Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Animal Drawings Inspired by Laurel Burch

5th grade students and I recently studied the work of American artist Laurel Burch. 
Her stylized animals and use of pattern, metallic accents and outlines are always a winner with kids! 

Although I don't have a completely choice-based art curriculum, I find that there is usually room for lots of choices within a lesson. For instance, there was a choice of background paper color. We had just created a project on black construction paper, so I gave a choice of burgundy, dark blue, or brown. These colors were still dark enough for colors to pop, but gave each piece a bit of personality.  

Students also chose whether to use a starter template of a few different animal designs inspired by Burch's artwork, or to draw an original animal idea. I also gave them the choice between using construction paper crayons or colored pencil. 
(The one rule here was not to combine the two media. Although they both work well, when used together, the crayon can make the pencil seem dull.)

It seems that freedom of choice was a hit! When it came time to add metallic outlines and accents with gold sharpie, many students asked for a choice in color. I only had gold in my inventory, but told the students that they were helping out my students next year, because I would be mindful of adding other metallic colors to my supplies. They were happy that their requests were taken seriously, and that they would influence a change in the lesson in the future. Enjoy!

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