Monday, September 12, 2011

Somethin's a little fishy 'round here!

This lesson is "an oldie but a goodie" that I have taught since my student teaching.  It came from a School Arts lesson from March 1999.  It is a great way to get 7th graders started on drawing large and successfully with their first major project of the year.  We also start the year with watercolor so that they think we are doing something "artful" right away, not just "boring" drawing, which will come later!

Students begin by drawing two large fish shapes on two 5.5 by 8.5 papers.  We use these fish drawings by Wyland purchased at School Specialty for inspiration. They are just the right size to place in the middle of their papers. Then we "stretch" them to fit the paper.  Each fish then needs at least three sections as part of their details.

We practice four watercolor techniques, using a white crayon for resist.  Students then transfer their favorite fish by tracing the same fish on the back of the original fish.  Laying this over a watercolor page, tracing over the lines, transfers the lead from the fish paper to their good paper. 
The page should be filled with fish.  Students then use a white crayon to trace over their pencil lines.  They choose three colors to use on their fish.  Either one cool and two warm or two cool and one warm.  They must use atleast three of the watercolor techniques on their fish.  The background is either black or a color that has not been used on the fish.  Finally, a splatter technique with a toothbrush is used to overspray the painting with "bubbles" to give it an underwater effect.

This post is written in loving memory of my cooperating teacher Mrs. Denton.  Thanks for the inspiration and the knowing that I could do this.  Know that you are surely missed by your friends and family and the students and staff of TJHS!

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