Sunday, October 23, 2016

Contour Shoes

Zig-zag, curvy, vertical, diagonal, thick, thin, parallel, outline, contour- there are SO MANY types of LINES! The more you know about them and the better you are at drawing them, the more interesting your pictures can be. It's easier to communicate your ideas. It's like having a lot of words in your vocabulary. The more words you know, the better you can communicate your thoughts and feelings. 5th graders have been learning about outlines, contour lines, continuous lines and blind contour lines. That's A LOT to know about lines!

So let's take a closer look at lines. After comparing and contrasting the various types of lines (outline vs contour, continous vs blind contour), we practiced continuous blind contour drawing. That's a mouthful. It's just as tricky as it sounds, and there was a lot of giggling! Blind drawings are done without looking at your paper, so they're really wobbly and strange looking. The purpose is to train your eye to measure spaces and to be synced with your hand as you draw. We talked about tracing your hand and all the little details with your eyes and moving your pencil as if they were synced. In my first demo attempt, the drawing of my hand was much too wide, but the length of my fingers and the spacing between where my fingers bend was pretty good! We critiqued my drawing together and students gave me advice on what I needed to improve, so I tried it again with a bit more success, talking to them about my thoughts during the process so they'd know better how to approach the challenge when it was there turn. It's good for the students to see that I struggle too. This isn't easy! To ensure that no one was cheating, we folded a piece of copy paper into 4 boxes. Next, we poked our pencils through the middle ("X" marks the spot!) and used it as a "tent" over our drawing hand. Then, students held their other hand out in front of them and attempted to draw it. They couldn't wait to show each other! At first glance everyone giggled. Then we looked a bit closer to see if we did anything well. Most measured the distance between knuckles well. Our biggest struggle was that our hands were drawn much to wide. We practiced, trying to improve that. Everyone had fun!

Next we played a line game! I compiled a variety of line drawings in a PowerPoint and kids identified the types of line drawings they saw. They sure do know their lines! We also looked at shoe illustrations by famous Pennsylvania artist Andy Warhol. What kind of lines were used? Did he include all of the details? Why were we talking so much about shoes?! We're going to draw our own! Smelly, yes. Sometimes very much so. But everyone likes airing out their toes. 

To get started students traced a template of a size 13 foot. Everyone's shoes would be the same size, it forced them to draw big, it helped them measure with their eyes where parts of the shoes should be in their drawings. Students drew their shoes around the foot they traced, and tried really hard to draw LIGHTLY AT FIRST! It's much easier to erase later. Sometimes we erase a lot

When students finished their pencil drawings they traced over their lines with an ultra-fine sharpie. Trace and erase!

The kids really wanted to add color, but we didn't want to take away from the line drawings of their shoes. They were SO GOOD! So we explored various ways of adding color to the background instead! Some students used colored pencils while others used markers or watercolor. I showed students that you can use water over marker and sprinkle it with salt for a fun tie-dye color burst look. They chose how to fill the background. They love choosing, and they're pretty good choosers. 

Every drawing is different. Every background is different. And they look AWESOME!

I can't wait to get these on the walls this week in time for conferences! Parents will be walking around with their jaws on the floor! That's how good these are...

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