Monday, February 25, 2013

Look "Whoo, Who'" Is Learning About Contrast!

We learned about pattern and contrast!
Jessica shows us her cute owl and a nice range of patterns in lights, mediums and darks.
Eddie C. made a masculine owl with a mask-like face and a protective stance.  

Alec B. used large areas of black to help create contrast with the lighter patterns in the face and legs.
Morgan created a good variety of patterns, including the background!

For this assignment, I was looking for a theme that would interest my students while not being too difficult to draw.  I didn't want them to get hung up on the drawing because the goal of the lesson was to teach them about creating contrast in a black and white image.  I decided that "owls" would work well, and appeal to male and female students. I explained how their owl character could be made more aggressive, cute, comical etc. depending on the size and placement of the features and overall posture of the body. I provided the kids with handouts and library books that showcased a range of owls from the most simple symbols to more scientifically accurate renderings.
Ben's owl looks mechanical and has screw shapes for eyes!
Hannah B. made a cute more friendly owl due to it's large eyes and chubby appearance!

   After designing and drawing an owl, I provided students with a planning worksheet where they began to create different repeating line designs.  Each one inch box on the worksheet contained a unique pattern designed by that student.  I explained how we could change the lightness or darkness of a pattern just by using the black Sharpie marker to fill in areas.  I also provided examples of how to use the marker to make lines close together, which made the pattern look darker.  Students quickly learned that a black marker could make a design that appeared lighter if more of the white paper was left uncolored.  Problem-solving how these patterns could be placed into their owl would become the students' key challenge in this lesson. You can see just a few of the owls from these 8th graders here, and I think they did a great job using patterns and creating contrast. Let us know your thoughts!  We'd love to hear from you!


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