Magazine article Arts & Activities

Cat on a Rug

Magazine article Arts & Activities

Cat on a Rug

Article excerpt

Cats have always been popular in works of art. The ancient Egyptians made wooden figures, furniture and jewelry in shapes of cats, and you can find renderings of cats in just about every period of art history. Cats are also the subject of this fun and furry first-grade project.

First we needed to draw the cat and I wanted the students to draw large to fill their paper. Usually young artists are intimidated and they tend to draw small, so I came up with a high-success way of drawing a cat by doing a gesture drawing.

To begin, we drew a circle shape for the cat's head with black crayon at the top of a 12" x 18" sheet of white drawing paper. Because this is a gesture drawing I had the students draw several circles until they got the right size. I walked around the room to help those that weren't drawing the circle big enough. When I told the kids that it was okay if they made what they considered to be a mistake, it really built their confidence. Next, we sketched out the rest of the cat drawing--a large oval body, triangles for ears and a curvy, skinny oval shape for the tall.

The reason why "mistakes" are no big deal is because the next step is to cut out the gesture drawing, flip it over, ending up with a perfectly white paper cutout of a cat. All the scribbles and mistakes are on the back. Now is the time to draw some details on the front of the cat, so using the black crayon we drew the eyes, nose, mouth, whiskers and ears.

To color in the cats, we used watercolor. We talked about different-colored cats that the students have seen and I showed them photographs of various types of cats, such as a tabby and calico. …

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