Remember when you were little and you'd scribble all over the paper and then use different colors to fill in the spaces? That's what we did today...but with a twist.
We began by watching this wonderful video on the 7 Elements of Art.
I knew our project would take our whole class time today so after the video and discussion, we jumped right in. I was completely inspired by THIS PAINTING BY SHARON CUMMINGS and THIS DRAWING FROM PAM S. ON BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD.
Here are the steps for this Study in Line and Color Koi Fish drawing (as seen at the top of this post and down below):
1. First I had the girls trace a 4-1/2" x 7-1/2" template onto a 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" sheet of card stock. The reason I do this is so you have a bit of extra space around your edge to test out your colors and to extend your lines. This was done in pencil and then gone over with a Sharpie.
2. Draw your koi fish in pencil. They are basically an elongated teardrop with fins at the bottom and two small fins on each side. I suggested that the girls do 3 or 5 fish. Keeping in mind that the eye prefers odd numbers of items. It's also nice to have one or two elements going off the edge of the page.
3. Add some lily pads--again in pencil. These are basically ovals with a small notch taken out of the side.
4. Go over the fish and lily pads with pen (we are using Papermate Flairs--our GO TO art pens for this class). I suggest going over each element twice to emphasize them. You'll notice from my image at the top of the post that I don't try to follow the first line. I like the look of two lines--it seems sort of freer and more "scribbley" which is a look I really like. Erase any pencil lines that remain.
5. Now go over the whole page with free flowing organic, swirly lines. We went right in with our pen on this to make them more free and improvised. This is where you'll be glad your paper is a bit larger than your drawing space because you want the lines to flow all the way to the edges and beyond. Here you can add as many or as few lines as you wish. Channel your inner child and "scribble" on your paper!! *NOTE: the reason I suggest doing your pen lines on your fish and lily pads BEFORE this step is so it's not just one big swirly mess. This way the fish and lily pads are already very obvious and standing out. You'll see that after you do the swirly lines, the Koi and lily pads do fade a bit and you have to really watch where to add your color.
6. And now the most fun and relaxing part--adding the color. Choose 3 shades of a color for your lily pads, 3-4 shades of a different color for your fish, and 4-5 shades of a third color for your water. And then just color in all the fun spaces you've created. I tried not to ever use the same color on spots right next to each other. But a few times it just happened and it's fine. That's the great thing about this project--it's really free and easy and yet the result is REALLY, REALLY pretty!
7. Cut around your Sharpie lines to clean up the edge of the paper. Mount on a 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" sheet of card stock.
Here are a few of the girls at work on their drawings. I think the steps above will make more sense when you see these Works In Progress.
This wonderful artist started with the water which we all decided later was much harder than doing the koi and lily pads first. But it was fun for her to see her fish sort of POP out of the water as she colored because she was skeptical at first and the most hesitant to draw the scribbles on her drawing.
And here is her beautiful finished drawing:
This artist chose really bright, fun colors for her fish so they almost glowed!
This artist is a bit older than the other girls in the class. :) She's a friend of mine that recently joined our class and all the girls were in awe of her wonderful drawing today.
This is the finished drawing mounted on blue paper. Is this not gorgeous???
We talked about trying this same method with other subjects--not just fish. It would be so pretty with flowers or clouds or even a row of little houses set against a big sky, really so many things you could try.
We had fun drawing Koi fish and snacking on Goldfish crackers and talking about art today! Next month will be our last class of this school year. Where has the time gone?? See you then!
4/14/15 EDITED TO ADD: A few of my students recently moved with their family to Oregon and we miss them dearly! I always send them the class re-caps so they can do the classes on their own at home. Well these little sweeties made it a family affair! For their Family Night the whole family did Koi Drawings.
I got this message from their mom (and it totally made my day!!):
Camille finished her fish early so she experimented with bubbles in fall colors. We had a lot of fun. Thanks to your cool factor everyone was a willing participant in this great project. I am going to give Eric some colored pencils today and see what he comes up with. Instead, we just let him have his family home evening treat early while the rest of us colored last night. When people started to stray from your written instructions, Katie was quick to pipe up "There are no rules in Tiffany's art classes!"
Here are their lovely drawings: