First grade looked at a variety of prints by Henri Rousseau. They focused on how the animals seemed to be hidden in the foliage of the jungle.
Then we read the book, Who's the Beast by Keith Baker.
I put out a variety of old calendar pages with animals on them and asked them to practice drawing just the head of the animal. We talked about making the drawing bigger than our hand, so that it would fill up the space.
Once they had the head drawn, I showed them how to draw different plants to make it look like their animal was hiding in the jungle. The plants had to touch the edge of the paper, as well as touch the head of the animal. I also showed them how to draw plants all around the page (top, bottom, and both sides).
1. black glue with liquid watercolor
2. muslin, glue and liquid watercolor
Black glue with liquid watercolor
I gave the students a piece of watercolor paper (9x12). They drew their jungle scene with pencil first.
Then they traced all of the lines with black glue (school glue mixed with black acrylic paint).
Once the glue was dry, I put out trays of liquid watercolor. We started with the plants first, so I gave them a 3-4 different shades of green to use. The black glue helped stop the paint from bleeding.
We then moved on to our animals. I told them that since they were the artist, they did not have to paint their animal using realistic colors. If they wanted a pink giraffe, they could make a pink giraffe.
The last step was painting the background (all of the space that was left over). My one qualification for this was that I didn't want them to use a color that had been previously used.
Muslin, glue and liquid watercolor
For this project, I had pre-cut the muslin into 9x12 pieces.
The students used a pencil to draw their picture onto the muslin first.
Then they traced over the lines with white school glue.
When the glue was dry, they used the same watercolor procedure as the black glue project.
Once the entire project was dry, the glue was peeled off of the muslin.
***This is where we had technical difficulties. The glue was very difficult to peel. I ended up having to peel the majority of it. I tried washing the muslin under water to loosen the glue, but that DID NOT WORK! The glue got very sticky and all of the color washed out of the muslin. Ugh!!
Any suggestions on how to fix this?????????
I gave the students a 9x12 piece of drawing paper. Again, they drew their image with pencil first.
They traced over the pencil with black marker and used an eraser to erase the stray pencil lines.
In my room, I have all of my markers sorted into stackable plastic tubs by color, so for this part, I pulled out the green marker tub. They used any other the green markers that they wanted to color their plants.
The animals were colored with any colors that the children wanted.
The sky was filled in with a color that they had not previously used.
Overall, I was very pleased with how these turned out. The students did a really good job overlapping their plants and animal and we are finally getting the concept of drawing big!