It wasn't originally planned that way, but I recently came across some super cool images by a variety of artists and illustrators, and to be honest, I just love those darn plants anyway, so I'm making it happen:) It's a great way to talk about our SoCal climate and to see how others interpret the cacti in different visual ways.
I'm sharing some illustrations by Mexican born illustrator Elena Boils with my 3rd graders this week. We are looking at how she implies the textures of the plants in her illustrations through line type and mark making. By doing a relief print project we can also identify how actual texture can be used to create an artwork and by doing the print on white paper, we can mimic the way Elena uses white lines to define shapes in some of her illustrations, too.
Once their sketches are done, they redraw it on styrofoam, and then add marker color. Color choices are up to them, although I do suggest not using the same color in shapes that touch each other. If students finish their print early, they may color the plate a second time and contribute it to a print triptych with a couple other students' works.
early finisher triptychs