Cycle 2 Week 15- Fanciful Landscapes

It’s time to let our imaginations run wild!  Though Thomas Gainsborough’s landscapes might appear simply realistic to us, they have a dream-like, dramatic quality to them.  It is said that he even created them at home using pebbles, twigs, and even broccoli to create mini dioramas.  The images were very much from inside his own head.

For this project, the students will create their own imaginary scene.  Just like Gainsborough’s, it will be realistic yet wondrous.  Waterfalls?  Rainbows?  Babbling brooks with ferns and foliage?  Erupting volcanoes?  The students get to be as creative and unrestrained as they choose. Continue Reading →

Cycle 2 Week 14- Botanical Drawings

I love this project.  It combines drawing with science and math.  It teaches students to carefully study what they see.  It allows us to emphasize size and proportion in drawing.  Kids will always love to doodle and draw imaginative ideas, and teaching traditional drawing techniques in no way inhibits this.  In fact, teaching realistic drawing will give them the skills to better draw what’s in their head.

This botanical drawing is based off the work of Carl Linnaeus, famous artist, botanist, physician, and zoologist.  He carefully studied plants and recorded his findings through illustrations.  They are beautiful examples of science and art.   Continue Reading →

Cycle 2 Week 13- Portraits

Oh, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Portrait drawing can be the most nerve-wracking art assignment.  The features always look a bit wonky, it never looks like the person you are trying to draw, and it can be embarrassing to have to show it off to other kids in class.  Though portrait drawing is a challenge, following a simple mathematical formula can greatly improve the outcome.

In this lesson, students will learn the basic structure of all human faces.  Using this guideline, they will draw the portrait of a parent in class.  The focus is learning the structure, not creating a perfect likeness of the subject.

The famous artist tied in with this lesson is Rembrandt van Rijn.  A famous Dutch painter of the 1600s, he painted landscapes, biblical scenes, portraits and self-portraits.  To begin the lesson, give an introduction to Rembrandt and his work, then dive into drawing your own portrait. Continue Reading →