The musings of a landscape painter, art teacher, and art history lover
This shoe drawing lesson is perfect for middle school and high school art teachers.
This colored pencil drawing lesson can be used for both middle school art students and high school art students. I generally do it with 8th grade classes, and it takes about three weeks to complete (working one class period a day) and does not require much in the way of supplies. It is a fun and challenging project that will test their ability to use a grid and develop proportion. In addition, it introduces students to color and color theory and emphasizes the element of pattern. I have found this to be one of the best art projects out there, due to its ability to develop multiple skills and allow students to express their creativity in a way that will achieve strong results. Teachers will love this art lesson!
I have the my students use 18" X 24" drawing paper for this drawing. That gives them room for about a 3 inch border. They look really polished that way.
Additional art supplies:
A quick word about colored pencils: The lesser grade brands of colored pencils have more wax than pigment. They tend to make lighter colors and are not as easy to blend. I require my students to buy a set of colored pencils at the beginning of the year and recommend to them the the Faber-Castell and Prismacolor brands. For my class set, I order Blick Essentials Class Pack 240 colored pencil set.
1. Find shoes online and paste them into a Word document. Make sure to blow them up as large as possible. Print out the shoes in black and white. Have students select a shoe from the selection.
2. Once students have chosen a shoe they like, have them draw a three X three grid over the top of the shoe handout. The boxes will not likely be exactly square, the importance is that there are six equally sized boxes going over the shoe area of the handout.
3. Then, have students draw an equally proportionate grid on their larger page, with room left over for a border. They may need help with this math, depending upon the age. You can figure it out and then write it on the board for them to follow.
4. Have the students draw a contour line drawing of their shoe onto the larger paper. They should use the grid as a guide for proportions.
5. Have them draw different patterns in each of the grid boxes. They may decide to continue the pattern over the shoe drawing or just have patterns around it. Now is a good time to review the principles of design with them.
6. Assign a different color scheme for each box. It could be warm analogous colors, cool analogous colors, triadic colors, complimentary colors, monochrome color, and one of their choice. If they mix up the color scheme order, it is okay.
7. Give them some advice on how to shade with color pencils and have them practice.
8 Finally, let them color in their designs.
TEACHERS: Take your time with the grid process. Many students will need help with the math related to their grid proportions. I usually, have them practice on a small grid with an easier drawing first. Then, once they understand the concept, we move on to this project. It also helps to take a moment and explain the markings on the ruler. Many students have little experience with measuring.
Here are some examples of student artwork. It is always amazing to me how the students seem to find their own approach to this project, adding their personality while staying within the project's parameters.
PRO COLORED PENCIL TIP: Shade in layers with small circular scribbles. Keep your pressure light and try to blend colors by leaving some tooth of the paper. You can use a blender pencil at the end to pull it all together and get rid of white spaces.
Art teachers, what do you think? If you try this lesson, I would love to hear how it worked out. This is a lesson that home school teachers can do as well. It doesn't require many art supplies other than some colored pencils and paper. You can also pair this project with a discussion of Matisse's artwork or have your students study the Les Nabis art movement. I am so exited to bring this art lesson to you and hope you enjoy it!
Author: Bruce Black
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