brainstorm, a Philly based design company, fit the bill perfectly.

The design that really caught my eye was one called Roses and Toeses. It's got humor and funky contour drawing of legs and feet. As an added bonus, it features the use of complementary colors, so that I could revisit their use with the kiddos as well.

The classes and I looked at Brainstorm's website and checked out a number of images. We looked for contour and implied lines in the designs as we went through their portfolio. When we got to the T & R image there were numerous chuckles. Hair on legs?! So weird!

Before jumping into the big drawing right away, we practiced drawing feet from the front and the side. I emphasized that they look a lot different depending on the direction you are looking at them. Some kids were concerned about their feet not looking "right", but I pointed out that the feet in the Roses and Toeses print are not perfect either. It gives the image more character when they aren't perfect.

Once we practiced, students drew their feet and legs on a larger sheet of paper. Then we added a ground line as lightly as possible so that it would not show up in the final drawing. That would be our example of an implied line. It will appear because the ground is a different color than the sky.

Students then added the roses. They didn't have to choose roses, so there were some interesting variations on the idea featuring hotdogs, donuts, cars, and zombie arms.

They then traced the feet, legs, and objects with a black marker to emphasize the contour lines. I also modeled using thick and thin lines to add visual variety to their drawings.

Then they could add color to the objects and the ground. We reviewed complementary colors and students could choose one pair of complements to work with.

A lot of drawings turned out well. I was pleased with how many students hung in there and tried their best to get the shape of the feet and toes down. I think the exercise had a healthy mix of drawing from observation and drawing from imagination.


  1. s for sharing the article, and more importantly, your personal experience mindfully using our emotions as data about our inner state and knowing when it’s better to de-escalate by taking a time out are great tools. Appreciate you reading and sharing your story since I can certainly relate and I think others can to

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