Mrs. Knight posted about her project at the beginning of the year that was inspired by Christine's work. I knew I had to try out something like it with my 5th graders too. I had previously pinned an image by Leslie and thought that her painting would make a good intro to contour line, positive shapes, and negative shapes. Leslie's work had the contour line element I wanted to incorporate into the lesson for my line unit.
I started the lesson by sharing the above image by Leslie with the classes. We pointed out her use of contour lines to define the edges of the bike shapes. We also talked about composition, in particular, how she zoomed in on interesting sections of the bikes. She wasn't concerned about including the whole bike. If an artist zooms or crops like this, they can get rid of extra empty space (negative shapes) that can lessen the impact of the design.
I gave the students a couple handouts with several bikes to choose from and viewfinders to look through. I demonstrated how to move the viewfinder around to find interesting parts to draw. I also shared Mrs. Knight's post with examples of her students doing the very same thing.
Love the decision making present on this one:)
Students practiced a couple compositions on the back of their watercolor paper and then drew one of them to fit on the full front. This was definitely a challenge for a larger number of students than usual. I re-demonstrated drawing what they saw in numerous classes and worked one on one with many kids. As I demonstrated drawing what they saw in the viewfinder I talked about how certain parts touch the edge of the viewfinder, how certain parts go half way across the viewfinder window, and so on.
This said, I am proud of my students for not quitting. There certainly was frustration in each class, but no one gave up.
Once they had the image drawn large they traced the contour lines and colored in the positive shapes firmly with crayons, so the colors would be bold and strong.
When the students finished coloring the bikes, they finished up their designs by applying watercolor to the negative shapes. I demonstrated using enough water to make tints of colors. I asked students to make their colors light, so the background shapes would not compete too much with the bike parts.
About half the students in each class were able to finish their designs in the hour we had. I plan on giving each class ten minutes at the beginning of our next meeting to complete their bikes.
Way to hang tough kids!