Monday, 13 June 2011

Art Project 1 - How to make a Summer Themed Wall Display

Juicy Fruits - a lesson idea

This encourages the participant to be observant and give attention to detail when drawing or painting. This activity tests the power of observation.
You will need:
A whole fruit
A3 Paper or Card
Sketch pencils
Wax crayons and/or pencil crayons (various colours)
Optional: Green felt tipped pens (various shades)
Optional: Grass, picked as a handful
Optional for extended activity: Acrylic paint (selected colours)
      One singular fruit is set upon a flat surface (preferably on a table that sits in natural light). If the fruit is a citrus fruit cut in half or cut off one end to reveal the flesh inside. Using a sketch pencil the participant will produce a line drawing of the fruit, adding shade and tone, identifying marks and pitting and taking note as to where the light is touching and where the shadows fall.
      Adding colour: Before the participant adds colour to their still life drawing, first explain how texture already identified in the pencil sketches, can be represented by adding different tones of just one colour. For example: lead a discussion about how children generally set about drawing or painting grass.  Young children often represent grass by drawing a strip/band of green along the bottom of the paper. Explain that grass is not just one shade of green and that it is actually a mix of greens along with different shades of yellow and brown (perhaps have a few blades at hand to demonstrate). In this session it can be shown that using a green felt tip pen to make a band/strip of colour gives a flat, two dimensional effect– demonstrate that there is no depth to the colour even if one or two different shades of green felt tipped pens are used. Show then that wax crayons or pencil crayons are more effective, as different shades of one colour can be blended, and then by using varying pressure on the crayon, texture and colour depth can be achieved. Grass can be better presented using these techniques.
     Encourage the participant to identify all the shades of colours they see before them. Show the participant how to blend one or two different shades of a one colour and allow the pencilled sketched to lead the process of applying. Colour in the pale creams of the fruit’s pith, segment division and centre first. When adding the fruit’s main colour blend the areas where lighter and darker shades converge and also where the small areas of white light hits and the dark shadow sits underside.

      Extended activity: A further idea is to use the tips given for adding colour, but this time mix up different colours and shades of acrylic paint. Both the the lemon and the lime shown above, were drawn, sketched and painted by young children using acrylic paints. The result is a high gloss, visually stunning wall display, and a wonderful exhibit when displayed on a wall alongside the contributions of a whole class, especially if there is a mix of different fruits. 
Apple by Debra Hall - Watercolour

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