Magazine article Arts & Activities

The Beauty of the Beasts in Chalk Pastels

Magazine article Arts & Activities

The Beauty of the Beasts in Chalk Pastels

Article excerpt

My seventh-grade art students had just completed a unit on contour drawing and I wanted to take them a step further. I wanted them to capture an image of a stuffed animal in the "whole-to-part" drawing technique.

In this technique, I have the student set the stuffed animal(s) on the table in front of him or her and draw the largest shapes first. The details are added afterwards. Then, using chalk pastels, the drawing is completed.

First, we look at "animal art" created by various artists, including a work by Japanese artist Mori Ippo, which shows the graceful lines of a fox and the grass surrounding it. Another painting, Moonlight Madness by Phil Paradise, depicts playful horse in a pasture. The light falling on the horses illuminates them.

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We also looked at cave paintings done near Altamira, Spain. These were quite primitive and done with heavier strokes, mostly depicting bison. A heavy line and heavy colors were used.

After looking at and discussing the works of art, I get out my cases of stuffed animals. Each student gets to choose which animal(s) he or she would like to draw. The student is given a 12" x 18" piece of white paper on which to draw.

As kids are drawing the stuffed animals, I remind them that when drawing lines, holding the pencil in different positions will create different kinds of marks. These different line qualifies create different moods in the drawing. I explain the shad ing and coloring of the stuffed animals will be rendered in chalk pastels. …

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