Friday, January 24, 2014

What's on the inside?

So last year I found this lesson from Art of the Apex (I think).  It has since become one of my favorite lessons to do with the students.  The day I start the lesson is a little chaotic.  I start by talking about gesture drawing and then I have them draw posed dolls that are all around the art room.  Some get a little creeped out by the dolls, and if you saw some of the dolls I get from other teachers (I only have boys so I don't have any at my house), but I am grateful for the ones that they donate.

After they draw those, I then bring out skeleton bones from the biology room.  Yes I am a scavenger and borrower, you have to be in this job.  I then have them move from table to table to drawing the different pieces of bone that I set out.  Our school skeleton is not fully assembled and comes to me in a big tub.  In some ways that is better than me rolling him down the hall.

Anyways, then I have them have a two minute brainstorming session with the other people that sit by them and they have to name as many cartoon characters as they can.  I usually walk around and tell them to think way back to their childhood or their grandparents childhood if they can.  I always love when they come up with ones that nobody else at their table has even heard of.

To wrap it all up and bring it all back together, I tell them that there has been a method to the madness today and that I just didn't reach into a hat to try to throw several things together that don't seem to make sense.  I then tell them that they will be drawing a cartoon character in gesture and his skeleton.

Here are some of my favorite examples.

Bella J.

Alasia J.

Yeva S.

Jacob H.

Mikayla R.

Bridget B.

Riley H.
I know what you are thinking, how could the last two possibly have a skeleton?  Well that is my only criteria, they can pick whichever character they want, but it HAS to have a skeleton.


  1. just came across this today! he makes sculptures of cartoon characters where you can see their bone structure. Perfect for this lesson!

  2. I have seen those. The nerd in me would love to have one, but i don't think I can afford them. Thanks.