Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Apples, apples, apples!!

My 5th graders finished the planets in outerspace lesson, where they had to shade circles so they gave the illusion of being 3 dimensional spheres and glue them onto a paint splattered background. While they were completing this, I got to thinking, wouldn't it be nice if they could apply their new found knowledge of shading to a totally different subject? I hadn't yet taught them a still life lesson, so I thought, no time like the present!
As students were finishing up, I gave them a 1/2 sheet of paper. I instructed them to draw an apple, the best they could, trying to make it look as realistic as they could. I told them not to stress over this, but to see if they could apply their new skills by drawing an apple from their imagination. We called this their 'before' picture.

The following week, after everyone finished their outerspace pics, I handed out photographs of apples that I had taken. I altered the photos a little in photoshop to show better the distinctions of light and dark. I also handed out worksheets with a pre-drawn apple that had guidelines drawn inside to indicate the different light and dark areas. I asked them to carefully observe the photograph of apples to see how the light hit the surface, where the reflected light was, where the core shadow was, etc.

The last step of this project was of course to draw the real deal!

Pairs of students each got an apple on a plate that they had to draw using oil pastels and then finishing off with water color. Some of the students struggled, and I reminded them that this was their very first still life... relax and enjoy the drawing process! Some of the beautiful results are below. I told my students that they could use their imagination for the backgrounds and the tables that the apples sat on. They did not let me down!

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