Thursday, February 9, 2012

Illustrating a character: 4th grade

Fourth graders learned about shading and value by illustrating one of their favorite characters from a storybook or a mythical character.  We looked at different interpretations of characters, such as Little Red Riding Hood or Bigfoot, by a variety of illustrators - I found these nice examples on Pinterest:

Pinned Image
This lesson provided the kids an opportunity to express their ideas any way they like - abstractly, realistically, symbolically - and the only restrictions were that they must use at least 6 values from their value scale.  Since we were using pens, hatching and cross-hatching was our shading technique of choice.
We looked at a few examples by one of my favorite illustrators, Edward Gorey, who has done many famous black and white illustrations for Masterpiece Mystery! and other books, as seen here:

We began with a shaded value scale and ended the project with a trip to the computer lab to select and print fonts which add to the mood of our character portraits.  We really had fun working as illustrators and putting our own personal spins on some classic characters.  I am very pleased with our results...

My teacher-made example


  1. Hope these are AWESOME! The kids did a great job (LOVE Little Red Diding Hood!)The lesson was well planned and delivered and the kids GOT IT!I liked your Bigfoot too:)

  2. The red riding hood gave me shivers! These are all so full of character. I like the crosshatching value scale- you can tell they really got that down. And I spy a portfolio cover in action:)

  3. What a fantastic art lesson.
    Your students did such an amazing job.
    So much expressiveness in their lines.


Comments are very appreciated - thanks for stopping by!