Saturday, February 23, 2013

it was a dark and stormy night on casey street.

We have had some extreme weather for San Diego the past week. Hail and rain! 

I recently discovered the work of Julien Colombier. He makes drawings on black surfaces- paper, canvas, plaster walls. I love his sense of touch. How he manipulates light and dark with shifts in his hand pressure. It's also interesting to see how his vocabulary of images repeats, varies, and evolves as he produces each drawing. 

One of his drawings was a great fit for the stormy weather we have been experiencing. It's called ZZtop Apocalypse. "Charger" bolts, shading, and perspective? Score.

I shared images from Julien's website with each class and discussed his use of light and dark to make things look 3d. We talked about what you have to do to make dark and light values on black paper instead of white paper. (You reverse your usual process- press had for light and soft for dark on black.)

I then shared ZZtop. I focused on light and dark, and I also introduced the concept of one point perspective. Julien used it to make the house look like they were lined up on a real street. This was their first lesson in perspective this year.  I think this image is a great intro to the concept because it is simple enough for many students to achieve success.

I told the students we would be making a drawing together based on this particular image and then I shared a short video of Julien working. The students LOVED the video. Some didn't love the music, but they really enjoyed seeing Julien work. Student engagement in full effect:)

We then drew out the lightning image together. I modeled the perspective, lightning bolts, and coloring shapes. The visual vocab of the finished drawings are similar, but the visual variations are very interesting too.


  1. These are so cool, love them! Are they using construction paper crayons or conte or what? Doing this!

    1. hope- crayola color sticks. i love them for light and dark surfaces. Students used tem on the Jamey Christoph project too.

  2. Fabulous. Such a unique perspective/shading/value lesson! Pinning!

  3. wow this is so beautiful!! you did a great work, each one is different and so powerfull!
    congratulation guys, thank you and bravo!

  4. I like these a lot! Love the sharp line aspect of it too.

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