Drawing Cylinders, Drawing Snakes

Grade 5 / Drawing Snakes

The idea was to draw cylinders using a light source to render them 3 dimensional.  So, why not make them snakes?  Snakes coming out of the frame, even?!

(Psst.  I found the idea at Fine Lines blogspot.)

I gave the students different colours of square cardstock and had them intersect it with 3 or 4 snakes in pencil.  They decided which snakes overlapped which.  I cautioned them not to draw the snake markings too intricately, but several of them still did. Too excited about drawing different snakes, I suppose.

Then they continued with oil pastel, using saturated colours.  I gave each student a small picture of a light bulb with sticky tack on the back.  Just as in the demonstration at the beginning of the class where I  used a strong light trained on a neutrally coloured cylinder, they chose where to put the bulb in relation to their artwork.  This little light source tool would help them to remember where the light falls and the shadows fall on their snakes.

Now, armed with black and white pastel, they went over each snake’s colours to correspond to the light source.  This involved a strong white edge and a corresponding black edge, and blending in between.  The blending was done with a stroke going across the body of the snake, and smudging in between.  The colours of the snake could still be seen, but they were now muted with the dark and light.

Some of the students were reluctant to grey down and smudge the brilliant colours and details of their snake, but when they did:  it is amazing how the snakes quickly became 3D, emphasizing that they were escaping the frame (and the picture plane).  Yikes!

Fall 2011 / Parliament Oak School

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