Monday, August 22, 2011

the bucket day 2 - fall oil pastel

A lesson for 3rd grade and up. A good back to school/fall lesson.

Today the bucket brings us another lesson from my student teaching...this one passed on to me from my supervising teacher. I go between liking it and feeling indifferent towards the lesson. And the thing that makes me swing back and forth is the type of oil pastel we use. As I've said before...I hate to call out one brand over another but I find the only oil pastel that really stands out on BLACK are the Crayola hexagon oil pastels. Sorry other brands.

Obviously you can see we have taken a, rather large, sheet of black construction paper and divided it into 8 spaces. Once again size matters. If I were to do this again we would aim for somewhat smaller paper and only six spaces. 6 is great...8 equals burn out. In each example the student burnt out before the end.

The original lesson, as seen above, and flipped because blogger hates me, was intended to be a study of complementary and secondary colors. Students looked at real leaves, drew one in each box and then used oil pastel to explore color. I started requiring white to be used in addition to the color in the background of each box. I also started requiring a neighboring (analogs) color to be used in coloring the leaf itself in each box.
These small changes made a big difference in the visual interest of the work.

Now if we go back to this sample...done with 7th graders, you can see I had branched out into other fall items such as mums and zinnias, gourds and a hard to ID wheat stalk. I feel the gourds and zinnias made a great addition to the leaves as they still have simple shapes but things like the wheat stalk and whatever blue flower was drawn in the upper left hand corner are getting to detailed and monochromatic.

Overall thoughts:
*Pick your oil pastels wisely and test on black paper first
*Go for a slightly smaller sheet of construction paper
*Divided into six instead of 8 boxes
*Draw your item big enough to almost fill the box
*Arrange items at an angle if possible
*Stick with bold, simple shaped fall items: leaves, gourds, sunflowers, zinnias
*Outline the edges of your item with either a dark color or white to make it pop
*Emphasize complementary color pairs and secondary color pairs to help the colors pop
*Encourage use of white in the background at the end
*Encourage use of either a analogous color or tints and shades of the main color inside the leaves

1 comment:

  1. Loved the way these look! Finally did it w/ my students. Thanks so much for sharing:)