Thursday, March 7, 2013

coloring with philip.

This week I wanted to do a lesson with my 1st graders that had them mix all 3 of the secondary colors they have learned about in previous lessons.

I have been a fan of San Diego based illustrator Philip Tseng for a few years now. I was first introduced to his work on the threadless online t-shirt store. I did a project based on his playground take of Mondrian's work last year. I love how his sense of humor shines through in his designs.

I shared a few images of Philip's from his website with the kids at the beginning of the lesson. We looked at how Philip, even in his funny designs, often made things look a little 3d because he uses light and shadow. We also looked at how he used secondary colors in some of his designs. There were many laughs to go round:)

When I stopped on our focus piece, I pointed out both of those elements. The students all agreed that this was a fictional scene, because, um, crayon boxes can't color by themselves! They need US:)

We drew out the box, crayons, and limbs together. I asked the students to decide how their box was feeling and to draw a face that showed that. Students then colored the box hard on the front and soft on the side to make it look more 3d. Then they colored their crayons, some with just primaries, others with mixed secondaries. The final step was for students to add what their crayon drawing on the ground.

This guy flipped the whole drawing. Totally correct. I find this fascinating.



I love how narrow the box is.

The kids had a lot of fun with this project. At first some thought it was going to be way to hard, but so many students had success drawing the box well. It was also a good review of how to make their secondary colors.

I love the variety in boxes and the expressions that are on them. 

Some of the classes finished glazing a clay project before they started this exercise. They still did this drawing, but it was half the size of the other class drawings.


  1. Wow! Your students did a great job. So many different emotions.

  2. This is amazing! I'm honored you picked my art to share with your class. Your students did a fantastic job--I love all the different expressions and drawings on the ground (especially the one with the pizza, because I LOVE pizza).