Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Illustrating a Character, Fall 2012

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. We discussed the way that each interpretation seemed to be for a particular audience - young children, teens, adults - and each had a mood, like spooky or silly. One of my favorite illustrators is Edward Gorey, who worked almost exclusively in black and white pen and ink; he created art for Masterpiece Mystery! and other books, such as the one seen here:

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 began with a shaded value scale and ended the project with a trip to the computer station 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, and we ended with an art walk, where students used sticky notes to leave compliments for each other.

sticky note comments/compliments from our art walk

students creating their titles

art walk - last 5 minutes of class


  1. I love this lesson! What kind of images did you show them first? Any chance you want to share the PPT for the portal?

    1. Sure, I found most of my illustrations on Pinterest, but I can put them in a ppt. Thanks!

  2. How large is the piece of foil for the gesture drawings?


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