Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chalk pastel stuffed animals

A while back I asked for tips on using chalk pastel with my students for a drawing project involving stuffed animals and beanie babies. Thanks to your tips this ended up being a really successful project. Using watercolor paper and layers of hairspray helped with the smudging.

The chalk pastel was perfect for making the soft fur of the stuffed animals. The students liked how easy it was to blend and add shadows with the pastels and how quickly they could lay down color. Believe it or not, our less expensive pastels ended up working best for this project.

Some students brought in stuffed animals from home and others used my collection of stuffed animals and beanie babies that were donated by staff members.

As always these represent 6th through 8th grade students that vary from one month of art with me to three years non stop everyday. I like seeing how the kids I have spent a lot of time with the last three years have progressed. I would recommended this project as a high interest project for 5th grade up!

I put these up in the main office and the secretaries say they have been receiving a lot of positive reaction from both student's and parents that come into the office.

I don't think my photos do these project justice!
An 8th grade student I've had a on an off over the last 3 years. I can see that she has learned a lot over the years. She had no art instruction before I received her as a 6th graders but was interested in art and had natural talent. I feel she is using color and value particularly well. I feel very comfortable sending her to high school with her current skill set. I think she will be as prepared as the kids from the higher income schools in our area.

6th grader who is working very hard to develop her skills. You can see she was trying to mimic the work being done by the 8th graders above. She is well on her way. She is obsessed with fantasy artwork (dragons and such) so she pushed herself to work from a realistic still life.
not the most advanced artwork ever but I think the animal is cute and she created a lot of personality with it and the planet in the background.
Very interesting perspective/composition from one of my autistic students.

As an aside at all three schools I have taught at I have noticed my students from Russia and the Ukraine are particularly talented artists. A disproportionate number of them have parents who have art backgrounds. Not only are they hard workers with their art, they seem to have impressive natural talent, especially in drawing. Is this just a coincidence? I don't know much about Russian culture but is art highly valued? My students from Cuba also seem to be particularly talented/interested in art. Has anyone else noticed similar trends in their student populations?


  1. I totally agree- I have Cuban and Russian and middle Eastern students,
    most of them are very motivated in art class and have produced some
    amazing pieces

  2. Yes! Also most of my students from Asian countries do very well - even the ones who are adopted. Interesting:)