Observational Drawing, Literacy, & Tech
Third graders are working on an observational drawing of themselves wearing a Cat-in-a-Hat Hat and bow holding their favorite Dr. Seuss book. These photos were taken using the Green Screen App by Do Ink to magically add the hat. I printed the photos to the copier so students could use it for a 1:1 size drawing. Since their drawing was the same size as the photo, they cut them out and traced the edges. I taught them some measuring and looking tricks to help them translate what they saw into a contour line drawing.
Students spent 3 class sessions working on making these observational drawings, tracing them in sharpie marker, then erasing all hints of the pencil line sketch. They were then photographed and enhanced with high contrast filters. View their gallery on Artsonia.
Coloring these Sketches Digitally
Students are using the Colorscape app on the iPads to color these drawings. This app allows you to color over a black and white drawing without losing your black lines.
Finished Colored Cat-in-a-hat-ified Art
Resources: two useful Fugleflicks
These drawings are considered contour line drawings since they do not include value or shading. View Drawing from Experience to hear how Grandpa Pencil explains contour line drawing to Baby Pencil (fresh from the box).
Observational drawing is a skill that will make any student more observant. It activates the mathematical side of your brain as you translate the what you see into what you draw. It requires a lot of concentration but the results can be very exciting to young artist as they start to create likeness. View Observational Drawing for a quick lesson.
Similar Project: Photo Booth Version
Before we had iPads and the Green Screen App we did a similar project using photo booth on the classroom desktop mac. I made a custom effect that put a hat and bow on each student when they came up for a still picture to the machine. We printed this and then free hand drew from our imagination what the rest of our body would look like holding a Dr. Seuss book. As you could imagine, we struggled with likenesses even more since we had less information to look at for accurate drawings. See the gallery of work.
Digital Extension: Bookmarks
These designs would look awesome as bookmarks. See what we've done in the past.
I designed a project over the summer for my 3rd graders where we will observe, sketch, draw, decorate, paint, and ultimately animate a carousel horse.
I gathered calendar images as resources and designed a couple handouts to give my artists as many sources to reference for their work as possible. On the first day of the project we watched a brainpop video about horses, saw a slideshow video of carousel horses, then did a practice sketch.
During this lesson we closely looked at a handout I designed to help my students learn to sketch, observe, and add detail to make a carousel horse. You can download it here.
Finished Carousel Animations:
I have two fugleflicks that reinforce some of the concepts we are exploring in this lesson:
Observational drawing and Contour line drawing (called "Drawing from Experience").
Steps for creating the animation are shown in this overview below:
This lesson was definitely rewarding for my students though it did require doing the same drawing twice as they spun the paper and repeated their ideas. They painted with tempera paints and metallics then outlined in black and metallic markers. When they were finished I photographed and printed their paintings small enough to look like a real playing card. Though the lesson teaches symmetry, it is really a test of observational drawing skills. These 5th graders really wowed me with their skill & attention to detail.
I printed out symbols for students to apply to their cards after the art was painted, trimmed, and glued to a piece of tag board.
I put the whole lesson with resources and print outs together in one ppt that you can download from TpT here.
The DoInk animation app allows for many many different techniques that can reinforce rotational symmetry. Here is an idea for creating an animated rotationally symmetrical playing card. The animation is created over (blank) photo downloaded from photofunia.
We are the 2nd place winner of the ISTE Technology in Action Video Contest.
See my post for more info.
View our Entry for the What's Your Story
Internet Safety Contest
(Won the 2nd Place Prize)
View this musical tribute to the hard working teachers at Dryden and the students they love to teach.
Tricia Fuglestad, NBCT 07
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