Friday, January 15, 2016

African Lions

I was inspired to do this project by this pin on Pinterest. 

The full project took us four art classes. The first class we talked about color and then used warm colors to paint a paper that would be cut up for the mane. I showed the kids how to use paint scrapers and/or the back of their paintbrush to make lines in the wet paint to add interest. 

The next class we created the lion faces. I used my document camera to show them step by step how to break down this complicated picture. We started with a medium sized circle for the main part of the head, I showed them how to use the natural curve of their wrists to get a nice curved line and turn the paper to make that curve continue until they had a full circle. They added a square with rounded corners on the bottom for the jaw. I had a completed example on the board for them to refer to as we drew. Next we drew the ears and then erased the parts of the circle that were where the square and ears were drawn. For the face, we began by drawing a large 7 on the left and a backwards 7 on the right. I reminded them how to use the curve of their wrists to make a nice curved line and showed them that I turned my paper to make the curve for the eyes. At the bottom of the 7s the added a shape for the nose and we talked about shapes that would make sense-rectangle, oval, or triangle came out of our discussions. They had the option of adding lines of a mouth or leaving it as is.

We then used chalk to add the color. I started by asking them if every single lion is the same color. They giggled and said no and we noticed that none of us had the exact same shade of skin either. I reminded them that the colors I was using to demo were not the only ones they could use, they just wanted to find "lion colors." We started with brown chalk and covered the whole faces except the eyes and tip of the nose. We added a little bit of darker brown in the ears, and on the cheeks to add definition to the faces. Once that was blended, we used oil pastels to color the eyes, tip of the nose, and important lines. They were also given the option of outlining their lion's face.

The third and fourth classes were spent collaging it all together. I had trays of precut colored paper and precut newspaper for them to use and they brought their painted paper to me to cut on the paper cutter. They cut out their faces and we talked about the reasons we think male lions have manes. They decided they have manes to distinguish male and female, to make the lion look bigger in conflicts, and to protect their necks in fights. (Such smart kids!) Whenever they asked me if their project was done I'd ask them if their lion's mane was thick enough to help him protect his pride.

See our gallery here (check back for Houlton's!).

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