February 10, 2014

Oaxacan Animal Drawings

My favorite thing to teach is drawing... specifically anything from nature. These lessons are the ones that you have to work through, give motivational talks before, and it all pays off when a kid pushes himself through their "I can't draw" stage. The process is never the same and after 8 years of teaching, always interesting for me. Not a process I'd choose for an observation lesson, because it requires a level of trust and doesn't always have a clear path.

First we learned about the artisans of Oaxaca Mexico. I have gathered a few sculptures and many images throughout the years. If you don't know their story it is truly inspirational. I will devote another post to this art history! 

We distinguish between fantasy and realism. Students create animals that are imaginary in color, but realistic in form. A cheetah will look like a cheetah, but it can't be painted oranges or browns or yellows. 

My third grade ESL students drew these amazing animals! The process is important. We used white boards for lots of practice and they had lots of pictures to choose from. Easy coloring book pictures work best for beginners. I teach kids how to look for simple geometric shapes in the animal. Once the student made a drawing on the white board they liked, I gave them white paper to trace it. So in the end they are tracing their own white board drawing. Pretty cool... I think ATHG uses this method too (correct me in I'm wrong.) 

There's so much more but it's been a loooooong day and all I really want to do is share this paintings!!!!!!


Phyl said...

Really nice! I absolutely love the rich colors and patterns found on the Oaxacan carvings; great inspiration. And these paintings sort of remind me of the time my students did the 'fauve Fauves' ( wild beasts -African animals, that is - in wild colors). Terrific job by your kids!

Unknown said...

Phyl! I played with the idea of making those awesome boarders with the real animal skin printed paper that you did! But, alas it was too snowy and I am too broke to get some. . . it would've driven home the lesson though. We were differentiating between real and fantasy.

I often think of your lessons when I'm with the kids!!!

cassie stephens said...

I love those bright colors! They really add that pop and remind me of South America -- so great job, teach! You are right, once you get 'em past the "I can't draw" jibberish they LOVE what they make...I'm sure these kiddos are super proud :)

Joelle said...

Those projects are so whimsical! I love the bright colours! Thank you for sharing!