Still Life Collages in 4th Grade

art class

Students in the Ms. Philip's Fourth Grade art class began an intense study of drawing with an introduction to still-life images. They learned about how artists create the illusion of depth with overlapping, relative size, and placement of objects.  With these ideas in mind, they practiced drawing three different art room objects: a squeeze bottle, a small box, and a jar of acrylic.  These three items represent the challenge of drawing cones, cylinders, and rectangular prisms.  Students were guided to look for basic shapes rather than details.  Once the students practiced drawing each individual item, they began to work on the composition of all three together.  Each item was placed on a “map” to keep the same composition of elements throughout the experience.  Students drew from different angles, discovering how to maintain the spatial relationships between objects.

Students experimented with charcoal to help encourage filling up the space and removing tiny details. Students finalized their sketches on larger paper, creating a horizon line to delineate the table from the wall behind the objects.  Fourth graders chose papers in three values (light, medium, and dark) of one hue for each object in the still life. The range of values helps to define shapes to show dimensionality. By tearing the papers into small pieces, students were able to re-create the objects in a more simplified and abstract style while still highlighting all of the hard work done in the preliminary drawings.

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