Thursday, December 11, 2008

Under-the-Sea Chalk and Glue Drawings

I discovered this lesson while browsing through the Artsonia site recently. Gulf Elementary in Cape Coral, Florida displayed this beautiful Under-the-Sea chalk art on their school page. Although no lesson plans accompanied the piece, I experimented and came up with my own.
I used this lesson for fourth grade students but could be used for a fifth and sixth as well. For younger grades, use an easier subject matter (maybe penguins or sunflowers) and the results will be equally as grand.

The instructions are going to be brief because my christmas decorations are calling to me...

Step 1: I pass out sample drawings of various sea life...dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, seahorses, fish, etc.
Tip: Coloring books that you find at craft stores are especially helpful drawing aids. I demonstrate the basic principals in drawing the fish (I use the "shape" philosophy) and try to cover at leastthree different types (oval fish, elongated dolphins and round turtles). I encourage the kids to draw big, actually, I insist they draw big as they can because the glue will be applied next...

Step 2: Each student receives one piece of 12 x 18 black construction paper, a pencil, eraser and a bottle of white school glue.
I demonstrate the technique for the tracing pencil lines with the glue. Basically, I tell them to use the glue bottle as they would a pencil. The orange tip is like the lead: touch the paper, don't hover above it and hope for the best.
After drawing their fish, sea turtle, etc (only one please!), they trace their pencil lines with the glue. Lay papers flat on the floor until dry. This marks the end of Part I.
Tip: If you have a drying rack that has a slight tilt, it's wise to lay the pieces on the floor until the glue "sets", then you can rack 'em up.
Tip #2: Be careful the kids (or any wayward parent helper) doesn't track footprints over the art. Yes, this happed to me.

Step 3:
Using chalk pastel, the kids color in their fish, seaweed and the ocean. I emphasize that the top of their picture should be a light colored ocean and the bottom should be dark. Gradations of blue are used to achieve this subtlety in the sun's filtration.

Step 4: I demonstrate how to add highlights with white chalk and tones with black chalk. I give them the "black pastel is powerful, so control it" speech and let the kids experiment with the highlighting.

Step 5: The children now add details such as scales, patterns, lines, gills to their pictures using chalk and without blending their lines in.


Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful project. I do a very similar one using oil pastels and glue outline. I also introduce the work of Georges Rouault with his bold black lines that help unify the picture. I am going to try it with the chalks for a new twist. Thanks!
K-5 Art
Fayetteville, AR

lindwood77019 said...

I love your site. We have very similar taste in subject matter and projects for kids. I have used chalk and glue for Franz Marc inspired artwork and gotten beautiful results. Also for Georgia O'Keefe inspired work. The one thing about to keep it from coming off all over everything...the walls, for example, your clothes when you put them up and take them down. I have tried spraying them with fix, but with 60 kids, I nearly asphyxiate. Sometimes the fixative changes the colors a bit, especially if you use chalk on black paper. You can also get nice results with clear glue on black paper with chalk. I long for an easy/non toxic way to fix the chalk..alas, I have no answers to that one. Can't beat the color, though.

lindwood77019 said...

I forgot to mention, I teach art at St. Johns Lower School in Houston. We have art on our site too. Here's the tiny URL for the Lower School Art page:

There is a media gallery over on the right hand side near the bottom with a lot of our work in it. I think you will agree we have similar taste! I got some nice ideas from your site tonight.

Patty Palmer said...

Hi Linda,
I'm familiar with your site. I use to peruse it when I first began teaching.
It's nice that you found me as now I get the chance to say "thank you!" for all your wonderful ideas!
I LOVE the collage cities. I noticed that are a shared project. What are the basic steps for making this project and how time intensive is it?
Thanks for visiting.

artisk2 said...

Moonbird - spray hairspray (like Aquanet) for an alternative to Spray fixative, less fumes!
I've done this with Kinder's at Halloween, I did the glue as spiderwebs, they added chalk and blended. They loved getting so messy!

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Anonymous said...

I think you are doing a great job with the design and content in this site,I am so interested on what I read and I am curious to find out more about Thursday, December 11, 2008
Under-the-Sea Chalk and Glue Drawings

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