Thursday, January 21, 2016

What can a colored pencil do?

So what can a colored pencil do?  Turns out it can draw some amazing pictures.  Art 1 started by looking at the colored pencil work of Karen Hull and Morgan Davidson. I know that neither of them are famous artists, but if you have a chance I highly suggest going and checking out their works.  They both do amazing things with colored pencils.

After we had been thoroughly inspired by these ladies, we started looking at what we could do with them.  We started by doing a variety of techniques in our sketchbooks.  We looked at how to blend the colors, fading, shading, how to create texture and what it looked like if you added black.

After we did these tests, we drew a practice fish and colored it in together.  The fish I use is on That site has perfect directions as to how to color and get all of the layered colors into one fish.  I do make the kids draw the fish in their sketchbooks.  That is probably the scariest part of the whole process.  What is it with kids and their ability to draw a realistic looking fish?  Maybe it is just my students but those poor fish always look like they have been run over by a toy truck.

When we finish the fish, I hand out the Wobby worksheet that you see below.  I have drawn this one, so they all have the same beautiful dog, they just have to go to the website at the bottom of the page to get the step by step coloring directions.

You might be wondering why I give them so many practices, and why so many with step by step instructions.  Up to this point we haven't done a lot with layering color and I really want them to get that concept, because after this we move to watercolor where we will continue to layer color.

After Wobby, they then are required to create their own 6x6 colored pencil drawing from one of my calendars and magazines.  I have a huge collection that I have acquired over the years so they should all be able to find something to work from.  I like them working from an image that they can hold so that they can see the underlying colors.  I don't think you always get that from an image on technology.

Also the reason for a 6x6?  It is not as intimidating to cover that small piece of paper with color as it is a huge project.  Also it is a challenge for some students to work small like it is a challenge for some students to work big.
Here are a few of my favorites.

Riley R.

Sommer B.

John S.

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