Friday, April 20, 2012

2012 Art Auction Project: We're going to the dogs

Drawing dogs for samples #6

I am such a geek.  I admit it.  I badgered S & R's 3rd grade teacher into letting me create the class art auction project this year.  Yes, I nagged and nagged and thankfully Mrs. S is not only a dear friend, but her own kids have been in my dog 4-H club and she knows my crazy idiosyncrasies by now.  And of course, this meant that the art project I wanted to do this year was all about ....DOGS.  Yay!

Drawing dogs for samples #4

I've had an art auction idea percolating in my head since the one we made last year.  It was going to be totally different from the wind chimes, however and going to venture into teaching a large group of third graders how to draw dogs.  EEK!  In my crafting and art teaching experiences I have yet to teach such a large group how to draw anything.  But I had been inspired by this class self-portrait project at Art Projects for Kids (one of my absolute favorite kid art blogs, BTW).  I loved her use of this dry wax paper in creating these portraits and then how easy it appeared to mount onto the canvas.

Drawing dogs for samples #3

So, I got my very own guinea pigs on board with the assignment to see if this really could work ( of course this is after I already presented the idea to Mrs. S -nothing like the cart before the horse!)  We scoured our collection of dog books and drawing guides and found these to be the most helpful and inspirational:
My Very Favorite Art Book: I Love to Draw Dogs by Jennifer Lipsey
Why is Blue Dog Blue? by George Rodrigue 
Doodle Dogs by Klutz
And the amazingly colorful dog portraits by the artist Heather Galler

We also used several very old dog breed picture books that I've had since I was a kid, our own dogs and several friends' dogs as inspiration for some of our portraits. I sketched several dog portraits in the approximate size we would need for the canvas.  After I cleaned up my drawings, I outlined them in black Sharpie so they could be easily traced onto the wax paper for our sample canvases.

A whole bunch of sample dogs I drew.

As you can see, I underestimated my kids' abilities because they just drew their own faces (although R traced one of mine with her own crazy color scheme).

Drawing dogs for samples #5

 It got addicting.  The wax paper was so easy to draw on and we were having so much fun and our drawings were getting better and better the more we did......let's just say we had a whole bunch of samples to choose from after two days.

Drawing dogs for samples #1

We also found that the Sharpies kind of bled through onto the drawing that we were tracing from and created a cool pointillism effect on the white paper underneath.

Drawing dogs for samples #2

You'll notice that a few of our dogs had some accessories, like glasses and crowns...more tangents for us to go off on let me tell you!  Also, we incorporated some VERY colorful and pattern-rich doggies as well.  My thought on the art auction project was expanding - perhaps two separate canvases - one with realistically colored dog portraits and one with crazy colored and patterned dogs?  My thoughts were tumbling around and around - I could teach the kids not only about dogs but about some principles of exciting...I could teach these third graders about two of my favorite passions!  How great is that?  And yes, I did nag, browbeat, I mean - persuade - Mrs. S to let me "teach" this project in her classroom for several hours over the course of several days before Spring Break.  More on that later.

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