Friday, June 24, 2011

Second Grade Rousseau's Jungle

 This project was a pretty simple one, but the end effects were very nice.

I started the project by reading the book, Who Is the Beast? by Keith Baker. The illustrations in the book were great for showing the students overlapping- which was what I wanted to focus on in this project.

Before I started reading, I gave the students 3 things to look for in the book:
1)   animals
2)   colors used in the plants
3)   shapes used in the plants and animals

After I finished reading, we brainstormed a list of animals that could be found in the jungle. The students then chose 2 animals and practiced drawing them in their sketchbooks (I have a milk
 crate filled with old calendar pictures that I have collected. I pulled all of the jungle animals and the students used these as their reference materials).

When they had finished their sketches, they chose the 1 animal that they liked the most and drew this on a piece of watercolor paper. The rules for this were:
1) touch at least 2 sides of the paper (to make sure that it was large enough)

2) use a whisper pencil (draw lightly, so that you can erase)

 After they drew their animal, I then showed them how to draw the vegetation. We talked about how Rousseau hid his animals in the plants, so we would have to draw our plants from the side of the paper towards the center, so that they would cover part of our animal. Anything that was covering our animal, we would then erase (thus the reason for using a whisper pencil).

Rules for this step:
1)   plants had to touch the animal

2)   had to have plants coming from the top, bottom and both sides of the page

I also told them that they didn't have to draw just leaves. I showed them pictures of different flowers that they could use, also.
 When they had finished their drawing, they used black marker to trace the entire picture and then colored in their animal and plants. I had bought every kind of Crayola marker imaginable (Bold, Tropical, Standard) so that they would have a variety of colors to choose from. They were asked to try and use each green only 1 time, so that they would have variety in their jungle.
 For the background, we used liquid watercolor to create a wash. I gave each child a cup with watered down blue watercolors and they painted in any areas that had not been colored with markers.

I love the contrast between the markers and the watercolor!
This last piece (the zebra) was voted as Artist of the Week on Artsonia ( She won a $50 gift certificate to Dick Blick and a plaque with her name and a picture of her artwork on it!

She was thrilled. I sat with her and helped her order her art supplies- it was like Christmas morning when the box arrived! Markers, sketchbooks, oil pastels, glitter! Every child's dream! Pin It