Monday, April 12, 2010

Primary Color Parrot Painting Lesson

Parrots are an art room staple..for lessons, I mean. They are easy to draw and even more fun to paint. I love this lesson because, no matter what the child's perceived artistic ability, most will be totally surprised with how well they did.
  1. For this lesson, which took three-45 minute class times, we started with learning how to draw a basic parrot. I use the "shape" strategy. Draw a circle for the eye, draw an arrow for the beak, etc. Most kids find it easy to draw when a confusing and seemingly difficult image is broken down into basic shapes.
  2. After the kids draw a parrot on scrap paper, I give them a large sheet of white 12 x 18 sulphite paper. They are free to draw whatever bird they like. I plaster the white board with pictures of tropical birds and give them black and white drawings of birds, used as a drawing aid, for their table.
  3. I encourage the kids to use a black marker for drawing. Pencil and erasures take up too much class time. Most kids will spend the entire class period erasing their lines.
  4. By the second class, each kid will have a completed bird drawing. At this point, I give them a tray with the primary paint colors on it. We go over how to mix the colors to make the secondary colors and then the kids are free to paint their tropical birds.
By the last class, some kids need to finish their painting but all others can add a black marker detail to their painting. Outlining the leaves, feathers and other details really make the painting come alive!


Sarah Ford said...

How do you teach your students to fix "mistakes" with the black marker? This always seems to be a sticking point for my students and I agree, it takes up so much time to draw with pencil, erase, then trace with black marker...

Beth Allums said...

Thank you so much for your lessons.
Are you coming to national conference? I would love to meet you and thank you in person.

Patty Palmer said...

What conference?

Patty Palmer said...

Hi Sarah,
Re: fixing "mistakes"
You sound like my students! That's the first question they ask me when I tell them we aren't working with pencil. I hate to say this, but it really comes down to how you teach kids how to draw; how to look at shapes, to understand that when a line is drawn they don't like, they can turn it into something else. That's why drawing birds or parrots with a marker is easy. Turning "mistakes" nto feathers or stripes can not only be fun, but freeing.
Try to impose a sense of no-judgment into your students. Many times, those mistakes give a drawing character.
Good luck and remember that kids learn most through mistakes.

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