December 31, 2016

New Year Dragons

Dragons for New Year!  How can that be? 

That's exactly what my students (ages 7 to 11) said when I told them to think outside the box and come up with their ideas of what a New Year's Dragon would look like.

Preparing the Lesson:

  • Like many artists presented with a challenge, we started with research.  Who knows a lot about dragons?  Where are dragons popular at new year?  China! 
  • I prepared a Keynote presentation (similar to Power Point) about dragons in China to be shown on my iPad. 
  • The students were to get ideas from the presentation to use when creating their own unique dragon. 

Teaching the Lesson:

  • The students used acrylic paint to cover an 18" x 22" piece of mat board in a cool color: blue, green, or purple.

  • As the mat board was drying, we started on the dragon's face, which we created by collaging layers of construction paper using warm colors only: red, yellow, orange.  We wanted the dragon to 'pop' from the background, and the contrast of warm on cool colors helped that happen.  To accentuate the three dimensional effect, we made the faces symmetrical, then glued them on so the folded section raised up from the board. 

  • Next came the dragon's body.  Some bodies were skinny, others were cubby.  We had a mixture of males and females.  The one below is a female.  Look for her eye lashes,  bow, necklace, and magic wand, which the artist says shouts female.

  • After they glued the dragon onto their mat board, the students took a break while I prepared for what everyone had been waiting for: the bling.  I laid out a smorgasbord of glittery sequined shapes, pipe cleaners, beads, shiny papers, puzzle pieces, craft sticks, oil pastels, and tissue paper.  Each student snipped and glued until time ran out and we had to stop.


Concepts explored:

  • color: warm and cool colors
  • balance: symmetrical balance
  • contrast: color and size
  • space: using all the 2-D space on the picture plane/creating 3-D space with the face
  • line: drawing shapes
  • shape: free form shapes
  • pattern: on the body

Happy New Year
Little Arty Pants