Thursday, August 25, 2011

the bucket day 3 - pop art shoe

Ah the contour line drawing of your shoe. Can't get more classic art class than that. And it is a classic for a good reason. Working on contour line drawing is a huge stepping stone for student's to be able to realistic draw people and objects. Contour line drawing expands student's grasp of line, shape, proportion and form. In my mind Picasso was the King of awesome contour line drawings!

Of course there is blind contour line drawing and pick up your pencil vs. one line contour line drawings. I think it is great to practice sighted, unsighted, pick up your pencil and "No picking up your pencil!" of whatever object you are drawing before you get to the final project.

When doing a sighted contour line drawing I tell the kids to imagine their eyes and pencil are directly connected. Your eyes should be tracing the object a snail creeping along its contours. As slowly as your eyes are tracing you hand should also be moving. Perspective and proportion get off when either the eye or the hand get ahead of one another.
heheh! from Inner City Snail....a awesome artist/ art movement

But what do we do with that completed contour line drawing before putting it on display? I usually make the kids ink over their pencil lines with micro sharpie and then create a background. For this 6th grade wheel lesson...where we are short on time and trying to hit as many skills as possible, we took a pop art approach to the background.

Students are asked to find two shapes, lines or patterns that occur in their shoes design (can be from any part of the shoe...even the tread...we don't have to see it in the line drawing). They need to take those designs, enlarge them and create a pop art style background with the knowledge that it will be painted.

The backgrounds get painted while learning how to crate tints and shades. While some years I have allowed tinting and shading of a single color, I find a black, white and shades of gray background tends to produced the best end result. I require at least three shades and say white may be used but no straight black. That is because I want everyone outlined in sharpie when the painting is done.

oh I give up with the photos and the rotating and such.

When the background is painted and dry, we carefully cut out our shoe and glue it on for the finished work of art. Ta da!

P.S. I provided a collection of shoes that students can choose to draw from so they don't have to take off their own shoe if it makes them uncomfortable. Stinky feet and such.


  1. Love this lesson! !Thanks so much for sharing!!! :) Def plan to jazz up the background from now on when drawing shoes!

  2. I don't know what it is with blogger and rotating pics. It always seems so totally random. Too bad there isn't a tool to rotate them when you are designing a post - seems like it would be simple and practical. Anyhow, I guess we get a little exercise rotating our necks to look at photos that won't rotate!