Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cave Drawings

On our first stop on "Art Around the World," we looked at the cave paintings from Lascaux, France. We saw how detailed and beautiful the drawings are while being so simple. I showed the students a great double-page spread from the book, "Art and Civilization: Prehistory," that shows the tools the ancient artists used and also shows a depiction of the scaffolding that they must have used in order to create the drawing so high up on the cave walls. I also had a series of posters of the Lascaux caves that I bought from Dick Blick Art Supply.

We then experimented with charcoals and pastels to create drawings of our own. The children could incorporate ancient or modern animals, symbols, weapons, etc. They were also encouraged to add their handprints as their "signatures." Once they had filled up their large paper, they could choose a portion, make a frame from twigs and lace their masterpiece to the frame. The finished piece has a tribal or even Native American feel to it.

Supplies Needed:

  • A large paper bag, crumpled, rinsed with water & then ironed until dry and flat (the wrinkles will make the bag look like a cave wall or an animal hide).
  • Charcoals, pastels, conté crayons, or vine charcoal
  • Packing tape
  • Hole Punch
  • Suede lacing (or brown yarn)
  • Four twigs for frame
  • Hot glue gun & glue sticks

1. Spread out the brown paper bag and using the pastels, draw animals, figures, symbols and trace your hands onto the page. You can make the animals all sorts of sizes and make sure to show the detail of their coats. Are they striped, spotted, or have shaggy fur? Make sure you "sign" your work by tracing your hand.

2. Once you are done drawing, select a portion to frame. You can either rip the paper gently or cut it with scissors to crop the piece to size.

3. Flip the cropped section over and reinforce the edges of the back with packing tape (this will make edges more sturdy when you lace them later). Use the hole punch to create some holes around the edge of your piece about 2-3" apart.

4. Create a frame with four twigs. Hot glue the corners where the twigs overlap--this will help the frame be a bit more sturdy. Then take a 6" section of the cord and tie the corners of the twigs where they overlap. This will cover the hot glue and make the piece look more authentic.

5. Cut a piece of cording about as long as you are tall. Tie a knot in one and and thread it through the holes of the artwork and around the twig frame to secure. Keep sewing through the holes of the artwork and around the twig frame until done. Enjoy!

*Be aware that the piece is still sort of messy since it uses charcoal. You can spray the finished piece with a coat of hairspray to fix the dust.

Here are some other pictures of the project to enjoy:

"Take a picture of my hand!"

Another finished piece.

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