Thursday, December 15, 2011

Animal Textures

So, these past two months I've been student teaching at an elementary school in West Harlem. It's been exhausting. It's been chaotic. (Not to mention that my true passion doesn't lie with the wee ones, but with the high schoolers.) But it has been a rewarding experience none the less. And now that I've taught my last lesson there, I thought I'd share some pretty adorable artworks with you all.

I did a three-week series of lessons with a first grade class, drawing animals and incorporating texture, to tie in with their studies in science class.

While it's true, these are just the artworks of children, when you give them a good hard look, children's artwork can be truly inspiring (just ask Jean Dubuffet!) They do not yet subscribe to the social standards of what art should look like. They do not yet have the fine motor skills or the patience to obsess over the minuscule details that I know I often fall pray to. There is a lot of simple, instinctual beauty to be found on these pages.

Week 1: Alligators

I led a step-by-step drawing lesson starting with ovals to find the basic shape, followed by a focus on indicating the texture of alligator skin.

My sample alligator
My instructional drawing


Week 2: Sheep

I led another step-by-step drawing lesson, but this time we added cotton balls for texture. These sheep came out so unbearably cute I can hardly stand it.

My sample sheep

Week 3: Sharks

This lesson was a little different, and more challenging. I had them trace a shark template and cut it out of textured paper, which my little 1st graders struggled with quite a bit. So unfortunately there wasn't quite enough time for them to finish their ocean scenes. But still, we got a couple cute pieces out of it.

My sample shark

And now it's onward and upward! Thanks to all my wonderful teachers. Someday very soon I'll have my diploma and certification in hand and a class of my very own. I can't wait!



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