The idea for this project comes from the Apex Elementary Art Blog. I wanted to start off the year for 2nd graders with a step-by-step drawing project. I often get the sense that my students are confident painters but when it comes to drawing their hesitation and doubt is very apparent. Drawing is a very difficult skill. You have to use a part of your brain that does not often get exercised to look at something and try and figure out how to remake it on your paper. Most art media is much more forgiving and mistakes can be hidden or changed. Drawing can be frustrating for elementary kids because it is an art form in which imperfection becomes obvious very quickly.
That being said, I personally find that it is easiest to draw when using a drawing book or a youtube tutorial (lately I am obsessed with Draw with Jazza) so I wanted to bring that same experience to my students so they could gain some confidence. We began by drawing step-by-step together. The drawing was excellent for reviewing different kinds of lines and shapes and parts of a landscape (foreground, middle ground, background). Here is an animation of the steps:
The kids drew with pencil and then traced over their lines with sharpie. We talked a lot about overlapping and size placement to show depth. A lot of students were wondering why there are flowers floating around in the foreground and I really didn’t have a good answer for them so I finally just turned on the Moana soundtrack and said that it is supposed to be from Moana. This seemed a reasonable enough answer to distract the students from the obvious weirdness of the foreground flowers. We continued the Moana jam sesh as we painted.
I love all of the unique details my students added to these whimsical landscapes like dinosaurs and sheep and houses and trees and all kinds of cutie little things.